The inaugural Cheltenham Festival took place in 1860 but the meeting found its permanent home at Prestbury Park in 1911. Since then, it has been a staple fixture on the racing calendar.
As previously mentioned, the Cheltenham Festival features 12 Grade One races every year – these four are often viewed as the biggest and most prestigious at the meeting:
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the showpiece race at March’s meeting but it would be unfair to undermine any of the other Grade One races. Approximately 250,000 spectators head to Prestbury Park for the Cheltenham Festival but millions of punters place bets across the country.
Willie Mullins is likely to have three leading runners in the Cheltenham Gold Cup this year. Al Boum Photo, Bellshill and Kemboy are all high up in the latest Cheltenham Festival betting odds ahead of March’s meeting.
One of the most successful horse racing trainers of all-time, Mullins has never won the Festival’s showpiece race and punters will be hoping for that run to end in March 2022.
Despite his long-term success at the Cheltenham Festival, Mullins has missed out on the Leading Trainer award in each of the last two years. Gordon Elliott, trainer of 2016 Gold Cup winner Don Cossack and 2018 Grand National winner Tiger Roll, is the man to beat after training the most Cheltenham Festival winners in each of the last two years.
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Cheltenham Festival, celebrated annually at Cheltenham racecourse in Gloucestershire, is regarded by many as the jewel in the crown of the English National Hunt racing calendar. It is a combination of hurdle, chase and flat (bumper) races over 4 days in March of every year. It attracts huge crowds of over 250,000, including nearly 69,000 on Gold Cup day - the final day of the festival. The biggest trainers, jockeys and horses in the UK, France and Ireland are involved in scintillating racing with huge volumes of money gambled over the course of the festival.
The festival runs from Tuesday to Friday during the final week of March every year. The 2022 festival will take place between 15-18th March. After Cheltenham Festival has finished, many consider the UK National Hunt season to have drawn to a close. Although there actually is one major horse racing event which happens after Cheltenham festival which is the Punchestown Festival which is based at Naas racecourse, County Kildare at the very start of May. This is widely regarded as the Irish equivalent event, and attracts a wealth of talent from the Irish contingent, although doesn't quite boast the same attendance and revenue figures that Cheltenham festival does.
Cheltenham festival is 4 days in length. Each day consists of 7 races as is scheduled for the occasion. The days racing begins at 13:30 and runs until the finale at 17:30. There is rarely an exception to this scheduling. However, race times (including start times) are sometimes slightly changed as is seen fit. This tends to happen if there has been a faller in a previous race, or the starter wasn't able to begin racing at the correct time.
|Cheltenham Festival First Event||1834|
|Maximum Capacity of Cheltenham Racecourse||68,000|
|Local Economy Yearly Worth||£100,000,000|
|Amount of Races in Course of 4 Days||28|
|Amount of Grade 1s Races||14|
|Maximum Number of Gold Cup Horses||24|
|Cheltenham Racecourse Owner||Jockey Club Racecourses|