With a history dating back to as far as 1860, the Cheltenham Festival showcases the finest British and Irish trained horses each year. Less than two weeks remain to start of the 2018 edition of the Festival.
The Cheltenham Festival
As one among the two major National Hunt Racing events of the year, the Cheltenham Festival is a 4- day haven for racing enthusiasts, punters & casual fans alike. A total of 28 races will be run over the 4-day period, kicking off with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race & wrapping up with the Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup.
Prize money in excess of £4.6 million is up for grabs, with the majority of the money being split between the five major races’ of the event:
Stayers’ Hurdle - £325,000
Ryanair Chase - £350,000
Champion Chase - £400,000
Champion Hurdle - £400,000
Cheltenham Gold Cup – £625,000
When & Where
13th March, Tuesday – Champion Day
13:30 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race
14:10 – Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
14:50 – Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase
15:30 – Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
16:10 – Mares’ Hurdle Race
16:50 – National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
17:30 – Novices’ Handicap Chase
14th March, Wednesday – Ladies’ Day
13:30 – Novices’ Hurdle Race
14:10 – Steeple Chase
14:50 – Coral Cup Hurdle
15:30 – Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase
16:10 – Cross Country Steeple Chase
16:50 – Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race
17:30 – Champion Bumper
15th March, Thursday – St.Patrick’s Thursday
13:30 – JLT Novices’ Chase
14:10 – Pertemps Network Final
14:50 – Ryanair Steeple Chase
15:30 – Stayers’ Hurdle
16:10 – Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup
16:50 – Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
17:30 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup
16th March, Friday – Gold Cup Day
13:30 – JCB Triumph Hurdle
14:10 – County Handicap Hurdle Race
14:50 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
15:30 – Cheltenham Gold Cup
16:10 – St James’ Place Foxhunter Chase
16:50 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
17:30 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
With the event fast approaching, the tickets to the 4-day festival are selling out hot & fast, if you are planning on a visit then you might want to hop over to the racecourses’ website where tickets will be available if they aren’t Sold Out already.
Unlike some of the other events, the Cheltenham Festival doesn’t have a strict dress code as such. However, if you don’t want to stick out like sore thumb & don’t want all the attention it’s better to suit up for occasion.
Where can I watch?
If you are someone who prefers to enjoy the race from the comfort of your home, there will be live coverage of event on all 4 days on ITV Racing. While the first five races each day are shown on TV, the 8 remaining are available to watch exclusively on Racing UK, Sky Channel 432.
With the final fields for all the Cheltenham Festival races available only two days before the race, the Bookies, like William Hill have focused on providing ante-bet opportunities with greater odds.
Supreme Novice’s Hurdle
Getabird with odds of 11/8 is a strong contender to win the first race of the 4-day festival. Its performance in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle earlier in the year was too dominant to ignore.
Other Contenders: - Kalashnikov (9/2), Summerville Boy (10/1)
Cheltenham Gold Cup
Defending champion, Sizing John hopes to become the first horse since 2003 to complete a Gold Cup double does not start as the favourite among the bookies with the odds of 6/1. Might Bite with odds of 3/1 & Native River with odds of 11/2 rank head in the eyes of the bookies.
Altior, with odds of 8/11 stands as the favourite among a competitive field in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, already being a two time winner at the festival (2016 – Novices’ Hurdle, 2017 – Arkle Challenge Trophy), Altior has the experience & pedigree to notch up a third title at the event.
Other Contenders: - Min (11/4) & Douvan (9/2)
Some of the bookies like William Hill have provided Non-Runner Insurance, for more information check out williamhill.