2019 Cheltenham Showcase Meeting preview – What to look forward to on a wonderful weekend at Prestbury Park
Our expert preview’s this two-day meeting at Cheltenham and shows you where you can get tickets to Prestbury Park for this fantastic weekend at the end of October.
It’s always a momentous occasion whenever Cheltenham racecourse opens its gates and a passionate crowd of National Hunt fans will flock to Prestbury Park at the end of October, as a sea of stars assemble for the two-day Showcase Meeting. Although there are no Graded or Listed prizes on offer on either the Friday or the Saturday, each day often produces winners of big races later in the campaign, even throwing up a clue or two for that season’s Cheltenham Festival.
The 2018 Showcase Meeting was filled climatic highs and dramatic lows, thanks mainly to a stretch of temporary railing which failed to stop a couple of probably winners exiting the course at a crucial stage. The most notable race of the week turned out to be the Maiden Hurdle on day one, where Thomas Darby got the better of Elixir De Nutz with a flying finish up Cleeve Hill. Colin Tizzard’s runner-up returned to Cheltenham to win the Sharps Novices’ Hurdle the following month, before scoring in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at the start of the New Year. Thomas Darby built on his victory during the Showcase Meeting with a fine showing in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival in March, running on well for second behind imperious winner, Klassical Dream.
Fan’s favourite, Lil Rockerfeller was amongst the winners at last year’s Showcase Meeting when winning a novice’s chase, along with Paul Nicholls’ Modus and Rebecca Curtis’ Relentless Dreamer, who claimed the two biggest prize pots of the week on Saturday. Cogry, who placed second behind Relentless Dreamer in Saturday’s opener, went on to score in a Grade Three at Cheltenham’s International Meeting, while Master Debonair followed his runner-up finish in day two’s card-closing bumper with a fine Listed triumph over Thyne Hill when he returned to Prestbury Park in November.
There was plenty of success for Irish trainers during last year’s Showcase Meeting, with Willie Mullins’ main rival, Gordon Elliott saddling two impressive winners on the second and final afternoon. John McConnell’s Pearl Of The West shocked a couple of fancied British runners in the Masterson’s Holding Hurdle and went on to score in a lucrative handicap at the Punchestown Festival in the spring.
This year’s edition of the Showcase Meeting promises to be just as exciting as last year’s extravaganza, so you’d be best served snapping up your tickets now, while there are still spaces available!