Many people who live around the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida regions of Spain love to follow horse racing. That is especially true of the British ex-pat community who enjoy staying in touch with what is happening in the UK. Of course, the internet gives an easy way to do this with online sportsbooks making it simple to bet on horse racing around the world.
One of the top meetings is the Cheltenham Festival held in March each year. Many people will start planning now and looking at other major meets in advance to see how the best horses are likely to shape up for 2021. The International Festival at Cheltenham each December is one such meeting.
Running for two days this year over December 11th and 12th , the main draws are the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and the International Hurdle races. With many top trainers using it to warm up for the Festival in March, it is also great for checking out some 2021 Cheltenham Festival tips. By seeing what happens at a major meeting like this you will be all set for the March 2021 Cheltenham Festival when it arrives.
Coole Cody shaping up nicely for Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
For many, Coole Cody is one horse worth keeping an eye on in this race. This horse has been in great form since moving to trainer Evan Williams earlier in 2020 and has already won the 2020 Paddy Power Gold Cup. If it were to also clinch this race the horse would be only the fourth to win both races in the same season.
It should also be remembered that trainer Paul Nicholls loves this race and has won it five times before. Master Tommytucker looks the pick of the bunch for Nicholls in this race. This horse oozes class and won by a massive 15 lengths when scampering to victory at Haydock Park recently.
Of course, Nicky Henderson is another top trainer who has tasted success in this race before. Although losing to Coole Cody on his first run back from a break recently, Mister Fisher looks the best Henderson horse and has shown enough in the past to make him a threat.
Who can clinch The International Hurdle?
Also taking place on the Saturday of this meet is The International Hurdle. This is another prestigious race which racing fans in Spain may like to follow and to bet on a runner or two. It has been won by some top-class horses in the past, such as Rooster Booster.
It looks like Epatante should be running and many make him the favourite to take this race. Blessed with electric pace and good jumping ability, this Nicky Henderson trained mare should do well. The main challenger looks set to be the highly respected Goshen.
Although this Gary Moore trained horse has not been seen yet this winter, Goshen is expected to return for The International Festival. If the ground is soft enough for him come race-day, then he could be one to watch.
Don’t forget Day 1’s action!
While much of the focus goes on the major races on Day 2 of this festival, keen horse racing fans around Spain should also make the most of Day 1’s action.
For example, there is the Grade 3 Handicap Chase which has been a much-loved fixture in the calendar since 2003. Fergal O’Brien’s Agent Valdez is in good form and heading the ante-post betting at many sportsbooks online.
Many people also love to watch the unique Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on Day 1. This is run over the cross-country course at Cheltenham and always makes for some dramatic action. Last year’s winner Easysland is back in the field this year and is favourite to clinch another win.
Get ready for Cheltenham 2021 now
Although March may seem a way off, the Cheltenham Festival will soon be here again. As per keeping up to date with the latest news in Costa Calida and Costa Blanca, thinking about it in advance is wise. Checking out The International Festival in December is a great idea to help. It not only lets you see what form some of the horses that might compete in March are currently enjoying and how they compare, it also enables you to see how they have run previously at the course.