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  1. #1

    What not to miss in and around the festival?

    Hello.

    I'm very excited to be making my first trip to Cheltenham this year and I need advice about it all.

    I have club tickets for the 4 days and I'm staying in Gloucester. I'm renting a car and plan to park in Cheltenham Town and walk or bus the 2 miles to the course depending on the weather.

    On the first day, I'll probably aim to be there for about 12, or whatever time it opens after that, have a wander around and see what my 80 odd quid a day gets me apart from world class racing. I'm not a drinker so queuing for drinks doesn't matter. I'm not into bands that play sweet Caroline and take me home country road. Would happily listen to a bit of jazz or blues. Basically anything that doesn't make me feel like I'm at the darts.

    Where is the best place to watch the races from? I usually stand by the winning post but will never have experienced massive crowds like Cheltenham.

    What should I do a Prestbury Park before after and in between racing?

    I usually just go between the racecourse and the parade ring. Is that anything else I shouldn't miss?

    Anywhere I should go after each days racing to discuss the day past and the next days chances?

    Can anyone recommend a country pub near Gloucester that does good evening food and also shows champions league?

    I'm flying from Birmingham and my flight home is at 8pm so need to be there for about 6.30. Was gonna leave straight after the Gold Cup but should I risk staying for the Foxhunters? It would mean driving out of Cheltenham about 5pm or if I parked at the course that day would that buy me more time?

    I am meeting up with some other members of Gordon Elliott Racing Club over there but like to have my own plan. We hope to have our club star Smiling Eliza running in the Fred Winter. She was a great horse for us at the end of the summer winning at Down Royal and at Punchestown (race won by Espoir D'allen the previous year). After that she went to Aintree for a listed mares race but was well beaten by chica Buena, a horse she beat twice in the summer. Since then she's run at Leopardstown and Fairyhouse but was disappointing in both against good horses. She runs again today at Thurles in lesser company. I keep thinking/hoping she will be put away for cheltenham now after each but Gordon keeps running her. Maybe trying to get her back into some form or maybe she needs to improve to get into the Fred Winter despite her excellent form last year.

    Anyway, all advice on the above greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Didn't realise there was another MrMcGoldrick. I had him in that race too!

    I'll change my username.

  3. #3
    Afraid I'm of no use.

    I drink heavily and don't go in club anymore cos you can't get a pint and a piss. It may have improved since they've decorated.

    And even though I go down every year for at least the Tuesday, I barely watch a race in the flesh. Just on Telly in Istabraq bar.

    I will go and hang around way past the finish line though (where they interview the jockey with a stick before they walk down the path in front of the stands) for first three or four races, and get selfies with the winning horse. If I backed it that is. Sometimes they let you pat them (the horses I mean, not Francesca Cumani)

    Then I get taxi back to Birmingham when the pubs in town no longer want my company. Train home next day.

    PS, You've no chance with the bands bit. It's Irish Rover or Sweet Caroline only. Maybe a bit of Cotton eye Joe if you're lucky.
    Unless there's an underground Jazz/blues club I'm unaware of on course.

  4. #4
    Top Amateur
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    don't forget the Irish rebel-rousing protest songs.

  5. #5
    The Chip shop Boys always entertaining.

  6. #6
    We definitely have a Mr M already...

    As for your plans, I would avoid driving into Cheltenham and parking your car when there'a bus service that links the two, been a long long time since I came in from that direction but from memory it wouldn't have taken more than half an hour.

    Watch the races from different points, the tarmac area between the rial and the stands is banked so unless you're 4 ft 3 you get a good view of the track and the screens.
    Well worth going to the winners enclosure after a race, staying there for the parade of the next race and watching that race on the screen in the ring, then you get prime position for the winners/presentation of that race.

    Take a trip into the middle of the course, definitely worth doing for the Cross Country but I often watch other races from there.
    There's a burger van to grab a cold drink/coffee and chairs to park up if the weather plays nicely.

    If you hate Sweet Caroline and Daydream Believer avoid the Best Mate enclosure like the plague.

    Enjoy and good luck with Smiling Eliza

  7. #7
    Top Amateur
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    Ya wallet.There will be a few light fingered people about

  8. #8
    I'd recommend getting to the course at 10:30, it gives you an hour or two to have a walk around before it gets too busy.

  9. #9
    Top Amateur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faugheen_Machine View Post
    I'd recommend getting to the course at 10:30, it gives you an hour or two to have a walk around before it gets too busy.
    This is a very good shout. I love just walking around taking it all in. It’s heaven

  10. #10
    Top Amateur
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    The other benefit of getting there early if you haven't been before is working out where everything is.

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