As a reward for our top performing salesmen we arranged a day out at the races at the Cheltenham Festival. We arrange 2 luxury coaches from AMWIN with 2 pick-up points – one in the City of London at our main office and then a second at our office in the West End of London. The coaches arrived on time in the City and looked very impressive. Once on board we could see the luxury provided by the coaches with comfortable forward and backward facing reclining leather seats, tables, a kitchen and toilet on board. A well stock fridge, plenty of food and a range of chilled wines, champagne and soft drinks.

The journey through London went smoothly and our colleagues were picked up in the West End Office and then we were soon out of London and on our way to Cheltenham via the M40 and then from Oxford along the A40. The onboard screens throughout the interior of the coach meant that we could watch some of the previous day’s highlights as well as the latest news on the build up to our days racing. Using the free Wifi on the coach several of the passengers were already placing bets and there was an excited atmosphere already building.

We arrived at the track and had arranged parking in the members’ car parks where picnic tables were already on view and champagne was flowing freely for many racegoers.

Entering the course there was a buzz of expectation as our group spread out into the Guinness Village with its bars and bands to explore.

The track looked resplendent in the spring sunshine, with the BetVictor blimp hovering above the course providing spectacular aerial shots for ITV Racing shown on large screens throughout the course.

With the tote advertising on the screens that one lucky punter won £182,566 for a £2 placepot bet at the 2019 Festival, it was time for my first flutter of the day.

The first race was the JCB Triumph Hurdle and a huge roar sent the runners on their way and the near 70,000 crowd’s excitement was reaching near fever pitch as 5-2 favourite Goshen bounds ten lengths clear in the straight only to unseat his jockey at the last flight. It’s left to Burning Victory (12-1) to claim the spoils and kick-start a memorable day for Irish trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend. Unfortunately, not the one I bet on, but onto the next.

The next 2 races provide plenty of excitement – the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle with Saint Roi (11-2 favourite), ridden by Barry Geraghty, and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle courtesy of Monkfish (5-1), with Townend on board – to complete a treble for Willie Mullins. My treble of no wins from 3 bets wasn’t quite as good.
Luxury coach hire to Cheltenham
Next it was the main race – the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and another massive roar wents up from the packed stands as the 12 runners embark on their extended three-mile-and-two-furlong journey. Mullins saddles defending champion Al Boum Photo, and it’s the 100-30 favourite that digs deepest on the run-in to deny Santini by a neck and become the first back-to-back winner of chasing’s blue riband since Best Mate.
It completes a fantastic 2,196-1 four-timer for the Irish champion trainer, while Townend punches the air in delight as Al Boum Photo is cheered into the winner’s enclosure.

The afternoon continues with 2 more races and I finally back a winner in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase with Chosen Mate (7-2 favourite), ridden by Davy Russell.

In the final race Indefatigable (25-1), who is only fifth jumping the last in the closing Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle comes from nowhere and flies up the hill to pip Pileon.

The end of a great days racing and for my first visit to the Festival – it truly has been a great day and hopefully I’ll be back again.

As we head back to the coaches in the car park there are tales of what might have been for some of the bets but everyone agrees it has been a great day out. The coaches smoothly leave the car park and we start our journey back to London. With plenty of snacks and drink on board there is a jovial atmosphere as we head back and the luxury of the interior of the coaches really make it an easy journey back to London.