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The Festival™

Whether you are heading to The Festival™ for the first time or you are a seasoned regular, we asked some friends to give us three tips to make the most of your day.

Name a horse we should look out for?

With the heart: my beloved Tiger Roll will win at the Festival for a fourth time.
 
With my head: Vision d’Honneur will run a big race in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle.
 
What must we do at least once during our day?
You must welcome back the hero or heroine in the Championship races from the steppingstones in the winner’s enclosure. It’s one of THE great amphitheatres in sport.
 
Tell us something only an insider would know?
The chocolate biscuit cake at the cafe at the foot of the grandstand steps is outstanding. The ITV runners know how to lift my spirits!

Name a horse we should look out for?

Lostintranslation in the JLT Novices' Chase on Thursday. Decent course form and he wont mind the ground!
 
What must we do at least once during our day?
You should definitely go onto the steps that overlook the Winners' Enclosure when the winner comes back in! The atmosphere is spine tingling
 
Tell us something only an insider would know?
The best place to watch the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup is on the viewing bank in the middle of the course alongside the Last Fence. You get to see hopefully your selected horse ping the last on the way to Gold Cup glory

A horse to watch out for 

I was very struck by Allaho who made a winning hurdling debut in a grade three contest at Clonmel last month. To throw the French-bred gelding into that contest was quite a statement by trainer Willie Mullins. Allaho obviously lacks experience but is very interesting in Friday’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.  

 

What must we do at least once during our day?

Grab a good vantage point early in the grandstands or on the lawns to experience a race live. It’s there you can really soak up the Festival experience and especially feel the Festival roar as the runners fight it out to the line.

 

Tell us something only an insider would know?

Pace yourself. It’s a long old day at the Festival. You’ll be on your feet a long time - and you don’t want to pull up before the last! 

Name a horse we should look out for?

Mister Whitaker- he is a Carlisle favourite having won a Novice handicap in 2017 and going on to win the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in 2018.
 
He came back to Carlisle in November and won our Colin Parker Memorial Chase so we are excited to see which race he ends up in. We will all cheer him home from Carlisle so hopefully that carries him up that hill!
 
What must we do at least once during our day?
The Gin and Jazz bar – two of my favourite things!
 
Tell us something only an insider would know?
If you get to the course early can see the Irish runners coming back from the Gallops. Youmight even get a tip or two!

Name a horse we should look out for?

Santini. His Festival build-up hasn’t been plain sailing - he missed Ascot’s Reynoldstown Chase because of equine flu and then pulled a shoe off in a schooling session at Newbury - but he looks just the type for the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase.

 

What mustn't we miss?

Next to the entrance to the main track is where the horses arrive in their boxes. Get to the track early and you can see your equine heroes in the calm before the storm - in the company of the devoted stable staff who know them best.

 

Tell us something only an insider would know?

Visit the Fred Archer display in the Hall Of Fame. Archer was born in Cheltenham and lived just down the road in the King’s Arms, Prestbury. He is a tragic hero - he won five Derbys and 13 jockeys’ titles - but shot himself weeks before his 30th birthday.

A horse to watch out for 

Topofthegame is considered by Paul Nicholls to the be a high-class chaser in the making, and is one of the Ditcheat big chances. If he runs well, we could see him at Aintree too!

 

What must we do at least once during our day?

Visit The Orchard™! New for 2018, it will be the perfect spot for Instagramming!

 

Tell us something an insider would always does?

Crosses the course for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Race; you can get right up close to the action!

Name a horse we should look out for?

Frodon in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday. He’s a fantastic jumper, loves Cheltenham and will have no worries with the soft ground. I’m expecting another of those memorable post-race interviews from Bryony Frost.

 

What must we do at least once during our day?

You need to get away from the packed stands and watch a race by one of the fences. The cross-county race in the middle of the course is a good opportunity to get you much closer to the action. The noise from the horses and jockeys is exhilarating.

 

Tell us something only an insider would know?

Get to the track early so you can wander around the whole site and take it all in as the atmosphere builds. Oh, and don’t forget you copy of The Sun for all the best tips and coverage!

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