A guide to the races at Cheltenham

The Cheltenham festival is just around the corner and on the 12th March all eyes in the horse racing world will be on the Gloucestershire town.

There aren’t many events in the horse racing calendar that capture the nation’s attention quite like Cheltenham Festival. Although there is plenty of Cheltenham horse racing throughout the year, there is a different feel to the festival, something that is only matched by the Grand National.

For four days in the middle of March, the focus is on those in the equine world, as trainers, jockeys and horses battle it out to become the best. Records are made to be broken and there will be several trainers and jockeys who are eyeing up their chances of making records of their own.

The opening day of the festival is known as Champion Day and is traditionally opened with what has become known as the Cheltenham roar, where visitors cheer as loud as they can as the opening race of the day, which is the thrilling Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, sets off. Later, the headline race is the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

Day two of the festival is the bright and energetic Ladies Day. The main race of the day is the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, which is one of the most exhilarating races of the entire week as the fastest horses in the country fly around Prestbury Park’s exhausting chase course.

Day three is known as St Patrick’s Thursday and plays host to some hotly anticipated Grade One races in the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase. Another high profile race is the JLT Novices’ Chase and the day ends with the Pertemps Network Final.

The finale of the festival hardly needs an introduction, it is of course Gold Cup Day. All the attention focuses on the Cheltenham Gold Cup race at 3.30pm which is one of the most sought after titles in horse racing. The festival is brought to a fitting close with the 28th and final race, the Grand Annual Handicap Chase.

Tuesday 12th March 2019 – Champion Day

13:30 The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase

14:50 The Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase

15:30 The Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

16:10 The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Race

16:50 The JT McNamara National Hunt Chase

17:30 The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Wednesday 13th March 2018 – Ladies Day

13:30 The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 The RSA Steeple Chase

14:50 The Coral Cup Hurdle

15:30 The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

16:10 The Glenfarclas Handicap Chase (Cross Country Chase)

16:50 The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

17:30 The Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

Thursday 14 March – St Patrick’s Thursday

13:30 The JLT Novices’ Chase

14:10 The Pertemps Network Final

14:50 The Ryanair Chase

15:30 Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle

16:10 The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate

16.50 The Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

17:30 The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase.

Friday 15 March – Gold Cup Day

13:30 The JCB Triumph Hurdle

14:10 The Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle

14:50 The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

15:30 The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup

16:10 The St James’ Place Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup

16:50 The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:30 The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase.