2023 Cheltenham Festival Preview: Facile Vega looking to get back to winning ways

Eventmasters’ Horse Racing Ambassador Matt Chapman favours Facile Vega to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

According to Sky Sports Racing and Eventmasters’ Horse Racing Ambassador Matt Chapman, Willie Mullins’ Facile Vega is an ‘absolute banker’ to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, which gets underway on Tuesday 14th March.

According to Sky Sports Racing and Eventmasters’ Horse Racing Ambassador Matt Chapman, Willie Mullins’ Facile Vega is an ‘absolute banker’ to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, which gets underway on Tuesday 14th March.

Chapman said (via Sky Sports):

“I think he’s an absolute good thing, an absolute banker. Willie Mullins and Paul Townend will kick themselves a bit with this horse because they’re jointly responsible for the craziness of him last time.

“When he won the Champion Bumper and the Grade One at Punchestown, he was held up in midfield, but because they thought he was so much better than the rest they let him bowl along and was too free and over raced.

“I believe they’ll drop him right out the back in this and I predict he’ll come there like Unsinkable Boxer (who won the 1998 Pertemps Final).”

Facile Vega was the favourite in many people’s eyes to win the Supreme Stayers’ Hurdle at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. He was labelled as the favourite after some impressive form over hurdles.

Ridden by Paul Townsend, Facile Vega competed at Fairyhouse in the Fingal Ravens Raceday Maiden Hurdle (Division 2) on Saturday 3rd December 2022. The Ireland trained horse beat off competition from An Mhi (Ireland), Wild Dollar (Ireland), Smooth Player (Ireland) and Dontlettheoldmanin (Ireland) to win the race.

Following this spectacular victory at Fairyhouse, Facile Vega competed in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade One) at Leopardstown a few weeks later on Tuesday 27th December 2022.

Incredibly, all the horses that finished in the top three of the race are trained by Willie Mullins. Facile Vega, ridden by Paul Townsend once again won the race, with Il Etait Temps (France, Danny Mullins) and Ashroe Diamond (Ireland, Patrick Mullins) in second and third respectively.

France’s Path D’oroux and Intranet finished close behind Willie Mullins’ trio of horses in fourth and fifth.

Unfortunately for Mullins and Facile Vega, it was a disappointing overall performance at the 2023 Dublin Racing Festival in February. After failing to finish in the top five of the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (Grade One), it was only a 5th place finish in the Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle (Grade One).

By the end of the race, Facile Vega was trailing the leader by 20 lengths. Stablemate and leader Il Etait Temps won the race, with Inthepocket (Great Britain), Dark Raven (Ireland) and Irish Point (Ireland) separating the two Mullins horses.

Willie Mullins and Facile Vega will not give up though, and are still amongst the favourites to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.

As official hospitality suppliers for Cheltenham Festival appointed directly by Cheltenham Racecourse, Eventmasters are delighted to provide Cheltenham Festival hospitality packages in 2023, should you wish to go down the hospitality route.

Silks Hospitality Package

An excellent base to enjoy a day at the races, Silks Restaurant offers wonderful panoramic views of the Cheltenham Racecourse. With a four-course luncheon, afternoon tea, hostess service and complimentary bar, this really is a fabulous way to experience Cheltenham Festival. Prices for this facility range from £529 – £689 per person plus VAT.

The Venue Hospitality Package

Located within the exclusive courtyard area of Cheltenham’s hospitality village, The Venue is a wonderfully relaxed venue for you to experience Cheltenham Festival. As well as amazing food and drink, this option includes celebrity tipsters as well as live music. Prices for The Venue range from £389 – £429 per person plus VAT.

The Champions Club Hospitality Package

Enjoy the Cheltenham Festival from some of the best seats in the stands, combining comfort, convenience and luxury in the Champions Club. With the finest views of the track, treat yourself to fantastic food and drink during Champion Day.

Four Eighty Restaurant Hospitality Package

The Four Eighty Restaurant is a new addition to the Cheltenham Festival’s world-class hospitality packages. Revel in three-course fine dining from your own private tables and experience amazing views from the second level on the course.

Private Grandstand Box Hospitality Package

Why not take things a step further by experiencing Cheltenham Festival in your very own private box! The Grandstand Box provides an intimate atmosphere and offers incredible views of the racecourse, overlooking the winning line. For this premium experience, prices range from £18,000 – to £25,000 for a total of 12 people plus VAT.

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