Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival – The Biggest Jumps Meeting of The Year

Thousands of horse racing fans make the annual flock to Gloucestershire Racecourse in March for the Cheltenham Festival, a four-day meeting that is described as the best in the sport.

Here is a look at what makes the Festival so special for horse racing fans and those who go along for the social occasion.

Best Horses Contest 28 Races

In total there are 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival each year across four days. Each of these four races are very significant. The best jumps horses in the sport take each other on in each division in National Hunt racing.

The biggest race of the week is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This year, Galopin Des Champs is the 6/4 favourite in Paddy’s Cheltenham odds, while the Irish bookmaker makes last year’s winner A Plus Tard the second favourite at 6/1 to defend his crown in that race.

CONSTITUTION HILL WINS THE SUPREME! TREND-BREAKER!

Constitution Hill becomes the second horse in the last 10 years to win the Supreme after winning the Tolworth!

HOSES UP! pic.twitter.com/1PEFgKTS4J— Racing Post (@RacingPost) March 15, 2022

One of the leading Cheltenham predictions this year is for Constitution Hill to win the Champion Hurdle, the highlight on day one. The unbeaten hurdler has been described as one of the most exciting horses for generations. He is as short as 1/3 for the Championship race this year.

As well as having the best horses, the Festival sees the leading jockeys and trainers competing across the week. Prizes are given to the jockey and trainer who have the most winners at the end of the meeting.

Atmosphere Unrivalled

The atmosphere across the four days of the Cheltenham is unrivalled at any horse racing meeting. At the start of each day, the crowd give off their traditional roar when the starter lets the horses go for the opening race.

With a British vs Irish rivalry across the week, there is a great comradery on course between the home supporters and those making the trip across the Irish Sea. This is particularly the case on day three which is known as St Patrick’s Thursday.

Honeysuckle – she’s special

🏇 11 races
🥇 11 wins
🏆 G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle
🏆 G1 Mares’ Hurdle
🏆🏆 G1 Irish Champion Hurdle
🏆🏆 G1 Hatton’s Grace

Honeysuckle remains unbeaten with glory in the Champion Hurdle for @rachaelblackmor & @HenrydeBromhead @CheltenhamRaces pic.twitter.com/UNUrZpJUVw— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 16, 2021

When one of the popular favourites comes out on top in a Championship race, just like Honeysuckle did in the Champion Hurdle in 2022, the crowd cheer them home to the winners’ enclosure. This shared joy is a key reason why so many enjoy coming to this meeting above any others.

Fashion

Although the Cheltenham Festival does not rival Royal Ascot when it comes to fashion, many racegoers like to dress up. Tweed is one of the common themes you see. Many of the men at the racecourse will have a tweed suit and/or hat, while women can be seen with a tweed quirt or jackets.

If you are heading to the Cheltenham Festival this year, check if there is a dress code for your enclosure/hospitality area. For the majority of the course, there are no strict requirements, and you can dress as you feel comfortable. It is also worth checking the weather forecast, as this meeting in March has been run before in glorious sunshine and it has also had arctic conditions. 

This year’s Cheltenham Festival takes place between 14th-17th March. It is set to once again be a huge event in the British sporting calendar.

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