Cheltenham Festival – Need to Know Facts

Written by Kimberley | 14/03/2016


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Cheltenham festival 2016 is looming. Four explosive days of racing will take place this week starting on Tuesday 15th until Friday 18th. The historic gold cup will take place on Friday 18th March. Cheltenham will welcome over 200,000 racegoers from all round the world, its believed more than £500 million will be gambled throughout the week.

The Cheltenham festival is a meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar. The prize money comes second to the Grand National, over £4.1 million prize money. This festival enforces everything that is great about jump racing. It delivers an unbelievable occasion as the finest horses, jockeys, owners and trainers battle it out for some of the highest racing honours. The festival take place annually in March at Cheltenham racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The meeting normally coincides with St Patricks Day and is particularly popular with Irish racegoers.


There are 28 top class races at Cheltenham Festival, these are spread over four exciting days of action. The races are as following:

Day 1 Tuesday 15th March – Champion Day

  • 13:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle (2m 1/2f)
  • 14:05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase (2m)
  • 14:40 Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (3m 1/2f)
  • 15:20 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (2m 1/2f)
  • 16:00 Mare’s Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy) (2m 4f)
  • 16:40 National Hunt Chase (4m)
  • 17:15 Novices Handicap Chase (2m 4 1/2 f)

Day 2 Wednesday 16th March – Ladies Day

  • 13:30 Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle (2m 5f)
  • 14:05 RSA Steeple Chase (3m 1/2f)
  • 14:40 Coral Cup (2m 5f)
  • 15:20 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase (2m)
  • 16:00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (3m 7f)
  • 16:40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (2m 1/2f)
  • 17:15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (open NH Flat Race) (2m 1/2f)


Day 3 Thursday 17th March – St Patrick’s Day

  • 13:30 JLT Novices Steeple Chase (2m 5f)
  • 14:05 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (3m)
  • 14:40 Ryanair Chase (2m 5f)
  • 15:20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle (3m)
  • 16:00 Byrne Group Plate Handicap Steeple Chase (2m 4f)
  • 16:40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase (3m 1 1/2f)
  • 17:15 St Patricks Derby (Charity Race) (1m 5f)

Day 4 Friday 18th March – Cheltenham Gold Cup Day

  • 13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (2m 1f)
  • 14:05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (2m 1f)
  • 14:40 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (3m)
  • 15:20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase (3m 2 1/2f)
  • 16:00 Foxhunter Steeple Chase (3m 2 1/2f)
  • 16:40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle (2m 4 1/2f)
  • 17:15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Steeple Chase (2m 1/2f)


History of Cheltenham Festival:

The festival originated in 1860 when the National Hunt Chase was first held at Market Harborough. Initially titled the Grand National Hunt Meeting and has taken place at several locations since its institution. The National Hunt committee decided in 1911 that the meeting was to establish itself at Prestbury Park, Cheltenham where it has remained to the present day.

The most famous race of Cheltenham festival is the Gold Cup. This race takes place on the last day. When the race first took place in 1924 the grand prize total was £685, Now the prize money exceeds half a million.


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