This year’s Cheltenham Festival is nearly here, and this year is looking like one for the record books. More racegoers than ever before are expected to descend upon Cheltenham for this year’s festival, and some of the UK’s best horses are champing at the bit to get under starter’s orders. Here is a quick guide to when the races start and how to get involved.
When Do The Races Start?
The four-day festival begins on Tuesday 14th of March 2023, and continues to the final day of racing on Friday 17th March. It is a world-renowned jump racing event that draws crowds above 250,000 every year. The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest and most popular events on the racing calendar.
There are 28 races in the Cheltenham Festival spread out across the four-day event, with some massive races on the schedule, including the two-mile Unibet Champion Hurdle on day one and The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase. The Gold Cup is one of the most prestigious prizes in horse racing and comes with a £625,000 purse for first place. You can read up on the Gold Cup odds ahead of time so that you’re as prepared as you can be for the race. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the most highly-anticipated races across the festival, so you will want to be as ready as you can be. In 2022, the Gold Cup was won by the 3-1 favourite A Plus Tard. So if you do a deep dive into all the stats for this year, you could find the right horse to bet on! You should look at the trainers for the horses entering the Gold Cup as well as previous race-winning riders.
Where Can You Watch The Races?
The best place to watch these incredible horse races is at the festival itself if you can get a ticket. On average, around 62,000 people go to each race day, so the competition for tickets is almost as fierce as the competition on the race track. Do not worry if you cannot make it. There is plenty of TV coverage of every race. Both ITV Racing and Racing TV will be broadcasting the whole of the festival, and you can find their channels on digital televisions as well as streaming online to watch for free.
If you place bets on a race, your betting provider may provide live streams through their apps and websites, but only on each race you have placed a wager on. This is a welcome bonus for many bettors, as a stake as small as 10p can give you high-quality streaming access to a race. These apps let you take the festival with you wherever you go. Each race is just a few taps away on your smartphone.
Is The Cheltenham Festival Just About Racing?
The horses and the races are obviously on centre stage for the Cheltenham Festival. All four days of the event revolve around them. That is not all that is on offer at the festival, however. There is plenty more to see and do between races. Like most UK horse races, fashion and socialising are high on the agenda. Racegoers love dressing up for the occasion and making some fashion statements, and the Cheltenham Festival is no different. Just as the festival kicks off the UK racing calendar, it begins the fashion show that accompanies every big race event.
There is lots of hospitality on offer too. The most expensive tickets to the Cheltenham Festival include meals and drink service throughout the day in private boxes, and marquees surrounding the track and in its award-winning restaurants. Eat, drink, and be merry is the order of every race day, and hopefully, your horses win too. If you cannot make the event in person, prepare some luxury sandwiches and cakes to get a taste of the event while you watch from home.
When Is The Best Time To Watch The Festival?
By far, the biggest race is The Cheltenham Gold Cup. Horse race fans from across the globe tune into this race to see the action. It is the most prestigious steeplechase on the global racing calendar. The best British and Irish chase horses are all competing for one of the biggest prizes in horse racing and one of the biggest winning purses in the sport.
Young horses who succeed in this race often go on to become big names in horse racing, and previous winners like Best Mate, Denman, and Kauto Star have all gone on to become legends. Trainer Henry De Bromhead will be aiming for a third straight win in 2023, after winning the two previous outings with A Plus Tard in 2022 and Minella Indo the year before. Both of these horses will be competing in this year’s race to try and make it a hat trick for Henry.
There is not long to go before this year’s festival begins. Get yourself ready for a Cheltenham Festival to remember and start planning how you are going to watch and how you are going to join in the fun.