A Guide to the Cheltenham Festival’s Big Races

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most famous jump racing events on the planet. For four days every year, Europe’s elite equine talent go head to head to be crowned the champion of some of the most prestigious horse races in the industry.

In the US, horse racing is dominated by action on the flat. Whether on the turf or dirt surface, fans love to watch the equine speedsters circle the track. Flat racing is also popular in the UK and Ireland, but jump racing, and races at the Cheltenham Festival in particular, really capture the imagination of the public.

Below is a taster of the two biggest races at the Festival and a look at who the main players may be for the 2023 renewals.

The Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the pinnacle of the jump racing industry and is the prize that everyone involved wants to win. Run over approximately 3 miles and 2 furlongs, the race pits the elite chasers against each other as they tackle the fences of the famous English track.

Not only is the Gold Cup one of the most competitive races in the jumps season, but it has also become one of the trickiest races to predict in today’s horse racing betting industry. The 2023 renewal is proving slightly different, however, as the brilliant Galopin Des Champs is a short-priced +175 favorite to win the race.

The Gold Cup, like everything in horse racing, is far from an exact science, however, and with winners returning at prices of +500, +900, and +1200 in the past five years alone, the proof is there that picking the winner of a Gold Cup and predictions on upcoming races, in general, is not a straight forward process.

Galopin Des Champs has proven to be an incredible performer in his career thus far, and there could yet be more to come from the Irish-trained equine superstar.

The Champion Hurdle

If the Gold Cup is the most coveted chasing prize in horseracing, then the mantle of the greatest hurdling race goes to the Champion Hurdle. Horses in a Gold Cup must have the perfect mix of stamina and jumping ability to compete, but when it comes to the Champion Hurdle, speed is the name of the game.

Champion Hurdle finish

Run over 2 miles, a potential Champion Hurdle winner must have the ability to race at a high speed whilst negotiating the smaller obstacles, but also have enough stamina to see their race out up the grueling Cheltenham hill to the finish.

It is a collection of traits that only a small number of horses possess, but the 2023 renewal has one competitor that has it all in abundance. Constitution Hill is one of the most exciting horses to come on the scene in recent years and he looks like being an unbeatable prospect if performing at his best.

Trained by legendary English trainer, Nicky Henderson, the young pretender has swept aside all before him in his career so far, and with odds of -275, it would be a huge shock should he fail to live up to his potential in this year’s Champion Hurdle.

Seven of the last ten favorites have come out on top in the greatest hurdle race of the season, so the prospects of Constitution Hill adding to his trainer’s amazing haul of eight winners in the race look to be very strong indeed.

Huynh Nguyen

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