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Soak up the excitement as The Festival comes to Cheltenham

27th February 2017

Categories: Media News

March sees the return of the highlight of the jump racing season with the world famous Cheltenham Festival: four days of atmosphere, anticipation and action played out in one of the world’s most beautiful sporting arenas. This year's Festival takes place from Tuesday 14 March until Friday 17 March 2017.

The Cheltenham Festival 14-17 March 2017

Encompassing everything that is great about jump racing, The Festival will see over £4.3 million in prize money awarded across 28 races and features the finest horses, jockeys and trainers battling it out for the highest racing honours.

Nothing compares to the roar of the crowd when the tapes rise for the first day of The Festival (Tuesday 14 March). Champion Day includes a packed seven race card including the most important two mile hurdle race of the season, the Stan James Champion Hurdle, won last year by favourite Annie Power ridden by Ruby Walsh who led from start to finish, the second of three wins for Walsh on the opening day.

Wednesday is Ladies Day, the perfect excuse to dress up. As normal, ladies can enter the Best Dressed Competition using the hashtag #ColourMeMarch on social media or via The Festival website. It’s all about colour this March, the brighter the outfit the more the chance of standing out. Last year Yvonne McAvoy won the competition, in a stunning green dress representing her home country Ireland. Will a British lady regain the crown in 2017?

The real action though is also on the track, with a fantastic seven race card featuring the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, won in 2016 by Sprinter Sacre who brought tears of joy to the crowds by beating Un De Sceaux.

St Patrick’s Day draws the luck of the Irish to Cheltenham. Irish flavour is guaranteed with highlights on the course including the Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase. Racegoers can enjoy the Irish band Hothouse Flowers, who will be performing in the Guinness Village before racing and The Centaur afterwards.

The climax of the entire jump racing season is Friday’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, the highlight of arguably the best days racing of the year, with an atmosphere to match. Last year the championship race was won by the favourite Don Cossack, who held off the challenge of Djakadam. Six other magical races, including two more Grade 1 events and three fiercely competitive handicaps, make this a day to cherish.

As well as standard admission tickets there are a range of hospitality options for those looking for the complete Cheltenham experience. Albert Roux returns in his popular Chez Roux Restaurant where the package includes a welcome reception with canapés alongside an exquisite four-course menu designed in partnership with the Michelin-starred chef. There are also eleven other top quality restaurants on offer over The Festival, with a range of different packages available to suit all requirements.

Don’t forget the Cheltenham Shopping Village, with 70 stands providing a unique shopping experience enabling you to discover exceptional pieces you won’t find on the high street. 

On top of all the action at the racecourse, the whole town of Cheltenham is buzzing during The Festival, as race-goers enjoy the fantastic pubs and restaurants and celebrate their winnings! Even if you don’t have tickets for the Festival, Cheltenham is a great place to visit to soak up some of the atmosphere.