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Smurfit Champions Hurdle Day at Cheltenham 2010

Cheltenham National Hunt Festival

Tuesday 16th March 2010

The long awaited National Hunt Festival 2010 got underway with the Smurfit Champions Hurdle Day at the Cheltenham Racecourse, as huge crowds gathered for another wonderful racing occasion. Guests came from all over the UK and Ireland to enjoy the finest meeting on the jump race calendar.

Excited guests were greeted by the Cheltenham hostesses at the Official Corporate Hospitality Facility on Champions Drive. Champagne flowed while guests revelled in the vibrant atmosphere leading up to the opening race of the festival.

With the day's hospitality now in full swing, Channel 4 Racing's Derek Thompson gave his own opinions and tips on the day's racing, before clients were served a sumptuous four course luncheon. Any last minute bets could be conveniently placed at the tote betting stands within the restaurant facility ahead of the first race at 1.30pm. With the corporate hospitality restaurant ideally located, clients are provided with the perfect base to enjoy the entertainment on offer.

Having made the short walk from the facility, punters joined the enormous crowd gathered trackside and as the starter raised the tape, the traditional Cheltenham Festival roar went up from the huge crowd, signalling the start of the festival. Irish hotshot Dunguib was the hotly tipped favourite for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle Race but could only manage third place as Menorah claimed the first win of the festival.

Guests had the luxury of coming and going as they pleased from the facility throughout the day; many choosing to enjoy the complimentary bar and view the action on the plasma screens, others preferring to get out onto the track and soak up the atmosphere of the festival.

Next up was the Arkle Chase, which saw Sizing Europe come away with the victory from the fast finishing Somersby a close second and Osana back in third.

With enough time to make their way back to the facility between races, guests could enjoy another drink whilst mulling over the contenders for the next race.

Pre race favourite The Package was well beaten by 33-1 outsider Chief Dan George in the William Hill Trophy, in what was turning into a good day for the bookmakers. Wins and losses were both taken in good spirits as the exclusive corporate entertainment rolled on throughout the day.

The highlight of the Cheltenham Festival Day 1 was undoubtedly the Champion Hurdle Trophy, the highest-quality race of its type run anywhere in the world.

Punjabi was looking for back-to-back wins here, but a thrilling race ended with a famous victory for Binocular ridden by Tony McCoy, with Khyber Kim in second and Zaynar taking third.

The hugely popular McCoy was welcomed into the parade ring with a rapturous ovation from the Cheltenham faithful. Later, the Cross-Country Chase was won by A New Story who travelled well throughout the race, ending the monopoly of the JP McManus team had held in the event.

Sunshine blazed over Cheltenham throughout the first day of the festival, ideal for corporate clients who were able to cool off with the wide range of drinks from the complimentary bar to choose from.

The final race of day one saw Quevega show a brilliant turn of foot to land the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle for the second year in succession at Cheltenham, giving jockey Ruby Walsh his first win of the festival.

A fantastic first day at Cheltenham saw guests depart, if not with a pocket full of winnings, then at least a superb Cheltenham Festival Hospitality experience under their belts, courtesy of Hospitalityfinder.

Why not join us next year and you could enjoy a fantastic day of thrilling racing and corporate entertainment with your guests with Cheltenham Festival Hospitality, courtesy of Hospitalityfinder.

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