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Cheltenham - The Greatest Races

If you are a horse racing fan (and you may not be), the days leading up to Cheltenham can be a bit l...
TodayFM
TodayFM

11:47 PM - 8 Mar 2015



Cheltenham - The Greatest Race...

Sport

Cheltenham - The Greatest Races

TodayFM
TodayFM

11:47 PM - 8 Mar 2015



If you are a horse racing fan (and you may not be), the days leading up to Cheltenham can be a bit like Christmas, with the betting bank in reserve, the form all studied and the opinions all justified and as good as the other person's. 

It's a bit like rugby at the moment; there is never enough information to consume ahead of the action; be it newspaper articles, statistics or blogs. 

The popularity of the Cheltenham Festival didn't come from nowhere. It has a special resonance with the Irish because at a time when we weren't as successful on the sporting stage, we would send our horses over to England and win. In 2015, Willie Mullins is almost a certainty to be champion trainer at the Festival. It's funny how the world turns, as in 1989 there were no Irish trained winners at Cheltenham. 

Here are some of the epic races from Cheltenham, before the era of Kauto Star, Denman, Lord Windermere and Jezki:

Tom Dreaper's Arkle wins the first of 3 Gold Cups, beating the mighty Mill House.

The late Dessie Hughes rides Monksfield to beat Sea Pigeon in the 1979 Champion Hurdle.

Dawn Run becomes the first (and to date only) horse to win the Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup.

Her 1986 Gold Cup win is brilliantly described by Sir Peter O'Sullevan.

The grey, Desert Orchid gains a famous victory in the 1989 Gold Cup.

 Istabraq wins the first of 3 Champion Hurdles under Charlie Swan, in 1998.

 Edredon Bleu (with AP McCoy on board) and Direct Route fight it out in the 2000 Champion Chase.

Irish horses Hardy Eustace and Harchibald contest a thrilling 2005 Champion Hurdle.

 

 



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