Would it be on if it was a week later in the calendar? Should it be on given widespread and growing concern over mass gatherings.?

It is what it is and 60,000 souls came together at Cheltenham yesterday to celebrate the best of National Hunt racing.

There was, of course, an element of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ but we can only hope that the estimated 15-20,000 Irish racing fans that are travelling over will return back infection-free.

It is no different to the size of crowd that attends a major Premier League game or that will gather in Anfield tonight for the Champions’ League.  We just have to hope it proves to have been the right thing to do.


Paddy Power have been everywhere with their multi-media campaign over recent weeks and that extended yesterday to the sponsorship of the Virgin Media Broadcast from Cheltenham.

Smart stings using Ruby Walsh in conversation with Paddy Power himself touched on a variety of important subjects including Ruby’s affection for Marty Morrissey…


The crowd yesterday was 60,664, down an estimated 10 per cent on what would have been expected based on recent years.


Magners is the brand that Bulmers trades on in Britain and they have created their own special bar at this year’s festival.


Paddy Power was yesterday announced as the new sponsor of the Prestbury Cup.
The Paddy Power Prestbury Cup celebrates the fabled rivalry between Great Britain and Ireland and is awarded to the country which gains the most victories over the four days and 28 races of the Festival.
The current Paddy Power odds this morning for the Paddy Power Prestbury Cup 2020 are:
6/5 Ireland
5/4 Great Britain
4/1 Tie
Named after the nearest village to Cheltenham Racecourse, the Paddy Power Prestbury Cup will be presented to jockeys and trainers from Ireland or Britain once the winning country is confirmed. The Cup itself is sealed with some hallowed Cheltenham turf, so the winning country will be taking a little bit of Cheltenham with them.
The trophy was first awarded in 2014, when Great Britain came out on top. Great Britain was again on top in 2015 but this was followed by three consecutive victories for Ireland, including a comprehensive 19 to 9 success in 2017. Last year saw the first tie, with 14 wins for each country.
After day one of The Festival in 2020, the standings are Great Britain 4, Ireland 3.
The Paddy Power Prestbury Cup – Irish-trained successes at The Festival
2019-14 (28 races) Draw
2018-17 (28 races) Ireland win
2017-19 (28 races) Ireland win
2016-15 (28 races) Ireland win
2015-13 (27 races) Great Britain win
2014-12 (27 races) Great Britain win
“Given the firm but friendly rivalry between Great Britain and Ireland at The Festival and Paddy Power’s longstanding relationship with Cheltenham Racecourse, sponsoring the Prestbury Cup was a very easy decision for us to make,” said Paul Mallon Paddy Power’s head of brand marketing for horse racing and Ireland.
“It sits perfectly our Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle sponsorship and further cements our partnership with the Home of Jump Racing.”


Betway sponsors the main race of the day, the Champion Chase which will be run at 3.30 this afternoon.

Other sponsors on the day include Ballymore Properties, RSA Insurance, Glenfarclas Scotch Whisky, Weatherby’s, Coral and Boodles Jewellers.


Each day this week we will run the rule over the runners and riders and select four horse that might give you a run for your money.  Yesterday’s selections hitting the bar producing a second and two thirds.  The small improvement we hope to find today might come from

1330: Envoi Allen (1.8)
1410: Minella Indo (4.0)
1530: Dynamite Dollars (14.0)
1610: Darling Daughter (21.0)


Image Credit: Racenews