Cheltenham Festival 2019 for dummies

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Horse racing basics and key terms explained ahead of the Cheltenham Festival

What are the biggest races?

Of the 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival, 14 are classed as grade ones – the highest class of race in the sport.

Each of the four days has a main feature race, known as a championship race. They are:

Tuesday – Champion Hurdle: The most prestigious hurdle race in the sport, run over two miles.

Wednesday – The Queen Mother Champion Chase: The top prize on offer for horses running two miles over fences.

Thursday – The Stayers’ Hurdle: This three-mile hurdle race is considered slightly less prestigious than the other championship races, and the Ryanair Chase, a two-and-a-half mile run over fences on the same day, is sometimes thought of as co-headliner.

Friday – The Cheltenham Gold Cup: The Festival’s blue ribbon event, a gruelling test of stamina run over three-and-a-quarter miles over fences.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 15-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the NHC Tour for 2018 with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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