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from Left field:

Punters prepare for credit crunch-busting Cheltenham


Credit crunch? World financial crisis? Don't you believe it. The Cheltenham Festival, the highlight of the British jumps racing calendar, starts on Tuesday and millions of pounds will be gambled over four days of high-quality action.

Forget the glamour and fashion of Royal Ascot, this is where tweed adorns the shoulders of the English gentry and the Irish travel in their droves to roar on their equine superstars.

The Gold Cup steeplechase on Friday is the highlight of 26 races across the four days and by 1530 GMT we will know if Denman's victory last year was a flash in the pan.

A monster of a horse, Denman confirmed his immense talent by vanquishing 2007 winner Kauto Star but there is little confidence in the horse 12 months on.