Racing fans across the UK and Ireland will all be heading for Gloucestershire, in the South West of England, today, as the Cheltenham Festival of National Hunt Horse Racing for 2012 begins.
The Festival, still in its extended four day format, is the biggest event on the National Hunt calendar, and features great races like today’s opening day Champion Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup later in the week.
On the opening day, there is a mouthwatering prospect in line with last year’s Champion Hurdle winner, Hurricane Fly, in the form of his life, but set to meet the 2010 victor, Binocular, who has seen remarkable improvement in his last outing, since having a wind operation. What many had thought for many months to be a foregone conclusion may just turn out to be a classic Champion Hurdle event.
Each day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, will be special, however: tomorrow is Ladies Day, Thursday is St Patrick’s Day, and Friday, Gold Cup Day, will see the multiple winner Kauto Star taking on former champions and new pretenders in front of a stand named after himself!
The Global Herald tip for Cheltenham Festival week? We think Binocular showed great improvement last time out, which suggests that he can make at least the frame in Tuesday’s Champion Hurdle. We recommend an “each-way” bet on Binocular.