Johnny Ward: Cheltenham barely at the races as prize meeting falls flat

The showpiece festival of British National Hunt racing seems to have lost its way in every respect

The JCB Triumph Hurdle on day four of the Cheltenham Festival: according to one bookmaker, ‘it felt very ordinary. It is not like the Cheltenham of old.’ Picture: Michael Steele/Getty

Winners are easily forgiven but non-Irish winners were desperately needed at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

It was left to Dan Skelton, son of British Olympic gold medallist Nick and older brother of champion jockey Harry, to put up any sort of a battle to deter the dominance of Willie Mullins at the Prestbury Park course.

At half-time in this four-day showpiece of British National Hunt racing, all bar one of the 23 horses that had ...