From Tuesday to Friday, 250,000 people are expected at Cheltenham Racecourse for the return of a “normal” festival. But when we talk about Cheltenham Festival, we are talking about an unusual topic. 4 days of racing, 14 Group 1s, the best English and Irish show jumpers (often bred in France) and an amazing atmosphere.
Last year, the Irish made a carton, with 23 wins during the week. an Irish, Rachel Blackmore, made history as the first female jockey to top the meeting list with 6 wins, and her boss Henry of Bronmheadalso Irish, achieved the feat of winning 3 of the meeting’s 4 main events with honeysuckle †Champion hurdle† Put the kettle on †Queen Mother Champion Chase) and Minella Indo †gold cup†
The British are looking to raise the bar this season, but their task seems difficult against the battalions of Wille MullinsHendrik van Bromhead and Gordon Elliott†
Tuesday, 15 March
The Champion Hurdle is the opening day attraction and will see the participation of a huge champion. Defending champion Honeysuckle is simply undefeated in 14 attempts, including 2 Group 1s at the festival, each ridden by star Rachael Blackmore.
in front of her, Appreciate it is undefeated in hurdles, but hasn’t been seen since winning the Supreme beginner hurdle last March. Willie Mullins said he is confident in his student’s preparation level, but Honeysuckle will be hard to beat.
The best English hope is the French born Awesomewinner of this competition in 2020 and back in shape this season, with two wins including Group 1 christmas hurdle at Kempton.
Wednesday 16 March
Always spectacular, the Queen Mother Champion Chase will be contested over 3200m steeplechase and promises to be particularly exciting this year with a return leg between shishkin and Energy (photo by A). The two met in Ascot in January in what for many was the race of the century! Shishkin kept his invincibility in a steeplechase on this occasion, but Energumene’s entourage hopes to retaliate.
Willie Mullins, Energumene coach, also relies on Everyone for themselves who is champion in Ireland but never showed his true nature in Cheltenham. This year, he will arrive there with more freshness and be able to play the role of third thief.
Wednesday is also cross-country day and the only trained starter in France of the week. David Cotton experienced the joy of winning the Glenfarclass Cross Country Chase of easysland in 2020 and this time it presents the outsider my prestigewhich will be mounted by Charly Prichard† His former crack, passed the education of Jonjo O’Neillwill be one of his rivals in this edition, just like the veteran tiger rolefive-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival and two Aintree Grand National†
Thursday 17 March
On Thursday there will be not one, but two flagship races, with the Ryanair Chase who will see it? Allah defend his title. Winner of 12 lengths 12 months ago, this “FR” won its two races this winter and is presented as one of the “bankers” (hits) of the week for Anglo-Irish gamblers.
40 minutes later, the Stayer’s horde is much more open. Floors Porter won last year to everyone’s surprise but this time it will be one of the favorites. Lisnagar Oscar hasn’t passed the lead since his success in this event in 2020 and he’s trying his luck again, just like another former winner, Paisley Park (2019 winner), who has just shown his form at the age of ten by winning the preparatory stage at Cheltenham in January.
Friday March 18th
Friday is Golden cup day † The best kept steeplechasers will line up on the fences of Cheltenham to put on a show and try to become British racing legends.
Again, Ireland is well armed, with the first three of the 2021 edition, Minella Indo and Bye for Henry de Bromhead, and the double winner in 2019 and 2020, Al Boom Photos coached by Willie Mullins. Among the favorites we also note galvina Gordon Elliott native who has shown himself at the highest level this season, most notably beating A Plus Tard in Group 1 at Leopardstown at Christmas.
The Cheltenham Festival on Equidia
All races will be streamed live on Equidia Racing 6, and two races are broadcast per day. Do not hesitate to follow our social networks to experience the atmosphere of this exceptional gathering.
Photos: JC Briens