By HRI Foreign Staff — As Cheltenham draws close, the atmosphere around every race on the British horse racing calendar is supercharged with excitement and wide-eyed fans who are looking to finalize their notes and picks for this year’s The Festival.
It must be complete no man’s land for fans, jockeys, trainers, and horses alike, all of whom are still adjusting to this strange season guided by rules and protocols caused by the ongoing pandemic and after a gap year for the Cheltenham showdown.
Right now, it will not be out of place to have a Cheltenham offer list, especially for those who love to put extra action on the action. The early weekend offering takes us to the heavy going tracks of Leicester for a wet day of racing. Covid-19 rules mean testing is obligatory and will commence five hours before race time. The race card has six races on offering with a midday kick-off.
A Class 4 run opens hostilities, as the JOIN THE RACINGTV NOW HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE takes 22 horses rated 0-120, five years old and above, through two miles, six furlongs, and a hundred and fifty-one yards. Twenty-one of the horses will be geldings, for only one mare, ten-year-old Top and Drop, trained by Venetia Williams. Two geldings from Olly Murphy and his Warren Chase stables will be on the grid, both of them Irish and weighing in at 11 stones. Nigel Twiston-Davies also has an interest in this one with Irish youngster, Muckamore.
The second race of the day comes at the stroke of 1 pm, with the RACECOURSE LIVESTREAMS ON RACING TV EXTRA NOVICES’ HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE, a Class 5 run for horses five years old and above, over a distance of two miles, four furlongs, and thirty-five yards. The rating is 0-105, and the pot is 6,130 GBP.
Twenty-two horses make the starting grid, once again with stakes for Twiston-Davies, Williams, and Murphy. Leicester seems to be an important point for some of the most distinguished trainers in the profession. The BOSCASPORTS RACING’S DIGITAL HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE, another Class 5 run, comes thirty minutes after the first, for a distance of a mile, seven furlongs, and two hundred and one yards. Once more for horses five years old and above and rated 0-105, the pot for this one will be 6,130 GBP.
The two races within the 2 pm hour will be the biggest prizes of the day, each commanding a 12,200 GBP cheque. First up will be the VISIT racingtv.com MARES’ HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE, a two-mile, four furlongs, and thirty-five yard run for horses five years old and above. The Class 3 race will be the first of two within the hour and is part of the Challenger Mares’ Steeplechase Series Qualifier.
At half-past the hour, the second of the Class 3 races comes up with the BOSCASPORTS RETAIL tote DISPLAYS WORLDWIDE NOVICES’ STEEPLECHASE. The last and only 3 pm run of the day is the DICK SAUNDERS NOVICES’ HUNTERS’ STEEPLECHASE, a Class 5 outing for horses six years old and above.