Today is Cheltenham Gold Cup day, the race that decides the champion chaser of the National Hunt season. It starts at 3.20pm and will attract not only the total attention of all at Prestbury Park but also several million racing enthusiasts at home.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a horse racing epic that has produced winners who have become household names. Arkle, Desert Orchid, Dawn Run, and Best Mate are just four of the many legendary names to have won and todays race has the potential to produce another.
Kauto Star is favourite and if he wins he will be the first horse ever to have regained the crown; he won in 2007. Denman who beat Kauto Star into second place last year could also earn legendary status should he retain the race, but after suffering from a dodgy heart beat at the end of last season it seems unlikely. They are both trained by Paul Nicholls.
Perhaps it will be a day for the romantics and the Queens horse, Barbers Shop. He has had a great sesson and has excellent claims to run a big race today, so too does Neptune Collonges, stablemate to both Kauto Star and Denman and who was third last year. Exotic Dancer too comes into the race in great form so does Madison De Berlais who was the first horse to defeat Denman over fences last month.
It promises to be a great race no matter what the outcome because the Cheltenham Gold Cup will confirm its place as one of the great sporting ocassions of the calendar year.