This year’s Cheltenham Festival promises to be a real recordbreaker for British horseracing. Here are ten to watch out for during the meeting, which takes place from 13 to 16 March:
Not far short of a quarter of a million spectators will visit Cheltenham Racecourse over the four days, producing record gate receipts of over £7 million.
Trainer Nicky Henderson is just one away from equalling the late Fulke Walwyn’s record of 40 Festival winners. He needs two winners to become the all-time record breaker.
Kauto Star is the only horse ever to have regained the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (i.e. won it two years in a row). If he were to do it again, he would equal the post-war record of three wins in the race.
A record amount of money, in excess of half a billion pounds, is setto be gambled on the 27 races that comprise the Festival.
Over 250 bookmakers will be on course each day, a record for any British racecourse, with at least £4 million in cash changing hands in the betting ring.
Ruby Walsh (pictured top) is the leading jockey of all time at the Festival, with 32 winners. He’ll be aiming to enhance his record still further, ahead of champion jockey Tony McCoy who has 25.
Big Buck’s bids to equal the record 16 consecutive wins over hurdles by Sir Ken in the 1950s. Victory in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle would be a record fourth success in that race.
Record quantities of beer – half a million bottles of lager and pints of Guinness – are set to be consumed by thirsty racegoers.
With so many visitors – 10,000 of them staying in hotels and B&Bs in the Cheltenham area – the Festival is set to generate a record £50 million for the local economy.
If trainer Paul Nicholls (pictured top) sends out the winner of the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup for the fifth time, he will equal the achievement of Tom Dreaper, the trainer of Arkle.