Cheltenham Festival

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01 Apr 22 09:34
Date Joined: 22 Sep 06
| Topic/replies: 54,924 | Blogger: irishone's blog
Pause Switch to Standard View FIVE DAYS ...THE BHA LOSE THE PLOT
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Report irishone April 1, 2022 9:42 AM BST
On april fools day ?

Has to be a joke !
Report strontium April 1, 2022 9:56 AM BST
I think this bit rather suggests it is:

“There will be a change to the dress code for the Club Enclosure for those attending on the Saturday of the Festival “Champions Day” when all patrons within that section of the racecourse will be required to wear tweed. We believe this will add greatly to the spectacle and will set the tone for our biggest day.
Report irishone April 1, 2022 11:43 AM BST
The thing is
They are so incompetent you wouldnt be surprised
Report layingisthewayforward April 1, 2022 12:08 PM BST
Lol, the OP has been done here it appears!

The fact they started selling tickets for next years festival a few weeks ago was a rather large clue imo.
Report penzance April 1, 2022 1:03 PM BST
What do wise men say?
Report irishone April 1, 2022 6:40 PM BST
Absolutely done hook line and sinker !
Report irishone April 4, 2022 7:13 AM BST
concluded, begin the countdown to the following season’s incarnation of the Cheltenham Festival. That will probably and hopefully eternally be the case.

Forget about the trainers and jockeys and even the owners for a minute. Think of the folk for whom their annual holidays and as a consequence their entire year gets planned around early March and Prestbury Park.

Now, even from an employment point of view, the extra day is going to put the kybosh on any patron’s plans to partake in the pilgrimage to the Mecca of the sport. Taking one or two days off – as is the norm – may be one thing but there are unlikely to be too many employers willing to deal with being down staff for an entire week. Especially as the world is now.

Much more importantly than all that, though, how on earth are the Brains Trust going to structure the racing to suit a five day Festival? The most important race in jump racing’s calendar will be shamefully devalued by staging it on a Saturday. At present, each of the flagship races – the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and the Gold Cup are the sporting highlight for the entire world on their allotted day.

Stage the Gold Cup on a Saturday and it runs the risk of getting swallowed up by Premier League football and Six Nations rugby and, from an Irish perspective, a GAA season just bubbling up nicely.

Even all of the above doesn’t address the two biggest issues, as far as this writer is concerned. What way are the races going to be structured? And what becomes of the ‘ordinary’ racing scheduled for the Saturday?

First things first, some of the main races – like those highlighted above – or obviously going to have to be moved around in order to fill out four days of racing. Not that even doing so would solve all which would need to be in order to make this asinine development even remotely attractive.

Then, spare a thought for both Kempton and Uttoxeter. The former have, traditionally, what amounts to a consolation fixture for horses who don’t get a run at the Festival. However, as bad as messing up the fixture for the triple purpose venue would be, it will surely decimate what is Uttoxeter’s premier meeting of the entire season.

Midlands National is the centrepiece thereof. One of the great staying chases of the National Hunt season, it’s a race Irish raiders have, in more recent years, had a fine record in. Goonyella winning the arduous stamina test for Jim Dreaper while the Pat Fahy trained Mr Fogpatches has, I think, been placed on a couple of occasions therein.

Then, there’s the fact the fact that Irish racing would also have to alter scheduling with a fifth day now in the calendar. All in all, it’s hard to know who the extra day will benefit. Apart from the bookies and the hospitality industry, the only thing that can be foreseen is chaos and the devaluation of the most important event in the sport.

Whatever about having to rejig the existing 28 races, it is obvious that additional races will have to be ‘generated’ uo fill up five days of action. Not to mention doing so without any diminishment to the quality and attractiveness of the Festival.

With the greatest of respect to everybody and everything, festooning the racing Olympics with handicaps certainly runs the risk of doing so. I know there was one particular handicap run a couple of years back at the Festival – possibly a middle distance event – which was only staged the once and then discontinued.

There is a gap there alright and possibly one for a Mares Bumper, but outside of that I don’t see where there’s room for anything else. Or a need for it either.
Boylan Talks Sport
Report strontium April 4, 2022 10:28 AM BST
I think they've indicated that if they did got to five days, the Gold Cup would still be run on the Friday with the Ryanair as the feature race on Saturday.

I also understand that one of the main problems with going to five days is that many of the caterers/casual staff are committed to the Six Nations games that weekend.
Report irishone April 6, 2022 6:54 AM BST
Clearly not a viable model.
Its is overhyped or overrated from start to finish.
It starts with "the home of national hunt" .....yet that is in Cork in Ireland because thats where it started.
Even kelso claims to be the home of national hunt !
You go down the route of catering for the hooray henrys and you miss out on the populace.
The obnoxious greed prevalent in the UK has overdone the F A Cup Final, overdone the Derby ,overdone the Premier League and will no doubt overdo Cheltenham.
See the empty seats at the snooker on t v ? or no one at the greyhound racing.....?
Report LoyalHoncho April 7, 2022 4:38 PM BST
Long live the Six Nations then.  And well done Italy ( sorry Welsh friends ).
The crass, exploitative greed in going for five days is disgusting.
A once great festival of pure horse racing reduced to a commercial merry go round.
Report jimnast April 13, 2022 12:45 PM BST
Three days of aintree as an overall experience is much better than Cheltenham I accept the championship races at Cheltenham are better but aintree is superbly run and an absolute pleasure to attend .
Report impossible123 April 13, 2022 2:12 PM BST
There is just insufficient depth in quality for a 5-day Festival. If so, most racegoers will be more inclined to pick and choose which day to attend; runners per race will inevitably be smaller too.
Report strontium April 13, 2022 5:13 PM BST
I agree Impossible, and I would be looking to remove ~6 races from what is there now. But if they do go to 5 days, they'll likely go to 6-race cards, so they'd only need to create two new races.
Report irishone April 13, 2022 5:21 PM BST
The quality comes from Ireland and if the prizemoney is there the Irish will be there
Report strontium April 14, 2022 12:28 AM BST
Even the Irish quality is diluted now.
Report strontium April 16, 2022 10:18 AM BST Crazy

Good of them to say they might ask their annual members what they think.
Report irishone April 16, 2022 11:58 AM BST
Prepare for the  worst
Report impossible123 October 24, 2022 5:45 PM BST
The BHA is out of touch with reality even to contemplate a 5-day Festival given the dismal turn-out for some prestigious races eg Turner's Chase. This 5-day Festival was never a start unless the BHA employees make up the numbers themselves.
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