Cheltenham Festival RACING

The Showcase: Why the first race of the season could be worth millions…

As the summer break in Jump racing comes to an end, the start of the new season gets underway this Friday at Cheltenham racecourse.

Although the two headline handicap races cash in with a prize money of £60,000 each, there is a bigger financial story behind the races that could be worth millions.

As it is the first time this season the horses will be seen at Cheltenham, it is also the first time the bookies can get a feel for what potential odds to place on them for the big meeting next year in March.

Recent years at the Showcase has seen Tiger Roll win the Masterson’s hurdle in 2014, as well as the same horse finishing third in a Novices Chase in 2016, which would’ve affected his odds massively in those respective years.

Cheltenham Racecourse revealed that the ground is Good, Good to Soft in places, which means that punters will be looking to back horses that act well on good ground, whilst the bookies will be slashing their odds.

These odds however will not be affecting Matthew Nicholls, who is assistant trainer to Kim Bailey, as he is determined to get his horses “off to a good start”.

Keep up with our live blog here.

Nicholls revealed that “you want to hit the ground running, you want to hope that the horses are in good form and you want to start the season well”.

“We’ve had a long summer and everybody’s excited to get going, the owners, the staff and everybody, its what we work all summer towards and all winter for so everybody is excited to get going”, he added.

For those interested in getting down to Cheltenham Racecourse this weekend, the races start at 12:00 noon on both days and it will be one of the many sporting events happening in Gloucester in the upcoming days.  

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