Cheltenham offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate the New Year with a tremendous seven-race card on New Year’s Day, Tuesday 1st January 2019.
New Year’s Day at the Home of Jump Racing boasts a programme offering a total of £260,000 in prize money, with the most valuable race of the day being the £75,000 G3 BetBright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase (2m 4f 166y, 2.00pm).
Locally-based trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has landed this contest for three of the past five years, including in 2018 with Ballyhill.
Further Graded action on New Year’s Day comes courtesy of the £35,000 G2 BetBright Dipper Novices’ Chase (2m 4f 166y, 1.25pm), which often provides clues for the novices’ chases at The Festival™ presented by Magners, and the £50,000 G2 Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle (2m 4f 56y, 3.10pm), which went to subsequent G1 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle third Wholestone in 2018.
Family Fun Zone
The Family Fun Zone, located in the tented village for Club/Tattersalls ticket holders, has a whole host of activities on offer for younger racegoers on New Year’s Day, from rosette making and giant inflatables to walking pet balloons and the Wheel of Fortune.
Paw Patrol’s Chase and Marshall will be making personal appearances at intervals throughout the day. Appearances from Paw Patrol’s Chase and Marshall will be at 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm in the Family Fun Zone.
There is FREE entry for all accompanied racegoers aged 17 and under.
Club and Tattersalls ticket holders will be able to enjoy live music from favourites The Wickermen who are performing throughout the day in The Guinness Village to get your 2019 off to a fantastic start.
Enjoy live music in The Centaur after racing from the Hipcats Big Band. The Hipcats are well-known for their brilliant performances of upbeat jazz and swing with a cool and contemporary twist – songs you know and love with a few surprises too. Their stellar line-up of musicians has performed at top venues across the UK and they are always a great hit.
Clyne (Evan Williams) made a very encouraging return this season when the two and a half-length second to Unowhatimeanharry in the G2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on 30th November – his first attempt at three miles. The son of Hernando has six victories to his name; four at two miles, one at two miles and three furlongs and the most recent over two and a half miles at Uttoxeter in March.
Clyne also finished a creditable third in the G1 Betway Aintree Hurdle at over two and a half miles at Aintree in April and the eight-year-old’s trainer is considering going for the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle.
Williams, based at Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan, said: “I was delighted with Clyne’s performance in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury. It was a competitive contest against some high-quality staying hurdlers and he ran a great race.
“Cheltenham on New Year’s Day for the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle would be a definite possibility at the moment. Clyne got outpaced early, but stayed on well at Newbury and these races look the way to go. He also likes cut in the ground. He is not a horse who wants to go right-handed – he showed at Newbury that he lugs to the left.”
Clyne, out of the first four only once in his 18 starts, has yet to race at Cheltenham, a left-handed track.
New Year’s Day order of running 2019
Time Race Prize Money Distance
12.15pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) £25,000 2m 4f 56y
12.50pm Join The BetBright Racing Club Handicap Chase £25,000 3m 2f 70y
1.25pm BetBright Dipper Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) £35,000 2m 4f 166y
2.00pm Download the BetBright App Handicap Chase (Grade 3) £75,000 2m 4f 166y
2.35pm Simplify Horse Racing Selections With BetFinder At BetBright Handicap Hurdle £25,000 2m 7f 213y
3.10pm Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle (Grade 2) £50,000 2m 4f 56y
3.50pm EBF Stallions & Cheltenham Pony Club NH Flat Race (Listed) £25,000 1m 5f 209y