Horse racing


Cheltenham racecourse is home to one of the biggest horseracing events in the UK: The Cheltenham Festival.

There are actually three courses in one at Cheltenham: the Old Course, New Course and Cross-Country Course, which traverses the middle of the track and is a figure of eight with an assortment of obstacles. The Old Course is used in October, November and on the first two days of the Festival, while the Cross Country Course is used for one race at each of the Open, International and Festival meetings. Both the Old and New are severely undulating and all three courses can be described as idiosyncratic, which encourages course specialists.

The Old Course is less galloping than the New Course but both have a long up-hill run-in in common and this places a distinct emphasis on stamina. Many a horse has looked home and hosed after jumping the last only to be found out by the stiff gradient and, indeed, in-running punters you would have made a good profit by laying off such horses at short odds, more so here than at most other meetings. But the golden rule is concentrate on those horses with previous form at Cheltenham as not all horses take to the unique track.