by SHARON KAPLAN ARE you planning on placing a bet on Cheltenham Festival 2017? If yes, you have come to the right place. Read on to find out our top tips, ones to watch, ones to avoid, and a guide to making the best out of one of the highlights of the racing calendar.
With less than three weeks until The Festival kicks off, things are really hotting up at the bookies with competitors scrambling to get their share of punters. With the turnover on bets placed at this year’s Festival set to tip £400million, the pressure is on to pick the best horse to offer the best return. Back in 1990, an outsider called Norton’s Coin at 100-1 won the Gold Cup. Can you imagine the look on the face of the chap who had a speculative flutter on him?
Names to look out for this year include Cole Harden in the Stayers’ Hurdle. For those feeling a little adventurous, perhaps look into Lord Windermere in the Gold Cup, or for those who are very daring- “Jetstream Jack” in the Ultima Chase.
With the weights of the horses entered in handicaps due to be released on March 1, the intensity of the betting frenzy is set to increase once punters can take the measure of each horse against the other. Once these figures are released, odds are sure to change as past victories, failures and mistakes are stacked against each other.
The Cheltenham Festival attracts over 200,000 visitors each year- a real mixture of dedicated horse racing fans, amateur flutterers, equine enthusiasts, and people just looking for a good day out. With over 120,000 bottles of wine and 500,000 pints of Guinness expected to be drunk during this year’s event, you can get an idea of the fun-filled atmosphere that lies ahead. Whether you are watching at home, or trekking down to Cheltenham to soak up the atmosphere, the stakes are high for this year’s racing and there has never been a better time to place a couple of bets.