Second only to the Grand National Meeting, Cheltenham Festival is to National Hunt racing what Glastonbury is to Music.
Held annually every March at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire, this is the event where the best of the British and Irish Trained horses are on view to the delight of the race going public. Coinciding with St Pat’s Day there is a great turn out from Irish Visitors and this helps to create a fantastic atmosphere. Betting is brisk and if your viewing online or at home have no fears Paddy Power will offer you some great betting opportunities.
The latest news to be received about the Festival is that a record has been set for the number of entries for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, 61 horses have so far been entered and this year there will definitely be a new winner as four time winner Big Buck’s won’t be racing. Some believe that it’s the absence of Paul Nicholl’s trained Big Buck’s that has led to the record number of entries.
So, who will be running in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, well for starters just because Big Buck’s not entered don’t expect Paul Nicholls to be absent, he has a team of six strong horses, led by fancied Tidal Bay he has also entered Kauto Stone and Wonderful Charm, in an attempt to lift his fifth straight win in this competition.
Nicky Henderson has Oscar Whisky, he finished fifth last year and has since gone on to have good wins in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle and Relkeel.
Top Irish horses are Quevega who is the ante post favourite, Thousand Stars, Zaidpour, Rite of Passage and Monksland. 8-1 shot Monksland’s trainer Noel Meade has stated that he believes his horse has the pace to win over two miles.
Stan James Champion Hurdle, this race has attracted 34 entries these include last year’s winner Rock on Ruby, along with 3 previous winners of this contest including Hurricane Flyer (2011) Binocular (2010) Punjabi (2009), once again there is a strong Irish contingent with the likes of Zaidpour, Thousand Stars and Cause of Causes. Donald McCain has entered last years runner up Overturn, along with Cinders and Ashes and that punters favourite, Peddlers Cross.
Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle, the Nigel Twiston Davies trained The New One, has seen his odds slashed and is now second favourite behind Pont Alexandre, not to be overlooked his Paul Nicholl’s Rocky Creek.
You can bet on all these horses and more with Paddy Power and don’t forget to look for Paddy’s Festival Specials.