The Cheltenham Festival features 28 amazing horse races over four extraordinary and exciting days. It is held every year at the Gloucestershire course and is one of the premier highlights of the horse-racing seasons. Here is a rundown of everything you need to know to enjoy the festival.
Cheltenham Festival Dates, Times and Location
The Gloucestershire course where the races are held is located at Evesham Road, Cheltenham, GL50 4SH, and is a five-minute drive from the town centre. First-time goers should not have an issue attending if they add that address to Google Maps or any other navigation system.
The festival will start on Tuesday, March 14, and run up to Friday, March 17. There will be seven races on each day, with each day having designated races and activities. The first race of each day starts at 1:30 PM and the last one is run at 5:30 PM.
Tickets start at £35, and you can get advanced tickets to secure your place and even get some of the early-bird discounts going around. Those who are visiting from outside the town can find accommodation at one of the many award-winning hotels near the racecourse.
Four Days of Amazing Races
The first day of the festival is known as Champion Day. The spectators roar off the start of the first race in what has come to be known as the Festival Roar. This day features the Unibet Champion Hurdle which has traditionally come with some upsets in addition to letting people know which horses are likely to do well in the festival.
On the second day, we have Festival Wednesday which is also known as Ladies Day. Ladies Day is very interesting because it comes with a lot of action on and off the tracks. This is where attendees can show off their best fashion and the world of racing glitterati comes alive.
You are likely to find the best-dressed attendees on this day as everyone tries to show off their best self. Festival Wednesday features the Queen Mother Champion chase where horses and their jockeys are tested on jumping and speed.
The third day is St. Patrick’s Thursday which is when Irish Jockeys try to tip the balance to win the prestigious Prestbury Cup. The events on this day include the Ryanair Chase and the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle. Both events combined test the endurance and stamina of the horses and jockeys, with a day of action setting up the jockeys and horses for the cup finale.
The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup is the headlining event for the last day of the festival. It is also the most important race for trainers, jockeys, and their horses. The winners of these events are etched into the festival’s horses and join a long list of other notable participants and winners.
What to Wear
The Cheltenham Festival has always been stylish, especially on the second day. Anything goes at the festival, from dresses and hats to tweed and feathers. Men are expected to wear classy suits while ladies can wear elegant dresses and hats.
The weather during the festival can be unpredictable, with some years seeing spectators drenched in the stands. It is best to check weather forecasts and dress appropriately.
How to Follow the Festival
There are different ways of following and participating in the festival. The most obvious one is being there in person. There is a lot to see and do besides watching the races, so it is best to be there in person.
The second way is following live coverage on various platforms. ITV has already confirmed that it will air the festival live and for free, and other platforms have confirmed the same.
Those with a favourite horse at the race can also bet on it to make things more interesting. Take advantage of the Cheltenham betting offer from Betway to place your wagers and enjoy the festival.
The Cheltenham Festival is an important part of the horse-racing calendar. If you haven’t attended, you should because there is so much to see and do. You can also enjoy the different themed days, all of which have different activities and races to enjoy.
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