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Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham racecourse has hosted racing since 1815 and now showcases some of the best jump racing in Britain.
The highlight of which is the Cheltenham Festival, which runs for four days in March and is widely considered the pinnacle of the jump racing season. There are a total of 28 incredible Cheltenham races, featuring 14 Grade 1 events contested in front of more than 65,000 racegoers each day. Every owner, jockey and trainer dreams of a winner at the Cheltenham Festival, cementing their place in history alongside some of the legends of the sport including Denman, Kauto Star and Istabraq.
To add to the excitement, there is an ongoing rivalry between Great Britain and Ireland which has been celebrated in recent years with the introduction of the Prestbury Cup. The two nations compete against one another to accumulate the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival. The side to win the most wins at Cheltenham in 2023 is presented with the Prestbury Cup at the end of the week.
Last year the Prestbury Cup was claimed by Irish trainers with a total of 18 wins compared to 10 for the British trainers.
The Cheltenham Festival takes place over four days. It runs from Tuesday 14th March to Friday 17th March 2023.
The Cheltenham Festival lasts for four days and has done since 2005, having previously been held over three days. Each day contains seven races, with racing beginning at 1.30pm and finishing at 5.30pm.
The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest four days of the jumps season. It consists of 28 races, seven per day, and hosts many of the season-defining championship races such as the Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Cheltenham Festival tickets cost between £37 and £86 for the first three days of the meeting. Gold Cup day is more expensive with tickets costing between £57 and £111. The variation in ticket prices depends on the enclosure you want to go in.
The Cheltenham Festival is run at Cheltenham racecourse, which can be found on the outskirts of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
The Cheltenham Festival takes place every March. This year's festival runs from Tuesday 14th March to Friday 17th March 2023.
The Cheltenham Festival starts on Tuesday, 14th March 2023
As the Cheltenham Festival can take place in all sorts of conditions, the course recommends racegoers dress for the weather. However, many ladies will wear hats and gentlemen are advised to wear suits or dress up if they are in hospitality or the Club enclosure.
Cheltenham achieved an attendance of 280,627 over the course of the four days in 2022, whilst the festival was run behind closed doors in 2021.
The Cheltenham Festival was last cancelled in its entirety in 2001 due to the foot and mouth outbreak, while the second day was called off in 2008 due to high winds, with the races rescheduled for the remaining two days. In 2019 the opening day of the festival was in doubt due to adverse weather conditions, but was eventually given the all clear and racing proceeded on all four days.
The whole festival does not sell out. Attendance was a total of 280,627 across the four days last year. However, Gold Cup day (the Friday of the meeting) does often sell out.
Whether it be a plane, train or automobile, you can rest assured there are ample options for travelling to the Cheltenham Festival in 2023. If you are arriving by car, there is plenty of parking available with a £15 charge when purchasing in advance. National Express is offering racegoers the chance to book coach travel from locations across the UK direct to Cheltenham racecourse. Cheltenham racecourse also caters for aircraft throughout Cheltenham’s racing season, so long as the visiting aircraft has pre-booked the landings with the racecourse. You can also book a taxi directly to the racecourse.
Magners sponsorship of the the Cheltenham Festival ended in 2020. However, most of the 28 races have individual sponsors including the Gold Cup that is sponsored by Boodles.