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bonnie
25 Feb 14 13:02
Joined:
Date Joined: 19 Aug 11
| Topic/replies: 4,965 | Blogger: bonnie's blog
for me its the highlight of the year, i work my nuts off to save the funds that are needed, anything up to 5k.

am i in the minority with this mindset ??
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Report happyhibee February 25, 2014 4:52 PM GMT
Its the greatest sporting week of the year. You start to plot from April onwards on horses potential targets, you watch all the trials through the winter and it leads to finishing work on Friday anticipating what the next 4 days will bring.
Report Ballydoyle February 25, 2014 5:02 PM GMT
Thousands of pounds in 4 days
Report Quvega February 25, 2014 5:08 PM GMT
This close, with horses dropping like flies and markets wobbling, grey hair and ulcers Laugh
Report cufcno1 February 25, 2014 5:14 PM GMT
when i was a kid i used to look forward the cup final and christmas day,now im like a kid from  october to march,my wife thinks im pathetic,going for the tuesday and wednesday,and stratford on the  monday so likely to do my balls in there,wont sleep for a week before it lol
Report Ballydoyle February 25, 2014 5:32 PM GMT
Lol brilliant....I took my missus last year to show her what the fuss was....won her 400 quid and was well rewarded at night lol
Report thehoffisback February 25, 2014 5:34 PM GMT
every year i seem to end up in the doctors, he tells me the same thing time and time again.  He says to me "With the constant sweating and insomnia, loss of appetite... It looks like you have come down with what's known only as FESTIVAL FEVER".
He tells me I should have a week off work.
Report alleged22 February 25, 2014 6:55 PM GMT
now im like a kid from  october to march,my wife thinks im pathetic

fcukin tickled me that did Laugh


I was in a similar position, until I took her one year, and she got it Laugh we go together every year now, but its harder to keep a straight face when one ive backed antepost comes in, ive had more than a fair share of puzzled looks from her
Report cufcno1 February 25, 2014 7:23 PM GMT
always wants half me fluckin winnings though,by the way alleged villa are sh1te
Report Ramruma February 25, 2014 7:28 PM GMT
@Quvega has a point. This is the worst time for me -- after the glow of anticipation has faded from the antepost bets on what are now revealed to be non-runners or no-hopers, but before final plans can be made because everything still has at least three possible targets and we don't know the going (or the weights till tomorrow).
Report shockster February 25, 2014 7:45 PM GMT
I don't like it.Devil
Report bonnie February 25, 2014 8:12 PM GMT
cufc - your post is so reassuring to me.

thank god i'm no the only overaged kid at christmas !!!!!!!!
Report sageform February 25, 2014 8:17 PM GMT
For 30 years I hardly missed a day at the Festival. I had a few big winning years and enjoyed the excitement of being on the lawn on the big occasions but as age has crept up on me, I prefer to watch from home and find it easier to make decisions here than when getting pushed and shoved around on course. The one thing I miss is getting on to the steps near the winners enclosure after a horse I have backed wins or an owner/trainer I know have a winner. The best moments were Salmon Spray, Collier Bay, Kibreet, Best Mate's third GC and Cinders and Ashes, my last decent win on course. I am fortunate to have enough money not to worry about my bets as I only stake small amounts and make or lose more on the stock market in a day than I would lose on racing in a year.
Report onehundredandeighty February 25, 2014 8:17 PM GMT
Ive been sweating since November as it gets closer.Getting married this year so got the mother in law to be in my lug every day about this and that and really cant concentrate on anything else bar those magical 4 days.I have become snappy and damn well know it but if i dont get there in one piece in two weeks time the weddings off!! Shocked

i love her really but needs must first Grin
Report jasey February 25, 2014 8:28 PM GMT
All i think about.
I thought i loved my mrs until i discovered  the Festival.
Report Steamship February 25, 2014 9:02 PM GMT
I love NH racing more than anything (family & friends not included)and these days leading up to it are magical. I dont have many Ante Post bets this year, but it's not about that. It just has everything in sport triumph and tragedy, glory and dissappointment.

My 2nd love is theatre and I split my year into 2 major events Cheltenham and Edinburgh Fringe.
Report bonnie February 25, 2014 9:28 PM GMT
i'm not arsed about flat racing, after the whitbread meeting at sandown i give my brain a rest for few months !!!!!!!!!!

at present when i'm not working, i am allways going thru various form lines and stats, checking a few weather forecast sites and obviously looking at this forum for snippets of info.
Report jasey February 25, 2014 9:32 PM GMT
I am dreading the jumps season finishing roll on september
Report bonnie February 25, 2014 9:35 PM GMT
i don't mind a break from betting, paddy power meeting is when i really start getting stuck into the formbook.

went to royal ascot once, never again !!!!!
Report ZEALOT February 25, 2014 11:00 PM GMT
I absolutely love the Cheltenham festival -  all my best memories in my life are from the 4 days in March .

I remember the feeling I got when Hurricane Fly won the 2011 champion hurdle ... Wow

Memories that will last forever and a day Love
Report Howdi February 25, 2014 11:05 PM GMT
remembering the races that all the winners at the fes were running in early that season, trying to remember what I made of the form at the time Cry
Report seary February 26, 2014 12:02 AM GMT
from january till the festival starts..its a complete an utter blur..friends become distant family become distant..all that matters is the big 4 days.
They say the average man thinks about sex every 7 seconds well in these next couple of weeks ill be thinking about the festival every 7 seconds.
lets face it the festival is better than sex
Report Howdi February 26, 2014 12:04 AM GMT
^^^ depends on who you are having sex with I guess. If its Harry Callaghan I agree Laugh
Report duffy February 26, 2014 12:32 AM GMT
One thing to remember is don't wish these last two weeks away in a hurry, as much as we want the festival to come, it's best to start savouring it from now while the anticipation and dreams are all still alive, enjoy the previews and discussions along the way....because once it's here it'll be over in a flash.

How can a race that is part of the festival be the most depressing race of the year, but that's exactly what the Grand Annual is...because it tells you that it's all over!!!

It can all slow down from here on in for me.
Report onehundredandeighty February 26, 2014 7:21 AM GMT
Wish i had your calming influence Duffy Shocked
Report Steamship February 26, 2014 7:54 AM GMT
I know a lot don't like the 4 days or it finishing on a Friday, but do you remember those meetings that were on the day after they were so depressing. The Midlands National which would normally be a decent Saturday card looks weak after the big days.
Report SOULDANCER February 26, 2014 9:29 AM GMT
Disappointment that I'll never see a Triumph Hurdle with 17 + runners again. Don't think I'll remember them with such affection. Lot easier to pick the non-handicap winners now, though. Maybe concentrate on them more for winning opportunities.
Report rogerthebutler February 26, 2014 9:46 AM GMT
It’s a pretty potent force, that’s for sure.

Like most, it gives a structure to my year both in terms of the racing and the cogitating over the form, ante-post bets, ‘who will run where’ and all the great irrelevancies associated with it. But also on a deeper, visceral level with my feeling I am able to work hard and devote myself to other, far more important, issues (family, work, friends) only so much, until I get my ‘reward’ with the spiritual renewal that is Cheltenham.

I’m prepared to admit I take Cheltenham way more seriously than I should and am probably too abrasive in my views now. Still, this is my opinion so, well, suck it up, disagree, laugh and move on.

For me though, Cheltenham is way too important to cheapen with twit marketing (‘Ladies Day’ FFS), asinine countdowns (Well done! You can count backwards from 11th March to the minute – you phooking retard!), the hype that this inherently worthy and magnificent event does not need and the increasingly repetitive and rip-off Preview Evenings cottage industry that has sprung up.

I’m in a minority of one too when I say I loathe the nationalism and flag-waving. That’s not what it’s about. Racing’s never about my ’group’ besting ‘your group’, which is why that whole Kauto vs Denman thing could go fk itself and the cancer it rode into town on too. It’s about respect for everyone – no, more than ‘respect’. It’s about defining ‘us’ the National Hunt fans as passionate, friendly, Stateless, sometimes pig-headed but always inclusive to anyone who pays their dues and comes and worships at the Shrine for those four days in mid-March.

So yeah, there’s a lot of hate expressed there but as we all know, love and hate are different sides of the same coin.

So what does Cheltenham mean to me? It means me and someone I’ve never met going batsh1t crazy because we’ve backed the same horse and it’s just hit the front at the final fence.

It means me laughing like a child again at the stories I hear – and the hard-luck ones, told self-deprecatingly are by far the best.

It means plans hatched over beers and curries in Stow on the Wold, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Montpelier etc.

It means One Man sticking it to everyone who said he couldn’t win at Cheltenham.

It means the heartache of watching a kid like Jayne Mangan have the dream of her lifetime taken away from her in the twitch of Oscar Delta’s synapses, me writing to her to say how tough it must have been for her and receiving a beautiful letter back expressing her thanks but life was tougher for JT McNamara.

It means watching Istabraq bounding clear of the Champion Hurdle field. It means Kauto, Denman and my biggest ever ante-post bet Long Run going hammer and tongs for the final half mile in the Gold Cup.

Oh you know what I’m twitting on about here…..!

Now excuse me. I’ve got my Cheltenham shirts and suit to take to the dry cleaners and the Cheltenham CD for the car journey in every day, to burn.

Yeah – that’s how deep I get into this sh1t!
Report thornton reed February 26, 2014 10:02 AM GMT
One of the best posts I have ever read^^ Magic!
Report shockster February 26, 2014 10:12 AM GMT
Wow Roger.  You like it nearly as much as me.Excited
Report Ming_the_Merciless February 26, 2014 12:07 PM GMT
QUOTE -  But also on a deeper, visceral level with my feeling I am able to work hard and devote myself to other, far more important, issues (family, work, friends) only so much, until I get my ‘reward’ with the spiritual renewal that is Cheltenham.

^^^ very deep and true.Happy

I become that child at Christmas again when its Festival time.... I have such a pent up amount of punting energy that by Tuesday I am fit to burst.
Report duffy February 26, 2014 4:39 PM GMT
Roger

Bloody good post, I feel exactly the same but couldn't have put it as eloquently as that.
Report Ballydoyle February 26, 2014 5:19 PM GMT
jasey 25 Feb 14 20:28 Joined: 22 Jul 08 | Topic/replies: 875 | Blogger: jasey's blog
All i think about.
I thought i loved my mrs until i discovered  the Festival.
Rate reply:
| report block user


BrilliantLaugh

see these past coupla weeks it's been on my mind constant...go to flaming bed going through my ante posts!! started with the supreme past two weeks so tonight might go mental and start with the ryanair...
Report Ballydoyle February 26, 2014 5:22 PM GMT
I mean, lets be honest, t's quite simply the 4 best days of the year.

Christmas doesn't come close at all. If my missus walked in and said "right you I've got us a 2 week all-inclusive everything paid for trip to Sydney" I'd go..."been there love and it's Cheltenham. Out the way there's a good girl"

Told me the other day I was having an affair...with OddscheckerLove
Report cufcno1 February 26, 2014 10:35 PM GMT
my wife thinks im having an affair wid someone called annie power !
Report cufcno1 February 26, 2014 10:37 PM GMT
ive probably been with worse looking birds tbf after 15 pints of the black stuff !
Report saxon farm February 27, 2014 12:24 AM GMT
As soon as it's over, a sense of relief.

Win, lose or draw.  That was my marathon, endured but loved since Charlie Hall day in October.  A sideways glance at the Midlands National at Uttoxeter, then a ten day break from such sites of these.

Then, study for lovely Liverpool, where we should all be cautiousMischief, and stakes are lowered accordingly.
Report Ballydoyle February 27, 2014 8:32 AM GMT
Laughcufcno....I quite like Annie too but she's gettin dumped if not declared for the World
Report cufcno1 February 27, 2014 8:43 AM GMT
she is not a very good stayer,unlike maself wid 15 guinness in me !
Report Andymca February 27, 2014 8:48 AM GMT
That's your breakfast sorted cu what will you be drinking for the rest of the day
Report cufcno1 February 27, 2014 8:51 AM GMT
lol,snakebite and black !
Report el chine February 27, 2014 5:56 PM GMT
jasey  • February 25, 2014 8:28 PM GMT 


All i think about.
I thought i loved my mrs until i discovered  the Festival.


HA HA that's one of the best short comments iv ever read on here! sums it up in one line
Report 1st time poster February 27, 2014 5:57 PM GMT
on the saturday following chelt ,we,ll transpose the word does, for did,

hour long queue for a pish,pish everywhere
hour long fight for a drink
5 quid a pint or thereabouts
fighting to get a bet on and view the race you,ve bet on
tenner for fish and chips
preying for good weather or its a drenching or suffering thommo in the cenateur
going out after the midlands national to see a diddly band havnt heard one in ages,hope they do fields of athen rye and 5,000 miles havnt heard them songs for years,

only joking lads have a good,n
Report KNOCKANDO February 27, 2014 6:07 PM GMT
That's strange 1st time poster I remember it was me who had the hour long fight for a drink and buy them for you in Arthur's Bar in Guiness village whilst you were chatting to Alan Brazil
Report maleuk01. February 27, 2014 7:27 PM GMT
I love chelt, carnt wait.

go for  3 days/nights, weds-fri

would stay 4 but becomes v expensive (esp if doing your coconuts), and don't think liver could take 4 nights.

look forward to it all year
Report 1st time poster February 28, 2014 4:38 PM GMT
cant have been me dont except drinks of strangers and you dont no where the bar is,Wink
Report ImSoLuckyLucky! March 6, 2014 11:45 AM GMT
Just noticed there is free car parking in the Regents centre from the
10 to 14 March
Cor blimey
Wink
Report CheltenhamRoar February 5, 2015 6:34 PM GMT
5K Shocked
Report onehundredandeighty February 5, 2015 6:42 PM GMT
What a great thread to bring back.
Rogerthebutlers post is just brilliant.
Oh and for the record......i did get married......

and still am ......

and going next month Silly
Report Joist February 5, 2015 7:56 PM GMT
Probably the best post on the whole forum from Roger last year - "It means the heartache of watching a kid like Jayne Mangan have the dream of her lifetime taken away from her in the twitch of Oscar Delta’s synapses, me writing to her to say how tough it must have been for her and receiving a beautiful letter back expressing her thanks but life was tougher for JT McNamara." is a genuinely emotional and poignant sentence.

You've inspired me to attempt to capture a fragment of my feelings about the Festival in words. Happy

I suppose one of the best illustrations of what the Festival means to me is that in the last two years, I’ve taken up an exciting role within our online betting industry that I thoroughly enjoy and have done well at. There is massive scope within the company for me progress significantly and my career is well and truly in flight here for me – I’m 25 this year, so it’s all just beginning. However, when word got out that holidays would not be granted over the Festival period, I was instantly composing my resignation letter in my mind. Nothing would take away from me the one event that I literally work all year for; after all, what’s the point in working if I’m willing to sacrifice that?

Mercifully, my boss knows what Cheltenham means to me and has agreed to be complicit in my scheming to have the Festival off: turns out my brother is getting married that week – who’d have thought it?

The Festival means so many things to me like it does to everyone else, and I think one of the main things for me is the appreciation of animals that are born and exist basically to give us this enjoyment and this Festival. I really try not to lose sight of this amongst the orgy of punting – your handicap snip of the week might well have been pulled up 4 out, and you might well have had a maximum bet plus a bit more because it’s Cheltenham, and you might well be utterly gutted that the coup that was so nailed-on last week has been inexplicably scuppered. But try not to forget that whatever has won, whether it’s the well-punted fav or a 50/1 ‘rag’, the horse means so much to its close connections and having just been victorious on the biggest stage in racing, the beast deserves at the very least your clap and a moment of appreciation for its effort. I must confess some hypocrisy here though – it was at least the Chester May meeting until I could think about offering a moment of congratulations to Western bastard Warhorse for chinning Champagne Fever.

Outside of the obvious, and a touch more personal, the Festival has become, through my enthusiasm  and lack of a racing buddy to rely on each year, an event that my mother and I essentially plan our year around – though me more so than her, I’m sure.  Being mid-twenties and having long moved out of home, elder brother and sister who’ve long since done the same, and a father who has passed on I think for her, Cheltenham is half about the enjoyment of the event, and half one of the few remaining opportunities as her kids grow up that become one of hers and her son’s ‘things’. She isn’t particularly knowledgeable on racing – has only recently started to pay attention to the form figures next to a beast’s name, for example – but the beauty of Cheltenham and horse racing in general is that you don’t need to know anything to have an incredibly good time; you don’t need to know the effects of a wind operation to know that drinking jagerbombs and dancing to Irish music on Cheltenham Eve with a choca-block crowd all acting like hyperactively excited children is the best night of the year, neither do you need to be privy to the improvement yielded by a tongue-tie to clap, cheer, and appreciate new champions as they’re crowned by a crowd who are present to admire these wonderful animals at the peak of the powers they’re bred for. I will never forget, and often recall with real pleasure, the memory of my mother, as Al Ferof came storming up the hill in the Supreme Novices of 2011, yelling at him to “Stay on Al Ferof! Stay on!” I’d be odds-against that she had more than £2 on, but she couldn’t have been more excited or delighted if her receipt read £500. She works hard all year for peanuts basically, meaning that out of decency, I often leave the stakes of my bets undisclosed. Not that they’re large by any stretch of the imagination, but when Master Minded smashed up Voy Por Ustedes in the Game Spirit of 2010, she mused in response to my disappointment that I’d probably had “something stupid like twenty pounds” on. Naturally I didn’t correct her that I’d had £50, and I’ve been keen to keep stake amount under wraps since. Regardless of the disparity in scale of our stakes, especially at Cheltenham, any of her £1 each way punts can chin my larger bets all day long and it’d be impossible to get annoyed. Well, maybe not all day long…

So there might not be many pairings of mother and son at the Festival, but we’ll be there on the Monday night, drinking far more than we promised ourselves to at the start of the evening and feeling far worse than we intended on Tuesday morning. But we’ll be there in the stands at 1.29pm as excited as everybody else, and hoping that we have the privilege to scream “stay on!” at something up the hill.


It's the Spring Juvenile Hurdle on Sunday chaps - that means the Festival is right around the corner! As Duffy says, it's so important to cherish these next few weeks - it's a long year until we hit this point again!
Report duffy February 5, 2015 8:14 PM GMT
The days leading up to the festival are even more exciting than any Christmas eve as a child that I can remember, you try to build it up even more with every chance you get, watch the previews, I even start watching previous years previews on you tube just to get it all going.......the night before the first day is the incredible time though, when everything is still possible....it's strange though, because just like Christmas as a small child.....if the first day is waking up and opening the presents, even with the final day still ahead of you, the feeling of loss that it's all over is still there, just like for a kid on boxing day......for many years the county hurdle used to be the race you never wanted to be the next one.!!
Report duffy February 5, 2015 8:20 PM GMT
Thanks joistHappy...good luck to you bothHappy
Report GI MAC February 5, 2015 8:28 PM GMT
Great stuff Joist, enjoyed reading that.
Report Joist February 5, 2015 8:30 PM GMT
Thanks Duffy, you too! Absolutely agree with your sentiment, is there a more depressing race in the calendar than the Midlands bloody National Cry
Report CheltenhamRoar February 5, 2015 8:32 PM GMT
Well that was well worth the bump Grin
Some great stories lads.
Report CJ February 5, 2015 9:01 PM GMT
Doing the Grand Slam this year, Warwick Sunday, Stratford, Festival 4 days, & Uttoxeter. Can't wait.
Report Joist February 5, 2015 9:02 PM GMT
A veritable Iron Man of a challenge that, CJ. Best of luck!
Report deepingfox February 5, 2015 9:07 PM GMT
ADULT CHRISTMAS..........lasts a lifetime.
Report cufcno1 February 5, 2015 9:13 PM GMT
I was spewing before I had even seen a horse last year,missed stratford went to the preview at the royal oak and was rough as anything Tuesday morning,jezki pulled me round then had more 2nds than soft Mick,attaglance,champagne fever,the cross country 2nd,gmoh,shaneshill,Annie power,backed 2 in the juvenile hurdle,Clarcam,which was brought down by my **** other horse katagary,2nd in the 4 miler,cause of causes,had a bit on tiger roll,a daft 10 Ew on Lord Windermere,and still woke up **** pink lint on the Saturday...it's great
Report FOYLESWAR February 5, 2015 9:14 PM GMT
this is probably going to get me on the aftertimers thread but feck it here goes .............a good few years back i was struggling had no job and was basically potless on the Friday before the festival and was in for a gloomy time watching the festival with no bets fookin agony and nothing worse  . any way had a non runner on a slip from about a week previous which had £15 to come and was hoping to  save it for the festival ffs £15 for the whole of the festival Cry,anyway went over to my local billys to collect it as i needed to get some milk and bread    and as i was leaving the billys it came over the tannoy 33/1 Punjabi for the champion hurdle something went ping in my head and i put a £10 of the money on Punjabi and took the 33s went out bought the milk n,bread . on the Tuesday about an hour before the supreme theres a knock on my door and jerry the boch is standing there with a pack of beers and a racing post he,s come to watch the racing on the telly , fair enough a few beers and off we go ! no bets for me and in no time the champion hurdle is on us , now jerry is not named the "boch " for nothing this fella could stop the tide coming in if you have backed anything and he knows about it he will get it beat ,if you have the misfortune to have backed the same as him throw your ticket away it has no fecking chance ! if he had backed arkle every time it would have ended its career a fooking maiden ! anyway as they are lining up for the champion hurdle he says to me who have you backed i tried to ignore him but he was insistent so i said i haven't backed anything in the race , he says i have backed one in here and i am thinking please don't let it be Punjabi ,who you backed i says to him .........not telling ya ,you wont tell me who you backed says the boch Laughlike 2 fookin kids Laugh anyway they are off everything going o.k no hiccups and Punjabi travelling well also the fav binocular also going well coming to the last and Punjabi bino and fooking celestial halo all jump the last virtually together and the boch is screaming go on my son   and jumping up and down using the rolled up  racing post as a whip and is riding a finish whipping the bollax out of his own  arse   with the paper LaughCrazyiam fit to burst and want to scream go on barry (geraghty was on board ) but know that would be suicide as the boch will get it  beat! but have to sit on my fookin hands and keep quiet and bite my lip , fookin agony as they reach the line its neck and neck 3 horses  and the boch screams go on  celestial ,relief for me qas he hasn't backed Punjabi  and only as they pass the winning line can i celebrate  the Punjabi win ! from being virtual potless and a passenger i am now a player with £340 in my pocket and with that bit of dough i had one of my best festivals ever won bundles ..........happy days ! but have made sure every year since that i have plenty of cash and ante post bets as i would not want to be in that situation again !
Report cufcno1 February 5, 2015 9:35 PM GMT
Foyleswar been there myself,more than once when I was younger especially the year one man won the queen mother when the whole **** pub were on it apart from me,got drink bought all week but not the same,can remember having about 20 quid left then backed the last 4 winners when it was 3 days,bachanal and master tern were two of them,if it wasn't for the bad days you wouldn't remember the good !
Report Makybe_Diva February 5, 2015 10:12 PM GMT
I only started to watch horse racing in 1998 when I was at home recovering from major surgery.

I was bored so put Cheltenham on for something to watch. I had never watched it before.

I've been a horse lover all my life but had only ever been interested in showjumping and eventing and had never watched any racing.

I don't know what it was that grabbed me but I have been hooked ever since. I fell in love with Blowing Wind. He did the Imperial Cup/Cheltenham double that year and won £50,000!

I had never even heard of Martin Pipe or AP MCCoy until then. They instantly became my favourite trainer and jockey.

I thought the whole thing was simply thrilling!  I think the anaesthetic must have done something to me Confused

Anyway, every year when I watch the Cheltenham Festival, apart from it being the best week of the year, it reminds me how lucky I am to be alive.

That probably sounds bonkers, but I don't care.
Report Stephen_G February 5, 2015 11:10 PM GMT
Great to read Joist hope you both have a great festival this year. Like everyone else I'm like a kid the night before Christmas on the Monday watching replays from previous festivals. I am only 24 and have been watching racing since I started going to the pub at 18 so I really don't have too many years of racing memories like others but I will never forget watching wichita lineman winning in 2009 or Kautos 2nd gold cup but the one race I will never forget in my short time watching racing is the 2011 gold cup it was simply one of the most exciting races I have ever watched "Denman and Kauto star rolling back the years" Is a line of commentary that I just love and I watch it far too many times a month and it is the race where I truly fell in love with racing. Cheltenham is the first and most imporatant holidays that I put in for each year now and although I don't contribute much to the forum I read it every day getting more and more excited as it gets closer!

Good luck with your bets everyone and hope we are all counting our winnings come the Friday.
Report Fabulous February 5, 2015 11:42 PM GMT
Good stuff Joist, hope you and your mum have a few winners.
Report tipptop February 6, 2015 4:48 AM GMT
Started going in 2011 and have been back ever since. Hooked!! Couldnt imagine being anywhere else come the second week in March each year. Came back from Oz in 2012 for it and this year will be coming from Canada. Luckily it coincides with a buddy's wedding a week later so that's my excuse when people ask me why Im home. To be honest wedding or no wedding Id be coming home for it!! Myself and another friend have been going every year since 2011 with different people joining us each year! This year theres 11 of us heading with 5 of them first timers so id imagine a few more will be hooked come the end of the week! Same routine for us every year. Dublin to Birmingham. Taxi to Cheltenham. Get settled into the house. We usually stay in the monday night then full steam ahead for the week. Up early, breakfast, out to the track, hot whiskeys before racing starts (no drinking during racing) then pints til the early hours then home and do it all over the next day. Its a marathon week which requires another week recovery but I wouldn't change it for the world. Theres no better feeling than backing a winner there roaring it home then applauding it into the winners enclosure with people you know all your life as well as with strangers youve just laid eyes on and may never see again!

Hope anyone going this year is lucky and enjoys their week immensely. For anyone reading this who hasnt been, get there before you die. Having a knowledge of racing helps but is not essential! Its a great social week as well as a racing event!

Roll on March 11th!
Report ACStafford February 6, 2015 9:59 AM GMT
March 10th! Wink
Report rogerthebutler February 6, 2015 12:34 PM GMT
March 9th is the best day of the week.

You've got all the winners at that point.

On the 10th, hope ends and experience starts
Report tomdeane February 6, 2015 1:02 PM GMT
The Friday night beforehand is the best, when you leave work and know that the next week is going to be about nothing but racing. It really is the best feeling in the world. And Cheltenham in mid-March is the best place in the world.
Report Rathgorman82 February 6, 2015 1:29 PM GMT
Once Big Ben chimes midnight on New Years Eve, my brain immediately focuses on the four days in March at the Mecca that is Cheltenham. It really is odd, on the run up to Christmas i'm Mr Family Guy and March is not in my thoughts much, once this is out of the way, I become single minded and irritable and am constantly been nagged for not listening! Why? Oddschecker, Forums, any info possible, I've got my head in it. Prior to the 2000's, it was Ceefax, oh the days of the pages rolling over to reveal the prices :) :) Was it pages 601+++ ??

I first made the pilgrimage in 1991 after seeing an ad in the Racing Post by the tourist info board of Cheltenham that private houses were opening up on a B&B basis. As a wet behind the ears 20 year old I made the trip down on my own as none of my mates were that much into it.
I found some lodgings at 12 quid a night and was made to feel like a long lost son. I ventured into town and not been shy headed into The Dawn Run bar at lunchtime that i'd heard so much about. The Craic was unbelievable, sing songs going at midday ! Then onto the rickety old race bus up to the Course, the stands appeared on the horizon giving me goose-bumps at the sight. Off the bus, touts every which way you walked. Brilliant stuff and to this day, the bars and the stands may have changed, but the feeling of the first pint and the first sighting of the course never changes.
As for the racing, no need to repeat what other have eloquently put above, it simply is the best in the world and no meeting comes close for end to end excitement and quality.

24 years later, accompanied by a friend and his Dad, I've made every festival, 3 days at least bar 2008 where we lost a day. Family commitments mean I skip Gold Cup day now, but I can live with that as it became a painful day and the racing is not as good as Tuesday IMO. My mates Dad is 82 and he still goes at it nearly as strong as us, an unbelievable constitution for Guiness and **** ! Tongue Out

I really was wavering about making this year pre Xmas as we are purchasing a place in Spain this spring, money and time off work are in short supply, but when it came down to the crunch on deadline day for the tickets, I thought sod it, it's Cheltenham, until the day i'm put in a wooden box i'll aim to be there ! Grin
Report Rathgorman82 February 6, 2015 1:50 PM GMT
**** reads  F  A  G  S
Report maelduin February 6, 2015 4:16 PM GMT
Cheltenham was without a doubt the greatest 3 days of competitive racing on the planet ........... then it went to 4 days. Sad
Report Ekbalco February 6, 2015 5:15 PM GMT
Dread the feeling on Friday night of The Festival.
Report charlieptl February 6, 2015 5:41 PM GMT
The Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of my year. Born and bred in Cheltenham, live in Presbury now so right next door and I spend all year looking forward to it.

Worked my arse off to put enough money in the bank so I can get stuck in.

Electric atmosphere, top class racing, week of work on the sauce, epic amounts of gambling - it's basically the real Xmas

Always said it doesn't matter when I am or live in the world, I will never miss the festival.

Best week of the year, love it.
Report bonnie February 7, 2015 10:33 AM GMT
the best thread ever, here we go again, full of optimism, life changing multiples, what can possibly go wrong ??

kid at christmas perfectly sums up my festival

from driving down on monday morning to the journey home on saturday, i love every minute of the week.
Report bonnie February 7, 2015 10:35 AM GMT
fortunately for me silviniaco conti winning the king george has more than paid for my festival week, counting down the days !!!!!!!!
Report topshot February 7, 2015 10:39 AM GMT
A couple of years ago someone started a thread on here saying he had startes a thread on Mumsnet, or something similar saying he cancelled going to his wife's scan cos Cheltenham was on. Caused much distress on Mumsnet but much hilarity on here.

Would love to see that one again
Report Lumberg March 9, 2016 4:21 PM GMT

Feb 5, 2015 -- 10:48PM, tipptop wrote:


Started going in 2011 and have been back ever since. Hooked!! Couldnt imagine being anywhere else come the second week in March each year. Came back from Oz in 2012 for it and this year will be coming from Canada. Luckily it coincides with a buddy's wedding a week later so that's my excuse when people ask me why Im home. To be honest wedding or no wedding Id be coming home for it!! Myself and another friend have been going every year since 2011 with different people joining us each year! This year theres 11 of us heading with 5 of them first timers so id imagine a few more will be hooked come the end of the week! Same routine for us every year. Dublin to Birmingham. Taxi to Cheltenham. Get settled into the house. We usually stay in the monday night then full steam ahead for the week. Up early, breakfast, out to the track, hot whiskeys before racing starts (no drinking during racing) then pints til the early hours then home and do it all over the next day. Its a marathon week which requires another week recovery but I wouldn't change it for the world. Theres no better feeling than backing a winner there roaring it home then applauding it into the winners enclosure with people you know all your life as well as with strangers youve just laid eyes on and may never see again! Hope anyone going this year is lucky and enjoys their week immensely. For anyone reading this who hasnt been, get there before you die. Having a knowledge of racing helps but is not essential! Its a great social week as well as a racing event!Roll on March 11th!


Who do you get the taxi with from Birmingham airport to Cheltenham? Anyone got a reasonable taxi rate for doing Birm Airport-Chelt return for the Tuesday?

Report bankit March 9, 2016 9:29 PM GMT

Feb 6, 2015 -- 11:15AM, Ekbalco wrote:


Dread the feeling on Friday night of The Festival.


best week of the year, no doubt and similar to another comment above as soon as new year is out the way I start to focus on the festival, ante-post bets, getting my kitty together etc. But come the Friday night I'm glad it's over for another year, my liver is on its last legs, I can't look at form for a race until at least aintree, the week is ultra enjoyable but takes its toll.!!!

Report Shrews March 10, 2016 4:59 PM GMT
Depression. That's what it means to me.

Depression when it's all over, depression when I start looking at the Midlands National field to come down slowly from all the excitement, depression of the thought of going back to work on Monday 21st.

In fact, I'm depressed now just thinking about being depressed.
Report jokersjow March 10, 2016 6:32 PM GMT
Cheltenham

noun
noun: Cheltenham, plural nouns: sacrifices, worships, pleasures

Supporting noun hedonism

- the Eucharist regarded as a propitiatory offering of the body and blood of thyself or as an act of thanksgiving
- a bid made in the belief that it will be less costly to be defeated in the betting ring than to allow the opponents to make a bet
- the acts or rites that make up a formal expression of reverence for a deity; a religious ceremony or ceremonies
- adoration or devotion comparable to religious homage, shown toward a place or principle
- the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life
- the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence
- enjoyment and entertainment, contrasted with things done out of necessity

I rest my case, may we all sacrifice our war-chest whilst worshipping a place that by far surpasses Valhalla in a hedonistic and pleasurable way Wink
Report dunlaying March 11, 2016 11:09 AM GMT
To be honest it means very little to me. The Gold Cup is important , very important this year, but on the whole I think the meeting is over rated.
Report charlieptl March 11, 2016 11:46 AM GMT
It means everything
Report comingupthehill November 26, 2016 11:48 PM GMT
it makes youre life so much better than.heres why.
1)whilst the rest of the country are all having xmas blues,a dry jan,a failed diet/gym membership,we are all busy study,planning,buzzing.so it gets you from winter to spring.
2)its a safe excuse to have a few days from wife/family(i.e no birds involved,well thats what they think),its a feckless blow out,a bit of me time.
3)its top class sport,full of drama,fun,passion.
4)the build up is very long,also so is the meeting
5)but the best thing is when you ve had a bad day or a good day,and after the last race each day,you know you got another chance to do it all over again,its the gift that keeps on giving.
6)football has the same passion,but youre team plays twice a week,this is once a year so its so much more exciting.

in conclusion youre lifes so much more fulfilling if you get into cheltenham.


i ve been since 1985 every year- every day bar 2days (mums funeral,lack of money for all 3days ,so went 2 one year- that didnt happen again).

ive slept in a car 7 years 85-92 ,cheltenham swimming baths car park ,shower in morning,i still rekon this is the best way to do it.then hotels in chelt ,then gloucester,then rented houses,then ross on wye.worcester last few years.
i lost every year for first 15 years,then ive won 12 out of last 15,last 8 not lost.biggest loss 1k biggest win 6k.(needed campeador for 22k last year,it fell at last going best.

my best tip to anyone - take twice as much money as you are prepared to loose,make sure you survive the tuesday at least even ,dont try and win big first day,budget the next 3 days ,only increase bets in had winners.

if you loose the lot you ve still got the same amount to go home with cos you took twice the money you were prepared to loose,
e.g if you take 2k and loose 1k its nice going home with 1k even though you were never going to risk it.

for first 15 years i went home skint,couldnt even afford a macdonalds on way home.

back 2 in each race,one main another a saver.

last 3 years ive had 12,8 and 10 winners and none of them were the mullins shorties.it gets easier with experience.
Report sageform November 27, 2016 9:58 AM GMT
The minutes before the start of the Supreme and the Grade 1 races are the most eagerly anticipated of the racing year.
Report Jb23 February 10, 2017 1:06 PM GMT
Amongst the difference of opinions on here, the anti Mullins/Ricci contingent, the heartbreaking losses of this season reading this thread puts a real smile on my face. Here is to the latest instalment of highs, lows, winners, losers and lasting memories.
Report deepingfox February 10, 2017 9:45 PM GMT
Adult Christmas. Look forward to it from one year to the next. Save up for the week, go in Ante Post when opportunities spotted, and attend Chelters from Nov to January for the build up meetings. Nothing on earth like this meeting, we are blessed.
Report maleuk01. February 10, 2017 10:26 PM GMT
I love chelt, carnt wait.

go for  3 days/nights, weds-fri

would stay 4 but becomes v expensive (esp if doing your coconuts), and don't think liver could take 4 nights.

look forward to it all year


Last 2 years been going for all 4 days, and same again this year. Though a bit disappointing so many of the top horses wont be there this year.
Report bankit February 11, 2017 12:15 AM GMT

Nov 26, 2016 -- 5:48PM, comingupthehill wrote:


it makes youre life so much better than.heres why.1)whilst the rest of the country are all having xmas blues,a dry jan,a failed diet/gym membership,we are all busy study,planning,buzzing.so it gets you from winter to spring.2)its a safe excuse to have a few days from wife/family(i.e no birds involved,well thats what they think),its a feckless blow out,a bit of me time.3)its top class sport,full of drama,fun,passion.4)the build up is very long,also so is the meeting5)but the best thing is when you ve had a bad day or a good day,and after the last race each day,you know you got another chance to do it all over again,its the gift that keeps on giving.6)football has the same passion,but youre team plays twice a week,this is once a year so its so much more exciting.in conclusion youre lifes so much more fulfilling if you get into cheltenham.i ve been since 1985 every year- every day bar 2days (mums funeral,lack of money for all 3days ,so went 2 one year- that didnt happen again).ive slept in a car 7 years 85-92 ,cheltenham swimming baths car park ,shower in morning,i still rekon this is the best way to do it.then hotels in chelt ,then gloucester,then rented houses,then ross on wye.worcester last few years.i lost every year for first 15 years,then ive won 12 out of last 15,last 8 not lost.biggest loss 1k biggest win 6k.(needed campeador for 22k last year,it fell at last going best.my best tip to anyone - take twice as much money as you are prepared to loose,make sure you survive the tuesday at least even ,dont try and win big first day,budget the next 3 days ,only increase bets in had winners.if you loose the lot you ve still got the same amount to go home with cos you took twice the money you were prepared to loose,e.g if you take 2k and loose 1k its nice going home with 1k even though you were never going to risk it.for first 15 years i went home skint,couldnt even afford a macdonalds on way home.back 2 in each race,one main another a saver.last 3 years ive had 12,8 and 10 winners and none of them were the mullins shorties.it gets easier with experience.


Comingupthehill, great post!! I realise you posted this over a year ago but the thread has been bumped, a question if I may, you said " no birds involved, well that's what they think " then that you slept in car from 85-92 ( that's dedication some years Cheltenham is Baltic) I'm assuming that 85-92 were lean years with the birds, I can't imagine many wanting to go back to your pad in the car park of Cheltenham swimming baths!! Loll

Report bankit February 11, 2017 12:17 AM GMT
Just looking at dates only a few months back you put this up!
Report Jb23 February 26, 2018 5:14 PM GMT
Just wanted to bump this thread back to the top. For me, reading this is the equivalent of watching Home Alone before Christmas. Quite brilliant.

I made a video a couple of weeks ago when I was bursting with excitement. Check it out - https://youtu.be/eMcqUlbastA
Report maelduin February 26, 2018 5:41 PM GMT
Home Alone? Wizard of Oz/Chitty Chitty Bang Bang/Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory are the Christmas Trifecta. Grin

Nice video by the way.
Report Makybe_Diva February 26, 2018 8:00 PM GMT
"I made a video a couple of weeks ago when I was bursting with excitement. Check it out - https://youtu.be/eMcqUlbastA"

I love your video, Joel! Love
Report Shrews February 26, 2018 11:36 PM GMT
I don't start as early as some as you, but in the lull period between Christmas and New Year I dust down last years spreadsheet and start the form and trends collation all over again.

After the King George on Boxing Day it's like greeting an old friend who you know you're going to have a great time with over the next few months.

Right now, the jigsaw is slowly coming together and the excitement continues to build.  Come the start, I will have about 15 - 20 Lucky 15's planned meticulously to win 10-20k off each. A few will be designed to take the max off Laddies and Hills. It's my one big chance of the year where I can use my own brain power to influence a retirement lottery bet, instead of relying solely on luck.

Monday night I feel sick, Tuesday morning I beam from ear to ear, last year I watched Woody Allen's Manhattan after The Morning Show. The music seemed to fit the morning of Cheltenham Tuesday somehow. Actually, I think I watched The Morning Show on +1 too.

I've done my years at Cheltenham, it's too busy for me nowadays, but Desert Orchid, Garrison Savannah, Istabraq, Best Mate, Kauto Star, Denman and Royal Gait never leave the memory and the ones that are personal just to me (and maybe a few others) like Ruling, Celtic Giant and Double Silk.

I remember the Sea Pigeon, Monksfield, Night Nurse and Birds Nest battles from when I was a child, thinking 'Wow' when 100/1 Norton's Coin won the Gold Cup and feeling pissed off with Jenny Pitman for the tactics employed against Carvill's Hill in'92.

So, what does Cheltenham mean to me?  It means the same as many as you.  And whilst the internet and messageboards get a bad press at times, it's good to know there are many grown up men and women out there who feel the same. In an adult world that's pretty darn tough, we are indeed like kids at Christmas and that's a bloody good feeling to have.I feel privileged to have the Festival in my life.

Good luck to all, relish every minute from now until the Grand Annual!
Report irishone February 27, 2018 8:09 AM GMT
it means a trip to england ...not so good
no london, manchester ,birmingham , liverpool ,( trump's uk sh1tholes)
its a bit of countryside where a load of people with a common interest meet
it means annual friends,laughing, drinking and singing
it means horses , sensitive souls that will give you everything
it means ruby, davy and willie . mighty craic .
life !
Report maleuk01. February 27, 2018 8:27 PM GMT
All booked and raring to go again Laugh

More and more difficult to get reasonable accommodation though.

Last year in the centre paid £1200 for 4 nights for a 2 bedroom flat. This year the guy wanted £3.5k but said we can have it for £3k as we looked after the place last year. Errmmm no thanks.(bit saucy of him)

So staying in Bishops Cleeve, 10 min walk from the course just north though, so not sure how easy for taxis of an evening into the centre.

Might have to give it all up if it carries on to be so hard to get decent accomm. Also ticket prices are rocketing up. Will prob be cheaper to scrap it and do say the Arc staying in Paris instead.
Report bankit February 27, 2018 10:04 PM GMT
Maleuk01 - some friends a few years ago were paying best part off £300 per night to stay in a travel inn or similar, they said it was there last.....  Monday of festival week is magic, racing post & couple cans of beer on train from Scotland, arrive chelts go for another couple, town is full of buzz & anticipation.... racing wise Tuesday is beyond compare, Wednesday is great, Thursday & Friday are quite average compared to the what's been on offer 1st half of week..!!
Report DECALEC February 28, 2018 12:48 AM GMT
Getting up early buy RP make wife's breakfast,watch her read/pick her horse's from my paper then drive her to work,wash Windows make a pot of stew/soup for when she gets home.2nd day make breakfast pay for her bets,drive's herself to work so I can have a cr@p study more etc;have another day in bar takeaway for dinner repeat 1st 2 morning's then suggest after 3rd day go for a meal for after racing no takeaway is fine (sure you're as full as a bingo bus)she would say,he know I always had enough to cover her bets the last day.
Report duffy February 28, 2018 1:02 AM GMT
Dec

You speaking in the past tense/Plain
Report DECALEC February 28, 2018 1:11 AM GMT
Can't read any other pal
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