The 2013 Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham is a spa town in Gloucestershire, England and is known as the Western Gateway to the Cotswolds. It has long been famous for horse racing. The first flat racing occurred in 1815 on Nottingham Hill and by 1818 the Cheltenham Racecourse was drawing crowds of 30,000 people for a two-day July meet that featured the Gold Cup, which was a distance race on the flat. In 1834, steeplechasing commenced in nearby Andoversford and in 1898 was relocated to Cheltenham .

Today, the Cheltenham Racecourse is one of fourteen owned by the Jockey Club Racecourses. Cheltenham offers a panoramic view for fans, with the scenic grass course framed by foothills in the background.

Over the years, the Cheltenham Festival, held annually in March, grew in popularity and the racecourse facilities were expanded and improved to accommodate the crowds. The Festival is the premier event of the National Hunt in the UK and Ireland.

In 2005, the Festival was lengthened to four days and now includes 27 top-flight races. The main betting interests are the Champion Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the World Hurdle, and the renowned main event on the final day of competition—the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, contested at 3 miles, 2 furlongs, 110 yards. The Gold Cup purse is £550,000.

The Cheltenham Racecourse draws about 700,000 visitors annually. The Racecourse has approximately 60 full-time employees, but the number increases to some 1,000 for a race meeting and burgeons to over 5,000 for the Festival.

The 2013 Festival is scheduled for March 12-15 and will again be a huge celebration of steeplechasing, with fans traveling from far and wide to take in the action, on the track and off.

The Cheltenham Racecourse previews the upcoming Festival meet, as follows:

The “meeting is once again shaping up to be a classic Cheltenham with some of the big winners from 2012 set to return… The ante-post betting is already kicking in with brilliant Arkle Chase winner Sprinter Sacre the hot favourite in the Queen Mother Champion Chase betting for March. Another horse to keep an eye on in the build up to the 2013 Festival is Bobs Worth, who after winning the Hennessy Gold Cup earlier this season is being well backed for the Gold Cup. There are a number of top class novices from last season making the step up in company this winter, including Sir Des Champs looks set for the Gold Cup and Simonsig who won the Neptune in 2012 and looks all set for the Arkle Chase this time around.”

The Cheltenham Festival races are all competitive with full fields. Forty horses are entered in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. A previous winner, Long Run, will be back to contest the race, in which he finished third in 2012.

The large number of entries in all of the Festival’s featured races provides plenty of opportunity for bettors to test their skills and luck. The next best thing to being in Cheltenham in mid-March is to watch the telecast and wager along with the crowd at the racecourse.

Don’t miss out on exciting Cheltenham Gold Cup Day betting from William Hill.

Copyright © 2013 Horse Racing Business.

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