The Cheltenham Festival is the most prestigious meeting in the National Hunt Racing Calendar in the UK. The race prize is second to the Grand National. The Cheltenham Festival is a chance for the best Irish and British horses to come together and race one another.
The event takes place every yr in March at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Massive amounts of money are bet on this occasion, with hundreds of millions of pounds being gambled over the period of four days. As with most horse racing events, betting comprises a significant aspect of its appeal. The event is known for its atmosphere, most notably the famous Cheltenham roar. The Cheltenham roar refers to the noise made when he horses enter the home straight and long run in. The roar also refers to the incredible amount of noise which is made at the opening race of the festival.
Traditionally the race was ran over a period of 3 days, however this changed in 2005 when a fourth day was introduced. There are 24 races altogether, with grade one events including the;
* Champion Bumper
* Triumph Hurdle
* Supreme Novices Hurdle
* Ballymore Properties Novices Hurdle
* Arkle Challenge Trophy
* Royal & SunAlliance Chase
* Champion Hurdle
* World Hurdle
* Queen Mother Champion Chase
* Cheltenham Gold Cup (The final race)
The first Cheltenham Festival took place in 1902 and since then has continued to gain more and more distinctions in the racing calendar, becoming nearly as in important as the Grand National, the prize money also seconding the Grand Nationals prize. Every yr without a fail now, the build up to Cheltenham excitement begins months in advance. Most of the betting takes place when the actual event is taking place, hundred of millions of pounds is spent on races.
Jump racing being most popular attracting most of the attention; the entrants for the jump racing are in incredible form with months of training. The three most popular races being Champion Hurdle which is ran on the Tuesday. Followed by the Queen Mother Champion Chase on the Wednesday and on Friday by the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
A number one priority of the Cheltenham Racecourse has been to provide the best underfoot conditions for the horses. The aim has been to provide the best conditions for the Cheltenham Gold Cup but also for events taking place throughout the whole year. Using the available ground has enable the Racecourse to produce fresh ground on the new course for both third and in 2005 the fourth day of the festival. Cheltenham now consists of two racecourses known as the new course and the old course.
A day at the Cheltenham Festival comprises of six races, with the meeting getting underway with the Supreme Novices Hurdle on Tuesday afternoon, which is the first race of the event. The Feature race however being the Champion Hurdle, which regardless of attracting large fields is normally taken by those more favoured in the Cheltenham betting markets.
The most successful horse in Cheltenham Gold Cup history was Golden Miller, who won five times from 1932. There have also been another three horses that won the gold cup 3 times consecutively.
* Cottage Rake in 1948 – 1950
* Arkle in 1964 – 1966
* Best Mate in 2002 – 2004
The race course has many advantages including onsite accommodation and several restaurants to select from. At Cheltenham there’s a huge choice of places where food and drink is available, ranging from bars to seafood and beef burger stalls. An impressive range of hotels are in the surrounding area, offering exclusive deals whilst the Cheltenham Festival is on.