Latest news ahead of The Festival 2017

FIRST-DAY FESTIVAL MILESTONES A remarkable Festival record is that of Willie Mullins in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. The race has been run nine times, and Mullins has trained the winner of it for the past eight years – six of them with Quevega (2009-2014). The betting suggests he is likely to extend that sequence – his two representatives, Limini and Vroum Vroum Mag, are first and second favourites for tomorrow’s renewal. Irish handler Gavin Cromwell attempts to saddle his first Cheltenham Festival winner from his…

News from Cheltenham Racecourse on the eve of The Festival 2017

CLAISSE CAN’T WAIT Cheltenham’s clerk of the course Simon Claisse “can’t wait” for The Festival 2017 to start tomorrow. He said: “We had a good day yesterday [Sunday] with visits from Nicky Henderson, Alan King, Jonjo O’Neill and Ben Pauling, all very happy with and complimentary about the track, and agreeing with the going description of Good to Soft on the chase and hurdle courses, Old and New, and good to soft, Good in places on the cross country course. “We had a little bit…

Tizzard pair among 14 for Friday’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival

Nine-time G1 winner Cue Card and progressive staying chaser Native River headline 14 six-day confirmations for the G1 £575,000 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (3.30pm), the feature race at The Festival and highlight of Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 17. Both horses are trained by Colin Tizzard on the Somerset/Dorset border, with Cue Card set to make a sixth appearance at The Festival, having triumphed in the 2010 Weatherbys Champion Bumper and the Ryanair Chase in 2013. The 11-year-old, who is bidding to become the…

Unowhatimeanharry headlines 21 going forward for Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle

Unowhatimeanharry stars among 21 acceptors for the £300,000 Grade One Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (3.30pm) at Cheltenham on third day of The Festival, St Patrick’s Thursday, March 16. Unowhatimeanharry (5/4 favourite with Sun Bets) is unbeaten in eight starts for trainer Harry Fry and signed off last season with victory in the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival, after which he was bought privately by J P McManus. The nine-year-old was impressive in beating Ballyoptic (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 16/1) on his return in a G2 contest at…

Douvan among 15 for Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase as Top Gamble supplemented

Jump racing’s star performer Douvan heads 14 confirmations and one supplementary entry for the £365,760 Grade One Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.30pm) at Cheltenham on the second day of The Festival, Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 15. Douvan is unbeaten in 13 starts for Willie Mullins including a pair of victories at The Festival in the 2015 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and last year’s Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase. The Susannah Ricci-owned seven-year-old is the 2/7 favourite with race sponsor Betway. Top Gamble (25/1 with Betway) has…

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