A Free Day at The Races | Cheltenham Festival

I absolutely love horse racing. I've pretty much been brought up watching it - my earliest memories are of having picnics at the races & running in the centre of the course to try and catch up with the horses. 

I've been to a huge amount of race courses up and down the country over the years, and one of my favourites is Cheltenham. It's a beautiful course, with amazing scenery and you're always promised a great day out there. Although I watch the Cheltenham Festival on the TV each year, I've never actually been to it myself. It always looks so packed, it's during the week so I'd have to get time of work, and to be honest the tickets are usually quite pricey compared to standard meetings (I get why, though).

However, this year I decided to go. One, because I really wanted to, and two, because I could go for free. Yep, I managed to go to one of the biggest race meetings of the year, for free. Tickets for the St Patricks Raceday on Thursday 15th March started at £40 and went up to over £100. Luckily for me, I have been signed up to Rewards4Racing for over a year now, and over the course of the year I managed to accumulate £47 worth of points which more than covered my £40 ticket (delivery was free too, because I selected to print my ticket at home).

The way that Rewards4Racing works is very similar to websites like Top Cashback or Quidco whereby, if you shop online or bet online through the link on the R4R webpage,  you get X amount of points per pound you spend. I managed to kick-start my funds with a huge £20 worth of points simply by opening an account through a betting site - I didn't even need to deposit anything! You can then spend your points on tickets for so many different racecourses, as well as on things such as Racecard Vouchers or The Jockey Club Giftcards. For some racecourses, they don't allow you to spend the points on big meetings, but Cheltenham were kind enough to let members spend them during the Festival!

 The day itself was great. We got tickets for the 'Best Mate Enclosure' which is the cheapest option. For me, I thought it was great value for money. You had a wonderful view of the racecourse, there was plenty of room to either view the race from the fence or up in the stands, and there were countless amounts of food and beverage outlets. The one downside was that there were only two sets of Ladies toilets, and the queues were going so far out of the door and were constant (even when the race was on!). I did have a little bit of a panic attack when I was there, but I was fine in the end.

The racing for the day was epic, and I had a winner and a couple of horse placed. A big highlight was when the hot-favourite for the Ryanair Chase, Un Des Sceaux, was beaten by Balko Des Flos. I love an underdog story and, although I had a bet on Cue Card who was pulled up, I almost lost my voice shouting Balko Des Flos home! At the races I've never really heard a stunned silence before, but I did for a little bit. I think alot of people in the enclosure I was in had Un Des Sceaux to win. 

I really hope to return back to Cheltenham soon, and maybe experience a little hospitality there. It's a beautiful racecourse with great features and I think that enjoying some racing from the comfort and luxury of a hospitality suite sounds like something I would enjoy! If any of you are yet to visit the racecourse, I urge you to go soon because it is truly a great day out. And if you haven't signed up to Rewards4Racing yet, you're missing a trick.

You can sign up to Rewards4Racing for free via this link.

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