FESTIVAL FEVER: British tennis star and Cheltenham resident Dan Evans on how the town comes alive during the iconic meeting, getting up early to watch the action while playing in the USA… and his banker bet
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British tennis star Dan Evans would have been at the Cheltenham Festival this week if he hadn’t been playing in tournaments in the United States.
The 32-year-old will not miss out on action as he will get up early to watch the racing on TV during his stays in Indian Wells and Miami
Here he reveals what the iconic festival means to him, his favourite race of the four-day event and his banker bet.
What does Cheltenham mean to you?
I live in Cheltenham and whenever I’m at home during a meeting I will go as a punter.
Dan Evans would have been at the Festival this week if he hadn’t been playing in the US
The whole place comes alive whenever the racing is on and the effect is magnified when it’s the Festival.
What I love is going out in the morning for coffee and seeing everyone out early, preparing for the day, looking at the form and excited for what is coming.
What is your best memory of the Festival and which winner did you celebrate the most?
Hard to choose but probably Al Boum Photo winning the Gold Cup for the first time in 2019 when he was a 12-1 shot. A great race and a great ride by Paul Townend, giving Willie Mullins his first winner in the race.
Which is your favourite race of the four days?
It has to be the first race on the Tuesday when you hear the roar from the packed crowd. There’s a huge sense of anticipation about what lies ahead for the rest of the week. I have a horse in training for the Flat with trainer Joseph Parr, although my biggest passion is the jumps.
Evans likes the look of Blazing Khal in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle on Thursday
Will you be going? If not, where will you be watching?
Obviously I have to travel a lot and at the moment I am in the USA for tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.
With the time difference I always get up early to watch the action via Racing TV. If I was at home, I would definitely be at Cheltenham in person.
Your banker bet for the week?
While there are some fitness question marks after his impressive comeback last month, I still like Blazing Khal in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle. Just looks a good price to me for a quality horse.
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