Aston Villa stars cheer on the horses at the Cheltenham Festival after making a friends pledge

Tyrone Mings, Emiliano Martinez, Ashley Young, Kortney Hause, Matty Cash, Emi Buendia, Philippe Coutinho, Ollie Watkins and John McGinn enjoyed day one of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival

Aston Villa players watch Cheltenham Festival drama unfold

The Aston Villa stars spent a day at the races to fulfill their promise to be friends off the pitch. Premier League players have gathered to enjoy day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

Skipper Tyrone Mings was part of the group in the grandstand to watch all seven races of the major sporting event. Alongside Emiliano Martinez, Ashley Young, Kortney Hause and Matty Cash, the group saw Honeysuckle and Rachael Blackmore claim back-to-back victories in the Champion Hurdle.

Emi Buendia, Philippe Coutinho, Ollie Watkins and John McGinn also joined in on the action, among a crowd of 68,000 at the Gloucestershire venue. Recently, Mings revealed how the team, who were due to face Arsenal at home on Saturday, are doing more social activities to bring them closer together.

Speaking at a fundraising event for the Aston Villa foundation, Mings said: “We work harder off the pitch to try to get to know each other better, to try to have more experiences off the pitch with each other. so that in and around the training ground you are not just a teammate, you are a friend.

“You’re someone you can relate to, you understand a player’s journey, you understand people’s different family situations, you understand when things aren’t going well for them off the pitch.

“All of this leads us to get this club back in the right direction and get this club back to where it should be.”

The players cheered on the horses from the stands



Other celebrities present on Champions Day were Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster, former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond and John Motson.

Track regular Zara Tindall was on hand to present prizes to the winning connections.

Famous flat racing jockey Frankie Dettori had a rare day on the jumps circuit.

On Wednesday, Harry Redknapp will be among those on track for Ladies’ Day.

Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle made headlines on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival



He recently bought a horse named Back On The Lash, along with several others – and the horse is taking on double Grand National hero Tiger Roll in the cross-country race.

Trained by Gordon Elliott, the little hunter is aiming for his sixth victory at the Festival before retiring.

The featured race on the card is the Champion Chase, sponsored by Betway.

Race favorite Shishkin, 10-11 with bookmakers Betfred, is after a third victory in the meeting.

His trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville completed a one-two on day one as fans returned to the showpiece meeting at Prestbury Park for the first time since 2020.

Get a £5 free bet every day of the Cheltenham Festival with bet365 here.

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