Sadly, summer is over. On the bright side, so is The National Hunt’s summer break and it’s time to get The Showcase on the road.
After nearly 6 months without a horse racing meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse, The Showcase kicks off the new National Hunt season for Cheltenham in style with two days of excellent jump racing.
The Showcase offers 14 incredible races across two days at the end of October, each day presenting a seven-race card and a featured race. The featured race of Day One is The Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Steeple Chase which begins at 15:50.
Day One of The Showcase is scheduled for Friday the 22nd of October 2021. Here are the exciting races that will unfold throughout this gripping race day:
The Ballymore Novice’s Hurdle Race
The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race is a Class 2 National Hunt hurdle race that is run on the old course at Cheltenham. It is the first race to be run during The Showcase, beginning at 13:50.
This race is for horses aged 4 years and over and measures a total distance of 2 miles and 5 furlongs to run, featuring 10 hurdles for the competitors to jump.
The purse for this race is £16,000, with £10,010 assigned to the first-place finisher. The team of the horse that finishes second will receive £2,957, while third-place is assigned £1,478 and fourth will take the remaining £739.
The Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices’ Steeple Chase
Race two of the first day of The Showcase at Cheltenham Racecourse is The Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices’ Steeple Chase, starting at 14:25.
This Class 2 chase is for competitors aged 5 and over and covers a total distance of 3 miles and 80 yards of the old course at Cheltenham, featuring 20 fences to leap.
The total prize pool for The Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices’ Steeplechase is £20,000. This purse is shared proportionately between the four placing horses, with £12,512 being awarded to the winner. Second-place has a cash prize of £3,696 assigned to it, with third-place taking home £1,848 and fourth taking £924.
The squareintheair Handicap Hurdle Race
The third race of Day One at The Showcase is The squareintheair Handicap Hurdle Race, commencing at 15:00.
The squareintheair Handicap Hurdle Race is a Class 3 handicap race open to horses aged exactly 3 years old. It covers a distance of 2 miles and 5 furlongs along the old course at Cheltenham and features 10 fences for the young horses to jump.
This race has a purse of £16,000, with £9,487 awarded to the winning competitor. All of the top 4 finishers benefit from this prize pool, with second-place taking £2,786, third-place receiving £1,393 and fourth-place snatching the remaining £696.
The Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Steeple Chase
The fourth and featured race of the first day of The Showcase at Cheltenham Racecourse is The Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Steeple Chase, beginning at 15:35.
The Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Steeple Chase is a Class 2 chase that is run on the old course at Cheltenham. It covers a total distance of 1 mile, 7 furlongs and 199 yards and features 13 fences for the horses aged 4 and above to jump.
This race has the biggest prize pool of the day with £48,000 in the purse. The winning horse gets the biggest portion to the amount of £30,029. Second-place takes home £8,870, third-place receives £4,435 and fourth-place takes the remaining £2,218.
The Catesby Estates Maiden Hurdle Race
The fifth race of the first day of The Showcase, following the featured race of the day, is The Catesby Estates Maiden Hurdle Race, commencing at 16:10.
The Catesby Estates Maiden Hurdle Race is a Class 3 hurdle race that is run on the old course of Cheltenham, open to horses aged four years and over. It stretches a distance of 2 miles and 87 yards and features just 8 fences for the competitors to leap.
The prize pool for this maiden hurdle race will be £11,500 which is split proportionately between the first four horses to successfully complete the race. The winning horse takes home £7,194, then second-place takes £2,125, third-place takes £1,063 and fourth place takes £531.
The Two Farmers Crisps Novices’ Steeple Chase
The penultimate race of The Showcase Day One at Cheltenham Racecourse will be The Two Farmers Crisps Novices’ Steeple Chase which will begin at 16:45.
The Two Farmers Crisps Novices’ Steeple Chase is a Class 2 National Hunt steeplechase for novices which is run on the old course of Cheltenham. The total distance the competitors will have to run in this race is 1 mile, 7 furlongs and 199 yards while jumping 13 fences along the way.
The first four horses to cross the finish line will share the purse of £20,000. The team of the winning competitor will take home the biggest share which sits at £12,512. Then, the second-place horse will receive 3,696, the third-place horse will receive £1,848 and the fourth-place horse will take the remaining £924.
The Back and Lay at Matchbook Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race
The final race of day one at The Showcase 2021 will be The Back and Lay at Matchbook Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race, starting at 17:15.
The Back and Lay at Matchbook Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race is a Class 3 hurdle race open to horses aged 3 and above that are ridden by jockeys aged 26 or below that have run fewer than 25 point-to-point races under official rules.
The race distance is 2 miles and 87 yards along the old course at Cheltenham and features just 8 fences along its route. This Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race is also a qualifier for the Challenger Two Mile series.
The £12,500 prize pool in this race is shared out between the top four finishers depending on their positions. The team of the winning horse will take home £7,213, while the second-place team takes £2,118, the third-place finisher receives £1,059 and the horse that clutches the final placement spot grabs the remaining £529.
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The races that take place during The Showcase at Cheltenham Racecourse are always very difficult to call. Last year alone saw winners odds range from 4/5 to 9/1, so whether you prefer to back the favourites or the outsiders, Day One of the showcase could be a very profitable occasion for you.
Just two years back, 33/1 outsider Heaven Help Us won the Maiden Hurdle Race (race five), turning £10 outright bets into £340.