Friday, March 1, 2024

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Cheltenham Festival to introduce floating fences?

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest meeting of the year in horse racing as for four days, the best horses in the sport compete across 28 races.

In order to add a bit of extra spice to the meeting this year, there are rumours organisers may be thinking about trying to add something different to the event. Here are a few things that could be trialled in 2021.

New look Gold Cup?

The biggest race of the week at the Festival is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It is considered to be the Blue Riband event in the sport and as you can see from the Gold Cup results, it has been won by some of the all-time greats, including Arkle and Kauto Star, and current heroes like Al Boum Photo are at the forefront of the favourites already.

What if Cheltenham opted to make the race a cross between hurdles and fences, with a combination of the two types of obstacles. This may attract some of the best hurdlers to the contest in what would be a fascinating watch.

The winner would be regarded as the most versatile winner of the Gold Cup in history. It could also help crown the best horse in National Hunt racing right now.

Cross Country Chase like never seen before

The most unique race of the week at the Cheltenham Festival is the Cross Country Chase. Horses jump all kinds of different obstacles, including a log, water and an open ditch. Maybe this year, these obstacles can be even more exciting.

Some of the fences could be made from balloons. This would allow the shape to be defined into exciting designs, including a Christmas tree, sheep and paddling pool filled with water.

This race has been won twice by the dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll. It would be captivating to see the 11-year-old take on a new look course this year.

Bring back the Charity Race

Unfortunately, the charity race at Cheltenham no longer exists. It would be great to bring this back and invite some really interesting celebrities to take part.

You could have some real fan favourites such as David Beckham, Elton John and Jonathan Ross, alongside pantomime villains like Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell. The crowd would really get into it and it would attract a whole new audience to the Festival.

Camel racing

Ok, hear us out on this one. Camel racing might be something you would be more familiar with seeing in a desert of an exotic country, however, if Cheltenham really wanted to make a splash this year, this would do it.

They wouldn’t need the camels to jump any obstacles, as that might be too much to ask. However, a race in the home straight in front of the grandstand would be some spectacle.

If the weather is chilly, the camels could even be kitted out in different coloured silks and with name tags such as Cammy Star or Red Hump.

With all the above worked into the schedule, this year’s Cheltenham Festival could be the best of all time. It certainly would not lack any drama!

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