Saturday, 10 March 2018

Cheltenham Festival - National Hunt Challenge Cup

This penultimate race of the opening day events at the annual festival is a grade two competition that brings together horses of age five years and more. These compete to complete a distance of four miles (6400 m) with the winner earning an estimated $59000 of a £100,000 purse.

The race enjoys the record of being the longest distance at the festival as well as ranking among the oldest events since it was first run in 1860. It has been especially consistence, recording the single largest number of repeat competitions.

The gruelling distance is not made any easier by the twenty four fences that competitors have to go over. It calls for outstanding stamina and endurance on the part of the horse and excellent handling by the rider.

The fact that no single horse has been able to win thrice in a race that is over a century and a half old is an indicator of its competitiveness. Jonjo O’ Neill is the leading trainer with six wins to his name.

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