Cheltenham Festival

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Catch Me ifyoucan
08 Jan 20 12:26
Date Joined: 09 Sep 03
| Topic/replies: 18,579 | Blogger: Catch Me ifyoucan's blog
In the ‘Weekender’ article, it looks like ‘the plan’ is already set in stone.....the drip feed news continues.

Alan King -  “I wasn’t sure about it at first but I had a long chat with Martin St Quinton, the new course chairman, a couple of months ago and it does make a lot of sense.”

‘Saturday would attract the younger generation’.....(and trouble wannabes, booze heads, coked bellends, corporate jolly’s).
Saturday competing against other high profile sporting events (Midlands National, etc).
‘Confirms Gold Cup will definitely stay on the Friday (fresh ground), and Ryanair or Stayers Hdl would feature on the Saturday’.
Driven by greed & getting in more money thru tickets and catering - making the horse racing irrelevant.
Perhaps reducing to 6-races-a-day - but introducing veterans chases/2m4f hurdles and 4 extra different bumper races like Punchestown.
Easier and more opportunities for ‘Festival success’ for trainers/jocks diluting the quality of the ‘NH Championship’.
A numbers ‘commercial’ game - think Ascot, Galway, Listowel, Punchestown ?
Bookies, TV, Samaritans, Gamble Aware, Cheltenham town the big ‘winners ?’ when/if it happens.
Back to 3 days or can this change be seen as progress.
Despite the hype, the ‘Festival’ maybe half the event it used to be for a lot of ‘racing fans’.
Just another huge corporate jolly for the shiny suit brigade.

What’s the best solution to what now seems inevitable ? Devil
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Report buddeliea January 8, 2020 2:00 PM GMT
I hope it never happens.

If it does, I would like to see the Saturday card with none of the top races.
Basically a card for All Mares races, x country, Foxhunters, and maybe one or two of the handicaps.
So the four week days we can treat more or less as we do now,with the quality races.
Lets face it, most of the people they attract on a Saturday wont care and probably wont know anyway!!
Report miltons sophie January 8, 2020 2:16 PM GMT
My advice would be to take the serenity prayer approach and find a way however hard to embrace whatever it becomes so that it impacts your enjoyment as little as possible. I don’t want it but if it happens I am going to embrace it because the alternative is so much worse.
Report Hanx January 8, 2020 2:34 PM GMT
Five day Cheltenham Festival?

Not for me.

What are the extra races going to be - Relays? 5 furlong sprint over 12 fences (aka show jumping)? Ultra veterans race?

It's bad enough we have that cross-country farce at present.

It would be a rip off, especially for the Irish that come over and add so much to the current proceedings.

Finally, you would get a different crowd on a Saturday - those who can't be ar$ed to book time off from work (i.e. whose very souls are not stirred by being on the wag from the rest of society during the week) and for whom Saturday at Cheltenham is a novelty initially, quickly evaluated against other 'leisure distractions'(the footy, the Rugby, a weekend coke binge etc) .

It's bound to happen of course, since we are merely economic units to be exploited not passionate advocates to be nurtured.

Don't expect me to turn up on a Saturday though, Gold Cup or no Gold Cup.
Report FOYLESWAR January 8, 2020 4:03 PM GMT
as we all know money and greed will win the day ,it will dilute a great meeting but the powers that be wont give a fook about that as long as the money is rolling in ,while they are at it put up the admission prices and the food and booze . then they will have to find extra races to pad it out .
Report buddeliea January 8, 2020 5:03 PM GMT
Saturday.Card, if they must!!
Mares Nov Hurdle
Veterans Chase
X Country
Mares Hurdle
Fox hunters
Mares Chase

That should leave a fair days racing on the Saturday and a Six race card on each day during the week ,with all the best races .
Report FOYLESWAR January 8, 2020 7:09 PM GMT
they wont do that budd they gotta have a tempter and a half  decent supporting card to get the crowds in on a sat  .people attending the 4 days need an incentive to book the whole 5 so a championship race will be switched to the sat .
Report FOYLESWAR January 8, 2020 7:10 PM GMT
on that note do the festival offer a discount for booking  the 4 days ?
Report DontBeSakhee January 8, 2020 10:39 PM GMT
Sadly inevitable, personally I hope it doesn’t. Lets be honest, the only people clamouring for it are people who are going to make money, out of it. I don’t know a single racing fan, with no vested interest, bar enjoyment of the sport, who thinks 5 days is a good idea. I presume there are some, but I’ve yet to find one.
Report GAZO January 9, 2020 7:13 AM GMT
the next economic downturn is on its way and then racing will find out how few real racing fans they have left and that will put the fifth day back for a good few years
Report buddeliea January 9, 2020 7:48 AM GMT
Yes I expect you are right Foyles,that's just my wish should they go 5 days.
If they are going to put one of the top Grade 1's and a decent supporting card then the week as we know it now will be affected.
Their just ain't enough Cheltenham type festival races to fill the races taken by the Saturday..........god knows what type of races we would have!!
Pretty sure they would want the Gold cup on the final day,so that probably means the stayers or Ryanair would move to the Friday.I can see that,cos that means we would have 1 top Grade 1 each day.

Ok got itt, my Saturday card can have the Veterans chase replaced by the Gold cup,and have the Veterans named the Veterans Gold Cop and run on the Thursday to replace the Grade 1 that moves to the Friday!!!!
Report FOYLESWAR January 9, 2020 8:20 AM GMT
years back i used to think the festival finished to0 soon at 3 days but as you get older you seem to appreciate quality over quantity and 4 days is fine ,if its not broken dont fix it .
Report foxy January 9, 2020 9:10 AM GMT
I am happy with 4 days and although not getting any younger I wouldn’t won’t to go back to 3 days and to be honest could easily go home after the gold cup ,five would be to much and as almost every one agrees the fixture would be weakened,all that said 5 days at royal ascot is no problem and if they made it 6 days I would be a happy bunny the whole experience of royal ascot is an easier test than that of the festival.
Report buddeliea January 9, 2020 11:39 AM GMT
Three days was great,four days is fine now,got used to it.
Maybe in time I would get used to five days,but right now to me the thought of it is not good at all.
Pretty sure most NH fans will agree, but will what we think make a difference ? .......I doubt it.
Report miltons sophie January 9, 2020 12:06 PM GMT
Stop torturing yourselves. This will happen. You cannot stop this. You will not be listened to. The ONLY control you have is over how much you are going to allow this to affect your enjoyment of future festivals. That is the choice you have. I have already made my choice despite also not wanting a 5th day.
Report Hanx January 9, 2020 2:13 PM GMT
Me too - home on Friday evening, no matter what they put on on Saturday
Report ENGLANDBARNES1 January 13, 2020 1:21 PM GMT
I was massively against this due to the draining nature I find the four days form study. I usually start on the Sunday and do between 10 and 14 hours studying per day. I keep an eye on things like everyone else no doubt does, but I don’t go into much detail until the final declarations are announced. By then I also have a better idea of what the ground and weather will be like on the day.
However it sounds as though they will slightly dilute racing from 7 to 6 races per day which would ease the strain somewhat and spread it out a little from my point of view.
Report chelters16 January 15, 2020 4:14 PM GMT
I've did the 4 days for the last decade or so but I've given up on the Friday as it's more like a soccer match,as for introducing a Saturday....not for me.
Report foxy January 15, 2020 5:44 PM GMT
I think that’s the route I will go eventually chelters 16
Report irishone January 15, 2020 6:03 PM GMT
Not for me ....last day now is a nightmare just doing the first three as per last 8 years
Report ashleigh January 15, 2020 6:37 PM GMT
following on from alan king, philip hobbs now keen on a 5 day festival, he would have the 2 extra races, a grade 1 2 1/2 mile hurdle and a veterans race.   

can only mean a dilution of the festivalAngryCrazy
Report impossible123 January 15, 2020 6:59 PM GMT
The odd supporters for a 5-day festival nevertheless, a discerning silence from the majority.
Report foxy January 15, 2020 7:20 PM GMT
I can see why the likes of Hobbs and king would prefer a 5 day festival nowadays.
Report Hanx January 15, 2020 8:02 PM GMT
So can I - they're 'the establishment'

They only see money coming into racing (in the short term). They're probably very good mates with Martin St Quinton (whose remarks prompted this whole debate) and don't want to rock the boat.

In all the chat rooms and threads on this issue, I can count on one hand the number of contributors - and I'm assuming these are bread and butter racegoers - who want a five-day Festival.....and of those, several think it's a good idea 'because I can go on a Saturday' (which begs the question regarding their passion for the sport and the Festival if they can't orhanise holiday time for Cheltenham week).

No racegoers want it, for all the reasons I've outlined im previous postings and if I were Irish and coming over here for the Fez and was expected to shell out for another night's accommodation and entry ticket, I'd be double pi$$ed off.

Thse peole can't get it into their heads that a Saturday crowd would not be committed to racing. Their senses don't quicken like they do for the rest of us. They don't have the same 'us against the world' mentality. They are spenders of their 'leisure pound' (now a day at year Twickers for the rugger.....oh but then we've arranged a dinner party so , sorry, can't go this time).

Cheltenham and it's media lackeys are going to alienate the very people who they depend on and who have a true, long-term passion for the sport, who kkep coming back when their treated correctly - not like economic units to be exploited.
Report foxy January 15, 2020 8:55 PM GMT
It’s hard to compare royal ascot and the festival they are different occasions but there is a huge difference between the Saturday crowd and the crowd who go to the first four days not having a pop at the Saturday crowd it’s just totally different.
Report ribero1 January 17, 2020 9:13 PM GMT
Henderson the latest to support the 5 days in tomorrows post,its obviously a well planned PR campaign,drip drip drip.
Report irishone January 17, 2020 10:42 PM GMT
Will it include a selling hurdle ?
Report foxy January 18, 2020 5:25 AM GMT
Well that’s it then if sir nicky wants it national hunt racing will bend over and say how far mr Henderson ,only yesterday the Musselburgh manager in one interview stated he must have the ground nice for mr Henderson’s horses at the trials meeting.all that needs to happen now is for him to decide the extra races and the running order.
Report buddeliea January 18, 2020 6:39 AM GMT
You can't blame Musselborough for trying to please Hendo,his horses would put people through the gates.
I would expect ant course to attempt to get the best ground possible to attract the best horses possible .

As for Cheltenham, yes trainer support does them no harm, but if it's happening,then it's happening.

Report foxy January 18, 2020 7:45 AM GMT
Budd what about the northern and Scottish trainers who support Musselburgh throughout the season?
Report ashleigh January 18, 2020 7:50 AM GMT
nicky would have the same 2 extra races as p hobbs, an intermediate hurdle and a veterans chase.Crazy
Report GAZO January 18, 2020 8:36 AM GMT
if you add 2 extra races and then spread the meeting out over 5 days you are ripping the punter off unless they drop entrance fee's and we all know what the odds are on that happening
Report foxy January 18, 2020 8:50 AM GMT
Mr Hobbs and sir nicky don’t give a toss about the entry cost they wouldn’t have a clue how much it is.
Report irishone January 18, 2020 9:21 AM GMT
Once you start pandering to the top of the league you are setting off fireworks at the bottom of the league..... If they go you are fecked
Report irishone January 18, 2020 9:27 AM GMT
Listen we have a seven day galway festival, its mostly a social occasion , or a fashion occasion,  the horses come a remote second or even third. People.come take the selfie , post it and then leave. Cheltenham is class horses, dilution of the product has been taking place in the past few years e g the bands, the tours , the tented village, the steam train etc etc They obviously think it works. It doesnt. Galway gets worse year on year.
Report foxy January 18, 2020 9:41 AM GMT
Never been to the Galway festival irishone and never fancied it.
Report buddeliea January 18, 2020 10:18 AM GMT
Are you saying Musselborough do not attempt to get best ground possible throughout the season?
I imagine they would treat their bread and butter as they should,cos they cannot exist on one meeting a year.

It may seem like pandering to a trainer,but even if it is,it's their big day and they want the best possible horses to turn up on that day.

As for Cheltenham, I think we are all guilty of the pedestal it now stands on......even has its own forums for us on various sites.
This has grown and grown virtually every year for some time now,it's so much bigger than we I first started getting involved back in the early eighties.
We even have big races throughout the season usec as some sort of trial for March.
We have horses hardly seen all season until March.
This has been building and building and will never stop all the time us,the media and those involved working in the business treat it as the holy grail.
Report foxy January 18, 2020 10:29 AM GMT

To be fair to Musselburgh they do generally produce decent (nice)ground the point is why state twice in one interview that he wants nice ground for mr Henderson.

By the way leopardstown will produce nice ground the same weekend and there’s more prize money
Report buddeliea January 18, 2020 10:50 AM GMT
Yeh,that does rather imply some pandering.

Hendo won't go to Ireland before the festival,if that's what you are meaning. He never does as far as I recall.
He is a trainer that likes his horses to have as easier time as possible before March,and he ain't the only one,judging by the entries for the Dublin Festival last couple of years.
As I said before,the festival in March is treated as the holy grail, particularly by the Brits.
Report foxy January 18, 2020 12:23 PM GMT
Your recall is correct budd have a good weekend
Report buddeliea January 18, 2020 12:29 PM GMT
And nothing gets in the way.
We have Grade 1's throughout the season with very few runners with trainers not wanting hard races and not wanting to face certain horses,because it may affect their chances come March.
Today we have a top Grade 2m chase which is effectively a match with the same two horses that ran in the last top Grade 2m chase.
Bet your life the top Grade 2m chase in March will have a few more runners!!
Same happens with the top Greade 2m hurdle races throughout the season,hardly any runners,even the one at Cheltenham in December is poorly represented.
We just seem to accept this as the norm now,and all because of the holy grail.
Please don't get me wrong,I love the festival,and I am probably as guilty as anyone for the way it is now,well anyone with no clout anyway!!
Report buddeliea January 18, 2020 12:32 PM GMT
Cheers Foxy, be lucky.
Report irishone January 18, 2020 1:00 PM GMT
Was always a pi55 up, vast majority go for the party.
Report impossible123 January 18, 2020 2:21 PM GMT
I was surprised Hendo did not declare his support for a 5 day festival earlier. It's almost a given as he's sponsored by a bookie. Next will probably be The Skeltons given their association with Ladcrookes. But, a 5 day festival is never for me. I'll pick and watch what's on the box, and bin the rest.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 18, 2020 4:20 PM GMT
ribero1 • January 17, 2020 9:13 PM GMT
Henderson the latest to support the 5 days in tomorrows post, its obviously a well planned PR campaign, drip drip drip.

.....supposed to be THE NH CHAMPIONSHIP.....the drip feed news continues (from Scott Bowers Team). Devil

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Report FOYLESWAR January 18, 2020 10:43 PM GMT
its out of our hands ,as someone said earlier in the thread like it or lump it  it will happen .
Report impossible123 January 19, 2020 10:04 AM GMT
A watered-down programme for commercial purposes is never a draw for any top event. We'd vote with our feed and leave early or not show-up at all instead watch selective races in the comfort of our own home.
Report ribero1 January 19, 2020 10:05 AM GMT
There's even some sort of DJ set in the car park during racing this year!
Report ImSoLuckyLucky! January 19, 2020 1:05 PM GMT
Just an extra £25!!!

Report ashleigh January 20, 2020 6:47 PM GMT
c tizzard and g moore the latest to back a 5 day festival
all we need is p nicholls, w mullins and g elliott to back it and the jobs done.Crazy
Report FOYLESWAR January 20, 2020 7:41 PM GMT
the best solution is to sit down in front of the box laptop ready a good whack in yer betfair account and cash for the shops offers and enjoy it in comfort .
Report impossible123 January 20, 2020 8:08 PM GMT
Indeed, no surprise there. Do retailers object to x'mas? I'm cutting back going to race meetings eventually maybe only two a year eg Kempton at x'mas and Ascot. Why the hassle and expense when hospitality could be appalling? There are too much mediocre racing already, and to have the same at Cheltenham Festival can only mean commercialisation before quality.

A RP journo thought the out-going BHA head honcho Nick Rust ought to be applauded for making a difference. Really? An individual who saturated weekday racing with mediocre races? Advocator of fobts? 1.0000000000000000000001 pocket talking.
Report Hanx January 21, 2020 7:57 AM GMT
It's like the General Election

You're either warm and comfy and living in the bubble

.....or you're a real person
Report impossible123 January 21, 2020 6:07 PM GMT
I'd consider going even if it was a 4 race per day programme over 3/4 days with a 40 min gap between races starting at 2.30pm as long as the quality resembled Royal Ascot. And, I'd do a multi bet if every handicap race was scheduled for one specific day even saturday, but I'd not go on the day.

Quality before quantity any day.
Report ribero1 January 21, 2020 10:30 PM GMT
Fergal O'Brien on twitter remarks " that no one has asked us if we want a 5 day festival,thats probably because we don't,that seems to be how it works." well said Fergal.
Report ronnie rails January 21, 2020 10:44 PM GMT
Sad to say the Indian over the road from the wine bar has closed after 32  years
had over  a hundred meals there.
hope you are well
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 23, 2020 12:48 AM GMT
Used to be merit in (owner/trainer/jock) saying "I HAD A CHELTENHAM WINNER" !..... alas, thems were the days Devil
Report xmoneyx February 4, 2020 1:38 AM GMT
when's the closing date for horse registered in each race

also closing date if trainer wants to switch races
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