Cheltenham Festival 2019 – ‘This is sport at its best’, says ITV presenter Ed Chamberlin

Ed hopes Altior will be the star of the show

The biggest event in the National Hunt racing calendar is almost here as the superstars of the sport battle it out over four days of fantastic action at the Cheltenham Festival.

ITV Racing will be bringing us live coverage of all the key races and for host Ed Chamberlin it’s what the whole season has been about.

“If you’re a sports fan you want your season to build to a crescendo, and I think National Hunt racing does that better than pretty much any sport,” he enthuses. “All roads lead to Cheltenham from when the first hurdle or fence is jumped in the new season.”

Here Ed Chamberlin, 45, talks us through the biggest race of each day at this year’s Cheltenham Festival…

Champion Hurdle live on ITV on Tuesday 12th March – race time 3.30pm

“Two-time Champion Hurdle winner Buveur d’Air is a much better horse than last year and he’s going to have to be to win it again! I tipped Laurina for this when she won last year’s Mares Novice Hurdle and I got a lot of abuse on Twitter! But I’m sticking with her!!,” says Ed.

Queen Mother Champion Chase live on ITV on Wednesday 13th March at 3.30pm

Nicky Henderson with Altior

Trainer Nicky Henderson with Altior, who promises to be one of the stars of the Cheltenham Festival (Photo by Steve Cargill/racingfotos.com/REX/Shutterstock)

“There’s no chance of Altior getting beaten! Altior is very special, he’s the Lionel Messi of National Hunt racing, he’s a different class,” says Ed. “This is sport at its best, I hope he wins. Racing needs champions and I’d hate to see Altior beaten.”

Racing Stayers’ Hurdle live on ITV on Thursday 14th March at 3.30pm

Paisley Park in action

Paisley Park winning would make a great story, reckons Ed (Photo by Steve Davies/racingfotos.com/REX/Shutterstock)

“Paisley Park winning would be the best story of the entire festival because his owner has been blind since birth and is a wonderful man called Andrew Gemmell. He’s a sport fanatic and an amazing man. He always listens to the commentary near our ITV podium and the joy on his face is just a sight to behold.”

Cheltenham Gold Cup live on ITV on Friday 15th March at 3.30pm

“It has all the ingredients for a vintage Gold Cup,” reckons Ed. “Clans Des Obeaux has not put a foot wrong and probably should be favourite, but Presenting Percy has got a bit of mystery about him. The whole of Ireland is behind him and he’s the horse with the wow factor. I’m siding with him.”

Watch the Cheltenham Festival on ITV.