REVEALED: Cheltenham Festival’s traditional crowd roar at the start of the first race of the week WILL be used on ITV’s live coverage despite racing fans being banned from attending
- Only competitors, officials and limited media will be allowed at Cheltenham
- ITV will use a previous crowd roar when they broadcast the first race of the week
- It has become tradition that the decibels reach their peak for the curtain-raiser
- ITV have not yet decided if they will use the roar in the three subsequent days
- They have not been using crowd noise as a backdrop to their racing coverage
The traditional roar before the first race of the Cheltenham Festival will be heard on Tuesday with ITV expected to play it as a soundtrack to their coverage next week despite the grandstands being deserted.
Runners are cheered off before the start of all 28 races of the biggest meeting of the jumps season but it has become a tradition that the decibels reach their peak as the runners approach the starting tape for the curtain-raising Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
It has not been decided yet whether ITV will use the crowd roar ahead of the first race of the three subsequent days.
Runners and riders get ready to go off in the first race of last year’s Cheltenham Festival
The traditional crowd roar will be used on ITV, despite fans being banned from attending
Ed Chamberlin, who anchors the broadcaster’s racing coverage, said: ‘At the moment that is the plan. It is probably the question I have been asked more than any other about the Festival so we are going to give it a whirl.
‘The first race roar has become synonymous with the start of the meeting.’
ITV has not been using crowd noise as a backdrop to their racing coverage. Instead, they have played out a gentle hum of horses’ hooves hitting the turf during races.
With only competitors, officials and limited media allowed on the racecourse, ITV have increased their coverage to six of the seven races each day.
ITV presenter Ed Chamberlin (right) says the first race roar is ‘synonymous’ with the Festival
The grandstands at Cheltenham were packed last year, despite fears over the coronavirus
The Cheltenham Festival will be the first time the ITV presenters have attended a race day since December 27. Since then the main team has been based at either Ascot or Kempton, with lone reporters sent to the track racing that day.
Ruby Walsh, whose 59 winners make him the most successful Festival jockey of all time, will be at Cheltenham as part of the team working with the runners representing trainer Willie Mullins.
Walsh will also be part of the ITV team but he will do so from a different part of the racecourse to minimise the contact between individuals from Britain and Ireland.
Only competitors, officials and limited media will be allowed at Cheltenham this time around
More details about the logistics surrounding the Festival are expected to emerge today.
It has already been announced that British based and Irish jockeys will have separate changing facilities, while all Irish personnel will be accommodated on site in a ‘green bubble’ for the duration of the meeting to minimise contact with the local community.
Meanwhile, prize money at Royal Ascot in June will be £6million.
That is 66 per cent rise from the £3.61m offered during the Covid-19 affected 2020 season but below the £8m track had planned to offer in 2020 pre-pandemic.