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A lofty title of one of the most famous racing tracks in the world Cheltenham owes to the Cheltenham Festival. Gloucestershire is a place where over 200k people visit the Festival during its four days of races. Also, millions more are watching the races in front of their TV sets.
Although the Gold Cup is the pinnacle event of the Festival and the entire jump racing season, it is not the only nor the first event of the season. Pundits would say that the steeplechases, hurdle races, handicaps, and other horse racing events begin with an event in October. This event goes by the name — the Showcase Meeting.
Cheltenham sees different races and events throughout the year. There are events like the November Meeting which people used to call Cheltenham Open. The November Meeting, as well as the New Year’s Day event, is teeming with excitement and high-quality racing. For further info, please browse our site and learn all about these racecourse meetings.
Stay tuned and learn all about the Showcase Meeting that kick starts the season. Moreover, it will give a great insight into the horses and their progress as the season continues.
Day One of the Showcase Meeting — Showcase Friday
All the events at Cheltenham are themed events, and each and every one is unique. For example, the Cheltenham Open that takes place in November showcases the life of the countryside. This is so because the Countryside Alliance coordinates it and participates in its organisation.
The International Meeting is prepping the crowds for the upcoming Christmas. Finally, the Showcase Meeting we talk about here is purely dedicated to the start of the racing season.
Prestbury Park is the battleground for the returning jump racing battles that ramp up the pressure and excitement for the main Cheltenham Festival. Regardless of the fact that the Cheltenham Festival is half a year away, you can feel the thrill mounting.
You can best see that connection with the main events at the Cheltenham Festival in the race dubbed Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle race. This is a race that takes place during the Festival itself and also marks the beginning of the Showcase Meeting.
During this initial day, you will encounter many monikers like ‘novice’ or ‘maiden’ that refer to the inaugural season. This day is the horses’ first opportunity to run against top-notch competitors and on a premier racing grounds. You can discover much on this day, primarily the conditions of the steads and their riders. Also, it might give a good indication of what lies ahead of them in the upcoming season.
Day Two of the Showcase Meeting — Showcase Saturday
The second day of the Showcase Meeting takes place on Saturday. It emulates much of the same emotion and thrill we can see on the first day of the Showcase Meeting. On this day, punters rejoice in particular, as it represents another chance for them to get valuable info on the horses and racers.
After a couple of months without racing, getting back into the saddle and enduring the laboriousness of jump racing can be quite a challenge. With that in mind, punters need as much inside information as they can get that will help them with wagers and winning.
All the races that occur on the second day are hurdle races and steeplechases, except for the last event of the day. This event is the Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Also, there are some handicap races too, which will give an equal chance to every participant to prove their merit. Here as well can punters get an excellent opportunity to wager, as these are usual neck and neck races. Rookie racers have two races especially intended for them so that people can see some fresh blood on the racecourse.
After a long summer where flat races dominate, the jockeys, trainers and their steads are back at jump racing.
About the Showcase Meeting at Cheltenham
For those who are not into horse racing, Cheltenham Festival is the only thing that comes to mind when thinking about the sport. However, there are a lot of other events worthy of attention and not just the Gold Cup. Should you spend the New Year’s Day at the racecourse or attend the International day races, you will have your hands full. There, you can learn a lot about what the season has in store. Of course, nowhere will you learn more than following the Showcase Meeting.
Although horse racing is a sport in which surprises are inevitable, it is your experience that differentiates from other punters. Researching into the intricacies such as how individual horses respond to which part of the race will make you a better punter. Looking into how a particular jockey reacts and handles a horse might be worth a king’s ransom. Also, knowing how much is the racecourse familiar to the trainer and riders will help you make the right wager.
Last, but not least, it is the Showcase Meeting that marks the first event in the jump racing season. No other racecourse than the famed ‘Home of Jump Racing’ could be more appropriate for such an event. Only the best of Britain’s jump racing is found here.
Also, after the summer drought, the Showcase Meeting is there to remind us how exciting it is to see horses jump over huge obstacles at high speeds. So, you would do well to be there for the Showcase Meeting. There you can jot down all you have learnt from the first outing of the jump racing season. By doing so, you can prepare thoroughly for the Road to Cheltenham.