Cheltenham Festival Could Open with a Thriller in the Supreme

For many racing fans, the most exciting race at the Cheltenham Festival is the opening event, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The reason? It’s the first race of the four-day festival, and it is the culmination of weeks and months of build-up. The Supreme is the race associated with the “Cheltenham Roar”, the great bellow that rises up from the crowd to herald the action getting underway. The Gold Cup might be more prestigious, but the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is the race that every fan has marked on their calendar.

And yet, this year there is the likelihood that no “Cheltenham Roar” will greet the opening race as fans might not yet be allowed back to live sporting events in the UK. At the very best, we might be looking at a much-reduced crowd compared to the nearly 70,000 spectators that pack into Cheltenham Racecourse for each of the four days. In light of that, the racing itself will have to make up for the lack of atmosphere.

Trainers Mullins and Fry aim for the Supreme

But there is every reason to believe that – whether there are fans in attendance or not – the festival can get off to a bang this year, as the Supreme is shaping up to be a tremendous contest. As is ever the case in racing, an event like this is at its most exciting when two rivals shape up to battle it out. And, much of the jumps racing world is buzzing about two novice hurdlers set to collide in the 2021 Supreme – Appreciate It and Metier.

Willie Mullins’ 6-year-old star, Appreciate It, is the ante-post favourite, coming in at 9/4 with MansionBet. But there is a lot of appreciation for Harry Fry’s Metier too, who has ripped it up over the Christmas period and seen his odds slashed to 6/1. Both runners are tipped to have huge success over the coming years, but the first real test of their class as elite hurdlers will come when they clash on Tuesday 16th March.

Appreciate It has arguably had the more impressive showing of the two so far, but only just. He won the Grade 1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown just after Christmas, finishing 9 lengths ahead of Irascible and nearly double that distance again over the usually-brilliant Ballyadam. Appreciate it also has experience at the Cheltenham Festival, finishing second in the Champion Bumper last year. The Supreme is a different kind of race, of course, but the run out at Prestbury Park will serve him well.

Metier can defy the odds if the conditions suit

As for Metier, some believe, including his trainer Harry Fry, that he has the makings of a future superstar. He won the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown earlier this year, just like Summerville Boy did before going on to win the 2018 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. We should note, however, that this was on heavy ground. When you learn all about Cheltenham Racecourse, you’ll notice that the opening race is usually run on good-to-soft ground unless there has been particularly inclement weather. Still, Metier is three from three since switching from the flat, and there is every reason to believe he can rattle Appreciate It in this highly-anticipated match-up.

Nevertheless, this is horse racing, and there can always be a surprise. The previously-mentioned Ballyadam has more to offer than he showed back in Leopardstown in December, and he can be found at 12/1 in the ante-post markets. But this has the feeling of a two-horse race, featuring two runners that have not yet become household names. But if they continue on their current trajectory, that will change. A keen contest between the pair in the Supreme could also give the 2021 Cheltenham Festival a much-needed boost and set the scene for four spectacular days of racing.

The Greatest Racehorse Of All History

If you are one to thoroughly enjoy watching horses race, it would not surprise us that you may be interested in knowing what horse actually trumps all others for its history and records obtained. There have been many racing competitions that have kept going for centuries and if anything, this is one of the most popular sports ever, hands down. Thoroughbreds are actually the best species of horses, when it comes to racing at top speeds, because they really do possess a unique strength and endurance, when it comes to surpassing that racing finish line, 2500 metres later. So, we thought it would be cool to take a trip down memory lane and introduce the best competing horses out there that history has ever presented.

Another thing that is just as popular as horse racing is, the gambling that comes with it! For centuries, punters have gambled and bet their fortunes, for the chance that their favourite horses may actually bring them in even larger fortunes. Sportsbet is the best for that these days, as it covers the most up to date races that happen internationally, and the best thing yet is, you will be able to try all the different bets there are to offer for the odds your favourite horse brings!

Affirmed

Affirmed is a thoroughbred horse that was born in February 1975. Living for over 25 years, this horse managed to really amass a career behind him that is very much still talked about until today. With over 22 wins and 29 starts to his career and name, there is no wonder he was able to reel in over $2.5 million dollars of winnings from all the races it has been a part of. Laz Barrera was the trainer of this superior horse.

American Pharaoh

Another great champion, this horse earned his trainer Ahmed Zayat over $8 million dollars in earnings. With 11 starts and 9 wins to this horse’s name, he definitely had a great run and win statistic. Unfortunately, American Pharaoh concluded his career and retired early, due to health complications that affected his physical performance.

Arrogate

Arrogate is a well-known horse that had an amazing run within his career. With 11 starts and a total of 7 wins, he managed to procure a significant amount of earnings beyond what we have mentioned already ($17.4 million). Unfortunately, only 7 years later after being fouled and looked after by his trainer Baffert, within the June of this year Arrogate died due to complications with his health, a disease prevented him to continue and possibly become greater than what he had already achieved and become.

Justify

Justify is still quite young in comparison to other horses out there that have left a legacy, however for every race that he rode, he managed to take the win, so his win rate is a perfect score. Although he no longer races due to ankle issues, he was set to become the next big thing within the world of racing. In addition to this, Justify got a Triple Crown win so early on within his career, it’s a shame that he never got to pursue his career further really. A $3.7 million earning for the 3 years he competed is pretty huge if anything as he earned more than some that have been in it for a decade!

The Melbourne Cup

Run along a 3200 meter track in sunny Melbourne, the Melbourne Cup is the most famous Australian thoroughbred race in the racing calendar. The race is run at the Flemington racecourse in November of every year and brings together the cream of the crop of Australian racing. The race is steeped in history having first been held way back in 1861 (159 years ago!) over a longer distance of two miles. It’s for horses aged three and up has an impressive purse of A$8,000,000 in both 2019 and 2020, up from A$7,300,000 in 2018. Certainly not chump change!

At the inception of the Melbourne Cup the winner was awarded with an attractive gold watch and from there 1866 was the very first year that an actual Cup was given to the winners owners (of thoroughbred horse ‘The Barb’) . The Cup itself still exists and is on display at the National Museum of Australia for the Australian public to admire. The last manufactored Melbourne Cup was made on the other side of the world, in England in 1916, and a new and separate trophy is struck each year to give to the winner of the Melbourne Cup for them to keep.

As you’d surely imagine with a race with well over a century behind it, there have been many highlights and much history cast in amber over that period. From the 1863 Melbourne Cup that had the smallest ever field (just 7 runners, on account of a protest at Etienne de Mestre’s champion Archer being unfairly ruled out of the race ), to the first woman owner winning in 1915 (Mrs E.A. Widdis with Patrobas), 1948 where photo finish equipment was first used in the Melbourne Cup, and 2008 Bart Cummings (aka King Cup) winning the Cup for a staggering 12th time, with Viewed.

A few other interesting stats and facts over the years include the fact that Makybe Diva has the most wins in the Melbourne Cup (three consecutive wins from 2003 – 2005), Bobby Lewis and Harry White are tied for the most wins by a jockey (4), the aforementioned trainer Bart Cummings has won 12 times over a period of decades (1965 – 2008) and property developer Lloyd Williams has the most wins as an owner. I wonder what 2020 will bring us in terms of memorable Melbourne Cup moments or firsts? One thing is for sure, it won’t now be long until we find out! Enjoy the race. This information was brought to you by https://www.sportsbet.com.au/