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Cheltenham Festival: Five things Matt Chapman loves about Cheltenham

1. Working at Cheltenham

It's very clichéd, and a bit personal, but I just love working there! In my early days, when I was a news reporter for The Racing Post, I had the opportunity to report from Cheltenham. But, for a number of years, when I was only on At The Races, I never was able to. To have the chance to speak to the winning jockeys, trainers and owners, and to get up close and personal with the very special horses, has become something I truly treasure.

2. The atmosphere

The crowd is there because they love this sport, and that's something that only really gets repeated in Irish racing. The bookmakers and the throng of the betting ring is electric, and it's heartwarming to see so many people having a punt responsibly, before enjoying the racing.

3. The appreciation

The roar of the crowd is unbeatable, as is the appreciation of punters out front. It's something I find very moving.

4. The vibe

You start to get excited as you approach the course and, if you arrive a bit later, many people will put Cheltenham Radio on before they pull in. You get a feeling that something big is happening.

5. The horses

These are beautiful thoroughbreds, and while some races have become a little diluted for my liking, you're still seeing the best of the best performing before you. It's about the Irish taking on the British... and little bit of French these days too.


For 2023


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