222,000 pints of Guinness were drunk at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, we aim to give you something to raise a glass to! Our Cheltenham site provides a history section detailing the origins of the World’s biggest jumps racing festival, as well as tips and analysis that will provide you with pointers for this year’s big festival winners! The festival is in March, but we will give you exclusive festival offers from featured bookmakers throughout the season!

If you are anything like the team at Sportsbook Guardian, you will be counting down the days to the Cheltenham Festival. For those of you who are not aware, the festival takes place over four days leading to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the pinnacle of the jumps racing calendar, which is run once a year in March.

The date for the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup will be March 16th, so not long to go folks. At least it gives us all the chance to study the form in the mean time!

In the lead up to the Gold Cup, make sure you take advantage of the Sportsbook Guardian resources by taking a look over previous runners and winners, a bit of history, some banter, betting news/blogs and also assessing the key contenders for this years’ contest.

This will culminatein identifying some key trends and statistics to help us find the next winner. If you are interested in betting on the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup, or simply just want to know a little bit more about the background of the greatest jumps race on this planet, then I hope that the forthcoming news, views and blogs will hold some value to you.

Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is run over a total distance of approximately 3 miles and 2 furlongs, give or take a length or two, with a magnificent prize fund of half a million pounds, the richest reward in the jumps racing calendar. First place at the Gold Cup would expect to net a prize fund of around £270,000, so this in part shows why all of the leading trainers, jockeys and horses are primed for the richest event in jumps racing come every March.

The course for the Gold Cup runs left handed, so those of you betting on the race may wish to keep this in mind when pulling out your selections. There are 22 fences for jockey and rider to combat, with undulating peaks and troughs and the famous Cheltenham Hill to really test the stayers over the final few furlongs.

The Gold Cup as we know it in modern day, was initially run back in 1924, you can find out more about the history of the event and its early historic roots in The Cheltenham Gold Cup History.

Horses entering the race must be 5 years or older and the race has traditionally rewarded more experienced horses over the years. In-fact, the 2011 Gold Cup Winner, Long Run, was the first six year old to win the race since the victory of Mill House in 1963. Winning horses of the Gold Cup over the past decade have produced an average age of 8.5 years and the dominant two trainers throughout this period have been Henrietta Knight and Paul Nicholls.

The Gold Cup has now been sponsored by Totesport for 31 years. Of course with Betfred buying the Tote in July 2011, who knows what will happen to the sponsorship of the event in 2012? My money is on the continuation of Totesport as the sponsor, but time will tell if this is the case for the 2012 Gold Cup. Now for a random bit of racing trivia, who were the first ever sponsors of the Gold Cup back in 1975? The answer is Piper Champagne, so maybe tuck that little gem away for a pub quiz at some point in the future!

Another random fact that you may not know, is that over the course of the 2012 Cheltenham Festival, it is estimated that over £500 million worth of bets will be processed. This goes to show the value of the race to the betting industry and also indicates that we all still love to bet on jumps racing!