The concluding day of the 2011 Cheltenham Festival has seven races to get stuck into. Here are some facts people looking to place Cheltenham 2011 bets may not know.
JCB Triumph Hurdle
Since the race has been at Cheltenham, there has only once been an odds-on winner of the Triumph Hurdle. This was Attivo, owned by former BBC TV commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan, in 1973 at 4/5. The longest-priced winners were Baron Blakeney, Shiny Copper and Ikdam at 66/1 in 1981, 1982 and 1989.
Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
Age is an important statistic in this pace driven race – 39 of last 48 winners were aged 5 of 6 (5 year olds have won seven of the last twelve renewals, from approximately 20% of the total runners in that period).
Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle
It was first set up as a Grade 2 sponsored by Brit Insurance but was upgraded to Grade 1 status in 2008 under the banner of potato growing company Albert Bartlett – unsurprisingly stamina comes to the fore in this three mile race and it’s worth baring this in mind when looking to bet on Cheltenham racing.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The race hasn’t always been the Blue Riband event that it is today and prior to World War II very much played second fiddle to the Grand National in terms of prestige.
Christie’s Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup
Caroline Beasley became the first female jockey to win a race at The Festival when successful on Eliogarty in the 1983 Christie’s Foxhunter Chase. Since then the race has been won four times by women – Katie Rimell on Three Counties in 1989, Polly Curling on Fantus in 1995, Fiona Needham in 2002 on Last Option and Rilly Goschen on Earthmover in 2004.
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
It was announced in January 2009 that this race would be named in honour of Martin Pipe, the most successful National Hunt trainer of all time. Pipe trained 34 winners at the Festival, including the Champion Hurdle twice, with Granville Again (1993) and Make A Stand (1997), though victory in the Gold Cup eluded him (Rushing Wild came second in 1993).
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup
The name of the race was extended in 2006 to commemorate the life of Johnny Henderson, so how appropriate it was for his son Nicky to train the winner of the 2006 race with Greenhope and his runners in this race for obvious reasons should always be taken into account.