Two Cheltenham Festival preview events will be held at Fontwell Park next month.
First up is a Betfair-sponsored preview evening on Tuesday, March 8, when the panel includes Matt Chapman and Sean Boyce from At The Races, trainer Brendan Powell, Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley and Steve Mellish from Racing UK.
The evening will be hosted by Tony Calvin from Betfair.
Boyce joined At The Races following an illustrious career with Ladbrokes, where he’d worked as a broadcaster, PR manager and head of communications. He writes a sports betting column for The People newspaper and appears across TV channels as a reporter and pundit.
Chapman joined At The Races after eight years on the Racing Post and four years with the Racing Channel. He became fascinated by foreign racing after two-and-a-half years at the International Racing Bureau in Newmarket and has also been PR director for the Tote and agent to top flat rider Darryll Holland.
Former jump jockey Brendan Powell rode more than 600 winners on stars like Pegwell Bay and Rhyme’n’Reason. He retired from race-riding in 2000 and immediately set up as a trainer. He has proved himself as adept at training as he was at riding with an increasingly successful string of flat and jump horses.
Mellish has worked in the racing industry for 18 years. He provides paddock comments for Raceform, the official form book, as well as writing a weekly column for the Racing & Football Outlook. Moreover, he is a punter.
Winstanley, from the Racing Post, is probably the most colourful tipster, and is well-known for his cockney speak and classic one liners.
Tickets are £20 and include a one course buffet meal with coffee and chocolates. The event starts at 7pm.
There is another preview, also backed by Betfair, on the race day of Wednesday, March 8. The same panel, apart from Winstanley, will preview the festival before Fontwell’s seven-race card. The preview starts at 12.15pm in the Premier Grandstand and the first race is off at 2pm.
There are two tickets options. For £20 you will receive a ticket for the Premier Enclosure with access to the preview. There is also a lunch package for £69 and this includes a Premier Enclosure ticket, a three-course lunch, a race day programme, the festival preview and use of the hospitality lounge.
To purchase tickets, call Jo Littmoden on 01243 543335 or visit www.fontwellpark.co.uk
Before the Cheltenham events comes Fontwell’s National Spirit Hurdle meeting on Sunday (February 27).