For racing fans, nothing compares to the Cheltenham Festival. It is the absolute pinnacle of jumps racing.
Watching the greats at Cheltenham has turned many young people into lifelong racing fans! And with this years festival only around the corner, we’ve picked out our top five recent memories for you to enjoy!
HARCHIBALD – Champion Hurdle 2005
Who could forget this? It was one of the most dramatic Champion Hurdles for years. The sight of Paul Carberry sitting motionless after jumping the last is an image that no racing fan will ever forget.
Poor Harchibald was called many bad names after the race, but Hardy Eustace was a real battler, and maybe Harchibald just gave everything he could while on the bridle, without needing to be asked. This Champion Hurdle will no doubt never be forgotten!
Sprinter Sacre – Champion Chase 2016
The best comeback ever? It’s hard to think of a better one. He had been through so much before this Champion Chase, and to deliver in the way that he did was incredible to watch. There were many teary eyes after the race around Cheltenham!
It was hard not to love Sprinter Sacre. He was so good before his heart troubles, in 2013 when he won at the Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown festivals he thrilled many racegoers, and to see him suffer such problems off the back of that was heartbreaking to see. It was probably the best comeback of all time by a racehorse.
Best Mate – Gold Cup 2004
Three Gold Cups. What an achievement. Sent off the 8/11 favourite, it was so dramatic to watch coming around the home turn when Jim Culloty was stuck in a pocket by Paul Carberry, and then when he switched out of trouble and came with a wet sail up the middle of the track – the roar of the crowd was something many people will never forget.
Before this, it was 38 years since Arkle won three Gold Cups. And with the Gold Cup Division so strong at the moment, will we see a three-time Gold Cup winner again any time soon? Will we ever see a horse win three Gold Cups in a row?
Coneygree – Gold Cup 2015
The first novice to win a Cheltenham Gold Cup in 40 years. And you know what? He beat them with his jumping. What a sight it was to see him jumping so superbly out in front.
We would have said it was hard to expect a better novice to come along, but then Thistlecrack went and won the 2016 King George as a novice, and he jumps bloody superbly too! It would be great to see them take each other on any time soon.
Annie Power – Champion Hurdle 2016
The Cheltenham festival was the scene of so much heartache for poor Annie Power before she powered up the hill to land the 2016 Champions Hurdle. Just how many Acca’s did she let down that day when falling at the last in the Mares Hurdle? That fall saved the bookmakers millions of pounds.
And then she was beaten into second in the World Hurdle by More Of That – she deserved to great her head in front at the festival and what a way to do it. She was so impressive, she’s absolutely hammered them!
So there’s our top five recent Cheltenham Festival memories, we hope you like them!
If you have any other great races that you’ll never forget at Cheltenham, please comment below!