What is Cheltenham Festival?
Cheltenham Festival is a four-day event held annually in March at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The festival brings together the best horses from Britain and Ireland with prize money on offer matched only by the Grand National.
The festival, which originated back in 1860, is known for its raucous atmosphere, highlighted by the “Cheltenham roar”, which refers to the enormous amount of noise that the crowd generates as the starter raises the tape to signify the beginning of the carnival. The Festival is held each year to coincide with St. Patricks Day, something that only enhances the already boisterous mood of festival punters.
A record 248,521 racegoers went through the turnstiles during the 2015 festival, a figure that is expected to rise again this year.
In total 14 Group 1’s will be run and won at Cheltenham Festival, varying from hurdles, fences and flat races.
One of the main attractions of the festival is the £575,000 Cheltenham Gold Cup, which takes place on the Friday of the festival (Saturday morning Australian time). Often referred to as the ‘Blue Riband event of jump-racing’, the Gold Cup is run over a distance of 3 miles 2½ furlongs (5,331 m), with jockeys and horses needing to navigate past 22 jumps.
Other highlights of the festival are the Champion Hurdle, Champion Bumper, Triumph Hurdle, Ryanair Chase and the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
2016 Cheltenham Festival Schedule
*All times AEDT
Set the Alarms – Here are the races you won’t want to miss
Cheltenham Gold Cup
Time: Saturday March 19, 2.30am AEDT
Distance: 3m 2 1/2f (5,331 m)
- Only one horse aged under 7 has won the race since 1964.
- 7 favourites have won out of the last 13 races.
- Only two horses higher than 8.00 have won since 1999.
- No horse older than 10 years of age has won since 1969.
Time: Wednesday March 16, 2.30am AEDT
Distance: 2m 1/2f (3,319 m)
- 11 of the last 16 winners were trained in Ireland.
- 24 of the last 30 winners had won at Cheltenham before.
- Only one 5yo has won since 1985.
- 7 of the last 14 winners were placed in the race the previous year.
- Only 4 clear favourites have won in the last 13 years.
Time: Friday March 18, 1:50am AEDT
Distance: 2m 5f (4,225 m)
- 9 of the last 11 winners have started at 7.00 or less.
- Only 3 favourites have won the race.
- All winners bar one had won at Cheltenham previously.
- 8 of the 10 winners were aged 8 or over.
Time: Friday March 18th, 2.30am AEDT
Distance: 3 miles (4,828 m)
- No 4 or 5 year old has won the World Hurdle.
- Only one Irish trained winner in the last 17 races.
- Only one horse higher than 7.00 has won the race since 2000.
- 6 favourites have won in the last 13 years.
Cheltenham Festival Betting Strategies
The Hub will contain a comprehensive coverage of all feature races with expert analysis from Rory Delargy & David Massey from Racing Consultants. UK data specialists TimeForm will also be covering feature races from a purely data focus. Stay tuned to the International Racing section of The Hub for Cheltenham insights and betting strategies.