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Three Shocking Victories In The History Of The Cheltenham Festival

Three Shocking Victories In The History Of The Cheltenham Festival

In the UK, one cannot get a better horse racing event than the Cheltenham Festival, a meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar with prize money second only to the Grand National. It takes place at the Cheltenham Racecourse every year in March, bringing together some of the best horses in the world. 

One of the biggest attractions of the festival is that it provides plenty of betting opportunities for punters who make their preparations at long before the event starts. 

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  1. Desert Orchid (1990 Gold Cup) 

Desert Orchid, Timeform’s best National Hunt horse ever, pulled off a spectacular Cheltenham Gold Cup victory in 1989, despite not having very favourable conditions for him. After that memorable victory, the David Elsworth trained horse entered the following year’s competition as a hot favourite. However, the spectators at Aintree were in for a huge surprise as another obscure racehorse would go on to claims the coveted prize. 

Norton’s Coin was not a famous name at that time, having registered no big victories. At odds of 100/1, Norton’s Coin name evoked no great emotion among horse racing fans. However, the Sirrell Griffiths trained horse was in the form of his life and went on to pull off a stunning victory in the most prestigious Cheltenham Festival race. 

  1. Hardy Eustace (2004 Champion Hurdle)

For neutral fans, nothing can provide a more thrilling and exciting experience than a surprise victory in a famous horse race. And in 2004, that is exactly what happened in the Champion Hurdle when spectators witnessed a shocking win for a relatively unknown horse. 

Boasting only a few average performances in Ireland, Hardy Eustace wasn’t expected to pull off a victory in the Grade 1 National Hunt race. However, the Dessie Hughes trained horse defied the odds at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Despite being a 33/1 outsider, Hardy Eustace staged a stunning display on his big day to defeat favourite contender and defending champion Rooster Booster. And once he got going, there was no stopping him as the amazing racehorse went on to win in the 2005 Champion Hurdle too. He also registered victories in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle, Ascot Hurdle, and the Irish Champion Hurdle. 

  1. Ebaziyan (2007 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) 

Willie Mullins is one of the biggest names in the history of Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, having claimed an incredible seven victories in the prestigious race. One of the remarkable feats of the Irish trainer was to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with a 40/1 runner. Ebaziyan was the unlikely winner of Mullins who outclassed Nicky Henderson’s Amaretto Rose to claim a memorable victory in Cheltenham.

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