As home of Racing Festivals from the UK and abroad, here at racingfestivals.net we’re brimming over with excitement for the Cheltenham Festival, which appeared to sneak up on us from out of nowhere! The event, one of the most highly anticipated in UK racing (and watched live all around the world), is welcome relief from a difficult year and although there won’t be crowds of cheering racing fans, even that won’t take away from the atmosphere and feast of top tier racing. Let’s ease into the festival with an amusing quiz from Betway with some of West Ham’s finest, to see exact what they know about Cheltenham and indeed racing in general.
Many of the world’s most talented thoroughbreds head to Victoria each year to compete in the world-famous Spring Racing Carnival. It could well be the greatest event in the entire global racing calendar, thanks to the heritage, the prestige and the eye-watering prize money on offer. You can enjoy dozens of exciting races during the Spring Racing Carnival, but these are the most important ones to look out for:
The $2 million Caulfield Guineas is the first feature race of the Spring Racing Carnival. It is held on the second Saturday of October each year at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne. The Group 1 Caulfield Guineas is limited to three-year-olds, and it has long served as the breeding ground for some of the greatest champions of all time. It takes place over 1600m with set weights, and it marks the pinnacle of the season for three-year-olds.
Lonhro, Manikato and Tulloch are among the big names to salute in this race over the years. Lonhro went on to be named Australian Racehorse of the Year after winning the Caulfield Stakes, and he was later the leading sire in Australia before being inducted into the Hall of Fame, which shows you the calibre of runners. The Caulfield Guineas marks the start of the three-day Caulfield Carnival, which also features three exciting Group 1 races: the Caulfield Stakes, the Thousand Guineas and the Toorak Handicap.
The $5 million Caulfield Cup is one of the three biggest races of the Spring Racing Carnival. It is actually one of the world’s most important races for stayers, and you always see an elite field of superstars lining up to compete. The Caulfield Cup was historically the key lead-up race to the Melbourne Cup, but very few stayers pull off a Cups double nowadays.
The race is held the weekend after the Caulfield Guineas. It will take place on October 17 this year, featuring all manner of luminaries from across the globe. More than 200 stayers are nominated, and the field will be whittled down to the best 18 by the time the race goes off, so you are all but guaranteed an intense battle. The Group 1 Caulfield Cup is run over a distance of 2400m under handicap conditions. Mer De Glace, Best Solution, Boom Time, Jameka, Mongolian Khan and Admire Rakti have all triumphed in recent years. Dunaden won the race in 2012, following his victory in the Melbourne Cup the previous year.
The $5 million W.S Cox Plate is Australia’s premier middle-distance race. It is run over 2040m at Moonee Valley Racecourse each year, a week after the Caulfield Cup. The Cox Plate is Australia’s richest weight-for-age race, and the prestige associated with securing victory is huge, so the race typically receives between 150 and 250 nominations and only the very best make it onto the final ballot.
The wondermare Winx dominated this race between 2015 and 2018, surging to a record-breaking four consecutive victories and cementing her status as an all-round superstar. She retired last year after extending her unbeaten streak to 33, and that finally gave her rivals a chance to win the Cox Plate. Japanese raider Lys Gracieux gleefully seized the opportunity. We should be in for another exhilarating race in 2020.
The Victoria Derby was first held all the way back in 1855, when Queen Victoria ruled Australia and infamous outlaw Ned Kelly was just a newborn. The race is still going strong to this day, and it remains one of the feature races of the Spring Racing Carnival. Derby Day is a huge deal in Australia, and celebrities including Oscar winner Hilary Swank, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Spice Girl Mel B and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria have converged upon Flemington to watch the race in recent years.
It takes place over 2500m, so it requires an abundance of pace, stamina and determination from the leading three-year-olds in the business. The Victoria Derby is a Group 1 race with prize money of $2 million. It marks the start of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and Derby Day is the only race day in Australia on which every single race has Group status, making it arguably the biggest event of the year.
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest race of the year in Australia, and arguably the world. The organisers claim it is watched by some 750 million people across the globe, which would mean it even surpasses the Grand National, the Kentucky Derby and other famous races. It has a prize purse of $8 million and it is extremely prestigious, so the best trainers from Ireland, the UK, Japan, the US, New Zealand and elsewhere bring their best stayers to Melbourne to compete. You can find out more information on the runners, who are all elite stayers with multiple famous victories under their belts.
The race takes place over 3200m and it is known as the richest two-mile handicap in the world. It has been held every year since 1861, and there have been all manner of iconic moments during that time – Bart Cummings winning a record-breaking 12th Cup, Makybe Diva winning for a third time in a row, Michelle Payne becoming the first female jockey to salute aboard 100/1 roughie Prince of Penzance, the list goes on and on. All trainers want to win the Melbourne Cup, so it is fiercely competitive and full of excitement. There are more big races in the Carnival – the Oaks is a notable example – but the Melbourne Cup is definitely the main event.
The Cheltenham Festival is the leading horse racing meeting when it comes to National Hunt racing in the UK & Ireland. The Festival runs between Tuesday to Friday, with some fantastic races taking place throughout Cheltenham week including the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
For every day of the Cheltenham Festival, there is a packed Cheltenham racecard featuring seven races and that’s absolutely perfect when it comes to putting together a horse racing accumulator, with Cheltenham acca tips freely available and it’s a fantastic chance to make some money on this huge sporting event.
The Cheltenham acca tips generally involve picking out particular races for each day of the Cheltenham Festival and then making a number of selections which can be combined together. For example, Day One featured the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Chase, Champion Hurdle and Mares’ Hurdle, with many punter enjoying a Cheltenham accumulator on those races.
Why Place a Cheltenham Festival Accumulator?
The beauty of an acca on the Cheltenham Festival is that you can stake a small amount of money and potentially get a big return if all your selections win. When each winner goes in, the excitement builds up and there’s nothing like hitting a big jackpot by watching the horses that you have selected win the race.
A Cheltenham acca can also be spot on if you have a strong fancy for some of the favourites lining up for the big races but don’t want to lump on them as single bets. There can often be a good case for doing a Cheltenham Festival accumulator where you pick out the winner of the big races throughout the four days.
Alternatively, punters might do an antepost horse racing acca which includes Cheltenham selections. This means you can get big odds about future races although there’s a risk that some of your runners might not make the day of the race.
The Cheltenham Festival is a huge horse racing meeting and the bookies are generally falling over to get your business. That means you can often enjoy big horse racing bonuses and you should also bear in mind that Cheltenham accumulator Cash Out is available should a few winners go in.
Cashing out your Festival horse racing acca could be a sensible decision if you stand to get a big profit from your online betting on Cheltenham and don’t want to risk everything going on to the last leg.
The Grand National – one of the biggest events in the horse racing calendar – kicks off on April 2nd this year. Whether you’re going to be there or plan to catch the Aintree action on TV, it’s time to get yourself Grand National ready. Play the top 5 horse racing-themed slot games online according to the guys from bgo Casino.
# 5: Scudamore’s Super Stakes, NetEnt
Eight-time Champion Jockey Peter Scudamore rode 1,678 winning horses during his career. In 1986, he even received an MBE for his services to horse racing. We bet Scu’s proudest achievement is having a slot made all about him though. Scudamore’s Super Stakes is a 5-reel slot from NetEnt. No doubt our favourite feature is the Bet Slip Bonus. Predict how many horse or jockey symbols you can collect in so many spins. Place your bet with the bookies for the chance to win up to 5,000 times your stake.
# 4: Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven, Playtech
In 1996, an Italian jockey made history when he rode all 7 winners on Champions’ Day at Ascot. Celebrate his achievement playing Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven from Playtech. Though the graphics are unlikely to wow you, this slot’s bonus features are fit for a champ. First up, you’ve got the Free Spins Bonus. Back your favourite in a 3-horse race to win 10, 15 or 35 Free Spins. Then, then there’s Magic Seven Bonus. Race around the track collecting cash prizes to see if you’re as lucky as Dettori.
# 3: AP McCoy: Sporting Legends Jackpot, Playtech
Sir Anthony Peter McCoy was voted Champion Jockey a record 20 times. So, it’s hardly surprising that the retired Northern Irish rider is considered a legend by the software developers at Playtech. He’s one of several stars to have his own slot attached to their ‘Sporting Legends’ progressive jackpot network. Any spin of AP McCoy: Sporting Legends Jackpot gives you the chance to win 1 of 3 pots. This includes the Daily Jackpot, which is guaranteed to be won by a certain time every single day.
# 2: Champion Raceway, IGT
Combining the thrill of an old-school slot machine with the excitement of a day at the races, Champion Raceway is a gambler’s dream. Granted, it does look a little dated compared to the latest online casino games on the market. However, with an abundance of bonus features and payouts of over 5,217 times your stake, it’s not hard to figure out why it’s so popular. Our favourite feature is the Raceway Derby. Collect coloured ribbons to make the horses move on the track above the reels. Which colour horse crosses the finish line first determines what prize you race away with.
# 1: The Grand National: Race of Champions, Inspired Gaming
Remember Red Rum, Seagram, Aldaniti and West Tip? Now you can ride to victory alongside history’s finest Aintree winners in The Grand National Race of Champions from Inspired Gaming. This impressive-looking slot game stars 5 reels and 40 bet lines. When it comes to features, it’s all about the Free Spins Bonus. Collect lucky horseshoe symbols to unlock up to 30 Free Spins. During the bonus, Stacked Wild Symbols will step down one position per spin to provide you with the extra horsepower you need to win big.