Win a morning on the gallops at McPherson’s Racing and a meal at The Wild Rabbit

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most important dates in the racing calendar and a highlight of the National Hunt season at The Wild Rabbit.

Ordinarily we would be celebrating the Festival by hosting a special preview dinner with well-known faces from the local world of racing. This year, we will be marking the occasion a little differently.

To coincide with this year’s Festival, we are hosting a competition for two, to win a morning on the gallops with McPherson Racing, and a three-course meal at The Wild Rabbit.

You will be invited to the National Hunt yard of trainer Graeme McPherson, set in 200 acres just outside Stow-on-the-Wold. After watching the horses exercise on the gallops, you will enjoy a delicious champagne breakfast followed by a tour of the 80 box yard to meet some of the stars of the stables.

The prize also includes a three-course meal at The Wild Rabbit. Enjoy a menu celebrating the finest seasonal ingredients, paired with wine hand-selected by our sommelier. To be enjoyed at a time of your choice when our restaurant reopens.

For competition T&Cs click here. This competition is now closed.

To kick start the festivities and to help recreate the atmosphere of the Festival, we have asked our racing experts their favourite memories from the Cheltenham racecourse and to share a few tips for the week ahead.

Jonjo O’Neill, Jockey and Trainer, Jonjo O’Neill Racing

Of the horses you have trained, do you have a favourite?

I have been lucky enough to have had some amazing horses come through the yard but Synchronised would have to be the top one, he was quite a horse!

Who is the jockey we should be watching for in the future?

This season I am very lucky to have a super trio of conditionals in the yard who all bring so much talent to the game and I look forward to watching their careers flourish – Kevin Brogan, Philip Armson and William Marshall.

Is there a horse you wish you had trained over the years?

It would have to be Arkle, he was a machine.

What is your favourite Cheltenham Festival memory?

I am very lucky to have two great memories, as a jockey winning on Dawn Run in the Gold Cup 1986 and then training Synchronised for the Gold Cup win in 2012.

Charlie Brooks, Trainer and Telegraph Racing Columnist

What is your first training memory?

Before I took out a full licence, I used to train two point to pointers for Captain Egerton for his son Charles to ride. We had great fun stealing gallops off Paul Cole…. but not so much success on the track.

What is your favourite Cheltenham Festival memory?

Narrowly avoiding falling off at the last in the 1987 Foxhunters.

Of the horses you have trained, do you have a favourite?

Suny Bay was a horse in a life time and very unlucky not to win the Grand National. I also loved Bokaro and All Jeff.

Who is the jockey we should be watching for in the future?

I think Jonjo O’Neil Jnr will be champion jockey one day.

Graeme McPherson, Trainer, McPherson Racing

What is your first training memory?

Winning a maiden point to point at Cottenham with our very first runner. This is easy, I thought. Our second runner, 90 minutes later, was tailed off and pulled up. Not so easy, I thought …

Of the horses you have trained, do you have a favourite?

Ami Desbois – he joined us as a big, raw unraced 4 year old and was bought by a syndicate for very little money as a fun horse for the future. Since then he’s won 6 times, got black type over hurdles, taken his owners into the winners enclosure at Cheltenham and all being well, will run in this year’s Grand National. He’s certainly proved to be a ‘fun’ horse for them – and he’s a real yard favourite.

Is there a horse you wish you had trained over the years?

Red Rum – my first racing memory is watching him win his 3rd National.

Charlie Longsdon, Trainer, Charlie Longsdon Racing

What is your first training memory?

My first clear training memory was getting airlifted to hospital on the day of my first ever runner. A horse reared up and over and I got ‘hung up’ with my foot caught in the stirrup iron. I got dragged 100 yards by the horse and got kicked in the ribs a fair few times. When I got back to the yard I was struggling to breath and went blue so the air ambulance was called….!! I was fine after a day in hospital but missed my first ever runner (at Kempton) which incidentally was saddled by my brother-in-law Ben Pauling who had taken the day off work to give support – it finished out the back.

Who is the jockey we should be watching for in the future?

There is a good crop of young jockeys coming through the ranks. Jonjo O’Neill jnr has now already made it, but he could well be a future champion jockey.

Is there a horse you wish you had trained over the years?

There have been many great horses you would have loved to have trained, but the two that Spring to mind also provide me with some of my earlier racing memories. Desert Orchid was a true legend with a massive army of followers in both England and Ireland. Remittance Man is the other horse – there is no better sight than seeing a top class 2 mile chaser in action and he was the best of his generation.

Tom Lacey, Trainer, Cottage Field Stables

Of the horses you have trained, do you have a favourite?

Kimberlite Candy. I bought him as an unbroken 3-year-old store, I trained him his whole life and he’s joint fav for the 2021 Grand National.

Is there a horse you wish you had trained over the years?

Desert Orchid.

Who is the jockey we should be watching for in the future?

Richard Johnson.

What is your favourite Cheltenham Festival memory?

Backing Roster Booster to win the County hurdle on account as I lost every penny I had earlier in the week. It was the last race, got me a few beer tokens for the weekend.

Colin Brown, Jockey, Colin Brown Racing Hospitality

What is your favourite Cheltenham Festival memory?

Landing a gamble on Lesley Ann for David Elsworth’s yard in the RSA Chase in 1981. Beating some of the best horses ever to contend the race.

Who is the jockey we should be watching for in the future?

Jonjo O’Neil Jnr

Follow us on Instagram for tips on who we should be watching during the Festival from our trainers and jockeys.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our Cheltenham Festival Preview Dinner next year.

Share this post: