Watch Listen
On Now : Up All Night
28/07/2015
BBC Radio 5 live
The 5 live blog
Cheltenham is a unique race meeting. I go with the same group of lads and for the last five or six years we’ve had exactly the same routine. We stay in the same place: an olde worlde pub in Chipping Campden, a 20 minute drive from Cheltenham. It’s run by two Australians and at night the back room is rented out to an Indian restaurant, meaning there’s a bar at the front and an Indian at the back - you’ve got absolutely everything you need.

Before we set off each morning I have two phone calls to make: one to Motty and the other to former jockey Mick Fitzgerald. They go through the day for us, give us their tips and then off we go. It’s a toss-up between Motty and Mick who’s going to get you the most winners; Motty might just edge it.

Each day at Cheltenham has a different flavour. On the first day – Tuesday - everybody is really fired up. The big race is the Champion Hurdle, which everybody has been looking forward to for such a long time. Wednesday is Ladies’ Day and a different atmosphere. Thursday is different again and then it goes absolutely mad for the Gold Cup on the Friday.

It’s the atmosphere that makes Cheltenham. Everybody’s in such a good mood. Everyone you bump in to claims to have a winner for you and they all think they know more than the next guy.

The one thing I miss is there used to be a greyhound race up Cheltenham Hill at the end of the day. The last race would finish and they’d put greyhound traps out in a line, load them up then the dogs would race up the hill. If you’d had a nightmare betting day it was your last chance to try and claw some of your losses back – on a dog race, up a hill, at Cheltenham, which you’ve got no idea about.

You can’t pick the form of a greyhound running up a hill; it’s unique, like the Cheltenham Festival itself. They don’t do it anywhere else.

5 live's Cheltenham Festival coverage begins with John Inverdale at 1.30pm on Tuesday 12 March; there is also coverage on the BBC Sport website.

Download a preview of Cheltenham with Eleanor Oldroyd, Cornelius Lysaght and Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey Andrew Thornton.

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments.

  • Comment number 5. Posted by zelda

    on 14 Mar 2013 15:58

    I went to Epsom Races once. I wore a rather fetching hat. I went with a friend on her companies freebie hospitality day.... most people didn't leave the refreshment tent until they fell onto the coach coming back. I went for a wander (I don't drink) and there were some pretty rum coves around the course! Interesting day out though.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 5: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 5: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 4. Posted by Rebelbrum

    on 13 Mar 2013 00:57

    We all have our own opinions of course, but personally I can't stand the sound of him shouting. I suppose the fact I'm not a fan of horse racing doesn't help. I just wish 5 Live wouldn't keep using exerpts of his "commentary" every few minutes whenever they want to promote their racing coverage.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 4: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 4: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 3. Posted by David Shield

    on 12 Mar 2013 20:06

    I disagree John Hunt is an excellent commentator, he only gets louder at the climax of a race when its an exciting tight finish, he is one of the best in the business.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 3: 1
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 3: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 2. Posted by Rebelbrum

    on 11 Mar 2013 23:30

    John Hunt is surely the worst commentator for any sport on any radio station. Does he have to SHOUT so much? I always turn the radio down when I know he's coming on. Not good.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 2: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 2: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 1. Posted by Rebelbrum

    on 11 Mar 2013 18:54

    How many references to the Irish will we have rammed down our throats this year?

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 1: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 1: 0
    Loading…

More Posts

Previous

Next