Four Spectacular Days in March – The Cheltenham Festival
For four days in March each year the world of horse racing firmly centres its attention on Cheltenham. Between the 13th and 16th March 2018 many of the world’s finest horses, jockeys and trainers will attend the annual Cheltenham Festival. It is a spectacular event which will attract approximately 260,000 spectators from around the world across the four days to watch the high-quality racing and enjoy the special Cheltenham atmosphere.
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With over £4 million worth of prize money on offer, the Cheltenham Festival is second only to Aintree’s Grand National meet and has witnessed the finest names such as Best Mate and Kauto Star victorious in the Gold Cup, the festival’s premier race. Over the four days, spectators will see 28 top class races while enjoying the Cheltenham hospitality.
A Brief History of the Cheltenham Festival
There has been horse racing in Cheltenham since the early 19th century and by 1834 was established at Prestbury Park. The Festival originated as the National Hunt Meeting which was first run in Market Harborough in 1860. Prestbury Park was to stage the event in 1904 and 1905 as it was often staged at different locations. Cheltenham again held the meeting in 1911, the first Cheltenham Festival, and an agreement was struck to hold the meet at Cheltenham thereafter every year instead of at different courses around the country as previously done. One of the races was the National Hunt Steeplechase which became the Gold Cup, a race which takes pride of place in an event which has grown to be one of the UK’s leading sporting occasions of the year.
Four Days of Top Class Racing
Regardless of which of the four days spectators attend they are assured of high-quality racing. Each day is named and takes place in the same order each year. The opening day is Champions Day and the famous Cheltenham roar marks the start of the 28 race schedule. The Supreme Novices hurdle race over 2 miles is the opener at Cheltenham on a day which also contains the most important hurdle event of the season, the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy. Meanwhile, Wednesday plays host to Ladies Day, a day when fashionable wear and colour goes hand in hand with the racing. A day often with royal attendance sees the Queen Mother Steeplechase as one of the main races. Day three is St Patrick’s Thursday and the course will resonate with Irish music through the day as well as a top rate card of racing. The best Irish horses and trainers have consistently attended Cheltenham over the years and the Prestbury Cup is a challenge between Great Britain trained and Irish trained winners.
Gold Cup Day
The fourth and final day of the Festival is focussed around the premier event, The Gold Cup. Prized by the sport’s elite The Gold Cup is the fourth race of the day and is staged over 3 miles 2 furlongs containing 22 fences. With a prestigious history featuring some of the finest horses and jockeys to have ever competed, 2018 will be no exception. Starting at its customary time slot of 3.30pm on the final day, there are still three further races to complete the meet before the celebrations continue well into the evening.
A Festival In Every Sense
Cheltenham is looked on as the pinnacle of the sport but away from the racing, there is much to see and enjoy. From bars, restaurants, and live music the Cheltenham Festival is an event which people return to year after year to enjoy high-class sport and hospitality combined.
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BetVictor have an extensive range of live horse race betting for the Cheltenham Festival.
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Check out the Timeform tip, available within BetVictor’s racecards.