CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL: UK’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL HUNT MEETING
The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle meeting on the National Hunt calendar and vitally important to UK racing. £600 million will be wagered on racing during the Cheltenham Festival. Without Cheltenham, Jump Racing simply wouldn’t be the same. Betting on all 27 Cheltenham Festival races is followed by thousands of racing enthusiasts. The volume of bets wagered during the Festival is staggering, with millions of pounds changing hands between bookmakers and punters on every race.
Cheltenham Festival is most famous for the Gold Cup race; the UK’s most prestigious National Hunt race which takes place on Day 4 of the Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse and the highlight of the UK Jump racing season.
The Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup roll of honour reads like the ‘who’s who’ of racing including KAUTO STAR, DENMAN, 3-time winner BEST MATE, ARKLE, GOLDEN MILLER & MILL HOUSE. With a £475,000 prize fund the Gold Cup is the UK’s most valuable non-handicap chase.
Run since 1819 when SPECTRE won 100 guineas by coming first over a 3-mile flat course on Cleeve Hill overlooking the Racecourse – the Gold Cup changed from a flat to a jump race in 1924 when a prize of £685 was awarded RED SPLASH; the first winner over jumps.
Experience for yourself the roar of the crowd on Champion Day with the Champion Hurdle, the glamour of Ladies’ Day and the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the ‘craic’ of St Patrick’s Thursday and the incredible finale of the big feature race on Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival; the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE – THE HOME OF JUMP RACING
Nestled in the village of Prestbury near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, Cheltenham Racecourse is considered the home of British National Hunt Jump Racing.
Few sporting occasions offer more excitement than the Cheltenham Festival Jump Racing extravaganza that takes place in March each year. Each of the 4 Cheltenham Festival days delivers its own unique atmosphere and excitement.
Nothing in racing compares to the collective rush of adrenaline and the roar of the crowd at the start of the first race of each Cheltenham Festival. Spread out over 4 action-packed days of superb racing, with a feature Championship race scheduled as race 4 on each day’s racecard, there’s plenty to see every day at the Cheltenham Festival.
The other big race meetings at Cheltenham Racecourse include The Open in November, The International in December and Festival Trials Day in January.
2013 CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL RACECARD
CHAMPIONS DAY 1
Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival has 3 big races on the card. The first race is the Supreme Novices Hurdle followed by the The Arkle Chase. The feature race of the day is the Champion Hurdle.
LADIES DAY 2
On Day 2 of the Festival the feature race is the Queen Mother Champion Chase over 2 miles. One of the biggest races of the season, it‘s popular with punters both on and off course.
ST PATRICK’S DAY 3
On Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival the big race is the Ladbrokes World Hurdle when all eyes will be on Big Bucks as he goes for a 5th successive win in the race for trainer Paul Nicholls.
GOLD CUP DAY 4
Day 4 features the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Can Long Run win the race a second time? The Triumph Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Hurdle are also really good races on Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival.
CHELTENHAM FACTS & FIGURES + ENCLOSURES + A NEW £45 MILLION STAND
With more than £80 million invested in racegoer and other facilities over the past 30 years, Cheltenham Racecourse has gained a reputation as the ‘home of Jump racing’.
Development of the current main grandstand was begun in 1979. The Panoramic Restaurant was added in 1997, followed by the Best Mate Enclosure, and in 2004 The Centaur was added. 10 years later The Centaur remains the largest multi-purpose conference and events venue in South West England.
Conscious of relentless competition from TV, other sports and recent redevelopments at Ascot, Newmarket and York Racecourses, plus a planned major redevelopment at Newbury Racecourse, Cheltenham Racecourse now plans another new Grandstand.
At a media conference on 28th March 2013 The Jockey Club and Cheltenham Racecourse announced plans for a £45 million investment in a state-of-the-art new grandstand. The spectacular new grandstand will provide new facilities for spectators, new views over the paddock and enhanced accommodation for owners and trainers.
The main development is expected to begin immediately after the 2014 Cheltenham Festival with completion scheduled in time for the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. Cheltenham’s racing programme is expected to continue as usual during the construction of the new grandstand.
Click the images below to view a larger version of the artist’s impression of the new grandstand and facilities planned for Cheltenham Racecourse:
With a capacity for 67,500 spectators each day and some 230,000 spectators over the 4 days of the Cheltenham Festival, estimated gate receipts total around £7 million. Gold Cup Day is especially popular with the Irish who cross the water to attend Cheltenham Festival in their thousands. The famous rivalry between British and Irish horses contributes to the atmosphere.
There are 3 main enclosures to choose from with different ticket prices. These give you access to different enclosures around Cheltenham racecourse. The more you pay for your Cheltenham Festival tickets, the less crowded the enclosure and the better the view of the racecourse.
BEST MATE ENCLOSURE
Best Mate Enclosure is situated is opposite the main grandstand. Views of the racing are good, but as tickets are cheaper here it is also the most crowded and views of the finishing straight can be difficult. There is a variety of food, bars and extensive betting facilities and bars here.
Tattersalls Enclosure is situated within the grandstand providing tiered steps for an improved view of the course plus access to the paddock & winning enclosure. There are plenty of eating facilities, bars and access to betting.
Tattersalls racegoers also have access to the Centaur, Paddock and unsaddling enclosure, Hall of Fame, trade stands in the Tented Village and to bookmakers in the betting ring.
Club Enclosure is the most exclusive enclosure with the best viewing and refreshment facilities. Situated within the main grandstand you get the best views of the finishing line, the paddock, winning enclosure and out onto the beautiful Cotswold hills in the distance.
Racegoers also have access to the Centaur, Paddock and unsaddling enclosure, the Hall of Fame, trade stands in the Tented Village and Guinness Village near the final fence, where extra viewing steps, bars, bands and entertainment are provided. Access to all betting ring bookmakers.
For those who wish to enjoy the luxury of a private box or VIP hospitality, we work with racecourses, hospitality & travel companies to offer a range of hospitality options. To be advised when Cheltenham Festival 2014 hospitality packages are available please join our mailing list above.
OLD & NEW COURSES
Cheltenham is considered a stiff, tricky racecourse due to its undulations and big fences, providing an extreme physical challenge for competitors. Both Old &New courses feature well-built fences that demand jumping ability. The courses are hilly with a steep uphill run in to the finishing line of around 240 metres, that can often result in a leading runner being caught by a fast finisher.The Old Course is used for the November Open + the first two days of the March Cheltenham Festival, with the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Chase, Neptune Novices’ Hurdle and RSA Chase.
The XC course inside both ovals stages 3 races a year: at the November Open, the December International & March Cheltenham Festival.
Racing is staged on the New Course for the December Gold Cup meeting, January Festival Trials Day + the last two days of the March Cheltenham Festival, hosting the Cheltenham Gold Cup run over 3 miles 2½ furlongs with 22 fences + the World Hurdle, Triumph Hurdle and Ryanair Chase. The new course has has a tricky downhill fence and a longer steeplechase run-in than the Old Course.
CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE ON THE MAP & RACECOURSE CONTACT INFORMATION
|Address:||Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Road, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL50 4SH|
|Tel:||0844 579 3003|
|Admission:||Varies according to meeting. Under 18s are admitted free, except at The Festival|
|Road:||1 mile north of the town off the A435|
|Rail:||To Cheltenham Spa station, taxi or bus to course|
|Car park:||£10 at The Festival, £5 on Open Saturday. Free at other meetings|