Cheltenham Festival 2015
How much will be bet at this years Cheltenham Festival?
The 2015 Cheltenham Festival runs from the 10th to the 13th of March. This year, bookies will be hoping to top the estimated £600 million in bets taken over the four day event in recent years. While the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday is the blue riband race, those making the 180-odd mile trip down the M6 and M5 from Lancashire to Gloucestershire will find it a party atmosphere unlike any other. Ladies Day is a particular highlight, with a sea of millinery, high heels and gents in tweed, while Saint Patrick's DayThursday has its own distinctive flavour, with thousands of Irish punters arriving for a flutter and a party.
Run since the early years of the 20th century, Cheltenham grew as an event thanks to the drive force of impresario Frederick Cathcart. The Gold Cup arrived in 1924 (a new cup is made from 10oz of gold each year) and the competitive nature of the racing has made for many close finishes, helping to generate the "Cheltenham Roar" bellowing from the stands. Arkle's three Gold Cups in a row (1964-1966) remains cemented in racing legend, followed by Best Mate's hat-trick (2002-2004).
Keen bettors have already been sizing up the competition in the many trial races around Britain and Ireland. While there are too many to list here, you can see the latest 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup odds and offers. With fewer entrants than the Grand National (last year's Gold Cup was contested by 13 horses) and a non-handicap race, bettors can afford to be more scientific in their selections, focusing on form, conditions and the horses' speed. With an increased likelihood of more favourites winning, Cheltenham is home to some massive payouts. Six of the last 11 Gold Cup races have been won by the favourite, with 7 out of 11 winners being eight or nine years old.
Legendary both for its mix of high society and creating household racing names like Kauto Star and Desert Orchid, there's a lot more to Cheltenham than the Gold Cup. With 230,000 expected visitors, there are 27 races run over the festival, with total prize money of around £3.5 million. The key races to watch out for are the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase, World Hurdle, Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup itself. But do spare a moment to soak up the atmosphere around you.
Tickets and Corporate Hospitality packages are still available for ALL days, click Cheltenham Festival 2015 for details.