The Cheltenham Festival is set to take place in March 2018. It is one of the highlights of the horseracing calendar, and every year over 200,000 racegoers turn up and place over £500 million in bets. On-course battles happen every year between Ireland and Great Britain, and many previous winners return year-upon-year to be in with the chance of taking home more trophies at the home of show jump racing.
Champions Day – 13th March
The 13th March is Champions Day at the Cheltenham Festival, and this is the first day of the four day event. The main race that bettors will be looking forward to is the Unibet Champion Hurdle. BuveurD’Air, trained by Nicky Henderson won the race in 2017, and this year he looks set to return to defend his title. Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer in this race, having won it six times. He’ll be a popular bet at the bookies, but anything can happen on race day. Check out theseonline betting offers in the run up to the day.
On Champions Day, the doors open at 10.30am with the first race starting at 1.30pm and the last race starting at 5.30pm. Advance tickets start at £35 and increase as the views and facilities get better.
Ladies Day – 14th March
14th March is traditionally Ladies Day at the Cheltenham Festival and this is when groups of ladies in their finest clothes (and hats!) show up for a day at the races. The event is so popular that there is even an award for the best dressed lady along with a prize of £10,000. Last year this was won by Una O’Farrell.
The opening times and race times on Ladies Day are exactly the same as they are on Champions Day. Prices start at £35 and go up to £770 for the hospitality package. Music from The Hipcats and the Lucky 15s, and Taylor and Manson will be provided for entertainment throughout the day.
St Patrick’s Thursday – 15th March
It may be a couple of days before St Patrick’s Day but Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival will be host to St Patrick’s Thursday. This day is a celebration of everything to do with Ireland, and there’ll be plenty of Guinness on offer as well as Irish music playing around the track. The main race on St Patrick’s Thursday will be the Sun Bets Stayer’s Hurdle.
The times and ticket prices for the 15th March are the same as on the 13th and 14th March, however those booking a hospitality package may be required to pay a higher price.
Gold Cup Day – 16th March
Finally, Gold Cup Day is the pinnacle of the Cheltenham Festival and is the most popular day in the whole event. The match results from this day go down in the history books, and more bets are placed on this day than in any of the other three. The race to watch out for is the Timico Gold Cup. This race has been won by a number of famous names including Dawn Run, Kauto Star, and Arkle, and this year’s jockeys will all be competing for the coveted honour.
The price of tickets on Gold Cup Day is higher than on the other days, with the lowest price ticket starting at £55, and the highest price tickets going for over £800. It’s wise to note, too, that these prices are all for advanced ticket purchases, and the prices will increase in February. A variety of entertainment will be on offer on Gold Cup Day and The Centaur and Final Flight Bar will both be open for those who want to celebrate their winnings.
Betting on the Cheltenham Festival
As with most horse races, it’s hard to bet on the Cheltenham Festival a long time in advance as it’s not uncommon for jockeys and horses to drop out of the running in the run up to the event. That said, some bookmakers like Toals do already have the odds online for the Gold Cup race, so you can take a look at who is currently expected to attend.
The Cheltenham Cup is set to be a fantastic event, but do make sure to buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment.