Cheltenham Festival 2020: Reasons to Get Excited
The Cheltenham Festival is, without a doubt, the most prestigious and most anticipated meeting within the Jump racing calendar. With only eight weeks to go until the famous Roar resonates throughout Prestbury Park, there is plenty to look forward to from horses to hospitality. Here are a few things that you won’t want to miss during the four fabulous days of racing.
1. A fifth victory for Altior?
Over the years, Altior has earned the status as a mighty Cheltenham champion, having placed first in every Grade 1 race since 2016, alongside jockey Nico di Boinville. Altior’s overall racing career is even more impressive. He won 19 races consecutively, with the winning streak only broken last November by Cyrname in the Grade 2 Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot.
Trainer, Nicky Henderson, has revealed that it is his intention for Altior to run in this year’s Champion Chase, in a bid to claim a Cheltenham victory for the fifth year running. With a back catalogue as inspiring as this, Altior is definitely not a performance you want to miss this year.
Altior has encountered some health issues recently which has led Henderson to withdraw him from a number of races. He was due to run at the Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase Kempton, as well as The Clarence House Chase at Ascot but Henderson has stated that Game Spirit Chase at Newbury and Cheltenham are his priority.
The cause of Altior’s setback is that he is still recovering from an abscess he developed a few months ago. Henderson explained that the plan is to give Altior a break, enter the Game Spirit Chase on 8th February, by which time he should be fit for Cheltenham.
Whilst it would be amazing for Altior to become a five-time Cheltenham champion, there are a number of horses set to enter the Champion Chase to be wary of. A Plus Tard, who won the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase last year, will certainly be one to watch. Rival, Cyrname, will also be running and could be a chance for Altior to get his own back for last year’s Ascot showdown.
2. A double Gold Cup win for Al Boum Photo?
Last week, the initial entries for this year’s Gold Cup Chase were revealed. This race is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious within National Hunt racing. Last year’s first place went to the Willie Mullins trained Al Boum Photo. Naturally, the question on racegoers lips is can Al Boum Photo win Gold Cup for the second year running?
Last year’s Gold Cup initially seemed to echo 2018’s performance, with Native River and Might Bite fighting for first place with Al Boum Photo just behind. Last Year’s winner Native River put up a stunning show, displaying some magnificent jumps. However, it was Al Boum Photo who was able to give it that final burst of energy and charge his way into first place.
Native River is also set to run the Gold Cup again this year. Will he be able to make a comeback and repeat his 2018 performance? Owners Garth and Anne Broom believe that the nine-year-old gelding is back to his best and have high hopes for Cheltenham this year.
3. St Patrick’s Day
Every year on day three of the Cheltenham Festival, friends from the Emerald Isle make their way over to Prestbury Park to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Often the liveliest day of the festival, this is the perfect opportunity to revel in some serious racing action all whilst keeping the Guinness flowing.
This is the chance to witness the two iconic races of the day, The Stayers Hurdle and Ryanair Chase. Entries for the Stayers Hurdle are yet to be confirmed but during the Ryanair Chase, there are a number of familiar names who are set to run including Cyrname, Hell’s Kitchen, A Plus Tard and Bristol de Mai.
St Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham is always guaranteed to be an action packed day and promises to provide a high levels of amusement.
4. Cheltenham 2020 Hospitality & VIP Tickets
If you don’t already have Cheltenham Festival tickets or hospitality packages booked for 2020, head on over to our Cheltenham hospitality page where you can find all the options available to ensure you have the most memorable Cheltenham experience.
Experience the finest hospitality in a wide range of exclusive facilities and guarantee a race day experience to remember. Our exclusive Silks facility is the perfect venue to host your Cheltenham 2020 experience. You and your guests can enjoy VIP package includes such as a complimentary bar, delicious four course luncheon as well as rubbing shoulders with Nico di Boinville and our celebrity guest tipsters. Or if you fancy a bit of live music, David ‘Yosser’ Hughes will be performing in our Venue facility.
You and your valued clients will feel like VIP’s right from the beginning. There really is no experience quite like The Cheltenham Festival. It is the bucket list event for many racegoers and enthusiasts. Secure your place today and look forward to the same celebrations and excitement next season.