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Cheltenham to Add a Fouth Day

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    • Total Posts 85

    Cheltenham are to make a four day festival with six races on the Friday.

    The existing card will be dilluted to help make this fourth day and four new races will be added.

    The four new races are:

    4yo H’cap Hurdle<br>Cross Country Chase<br>4yo Bumper<br>EBF Final Novice Hurdle

    In case these races are not accepted they reportedly have backup races which include a mares race.

    Call me a cynic, but this smacks of Cheltenham lining their pockets rather than a genuine attempt to make a better festival for us racegoers/punters.

    Maybe I’m an exception, but the thought of a 4yo Bumper and a cross country chase (what odds it’s the same old suspects running – probably minus A Thornton) doen’t exactly get my pluse racing.

    Happy Jack
    • Total Posts 515

    Quote: from marko on 9:27 am on Jan. 23, 2003[br]the thought of a 4yo Bumper and a cross country chase (what odds it’s the same old suspects running – probably minus A Thornton) doen’t exactly get my pluse racing.

    What does get your pluse racing then? (is that similar to pigeon racing?) :laugh:

    • Total Posts 720

    Have I missed something here – do people really want to see a poxy X-country chase at the Festival?? And are 4-y-o’s not eligible for the Festival bumper – exactly, so why add another of the wretched contests. Next they will be putting 10 flights of hurdles up in the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot.

    Greed, greed, greed.

    • Total Posts 141

    I think the biggest gap in the present programme is a championship chase at around 2m4f. There may also be an argument for a hurdles equivalent.

    • Total Posts 6

    Couldn’t agree more, its all about Money! Money! Money!<br>Hardly inspired by the proposed new races as i personally think that one flat race at cheltenham is more than enough, also if i wanted to watch horses jump logs and poles i would go to Hickstead!

    There is also the additional cost that we will now have to pay if we wish to go to the whole event, such as admission, hotel fees etc. Travelling home would be lot more difficult as flights to Ireland are a lot more expensive on friday night / saturday morning as well as being a lot harder to obtain. And anybody who uses the motorways regularly knows what a nightmare they can be on a friday night! Have these points really been considered ?

    • Total Posts 201

    I have no problems with a Cross Country chase – but there is room for that in the three days (at the end of Tuesday’s card say).

    My problem is the diluting the quality of the programme. It is perfect at the moment, tampering with it can only damage it.

    Presumably two races will be shifted from the first three days, making each day a six-race card. And also, presumably one race will need to be a championship race. So which one will move? Whichever it is, that day’s card is weakened. The Arkle perfectly complements the Champion Hurdle; The RSA sits well with the Champion and the same applies to the Gold Cup/Stayers combination.

    Let’s assume they take the Arkle and the Grand Annual across to Friday:

    2:00 EBF Final Novice Hurdle<br>2:35 4yo Handicap Hurdle (Listed?)<br>3:15 Arkle Challenge Trophy (Class A Grade 1)<br>3:50 2839th Year of The Grand Annual etc (Listed)<br>4:20 4yo Bumper<br>5:00 Cross Country "Farce" (Class B?)

    It doesn’t look a bad card, its just not as good as what we have now – and remember that Tuesday won’t be as good without the Arkle.

    Just checked the RP article "after long consultation with interested parties". Oh yes. If the party they are consulting agrees with them, they consult. If they disagree, they put on the "Laa Laa Laa I’m not listenening" headgear.<br>

    (Edited by RichK at 11:01 am on Jan. 23, 2003)

    • Total Posts 3233

    <br>I wonder if the ‘interested parties’ they consulted included the racecourses that race either side of the Festival.

    Uttoxeter have spent years building up a decent program around the Midlands Grand National, based on races that don’t clash with Cheltenham. The more horses that go to Cheltenham, the fewer there are to go elsewhere.

    Pursue this to it’s logical conclusion and we might as well extend the meeting to seven days. They could include a race for four year old chasers trained in Somerset, a 3M chase for grey horses only, a six mile cross country race for 12 year olds and upwards, a two mile hurdle for pregnant mares, a three mile hurdle for horses under 15 hands – I’m sure we can come up with other ideas to fill even more days…..


    • Total Posts 104

    Arent they putting the Gold Cup on the last day? I think thats what it say on the RP


    • Total Posts 486

    Here they go again – tampering with things that are working FINE.

    Why 4 days? Do we need 4 days? NO. The racing is top notch, concentrated and NOT diluted and it’s three days worth savouring rather than having to watch the fourth day which would be saturated with things like another bumper (one’s enough considering a horse is limited to three bumper runs, it’s hardly the greatest kind of racing) and a cross country chase. I think there should be a X C chase at the Festival, but stick it on another day, making that day even better.

    IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Btw where can you get the "la la I’m not listening" headgear? I’d find them very useful.

    • Total Posts 201

    Hi Mesh,

    According to the advert, they are made by "magnificent idustries" I think.

    As you know, I agree with what you say about not fixing things that aren’t broken, but one thing that I think that sometimes people miss is that the card is a bit diluted already; ie it isn’t 20 races of the VERY highest quality, as some people assume. Races like the Pertemps Hurdle, the Coral Cup, the Kim Muir, County Hurdle etc are very good races in their own right, but they aren’t tippety-top class championship races.

    So its not as if the NH world is desparately short of championship races and therefore need a fourth day to fit them all in.

    If anything, this could be an argument to shorten to two days  ( :biggrin: )

    Burlington Bertie
    • Total Posts 13

    Daeisy: I’m also under the impression that the Gold Cup is to be switched to the Friday – otherwise the last day would be a bit limp would it not.

    Maybe Ol Bertie’s marbles are a bit too pickled but I definitely remember attending a Festival not all that long ago where there was a fourth day – though I seem to recall that the Friday fare was a bit low-key!

    The only reservation I’ve got about four days is the cross country event – too higgledy piggledy for the purist!

    But an extra night at the Queen’s – now that  is something to relish!

    <br>Toodle pip!

    • Total Posts 201


    Yes, the Gold Cup card will be Friday, so the possible line up above would fall on Wednesday or Thursday. The Champion Hurdle will stay on the Tuesday.

    Bertie, yes there was a fourth day a few years back when Friday was St Patrick’s Day. I forget what it was like, which says it all really!

    • Total Posts 59


    1995 I believe  was the year in question and you are right it was an unbelievable debacle with poor crowds and no atmosphere to speak of with some pretty tame fare on offer – I recall having a bundle on Cab on Target – which was chinned

    However your sentiments re the Queens I would have to take issue – it is a mere imitation of bygone days of glory – the old restaurant (home to many an epic card school)  to the right as one walks in the main door is now a bar – and a ropey one at that

    The residents bar now closes at 2 in the morning and always runs out of drink – no BB I think if I had the option I would be checking into the Cheltenham Park or the Golden Valley

    • Total Posts 562

    I’m pretty much with the ‘ain’t broke don’t fix it’ crowd.  However, I can see some logic in Cheltenham’s decision, after a point that Knavesmire made.  For years now the Festival has been a sellout, and crowd capacity has been restricted – demand has outstripped supply if you like.  Maybe having an extra day will let some people who have missed out in the past attend and – although I’m sure that this is very naive – it may encourage Cheltenham to bring some prices down?  <br>Having said that, I still don’t like the idea very much.


    • Total Posts 85

    Quote from today’s (Thursday) Racing Post

    "After a long consultation with interested parties…"

    I wouldn’t class any of the above posts as pro the fourth day, so apart from themselves, local hotels etc. I wonder who they did consult?

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