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Cheltenham Festival Dates

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most anticipated meetings on the National Hunt horse racing calendar. For four days in mid-march, Cheltenham Racecourse becomes the centre of attention in both the horse racing world and the gambling industry.

The Festival attracts nearly a quarter of a million spectators through its gates every year with millions more keeping an eye on the action from around the world.

Providing an unrivalled National Hunt horse racing experience, The Cheltenham Festival 2021 is scheduled to go ahead from Tuesday the 16th until Friday the 19th of March 2021.

Here are the specific dates for each race day at The Festival 2021 and which of the events 28 excellent races you can expect to see on those days:

Day One – Champion Day

Champion Day is the first day of The Cheltenham Festival which is scheduled for Tuesday the 16th of March 2021. Champion Day features a seven-race card including the featured race of the day, The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy.

13:20 – Race One – The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race

The first race on Tuesday the 16th of March will be The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race sponsored by SkyBet. This novices hurdle race is open to horses aged 5 and above, is 2 miles and 87 yards in length and features 8 hurdles for the competing horses to leap.

13:55 – Race Two – The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase

The second race on Tuesday the 16th of March at The Cheltenham Festival will be The Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeplechase sponsored by The Sporting Life. This Steeple Chase is open to horses aged 5 and over, stretches a distance of 1 mile, 7 furlongs and 199 yards and features 13 fences.

14:30 – Race Three – The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

The third race on Tuesday the 16th of March at Cheltenham Racecourse will be The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase. This handicap steeplechase is open to horses aged 5 and above, measures 3 miles and 1 furlong and consists of 20 fences to be jumped.

15:05 – Race Four – The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

The featured race on Tuesday the 16th of March, Champion Day, will be The Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy. This Grade 1 hurdle race is open to horses aged four and above who will have to run 2 miles and 87 yards over 8 hurdles to be crowned the winner.

15:40 – Race Five – The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race

The fifth race of Champion Day on Tuesday the 16th of March 2021 will be The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race. This Grade 1 hurdle race is open to mares aged four and above and is 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 200 yards, featuring 10 hurdles along the course.

16:15 – Race Six – The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race

The penultimate race of Champion Day on Tuesday the 16th of March will be The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race. This juvenile hurdle race is open to horses aged 4 years old only and covers a distance of 2 miles and 87 yards. This race consists of 8 hurdles along Cheltenham’s Racecourse.

16:50 – Race Seven – The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

The final race of Day One will be The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup on Tuesday the 16th of march. This amateur steeplechase stretches a lengthy distance of 3 miles, 5 furlongs and 201 yards of Cheltenham Racecourse, features 23 fences and is open to horses aged 5 years and older.

Day Two – Ladies Day

Ladies Day is the second day of The Cheltenham Festival and is scheduled to take place on Wednesday the 17th of March 2021. Ladies Day also features a seven-race card, begins at 13:20 and concludes after the final race at 16:50.

13:20 – Race One – The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race

The first race of Ladies Day on Wednesday the 17th of March 2021 will be The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race. This race is 2 miles and 5 furlongs in length, features 10 hurdles for the horses to jump and is open to horses aged 4 and up.

13:55 – Race Two – The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase

Race two of ladies day on Wednesday the 17th of March will be The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase. This Grade 1 novices steeplechase is open to horses aged five and above, measures 3 miles and 80 yards and consists of 20 hurdles.

14:30 – Race Three – The Coral Cup Hurdle

The third race on Wednesday the 17th of March, Ladies Day, will be The Coral Cup Hurdle Race. This Grade 3 handicap hurdle race is 2 miles and about 5 furlongs in length, features 10 hurdles and is open to horses aged 4 and above.

15:05 – Race Four – The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase

The featured race of Ladies Day on Wednesday the 17th of March 2021 will be The Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase sponsored by Betway. Measuring 1 mile, 7 furlongs and 199 yards, this Grade 1 Steeple Chase features 13 fences for the horses to jump. Participating horses are 5 years old and above.

15:40 – Race Five – The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase

The fifth race of Ladies Day on Wednesday the 17th of March will be The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase. This is the longest race of The Festival, measuring in at 3 miles, 6 furlongs and 37 yards in length. This race features 32 obstacles and is open to horses aged 5 years and above.

16:15 – Race Six – The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

The penultimate race of Ladies Day on Wednesday the 17th of March will be The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup. This Grade 3 handicap steeplechase is 2 miles and 62 yards in length and features 14 fences for the horses aged 5 and above to jump.

16:40 – Race Seven – The Weatherbys Champion Bumper

The final race of Ladies Day at The Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday the 17th of March 2021 will be The Weatherbys Champion Bumper. This Grade 1 National Hunt flat race is open to horses aged 4 to 6 years old and covers a total distance of 2 miles and 87 yards of the old course at Cheltenham.

Day Three – St. Patrick’s Thursday

St. Patrick’s Thursday will be the third day of The Cheltenham Festival 2021 on Thursday the 18th of March. Races commence at 13:20 and conclude at 16:40.

13:20 – Race One – The Marsh Novices’ Chase

The first race of St. Patrick’s Thursday at The Festival 2021 on the 18th of March will be The Marsh Novices’ Chase. This Grade 1 novices steeplechase is open to horses aged 5 and above and covers a total distance of 3 furlongs and 168 yards, featuring 17 fences.

13:55 – Race Two – The Pertemps Network Final

The second race on Thursday the 18th of March 2021 will be The Pertemps Network Final. This listed handicap hurdle race for horses aged 5 years or older spans a distance of 2 miles, 7 furlongs and 213 yards and includes 12 hurdles.

14:30 – Race Three – The Ryanair Steeple Chase

The featured race of St. Patricks Thursday on the 18th of March will be The Ryanair Steeplechase. This Grade 1 steeplechase is 2 miles, 4 furlongs and 127 yards in length, features 17 fences and is open to participating horses aged 5 and over.

15:05 – Race Four – The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle

The fourth race on Thursday the 18th of March 2021 will be The Stayers’ Hurdle sponsored by Paddy Power. This Grade 1 hurdle race features 12 fences along a distance of 2 miles, 7 furlongs and 213 yards and is open to horses aged four years and older.

15:40 – Race Five – The Paddy Power Plate

The fifth race of St. Patrick’s Thursday at The Festival 2021 on the 18th of March will be The Paddy Power Plate. This grade 3 handicap steeplechase is open to horses aged 5 and above and measures 2 miles 4 furlongs and 127 yards with 17 fences for the horses to clear.

16:15 – Race Six – The Mares Novices’ Hurdle

The penultimate race of St. Patrick’s Thursday on Thursday the 18th of March will be The Mares Novices’ Hurdle. This Grade 2 hurdle race measures 2 miles and 179 yards of the new course and features 8 hurdles for the mares to jump.

16:50 – Race Seven – The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase

The final race of St. Patrick Thursday at The Cheltenham Festival 2021 will be The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase. This handicap steeplechase is open to horses aged 5 and older and covers a distance of 3 miles and 2 furlongs with 21 fences to be jumped.

Day Four – Gold Cup Friday

Gold Cup Friday will be the final day of The Cheltenham Festival 2021 which will take place on Friday the 19th of March. Just like the previous 3 days, Gold Cup Friday will have a seven-race card with a featured race in the middle.

13:20 – Race One – The JCB Triumph Hurdle

The first race of Gold Cup Friday on Friday the 19th of March 2021 will be The JCB Triumph Hurdle. This hurdle race measures 2 miles and 179 yards of the new course, includes 8 hurdles and is open to horses aged exactly 4 years old.

13:55 – Race Two – The County Handicap Hurdle Race

The second race of Gold Cup Friday on The 19th of March will be The County Handicap Hurdle Race. This National Hunt handicap hurdle race spans 2 miles and 179 yards of the new course and features 8 hurdles for the aged 5 and above contenders to clear.

14:30 – Race Three – The Albert Bartlett  Novices’ Hurdle Race

Race three on Friday the 19th of March at The Festival will be The Albert Bartlett  Novices’ Hurdle Race. This Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race covers a distance of 2 miles, 7 furlongs and 213 yards with 12 hurdles and is open to horses aged 4 and above.

15:05 – Race Four – The WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase

The featured race of Gold Cup Friday on Friday the 19th of March 2021 will be The WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase. This Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase is open to horses aged 5 and above, is 3 miles, 2 furlongs and 70 yards in length and featured 22 fences.

15:40 – Race Five – The St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase

The race to follow the featured race on Gold Cup Friday will be The St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase. Often referred to as the amateur Gold Cup, this race also measures 3 miles, 2 furlongs and 70 yards, features 22 fences and is open to horses aged 5 years and above.

16:15 – Race Six – The Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeple Chase

The penultimate race of Gold Cup Friday on Friday the 19th of March 2021 will be The Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeple Chase. This Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase measures a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs and will be run for the very first time at The Cheltenham Festival 2021.

16:50 – Race Seven – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

The final race of The Festival on Friday the 19th of March 2021 will be Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. This ungraded handicap race is open to horses aged four and above, covers a distance of 2 miles, 4 furlongs and 56 yards in length and features 9 fences for the participating competitors to jump.

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