Cheltenham Festival odds
Every fan of horse racing will have pencilled in the dates Tuesday 11th – Friday 14th March as soon as they received their 2014 diary and there are 27 great reasons why this is the most important week in the sport.
For that is the number of races at the Cheltenham Festival where the four days of racing includes the pinnacle of jump racing – the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Three miles and two furlongs combined with 22 fences will establish who is the best chaser in the world.
Bobs Worth is the reigning champion in the Cheltenham Gold Cup odds
Reigning champion Bobs Worth will face stiff competition from great horses such as Sir Des Champs, who was second last year, and the 2011 winner Long Run who has also been placed twice in the race.
The Cheltenham Festival features the best horses and jockeys who will be hoping to provide their nervous owners and trainers with glory on the grandest scene.
Months of planning, highs and lows, and many sleepless nights all combine to produce the most spine-tingling week of the year, and one that is enjoyed by all walks of life.
With record crowds of 235,000 over the four days in 2013, the Cheltenham Festival gives everyone the chance to back a winner.
Solwhit is the reigning champion in the World Hurdle
As soon as the horses cross the line, bookmakers draw up markets for the next year, and the Cheltenham Festival odds to-and-fro over the course of the year.
Bobs Worth will be well-fancied to retain his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown, whilst Hurricane Fly will be hoping to become the first horse since Istabraq to win three Champion Hurdles.
The hottest favourite is likely to be Sprinter Sacre who sauntered home in the 2013 Queen Mother Champion Chase, however the highlight for many could come in the fourth Championship event, the World Hurdle.
Sprinter Sacre is the reigning winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase odds
Four-time winner Big Buck’s was denied the chance to win five in a row due to an injury sustained last Christmas, and will now face a real battle due to the emergence of Solwhit, winner of the race in his absence, and the exciting At Fishers Cross.
The marquee event gets underway on the Tuesday with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, a race greeted with a huge roar from the expectant fans who pack the racecourse overlooked by Cleeve Hill.
Hurricane Fly is the reigning winner of the Champion Hurdle
Those in attendance lose their inhibitions; bets are placed, food and drink is imbibed and the Cheltenham Festival is widely recognised as the truest celebration of horseracing.
There are 12 Grade One races, and the rest of the supporting card is of such high quality that trainers and owners will have been targeting even the smaller of the races during the week for months and even years.
Wagers will be won and lost, tears of joy and despair will flow, but the betting on the Cheltenham Festival being another roaring success will be long odds-on.