The Cheltenham Festival is less than two weeks away and it’s that busy time in the proceedings when the vast array of Cheltenham Festival preview nights take place all across the UK and Ireland in search of some last-minute information and clues to finding festival winners.
A star studded panel of Cheltenham Festival winning jockeys, expert pundits and the Racehour team put on their very own Cheltenham Preview night in Dublin this week, and as sponsor Gambling.com was there to capture all the action as you would expect.
Watch analysis of The Champion Hurdle, The Queen Mother Champion Chase, The Stayers’ Hurdle and The Gold Cup below.
Every one of the Cheltenham Races was discussed and picked apart under the masterful guidance of David Jennings, Deputy Irish Editor of the Racing Post, who acted as MC for the panel of Cheltenham Festival winning jockeys Mikey Fogarty and Keith Donoghue alongside Donn McClean, part of the excellent RacingTV broadcast team and hugely respected writer on all things Horse Racing.
The racehour regulars of Dean Ryan and Diarmuid Nolan joined the guests to complete a 6 strong team ready to steer one and all through the choppy waters of a four-day Cheltenham week that will set hearts racing from Tuesday the 12th of March until Gold Cup day on the 15th March 2019.
Kicking off with the Supreme Novices Hurdle which could be the strongest renewal for years and will get the Festival under way with the famous Cheltenham Roar! Then it’s the Arkle and the Champion Hurdle swiftly followed by the Mares Hurdle, the Novice Handicap Chase, the Ultima Handicap Chase and the NH Chase over 4 miles.
First up it’s the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle where Champ, named after Sir AP McCoy will bid to kick start what could be an incredible day for trainer Nicky Henderson who also saddles Santini in the RSA Novices Chase and then possibly the best horse in training Altior goes for Henderson in the Champion Chase.
With a strong supporting card that includes the Fred Winter, the Champion Bumper, the Coral Cup and a chance for panellist Keith Donoghue to win aboard last year’s Grand National winner Tiger Roll in the Cross Country Chase.
The first race on Day 3 is the JLT Novices Chase followed by the Ryanair Chase which might see top jockey Racheal Blackmore take her chance aboard leading fancy Monalee. Paisley Park heads the list of runners for the Stayers’ Hurdle but there is a certain Faugheen, trained by Willie Mullins, lurking in the field who could just bring the house down if he were to win at the Cheltenham Festival again.
The panel also squeeze in some thoughts on the Kim Muir Challenge Cup, the Pertemps Newtork Final and the Mares Novices’ race which is named after the great Dawn Run.
It’s Gold Cup day of course so that means it starts with the Triumph Hurdle and possibly the Irish Banker of the week Sir Erec lining up for Joseph O’Brien. The Albert Bartlett will test the stamina of horse and jockey but a leading hope for Gordon Elliott is Commander Of Fleet who seems to tick plenty of boxes ahead of Thursday’s race. The panel also do their very best with the Martin Pipe, the Grand Annual, the County Hurdle along with the Foxhunters race before delving deep into the intricacies of the Gold Cup itself.
Can Presenting Percy win a Gold Cup without jumping a fence all season, which is the best of Willie Mullins’ four Gold Cup runners and could Thistlecrack bounce back to former glories.
Perhaps Clan Des Obeaux can land the race on top of his King George success at Kempton over Christmas?
Plenty of debate was sparked with audience questions outside of the races themselves.
Who is better Altior or Sprinter Sacre?
Which trainer or jockey will come out on top for the week of the Festival?
Just how does Pat Kelly train Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy?
Finally, the panel got set on their best choices for the week with their Charity Bets thanks to Bethard who also sponsored the event.
Don’t miss more from the Racehour and their regular weekly podcast which can be found here.
Also for a chance to win two tickets to Gold Cup Day at the Cheltenham Festival be sure to sign up to Gambling.com email subscriptions before the 7th March 2019 – and you’ll be kept right up to date with the latest offers, news stories and strategy ahead of the best four days of National Hunt racing in the calendar.
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