The Best Horses and Jockeys Gear up for Next Month's Cheltenham FestivalPublished February 16, 2016 by Florin P
Bookies expect punters to make the most of the Cheltenham Festival taking place next month.
Second only to the Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival takes place in March every year and brings together some of the best horses and jockeys in the UK. The competition between British trainers and their counterparts from Ireland is intense and the latter are once again counting on the luck of the Irish.
It definitely helps that Saint Patrick’s Day will be celebrated on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival. Past performance also suggests that an Irish jockey will emerge victorious, since Ruby Walsh won seven out of the last eight festivals. The most successful jockey is the one who emerges victorious in most of the races over the four-day event.
Punters Flock to Sports Betting Sites
The number of people betting on horse racing during the year is relatively low, with players from United Kingdom representing the vast majority. In anticipation of major competitions such as the Cheltenham Festival, the interest for horse racing events grows steadily. bet365 Sports, William Hill Sports and 888 Sport are expecting peak activity by punters in the second week of March.
They will have plenty of options, as the number of races has changed significantly over the last couple of years and will peak in 2015. No fewer than 278 events are scheduled, which means that punters will have several opportunities to pick winners. Watching the event in real-time is also possible with most bookies, so horse racing fans will kick-start the festival with the famous Cheltenham Roar.
More than 200,000 Participants Expected in 2016
The number of people watching the horse races live has increased since 2010 and a new threshold could be crossed this year. While some are rooting for the underdogs, savvy punters are trying to determine whether the odds offered by bookmakers for the big favorites are worth the risks.
Min is expected to win the opening race, the famous Supreme Novices Hurdle which is the first event in the whole festival. Another huge favorite to prevail is Yanworth, with the odds revolving around even value on the favorite to prevail in the Neptune Novices Hurdle.
These two races take place over the first two days and the one to wrap up the festival is the Grand Annual, scheduled for March 18. Minnela Present and Next Sensation are the main favorites with odds revolving around 14/1, but five other horses are within striking distance and any of them could cause an upset.