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WATCH: Cheltenham Festival Memorable Moment – Number 5

07 Mar 2023
Where better to start than with a memorable moment from the opening day – and the opening race – of the Cheltenham Festival?

This memorable moment was sent in by Sarah from Gloucestershire.

Every Cheltenham Festival is exciting, but the 2012 Supreme Novices' Hurdle was memorable for me. 

Following the death of Ginger McCain in 2011, I had read that the last horse he named was Cinders and Ashes, which he'd arrived at whilst watching Thomas the Tank Engine with his grandchildren. 

On the first day of the Festival for the first race, I knew I was going to back Cinders and Ashes – and scurried around the bookies to find the longest odds. I got 22/1. 

It was a magnificent race, a true Cheltenham thriller, especially when you've backed an outsider who's in the mix of it, then pushes forward to give an outstanding winning performance. I was elated – and thought my day could not get any better and went to watch him come in the Winners’ Enclosure to cheer his triumph. 

I started to tell my friend how he was the last horse that Ginger had named, when an older lady standing next to me said “I knew Ginger well, I was there when he got Red Rum out of the horse box for the first time and he thought he had made a mistake as he seemed to be lame; that's why he trained it on the sand.” We chatted for some time, I didn't know her name, but she gave me the greatest memory of Cheltenham. 

Obviously, collecting my winnings as the bookmaker had to reach into his back pocket for another roll of bank notes, rounded off my greatest moment at the Festival. 

Thank you, Sarah – from everyone at the Coral Racing Club – for sharing your fantastic Cheltenham Festival moment with us.
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