Cheltenham Festival: essential information for jump racing's biggest four days
What is the Cheltenham Festival?
The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest four days of the jumps season, featuring seven races a day and 28 in total. The meeting attracts the best jumps horses from Britain and Ireland.
When is the Cheltenham Festival?
The 2019 Cheltenham Festival will take place between Tuesday, March 12 and Friday, March 15. The racing on each day begins at 1.30pm, with 40-minute intervals between each contest and the final race of each day starting at 5.30pm.
Where is the Cheltenham Festival?
The festival takes place on the outskirts of Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire, at Cheltenham racecourse, a venue otherwise known as Prestbury Park.
The full address for Cheltenham racecourse is Evesham Road, Cheltenham, GL50 4SH.
Why is the Cheltenham Festival important?
Across the four days more than 260,000 people attend the racecourse to witness the pinnacle of jump racing.
More than half of the 28 races are Grade 1s, which underlines the high quality of competition, and winners during the four days go down in racing folklore.
Where can I watch the Cheltenham Festival?
If you cannot be in attendance at Cheltenham, there are several ways to watch the Cheltenham Festival. ITV will show the first five races on each day of the meeting, and Racing TV (RTV) will show every single race from the Cheltenham Festival. You can also bet and stream the racing on the Racing Post website and mobile app.
Which horses are running at the Cheltenham Festival?
Most of jump racing's superstars are set to run at the Cheltenham Festival. Buveur D’Air will try to win the Champion Hurdle for a third time but faces competition from Ireland, most notably Apple’s Jade and Laurina.
Altior is the standout attraction on Wednesday as he tries to retain his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown. Grand National winner Tiger Roll is also set to run in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, a race he won last March.
Un De Sceaux and Min could be among those running in the Ryanair Chase, while later on Thursday Paisley Park, who has provided one of the stories of the season, will try to win the Stayers’ Hurdle for the first time. Faugheen, winner of the 2015 Champion Hurdle, could be among the opposition.
Sir Erec is considered by many to be this year’s banker at the Cheltenham Festival and he is set to run in the Triumph Hurdle on Friday.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the big race of the final day and last year’s RSA Chase winner Presenting Percy has been favourite for most of the season. However, he faces opposition from King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux, a horse partly owned by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The 2018 Gold Cup winner Native River will bid to become the first horse since Best Mate to successfully defend his Gold Cup title.
Which are the biggest races at the Cheltenham Festival?
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle has a high profile due to being the first race of the meeting but also because it has a history of producing superstars. The Champion Hurdle is the feature race on day one, with the Racing Post Arkle and the Mares’ Hurdle the other Grade 1s on Tuesday.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the feature on day two, with the RSA Chase and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle also significant races on the Wednesday.
The Stayers’ Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase share the limelight on the Thursday, while the final day of the Cheltenham Festival is all about the Gold Cup, the most important and most valuable race of the entire meeting.
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