One of the most popular races at the Cheltenham Festival will be renamed for one year only in 2012 in honour of The Queen it has been announced. The National Hunt Chase will be named the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase for this year only as the Festival honours the sixty years on the throne for the Queen. The Monarch as we know is a keen racing fan and with celebrations set to go on around the country Cheltenham has decided to follow suit in March. The four mile race has become an important part of the Cheltenham Festival schedule in recent years with those young staying chasers getting their chance in one of the big races of the season. The race will remain the first ron the day two card of the Festival and it is likely to be a hot affair in the betting ring with ground conditions always important in such a long distance affair.
Past winners of the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham include the likes of Silver Birch and Niche Market who have both gone onto win some massive races in their career. It really does act as a trial for future Grand National horses and that is exactly where we can expect to see last year's winner, Chicago Grey, heading towards in April. The race will now get plenty of attention with the Diamond Jubilee name attached to it and it would be no surprise to see one of the best list of entries for the race in recent times. Early favourites in the betting include Restless Harry who has some good form to his name and the equally exciting Teaforthree who looks to have a good future for trainer Rebecca Curtis. The National Hunt Chase may not be one of the Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival but it is nevertheless an important race on the calendar which will take on even more importance in 2012.