Posts

Cheltenham Festival 2019: Memorable Moments Throughout The Week

Cheltenham Festival in 2019 has been nothing short of extraordinary. Racegoers coming from all over the world have been treated to a thrilling experience at Cheltenham Racecourse. With world class jump racing and exquisite hospitality options making for a great atmosphere at Cheltenham throughout the week. Reminisce on some of the greatest Festival moments with us below!

Willie Mullins Wins His First Cheltenham Gold Cup

The most coveted prize at the Cheltenham Festival is without a doubt the Gold Cup! With the biggest names in horse racing competing for this title, it was an intense and electrifying race to witness!

The Cheltenham Gold Cup race was won by Al Boum Photo for Paul Townend and Willie Mullins! This victory comes as Mullins’ first ever Gold Cup victory after having trained the runner up six times. The seven year old remains unbeaten this season and now adds a Gold Cup to his name! Sure to go down in history for the Mullins camp.

Last year’s winner Native River came in fourth place after Bristol De Mai and Anibale Fly. King George winner Clan Des Obeaux came in fifth for trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Harry Cobden. Whilst Elegant Escape came in sixth. Most surprisingly, favourite to win Presenting Percy suffered a few mistakes and managed to come in seventh place with Davy Russell.

Bryony Frost Makes History at Cheltenham Festival

What a day is was on St Patrick’s Thursday at Cheltenham! Jockey Bryony Frost became the first female to secure victory in a top level Grade One race. The win sparked inspiration throughout the racecourse and is sure to go down in history.

23 year old Bryony was greeted by an euphoric crowd cheering her on as she won the Grade One Ryanair Chase whilst riding Frodon – a Paul Nicholls trained horse. This victory securely places her in history books as she leads a rising generation of female jockeys. In a sport where some may claim that women often compete against men unequally, her win paves the path for many other aspiring female jockeys.

Bryony Frost first began riding on a donkey called Nosey at the mere age of two. Now, many years later, she punched the air and grinned widely after she scored a significant and high profile victory at this year’s Cheltenham meeting.

Thrilled following her win, she exclaimed:

“He just made the dream come true, it’s just incredible. He will deserve every single high five, pat and carrot.”

At the finish line, to ITV Racing she said of the remarkable horse:

“He’s Pegasus! He’s got wings, most horses would quit, but he grabbed me by the hands and said, ‘don’t you dare give up, don’t you dare not send me into the last – I want this more than you, now come on, where are you?’ Just look at what he’s done there – deny that he just loves racing. He’s unbelievable. I love you.”

Frodon’s triumph kick started an exciting hour of racing as Andrew Gemmell’s Paisley Park and Lizzie Kelly succeeded in attaining another victory for female jockeys!

Tiger Roll Lands a Phenomenal Win

Last year’s Grand National winner Tiger Roll added a fourth victory to his Cheltenham Festival successes. The champion horse went on to win Wednesday’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase by a staggering twenty two lengths. This ignited a thunderous roar from the crowds at Cheltenham who saw the horse put up a phenomenal display of jumps. Keith Donoghue guided the horse perfectly over 32 obstacles, making it seem effortless!

Tiger Roll strode into the lead before the last hurdle and went for a clear twenty two lengths ahead of Josies Orders. On entrance to the winners enclosure, he enjoyed loud cheers of admiration from Cheltenham crowds.

Shortly after, Michael O’Leary noted:

“He’s a legend around here. Triumph Hurdle winners tend not to come back, but they certainly don’t come back and win four-mile races for amateurs and then cross-countries.”

He commended Tiger Roll’s trainer saying:

“It’s a phenomenal training performance by Gordon Elliot. He wasn’t great as a novice chaser but he’s transformed him by changing his routine and sending him cross-country.”

Altior Clings to His Record at Cheltenham

Favourite to win Altior went on to achieve his 18th consecutive jumps success. He won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham Festival.

Despite lacking dominance throughout the race, the Nicky Henderson trained horse clung to victory winning by nearly two lengths. He made a small mistake at the seventh fence however he was able to recover afterwards and climb to victory.

The superstar horse came to Cheltenham having an undefeated run since October 2015. Since then, he has attained victory in twelve steeple chases, five hurdle races and now a further Cheltenham Festival triumph.

Following the success, Altior’s record is now neck and neck with Big Buck who had a winning record spanning two years from the start of 2009.

 Jockey Noel Fehily Retiring Following Win at Cheltenham

Noel Fehily is set to retire following his victory on Eglantine Du Seuil at Cheltenham’s Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. He described his win as “the perfect ending” to a rich and fruitful career of horse racing. To date, Fehily has ridden well over 1,350 winners over jumps in Britain and Ireland since his very first win in 1998.

Indeed, many of Fehily’s greatest successes came at the Cheltenham Festival. He has won the Champion Hurdle twice – once in 2012 with Rock On Ruby and again in 2017 with Buveur d’Air.

Following a surgery he had earlier this year, the jockey feared he would miss out on Cheltenham Festival. He told the BBC:

“I could go on but I was very ill in January and February and it didn’t look like I would make the Festival for a while. So to come here and ride a winner seems like the perfect ending. I will carry on for the next couple of weeks and then I’ll decide when to stop. I’m lucky and had some great days. I’ve ridden some lovely horses and had great support.”

What a great way to end a career at the world renowned Cheltenham Festival.

 

Enjoyed the phenomenal week at Cheltenham Racecourse? You can join us again at Cheltenham next year! 2020 Cheltenham Festival hospitality and tickets are now on sale, so be sure to book in early to enjoy an experience like no other.

Cheltenham Festival: Day One Review

Cheltenham Festival day one kicked off with flying colours on Tuesday 12th March. The first day of The Festival attracted a record breaking crowd of 67,934 spectators all wanting a taste of the Cheltenham action. Despite the rainy weather and high winds thousands of racing enthusiasts enjoyed a day at the races worth savouring. All seven races certainly provided a nail biting few minutes for those with bets on. It’s safe to say that day one was a bad day for punters! There were shocking falls and defeats that no one could have predicted. Surprise wins came from the likes of Beware The Bear, Roksana and Espoir D’Allen. Which was the biggest shock for you?

Champion Day 2019 Recap

With three more days of The Festival remaining let’s recap on all that went down at Cheltenham Racecourse on the opening day.

Race One: Skybet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Although delayed by a false start the highly anticipated Cheltenham roar rippled through the racecourse as the first race got underway. Legendary Cheltenham trainer Willie Mullins started the day off well with a first race win. The Supreme Novices Hurdle saw Klassical Dream ran by jockey Ruby Walsh win at odds of 6-1. The four and a half length triumph showcased star quality that closely matched his previous winnings in Ireland.

The Festival’s most esteemed jockey Ruby Walsh led the horse to victory in a prominent position throughout. First race in, Walsh extended his winning tally to 59 wins at Cheltenham and following the race he said Klassical Dream ran like a true stag.

In second and third came Thomas Darby and Itchy Feet. The bookies favourites however didn’t have such a successful race. Al Dancer originally headed the 18 strong field and was expected by many to come out victorious. The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained horse however came in at tenth place. Therefore crushing the chance of extending his unbeaten season. Fakir D’oudairies was another favourite set to be victorious that fell short of a top three finish.

The first race was just a preview of the surprise wins that followed throughout the day. Overall, despite the fact bets may have been lost the first race certainly set the stage for an exhilarating race day.

Race Two: Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase

Willie Mullins celebrated another win in the second race of the Cheltenham opener. Duc Des Genievres stormed ahead and went on to win the Racing Post Arkle by a massive 13 lengths. The victorious horse spotted an opportunity to take the lead after front runner Ornua brought down Kalashnikov at the sixth fence. The race certainly was an intense watch.

Mullins spoke proudly after the race of the pairing with jockey Paul Townend. He said Duc Des Genievres showed excellent form and the ground changed him completely. He also stated how lucky he was to have two winners so early into The Festival, but knowing Cheltenham anything can happen.

Second and third place runners Us and Them and Articulum struggled to keep up with the dominant front runner. Hardline was bookies favourite and was expected to at least be in the top three. However, he came in seventh. This was the second race to highlight that unexpected wins were happening at Cheltenham.

Race Three: Ultima Handicap Chase

The third race of the day came just before 3pm and was certainly one of the most surprising of the day. The victory was awarded to Beware The Bear who manged to beat off the fiercely competitive lineup and finished first at odds of 10-1. Jerry Mcgrath led the Nicky Henderson trained horse to a sublime victory.

The race was an intense watch and for much of the race it looked as though Willie Mullins could bag his third consecutive win. Up For Review put on a strong performance that showed promise, right up until the third fence from the finish. A mistake which ultimately cost him the win and resulted in a seventh place finishing.

Beware the Bear was able to beat off strong competition from Sue Smith’s Vintage Clouds who finished in second place. A last minute change in tactics is said to be what lead jockey Jerry Mcgrath to put on such an impressive performance. Just before the race Nicky Henderson is said to have influenced Mcgrath to drop in, keep away and stay wide.

The last minute change of plan played massively in their favour and the win was thoroughly deserved.

Race Four: Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

Espoir D’Allen caused a seismic shock in the third race of champion day at Cheltenham Festival. The race many couldn’t believe as none of the three favourites came close to a victory. Despite the strong profile Espoir D’Allen came with, he was not expected to out perform the likes of Buveur D’Air, Laurina and Apple’s Jade. Buveur D’Air dominated the betting market and was set to make history by becoming the sixth horse to win two-mile blue riband three times. However, he fell at the halfway stage resulting in a shocking turn of events for punters.

Espoir D’Allen’s performance was quite extraordinary and he stormed to victory with a record breaking 15 length win. Trainer Gavin Cromwell struggled to put into words what the victory meant and couldn’t believe it.

An unbelievable win for this incredible horse and his connections. One that will stay as a highlight of The Festival for 2019.

Race Five: OLBG Mares’ Hurdle

Race five was another dramatic one. Favourite Benie Des Dieux fell at the final flight which sealed a difficult start for owner Rich Ricci. This fall was something else that sent shock waves throughout Cheltenham. The last minute fall opened the path for Roksana to take the lead and become victorious. This awarded Dan and Harry Skelton with their first Grade One success, an amazing achievement!

Roksana managed to beat Stormy Ireland and Good Thyne Tara by two and a quarter lengths in the dramatic finish. An injury in the Autumn meant that Roksana only had one race before the big event at Cheltenham. Skelton spoke of how this move had been inspired by Native River’s Gold Cup win. Victories could be done!

Race Six: Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase

A Plus Tard cantered home in true style in the penultimate race of the day awarding Rachael Blackmore with her first Cheltenham win. The pairing were an enviable duo on the field. Blackmore’s patient approach lead them to a victory 16 lengths ahead of second place runner Tower Bridge.

Despite Blackmore falling off Ornua in the Racing Post Arkle in the day the jockey brushed herself off and put on an impressive performance.

Ben Dundee and The Russian Doyen came in at third place in the exciting race. Overall it was a thrilling way to begin the conclusions for Champion Day.

Race Seven: National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase

The final race of Champion Day begun at 17:30pm and it was a race that shocked many fans. Unfortunately, it was a bitter sweet race that was tainted by the falling of favourite Ballyward at the 17th fence. The gruelling race certainly had its toll on many of the runners with only four of the 18 lineup finishing. Unfortunately, Ballyward had to be euthanized following the fatal fall and died. This was a devastating end to such a fantastic day at the Cheltenham Festival.

The bitter sweet victory was awarded to Le Breuil resulting in Jamie Codd’s eight success at the meeting.

The first day of Cheltenham Festival was full of shocks and surprises. Many couldn’t have predicted the events that occurred. Yesterday just highlights that anything can happen at Cheltenham Festival. The most exhilarating race meeting of the season continues this week with Ladies Day, St Patrick’s Thursday and the prestigious Gold Cup Day still to come.

You can experience the same thrills and excitement next year with our Cheltenham Festival 2020 Hospitality packages & tickets.

Cheltenham Races: International Meeting Review

The Cheltenham International Meeting once again returned to the famous Cheltenham Racecourse last weekend for two days of unrivalled horse racing action. This event is a key highlight within the National Hunt Season and perfectly contributes to the highly anticipated build up of the great Cheltenham Festival. As the last meeting of the year and Christmas just around the corner there’s plenty to savour from this prestigious race day. At the weekend we witnessed world class racing from first class jockeys, runners and respected trainers. Those in attendance included horses from both the Bryony Frost and Nicky Henderson camp.

The festivities could be felt all over Cheltenham Racecourse as the build up to the big day continues. On both days of the event plenty of racing was enjoyed. The final race of the Crystal Cup took place on the Friday which saw the conclusion of the European race series. Other highlights from the action packed racing weekend include the Caviar Gold Cup also dubbed as December’s Gold Cup and the International Hurdle. Saturday’s feature race: The Unibet International Hurdle is one of seven key races on the road to The Festival. Highly anticipated by many racing enthusiasts the race offers us key insights into who to look out for ahead of the prestigious Cheltenham Festival in 2019.

Unibet International Hurdle

The Unibet International Hurdle is a Grade 2 race ran on the Saturday of the International meeting at Cheltenham. The penultimate hurdle race is a highlight of the entire meeting as horses compete over the 2m 179 yards long race track to be victorious. Originally referred to as the Cheltenham Trial Hurdle, the event has been established since 1963. Following many adjustments over the years the race was originally sponsored in 2010 by Stan James which later lead to the parent company Unibet taking ownership.

The wins from the International Hurdle are always exciting, providing insight for what else is to come from the season and who to watch. There have been many successful wins over the years, including those of leading trainer Nicky Henderson. The British racehorse trainer has trained 5 of the winning horses from this race over the years. Including the win we saw at the weekend. Henderson added to his record with another win from horse Brain Power making this a consecutive win for the prestigious trainer.

At the weekend we saw a strong 8 horse line-up for the International Hurdle, those horses included:
• Brain Power
• Silver Streak
• Western Ryder
• We Have A Dream
• Vision Des Flos
• Old Guard
• Summerville Boy
• The New One

Brain Power Wins The 2018 Unibet International Hurdle

There’s no doubt that Irish bred racehorse Brain Power had luck on his side in last weekend’s major race. At odds of 7-1 the horse managed to beat the 7 finishing horses by a rewarding length and three quarters. The horse’s owner had recently made the decision to move the horse back from fences which subsequently paid off in Saturday’s racing schedule.

Much of the attention going into the race surrounded three time champion The New One. Emotions were high amongst the connections of the horse and the supportive racegoers. Despite a positive start to the race the ten year old horse was pulled up before the final hurdle in his last race before retirement. Connections to the horse spoke how disappointed they were and how they felt the horse “didn’t have it in him any more”.

Brain Power however is set for further success following the impressive win at Cheltenham. The victory set the horse up nicely for The Festival in 2019. Odds were slashed from 50/1 to 25/1 for The Champion Hurdle. The odds could now make Brain Power an each way contender at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival next year. Despite contenders pulling out strong performances during the race, Brain Power managed to quicken and tackle the final bend with conviction.

The seven year old faced a difficult racing career over fences, hence the decision to move. Previous meetings had not proven as successful for the horse. In March we saw Brain Power finish second in the Arkle Trophy however fell in a final Aintree outing. This season we also saw the horse beaten in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham. Which all further highlights the reasoning behind Michael Buckley’s move.

Bryony Frost Wins The Caviar Gold Cup

Elsewhere at Cheltenham The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup race also took place on Saturday. The Grade 3 handicap steeplechase is a true test for any horse with over 2m 4f of racetrack to cover. Champion jockey Bryony Frost further added to her growing reputation with a Caviar Gold Cup win at the weekend. Teamed up with Frodon the pair put on an enviable performance which could only take them to the top spot.

Despite strong competition from the French horse Cepage, Frodon managed to keep him at bay with a length and a quarter defeat. Although the runner was carrying a top weight of 11st and 12lb’s at the race the pair managed to finish victorious. Arguably one of the best weight carrying performances of the entire season Frost really did put on a performance many should envy.

Frost always speaks enthusiastically following races and this weekend was no different. She spoke highly of Frodon stating he is a “brave horse and complete warrior”. It will be exciting to see what else Bryony Frost has in store for us throughout the remainder of the racing season.

Cheltenham Races: What’s Up Next?

Fear not, there’s still plenty to be enjoyed at Cheltenham Racecourse as the season continues right up until spring 2019. The next event to look forward to is Cheltenham New Year’s Day Meeting which is the perfect start for 2019. The festive spirit can still be felt as racing enthusiasts celebrate New Years Day in style with unrivalled hospitality and first-class horse racing. Following that meeting we are one step closer to the popular event of the season. Cheltenham Festival Trials Day is a highlight of the racing calendar that is certain to get everyone geared up for The Festival.

For all Cheltenham Races you can enjoy VIP hospitality in our luxury Grandstand Boxes. A perfect way to enjoy a racing experience like no other with your most valued clients, colleagues and guests. Highlights of our hospitality packages include a four-course luncheon, complimentary bar of beers, wines and soft drinks and unrivalled views of the racetrack.

Discover more about our Private Box hospitality for 2019/2020 and enjoy a race day experience in true style.

Cheltenham Festival 2019

With less than three months to go there’s not long until the highly anticipated Cheltenham Festival. In 2019 experience the world’s most popular horse racing event with Eventmasters. We guarantee you and your guests will enjoy a luxury experience that oozes elegance and style.

The popularity of the event has been huge and we urge you to act quickly to ensure you secure a VIP package like no other for you and your guests. Book your Cheltenham Festival 2019 hospitality early to avoid disappointment.

Portfolio Items