More racing for Channel 4.
Twenty races featuring the world’s best jump jockeys and horses will be televised live on Channel 4 from the fabled four-day Cheltenham Festival 2013 next month with a record £3.8 million in prize money up for grabs.
The highlight the opening day is the £400,000 Stan James Champion Hurdle when Rock on Ruby will be defending his crown against three other past winners including Binocular, Hurricane Fly and Punjabi in an attempt to give his young trainer Harry Fry his first Cheltenham Festival winner.
On Ladies’ Day the ‘Frankel of the jumps world’ and odds on favourite, Sprinter Sacre, will race in the sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase. Anything less than a sauntering victory will be a major shock.
The spotlight on Thursday 14th March switches to long distance hurdlers in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, where, in the absence of the all-conquering Big Buck’s, Oscar Whisky will be out to prove his stamina in one of the race’s most competitive recent renewals.
And, on the closing day the action reaches its climax with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, featuring many of the best steeple chasers in Britain and Ireland, including two previous winners Long Run and Imperial Commander, and emerging stars including Silvinaco Conti.
Last year the Cheltenham Festival attracted nearly a quarter of a million spectators, making it the fifth best attended sporting event of the year, outside of the Games. It is the highlight of the jump racing season with 70,000 people expected to attend on Friday 15th to watch the best jumps horses battling it out up the famous Cheltenham hill in in one of the world’s most beautiful sporting arenas.
Cheltenham Festival on Channel 4 from the 12th to the 15th March with coverage from 12.35pm to 4.20pm every day, with the feature race of each afternoon taking place at 3.20pm.