CHELTENHAM HOSTS EVENING OF TOP-CLASS ENTERTAINMENT - Paddy For Paddy bidding for repeat success in Winning Post At Cheltenham Hunters' Chase
Cheltenham Racecourse hosts a fantastic evening of entertainment tomorrow, Wednesday, May 3, as competitive hunter racing action is complemented by harness racing, live music and a late-night disco for what is sure to be an unforgettable event.
As well as an exciting six-race hunter chase card starting at 5.25pm, racegoers will be able to enjoy the thrill of harness racing as Cheltenham stages the first-ever harness race on an English racecourse at 4.45pm.
Harness racing is similar to trotting, which is hugely popular in France, and 11 runners are due go to post for the seven-furlong contest, with leading performer Nite N' Gale set to give some of the other runners a 70-yard start.
When the racing finishes (last race 8.15pm), the entertainment continues with the sensational sounds of Mike Sanchez and his seven-strong band, alongside acclaimed vocalist Imelda May, playing rock n' roll, rhythm and blues and boogie-woogie in the magnificent surroundings of The Centaur.
In addition, the Felix Party and Disco is happening in the Istabraq Bar from 3pm, with a private bar and buffet, plus a reserved area in the Mike Sanchez concert, followed by a disco until 1am, all in support of the Hunt Staff Benefit Society. Tickets cost £20 per person (including Club badge) and can be ordered by calling 01242 226 226.
The first lady of British musical theatre, Elaine Paige, will be at Cheltenham Racecourse, presenting the race trophies to winning connections.
The live action starts at 5.25pm, with 17 runners going to post for the Cheltenham.co.uk Hunters' Chase over two miles and five furlongs, while the Faucets The Leading Independent Brassware Distributor Champion Hunters' Chase (6pm), over three miles and two and a half furlongs, features a field of seven, including last year's victor Mister Friday and Maximize, who landed the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase at The Festival in 2004.
The Hiscox Intermediate Point-To-Point Hunters' Chase (6.35pm) has attracted 13 talented runners.
Stamina will be at a premium in the Winning Post At Cheltenham Hunters' Chase (7.45pm), over four miles and a furlong, where a field of 16 includes Caught At Dawn and Bosham Mill, who both contested the Christie's Foxhunter Chase at The Festival in March, and Paddy For Paddy, who dead-heated for first in a thrilling finish to the race last year.
Somerset-based Guy Landau, trainer of Paddy For Paddy, reported today: "He seems in good order at present. He won well at Towcester in March and then ran second in the Lady Dudley Cup, one of the top point-to-point races, at Chaddesley Corbett on April 1.
"He dead-heated for first last year on good ground and the ground will probably be similar this year - as long as it's safe that's fine. It would be nice to win it again, but you know what I say - expect nothing and you won't be disappointed!"
The other two races - the Colin Nash Memorial United Hunters' Chase (7.10pm) and the Amateur Jockeys Association Investing Racing Hunters' Chase (8.15pm) - both have 14 declared runners.
Admission prices are £16 for Club/Tattersalls (£10 16-24s) and £6 for the Best Mate enclosure. The gates open at 3pm.
This is the final fixture of Cheltenham's current campaign and the racecourse does not race again until the two-day October meeting (October 24 & 25), followed by The Open, which runs from Friday, November 10 to Sunday, November 12.
The Festival 2007 takes place from Tuesday, March 13 to Friday, March 16.