Cheltenham Festival Thoughts – Glenn Cherry

Name: Glenn Cherry

Festivals Attended: 5

Why do you love the Festival?

National Hunt Racing rules and Cheltenham is simply the best that there is! The best of the best turn up, year after year, with their whole season geared around victory at the Festival. If anyone was near the winner’s enclosure after Imperial Commander’s victory in the 2010 Gold Cup – they will never forget what happened and the atmosphere when Denman (2nd) and Kauto (3rd) returned. Neither had won and the winner was also locally trained! Special.

Best Festival Memory and Biggest Festival Win? 

As above. From a financial perspective, Katchit winning the 2008 Champion Hurdle at 10/1 was the most profitable hour.

Do you have a favourite day and why?

Tuesday – probably simply because it’s been a long, long wait and we finally get started! For me, the Champion Hurdle is the best race of the Festival. There’s normally superstars of the past, present and future all in the same race.

What advice would you give someone going for the first time?

Get there early – it’s no fun having to queue to get in knowing that the 1st race is about to go off. And get in to the actual racing whether you are a big gambler or not. Ok, it’s a great social event and good ‘craic’, but it’s all about the horses.

What enclosure do you go in?

Generally Tatts at the Festival. As per The Major’s guide, they all have their positives. If you’re keen on the nags though, getting down the parade ring before a race is special.

What is your general approach to betting?

Any strong advice for someone betting at the festival for the first time?

Personal approach – only bet what you are prepared to lose. And as my late Grandpa used to tell me – ‘always bet on the grey’ (I no longer follow this advice!). Festival 1st time – Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby!!! If it was good enough for my better half, it good enough for me!

What one thing is a ‘must do’ or ‘must see’ at the festival?

Try and get to the Winner’s Enclosure for one of the Championship races (if in Tatts or Club). You won’t get a Frankie Dettori flying dismount, but you will see just how much it means to people. Just because you don’t happen to be standing in the winner’s enclosure yourself, if you’ve collected from Mr Bookie then you’ll be almost as happy.

Are there any other things you like to do each year around course?

Visit the trade stands, make a purchase or two – even if it’s something small just as a token of attending.

Anything to avoid?

Being late and/or missing part of a race. And don’t get annoyed if it takes a while to get a drink, out of the car park or even place a bet – you shouldn’t be surprised by this.

Do you do after racing entertainment / eating in Cheltenham?  If so, where?

As a former resident of the Montpellier area of Cheltenham, take the few extra strides from the town centre through the gardens and to The Beehive on Montpellier Villas, this is a proper juicer. You would need to book early to eat over the festival however, but again is probably no surprise. The ales are especially good and they love their Festival. I’d recommend Moran’s on Bath Road to eat, as is standard cuisine and caters for all sorts. If you fancy a certain taste, most are within a short stroll. Get round to The Jolly Brewmaster for copious alcohol as it’s literally about half the price for a pint compared to The Beehive. When The Jolly Brew closes however, it’s back to The Beehive as they stay open until 4am if you have the stamina of a Gold Cup hopeful!

Any other advice for a newcomer to the festival?

Don’t be put off a horse because of it’s odds. If you fancy it to win/place, go for it!

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