Whilst there are some big races left this year, and a hectic Christmas schedule, for racing fans, one eye will already be glancing at what’s in store in 2017. With some major festivals and races within the first few months of the year, it should be thrilling, particularly if they are anywhere near as good as this year.
In March, Cheltenham kicks-off, a festival that regularly attracts the best runners and riders. Arguably the standout race of the meeting is the Gold Cup, where Don Cossack was the winner last time out, powering home after main rival Cue Card had dramatically fallen. The Gold Cup will conclude the festival, but there is excitement every day.
Day One will see the Champion Hurdle, where Annie Power breezed home last year, ridden by Ruby Walsh. However, the potential presence of Faugheen who is as low as 6/4, has pushed Annie Power out to around 5/1 with bookmakers. As it approaches, you will see that you can get a better price on the race with Betway, who offer excellent ante post odds, and cover horse racing extensively.
When the four days of madness have concluded at Cheltenham, all attention will shift to the biggest jump race in the UK, which attracted around £250m in bets last time out! Of course, it’s the Grand National.
Rule The World would go on to shock the world when he fought off the field to win at a huge 33/1 for an emotional Mouse Morris, the trainer. The unpredictability of the National was evident as 100/1 shot Vics Canvas came in third, that wouldn’t have been a bad each-way bet!
With the race at Aintree not until the 8th April, there is plenty of time for the odds to shift and favourites to emerge, but last year was proof that the odds can mean very little in that particular race.
Of course, there is a lot of races between now and then, with the Welsh National at Chepstow a highlight just after Christmas, but they are the main events of the racing calendar. They will always attract the biggest names in the industry, huge crowds and be great occasions. So, roll on next year.