Yesterday saw the beginning of the annual Cheltenham Festival, one of the biggest events in the horse racing season. Taking place between Tuesday 10 March and Friday 13 March, the Cheltenham Races bring together some of the best rated horses, jockeys and trainers from the jump discipline.
Each day features a Grade 1 championship race, the most prestigious category of race there is, with 26 races in total taking place over the course of the festival and the highlight being the Cheltenham Gold cup which takes place on Friday.
In total it’s expected that well over 200,000 people will be in attendance this week with a staggering 250 million pounds expected to be wagered over the course of the event.
The first day headlines belonged to trainer Willie Mullins who nearly completed a memorable clean sweep of all the day’s big races- claiming four wins in total- you can bet any horse with his name attached to it has a good chance of winning the race in question during the meeting, it’s almost unheard of to win four big races at one of the most competitive race meetings in one day like this. Tuesday’s big race was the Champion Hurdle which was won by odds on favourite Faugheen, ridden by Cheltenham favourite Ruby Walsh who also had a first day to remember. It was a common theme for the day as aside from Annie Power- who fell at the last hurdle whilst leading- all the favourites won, leading some to speculate that it was one of the worst ever days for bookmakers, and Annie Power’s fall has now been dubbed the 40 million pounds fall, referring to how much it saved the bookies.
Even though Walsh maybe the jockey your money is safe with this week, come the finale on Friday jockey AP McCoy will certainly be hoping to have added to his haul of 30 race wins at Cheltenham, accumulated over an impressive career spanning 22 years. He drew a blank on the first day but he’ll no doubt be determined to put that right in at least one of his six rides today.
Today the Queen Mother Champion Chase is the highlight race as two of the most successful horses of recent times go head-to-head in Sprinter Sacre and Sire de Grugy. However those two may not steal all the headlines as it is Ladies Day at Cheltenham after all, so expect a glamorous appearance or two. With the full summer horse racing programme to come, check out this year’s horse racing style guide below:
Tweed is always a favourite of the aspiring country gents who attend the horse racing in their droves and it is a particularly popular style of suit right now; many race goers will be donning the woollen attire, ideal for the breezy spring conditions. If you’re dressing for the races this year, the Luke 1977 Soeron blazer jacket is the perfect place to start your outfit, coming in 3 varieties- brown, grey or navy. Match these with the “Not Guilty” suit trousers by the same brand and you’ll have the base of your race-going outfit done and dusted. Vivienne Westwood and Hugo BOSS are good alternatives for suits and other formal styled clothes.
Finish off your look with a classic fitted white shirt and a pair of quality leather shoes like those by Oliver Sweeney or the Stokko shoes by Hugo BOSS. There’s plenty of opportunity to add that extra something to the outfit too, Hugo BOSS watches and Vivienne Westwood cuff links are the natural choices to do so.