2018 Cheltenham Festival: Schedule, Tv Coverage, Runners & Betting Odds
Thousands of horse racing enthusiasts will be looking forward to the highlight of the jump season which kicks off in two weeks’ time.
Yes, that’s right. Cheltenham 2018 is very nearly upon us. The festival epitomises everything that is special about jump racing, as jockey’s battle it out for the highest honours in the sport.
It is expected that around 200,000 people will flock to the Prestbury Park raceway to witness some of the finest races of the year.
The 2018 Cheltenham festival will last for four explosive days between 13th and 16th March, and the much coveted Gold Cup takes place at the end of the week.
The race schedule will be the same as we have traditionally seen over the past few years. So the first meeting will be at 1:30 on Gold Cup day, while the main event itself will start at 3:30.
Gates open every day at 10:30am which will enable racegoers enough time to settle in, and get a good viewpoint, before the first meeting starts.
For many years, the TV broadcasting rights for Cheltenham belonged to channel 4. However, in 2017, ITV took over the realm and will show over 20 hours of coverage across the festival this year.
ITV will showcase the first five races on each of the four days. But, if you want to watch every race in one place, then you will need to head to the Racing UK subscription channel.
Runners for the Gold Cup
Djakadam looks set to be one of the favourites again when the Gold Cup takes place on 16 March.
The horse finished runner-up both in 2015 and 2016, while he could only manage fourth in last year’s meeting.
Sizing John looks likely to back in order to defend his crown, along with 2017 runners-up Minella Rocco and Native River.
Meanwhile, Mite Bite has come through as one of the favourites after his win in the King George VI Chase at Kempton in December.
In terms of the jockey’s, you can almost bet your house that Ruby Walsh will be involved, along with last year’s winner Robbie Power.
Might Bite is the early front runner in terms of the betting market, and can be found at a low 3/1 to win the Gold Cup.
Sizing John looks a decent bet at 7/1 to be the first horse since Best Mate in 2014 to win the crown two years on the bounce.
Last year’s favourites Djakadam and Cue Card are not at all fancied this year, and can be found at 33/1 and 50/1 respectively.
Elsewhere, 2015 winner Coneygree is miles out at 40/1 to reclaim his crown.
Meanwhile good value can be found for Native River. He was very impressive when making his return to action in the Grade 2 Betfair Denman Chase and is second favourite at 5/1.