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Date added: 09 March 2009

'Katch' all the action 

Your guide to making the most of the Festival without being there!
 
What a week of horseracing we have ahead of us - the Cheltenham Festival.
 
Four days of National Hunt action, where some of the best horses in the world are competing for some of the biggest prizes in the world.
 
Cheltenham Races
Festival Fever:
will Swindonís Alan King reign again at Cheltenham?
 
And although it may be taking place just down the road, most of us won't be luck enough to take time off work to enjoy the jumping action live.
 
But we all like a bet though, don't we?! - especially when there's a local horse and trainer involved.
 
That's why we'll be supplying all the info you need this week if you fancy a flutter.
 
Alan King
 
Alan King Cheltenham Festival
Festival winner:
Alan King
After his success in the last two Festivals - last year training Champion Hurdle winner, Katchit - all eyes will be on Swindon trainer Alan King and his horses this week.  
 
Two weeks ago we caught up with him at his media open day where we quizzed him on his prospects and how his training preparations were going - see video above.
 
This week he's got 30 entered runners over four days, which are:
(some horses have been entered in two races. This list will be updated everyday)
 
Tuesday:
 
Medermit - 1.30pm Supreme Novices' Hurdle - 2nd
Nenuphar Collonges - 2.40pm Trophy Handicap Chase - 3rd
Wind Instrument - 2.40pm Trophy Handicap Chase - unplaced
Katchit - 3.20pm Champion Hurdle - unplaced
Crystal d'Ainay - 4.00pm Trophy Handicap Chase - unplaced
Over Sixty - 4.40pm David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle - unplaced
 
Wednesday:
 
It's a Legend - 1.30pm National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup -unplaced
Pangbourne -  1.30pm National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup - unplaced
Ben Sailen - 2.05pm Novices' Hurdle - unplaced
Junior - 2.05pm Novices' Hurdle - unplaced
Karabak - 2.05pm Novices' Hurdle  - 2nd
Franchoek - 4.00pm Coral Cup - unplaced
Penn Da Benn - 4.00pm Coral Cup - unplaced
Pouvoir - 4.00pm Coral Cup - unplaced
Caticon - 4.40pm Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle - unplaced
Balzaccio - 4.40pm Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle - unplaced
Tuanku - 4.40pm Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle - unplaced
 
Thursday:
 
Turkish Surprise - 1.30pm Novices' Handicap Chase
Pennek - 2.05pm Pertempts Final
Voy Por Ustedes - 2.40pm Ryanair Chase
Blazing Bailey - 3.20pm Ladbrokes World Hurdle
Turkish Surprise - 4.00pm Festival Plate  
 
Friday:
 
Balzaccio - 1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle
Caticon - 1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle
Trenchant - 1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle
Tuanku - 1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle
Walkon - 1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle
Medermit - 2.05pm County Handicap Hurdle
King's Revenge - 2.05pm County Handicap Hurdle
Ben Salem - 2.40pm Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
Midnight Sail - 2.40pm Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
Thetwincamdrift -  2.40pm Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
 
Halcom Genelardais - 3.20pm Cheltenham Gold Cup
 
Penndabenn - 4.40pm Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
King's Revenge - 4.40pm Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
Oh Crick - 5.15 Grand Annual Handicap Chase Cup
 
Where to catch the action
 
The Kings Hotel Wood Street Old Town
Under starters orders:
The King's
The Cheltenham Festival is live on Channel 4 but for the best racing atmosphere in Swindon we recommend you trot off to The King's in Wood Street, Old Town.
 
Landlord Chris Piper is widely regarded as a racing 'nutcase', who loves the Festival more then any other four days of the year.
 
At The King's you can expect not only big screen action of every televised race, but healthy racing banter - and for those who like an online bet, free wi-fi.
 
Expect to see a few in-race bets being placed on Betfair!
 
Bookies in Swindon
 
There are loads of places to place a bet in Swindon, so click on the link to find a bookie near you!
 
 
John Francome
 
John Francome
Champion tipster:
John Francome
If there is such a thing as a National Hunt Gee-Gee genius, it's got to be Swindon's John Francome - seven times Champion Jockey and now the number one expert pundit on Channel 4.
 
And as a winner of the Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle himself, there's no one who knows the Cheltenham form better then Stratton-born John!
 
We will publish his 'bet of the day' here every morning. 
 
Bet of the Day - Friday
 
EACH-WAY - Madison Du Berlais - 9/1 - 3.20pm Gold Cup
 
"It's the big race of the week and everyone is talking about Kauto Star and Denman, but I believe Madison Du Berlais offers the best value at 9/1.
 
"He beat Denman convincingly at Kempton last month and is the form horse going into today's race. If he jumps well he's got a super chance."
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