Each year the Cheltenham Festival gets underway with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, a race greeted by the famous roar from the crowd that tells us that four days of exhilarating horse racing action has finally begun.
Raced at a distance just over two miles the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
is run at a frantic pace and it almost always gets the Festival off to a bang. A big field will tackle the race and some future stars of the hurdling and chasing world will be in action.
The second race of the Festival, the Arkle
is run over the demanding Cheltenham fences at a distance of two miles. The ultimate test of speed and fluent jumping, it is almost always run at a frenetic pace and it almost always goes to one of the classiest horses in the race.
Then it is on to one of the most competitive races of the Festival, the Festival Handicap Chase
is a war of attrition fought out by a huge field of experienced jumpers.
The sort of race that is more than likely to throw up a big priced surprise, a victory here puts the winner in the picture for the Grand National the following month. That was the case in 2007 when Joes Edge landed the Handicap at odds of 50/1 before being sent off favourite for the Aintree showpiece.
However, the highlight of the first day’s racing at the Festival is the Champion Hurdle
, the Grade one showpiece run over two miles that often confirms who is the champion of the hurdling division. The race has been won by some sensational horses in recent years and this year's line up looks to be another jaw-dropping renewal.