Our racing correspondent sets the stage
Good morning from a slightly cloudy Cheltenham, where the lucky handful of us who have a job that takes you beyond the door look forward to what promises to be a great experience over the next four days, and also one that none of us will want to repeat. With my hand on my heart, I will never, ever complain about how difficult it is to move around the Festival again.
Simon Claisse, the course director, has leaned on the soft side, from good to soft in places to continue on both the pursuit and obstacle courses, and is looking forward to what would have been a nice, dry day with temperatures around. . 11 degrees for 60,000 spectators.
Instead, they will join more than a million people in front of the television for this Festival, no doubt many of them wearing their Cheltenham gear on the couch to get in the mood. The action is underway at 1.20pm GMT, when the well-backed Appreciate It will attempt to bring the meeting to a flier for punters (and, if we’re honest, bookies, as a decent part of whatever is. in Game). Anyone’s account after the first race will be back in their virtual wallets sometime this week).
To recreate the experience of a shadowy character sneaking up on you in the parking lot and offering to sell you a “tagged” card, here are some ideas about potential first day winners (buckshee too!). Here are also some reflections on a Festival that begins a few steps behind the tapes after the sinister incident that is responsible for the absence of Gordon Elliott on the billboards.
Cheltenham Festival: day one
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism