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Festival fever hits Cheltenham!

PUBLISHED: 10:02 21 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:12 20 February 2013

AP McCoy and Synchronised celebrate their win in the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photo by Dan Abraham

AP McCoy and Synchronised celebrate their win in the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photo by Dan Abraham

Four days, 237,000 racegoers, £1 million in bets... Andy Clifton of Cheltenham Racecourse looks back on this year's spectacular Festival

Festivalfever hits Cheltenham!


Four days, 237,000 racegoers, 1 million in bets Andy Clifton of Cheltenham Racecourse looks back on this years spectacular Festival




Its not quite the morning after the night before, but for manysport and racing fans in the Cotswolds, the long wait for The Festival at Cheltenham has just started all over again.

This year, the four days of world-class Jump racing was attended by more people that ever before, with 237,000racegoers descending on Cheltenham,including a huge 70,000 for the highlight of the week,Cheltenham Gold Cup Day. The influx or visitors isworth well over 50 million to the local economy, with hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, bars, taxi companies and many others feeling the benefit of the annual friendly invasion from far and wide. More than 10,000 additional people stayed in the area each night, well over 1 million in cash was bet on each of the 27 races on-courseandthe chances are a similar amount was changing hands in the town during the evenings! Not only that, but a local horse won the big race, with Synchronised victorious in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup fortrainer Jonjo ONeill, based just a few miles from the racecourse. Jonjo becomes just the fourth man toride and train the winner of the Gold Cup, as he was victorious on Dawn Run in 1986, the last mare to win the great race. In fact, Jonjos ties to Cheltenham Racecourse areas strong as anyones, as he married wifeJacquiat the track almost 20 years ago. The scenes after Synchroniseds victory spoke volumes for the warmth in which Jonjo, jockey AP McCoy and owner JP McManus are held.

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