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There are no plans to add a fifth day to the Cheltenham Festival this year, with the event’s organizers having assured as much amid rumors over the possibility.
The racing spectacle has been a four-day event for a while now but speculation over the potential addition of an extra day grew rife after trainer Alan King published notes from a recent conversation held with new Cheltenham chairman Martin St Quinton.
Things got even wilder after reporters quizzed the chairman on the possibility on New Year’s Day and he refused to rule it out.
“It would get a lot of opposition, but people don’t like change. People complained when it went from three days to four, but now everybody loves the four-day Festival,” St Quinton said.
“Royal Ascot was very similar with the Heath meeting on the Saturday and now that is their most popular day, so you’ve got to be open-minded about these things.”
King detailed his conversation with St Quinton in his weekly Racing Post Weekender Publication, revealing that the new chairman wasn’t opposed to changing the format of the festival, moving it from the current Tuesday-to-Friday to a Tuesday-to-Saturday affair and shifting either the Ryanair Chase or the Stayers’ hurdle to the final and fifth day. St Quinton, who replaced Robert Waley-Cohen as Cheltenham’s chairman in October last year, was quoted as saying the change would “attract a different crowd, rather as they do on the Saturday at Royal Ascot.”
The rumours weren’t met with complete positivity and many persons are understandably against a change. The Royal Ascot does attract many patrons on a Saturday but it’s important to note that weekends in March are very different from those in June. English football and rugby are more or less at their peak in March and any other events would likely suffer. There would be lots of competition for ticket sales, media coverage and television viewers, while the bookies probably wouldn’t be too pleased as punters would probably priorities their betting too.
There’s also the fact that the weather is a lot better in June and persons would be more inclined to attend a race then.
As such, the race organizers have assured that they are not actively planning to make any changes to the already very successful event. “We have four fantastic days of the Festival running Tuesday to Friday and no plans for a fifth day,” a spokesperson said, per The Guardian.
Where betting is concerned, fans could take advantage of Cheltenham betting offers at The Bookies Offers, as well as advice from some of the best tipsters. There are also plenty of odds on offer from the top UK sportsbooks for all of the races scheduled to take place at the event. There’s a 4/1 bet to be had on Gold Cup favourite Al Boum Photo with Bet365. Said bookmakers have 7/1 odds running on Kemboy and Clan Des Obeaux is 8/1. Lostintranslation is also an 8/1 prospect while Santini and Delta Work are both 10/1. Ladbrokes are offering 14/1 odds on Native River with Monalee following up at 25/1.
The Cheltenham Festival will begin on March 10 and run until the 13th with seven races taking place daily. For now, there are no plans to pile on with a fifth day, but who knows? Things may very well change in the future.