Why I love... Supreme Novices Hurdle (Cheltenham Festival)
The countdown to the next The Festival at Cheltenham seems to begin as soon as the final race has been run on the Friday. National Hunt fans are already looking forward to the next big clash the following year and trying to predict the targets for potential Willie Mullins superstars.
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the first race on the opening day, is where the waiting comes to an end and the 4 days of excitement begins. Day 1 of Cheltenham often feels like Christmas Day and the Supreme is the first present to be opened. The ‘Cheltenham Roar’ can be heard for miles around when the tapes go up for the Supreme with the crowd full of optimism for the week ahead.
The nature of the race means nobody really knows what the future holds for these horses as their careers are just beginning. In recent years we have been treated to the sights of Douvan and Vautour storming up the famous Cheltenham hill. Both of these horses have since come back to The Festival and won again and this year’s winner Altior is sure to be back next year for another crack at Festival glory.
The months of anticipation, the atmosphere and the potential of unknown talents are all reasons why I love the Supreme Novices Hurdle.
Why I love... Racing
Whether it be the buzz of picking a winner or simply watching an historic performance, there are many reasons why people love racing. For me, it’s both.
As I started to gain an interest in racing, the magnificent Frankel was just about to make his mark on the racing world. Having just turned 18 and able to bet, weekly placepots and accumulators were the thing to do. However, Frankel caught my imagination and this is where my love for racing really started.
In that same year, Kauto Star, the legendary dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner made his comeback. I had heard stories in previous years of family members backing him for Gold Cup and King George victory and his return to glory was a great spectacle to watch. I recommend watching the below of his 2011 Betfair Chase victory.
I’m sure there will be many more over the years but these two horses are where my love/passion/interest in racing started.