After the Cheltenham Festival took place behind closed doors last year, it is great to see it restored to its former glory.
With hundreds of millions set to be bet on this horse racing extravaganza, it’s always great to know where to turn to find the most trusted UK gambling sites.
While we wait for the 2022 action to start, let’s take some time to look at the best 5 moments from the past:
1990 – Norton’s Coin
The 1990 Cheltenham Gold Cup went to show that there are never any certainties when it comes to where to place your bets.
This 100-1 outsider, trained and owned by Sirrel Griffiths, was never expected to finish, let alone win.
Griffiths had transported his horse himself and needed a top-six finish to recover his costs. Whoever would have thought he’d have gone on to win, beating Desert Orchid in the process?
Rumour has it that the Queen Mother may have had a flutter on Norton’s Coin, and saw a healthy return.
2) 2000 – Istabraq
The first Champion Hurdle of the new millennium saw Istabraq destroy the field.
While the performance on the day stands out, what really makes this victory formidable is that this was his fourth straight win at the Cheltenham Festival. It was also his third Champions Hurdle in a row.
Istabraq was on course to become the first horse to ever win four Champion Hurdles in 2001.
However, foot and mouth disease saw the festival being cancelled and put an end to any hopes of achieving this feat.
3) 2004 – Best Mate
Back to back Cheltenham Gold Cups are hard to come by. In fact, prior to 2004, no horse had done this since Arkle in the 1960s.
Having won in 2002 and 2003, it was 2004 that saw Best Mate join the true greats of horse racing with his third Gold Cup in a row
Anyone who was there that year, or even watching on a screen, is unlikely to ever forget the roar of the crowd as Best Mate crossed the line.
4) 2009 – Kauto Star
The story of Kauto Star is all about famous comebacks. Ridden by Ruby Walsh, it was 2009 that saw Kauto Star become the first horse to regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
After an impressive victory in 2007, Kauto Star fell short in 2008. The following year was the one there this was put right.
Head to head with Denman, who had taken the crown the year before, Kauto Str raced to 12 lengths clear coming up the hill. A well-deserved victory, to say the least.
5) 2012 – Big Buck’s
This saw Ruby Walsh ride his way into the history books again, this time by taking Big Buck’s to his fourth straight World Hurdle.
Having never happened before, this has led many to consider Big Buck’s the greatest hurdler of all time.
Having started the race as the 8/ favourite, Big buck’s certainly didn’t disappoint and gave the race of his life to hold off Voler La Vedette.