Get Ready for the Cheltenham Gold Cup

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Going to the races is always a great day out, and one that you can really spend in style. One of the biggest events in the National Hunt calendar is Cheltenham Gold Cup Day which takes place every March.

Held as the fourth-day climax of the Cheltenham Festival, the Gold Cup has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated steeplechase races in the horse racing world. A Grade 1 National Hunt race, the course includes 22 fences over a distance of 3 miles 2.5 furlongs, and winning horses’ names – such as Don Cossack and Coneygree – go down in the history books, along with those winners of the Grand National.

This makes it an iconic race day to attend, and there’s nothing quite like hearing the “Cheltenham roar” – the noise made by the crowd as the starter raises the tape before racing begins. Of course, you can’t go to watch the Gold Cup without having picked a horse to cheer on. Already, there’s ante-post betting available and by betting ahead of race day, you’ll get more favourable odds. At William Hill – the best place to bet on Cheltenham 2017, you’ll find horses such as Thistlecrack, Native River, Djakadam and Cue Card among the favourites, but if you want more of an outside chance, take a look at Smad Place or Zabana, currently available at 50-1 and 40-1 respectively.

Soak up the Atmosphere Without Feeling Crowded

Part of the buzz of an event like the Cheltenham Festival is that you share the experience with throngs of other racing enthusiasts. However, the downside is that you can feel very hemmed in in the public areas of the course. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise when capacity is at 68,000. That’s when access to a private or corporate hospitality box in the Princess Royal Grandstand, opened in time for last year’s Festival, comes as a boon. Watch the racing in comfort without getting jostled by the crowds. The Grandstand is also home to a club area, an owners’ and trainers’ area, as well as the Vestey Bar and the Big Bucks Champagne Bar, where just some of the 68,000 bottles of champagne that are sold at every Cheltenham Festival are consumed.

Travel in Style

Getting to the Cheltenham Festival by car can mean hours of sitting in traffic, so if you’d rather arrive feeling relaxed, take advantage of one of the deluxe helicopter services that deliver racegoers to the course. And if you happen to arrive by helicopter, you won’t have to trek up to the course from the helipad; all helicopter arrivals are chauffeured to the hospitality suites in a Bentley.

Credit: Pixabay

What to Wear

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the blue-ribbon event of the Festival and brings together all those interested in and connected to National Hunt racing and traditionally was never an event you’d associate with high fashion. Think smart country set, tweeds and riding boots, rather than catwalk style. However, in recent years, Cheltenham has become more of a fashion parade, with ladies’ hemlines rising and outfits becoming more eclectic. The great thing about Cheltenham is that there’s no set dress code, as you’ll find at some other race courses, so you can really go as you please.

What you need to bear in mind is that as the event takes place mid-March, there’s no guarantee that the weather will be warm and spring-like, so following the traditional muted tones and heavier fabrics of country clothing will always be a safer bet, unless you’re prepared to spend the day shivering in silk. You can always give your tweeds and plaids an extra touch of style with accessories such as a feather fascinator, or a fur hat or stole to keep off the chill.

If you’re after a day at the races that has sophistication and style mixed in with one of the world’s most prestigious steeplechases, then head to the beautiful Prestbury Park racecourse for this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media

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