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Cheltenham Festival Day One

The Cheltenham Festival, known to most as simply ‘The Festival’, is a four-day horseracing event held annually at Cheltenham Racecourse.

It is amongst the biggest days on the horseracing calendar with The Gold Cup a close-second in stature to The Grand National at Aintree.

More or less a household name, The Festival takes place around the end of March and start of April every year, attracting tens of thousands of horseracing fanatics to Cheltenham’s world-class venue.

Day One of The Festival, also known as Champion Day, is made up of a 7 race card, with The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy as the featured race of the day which offered a staggering £470,250 prize pool in 2020.

Champion Day kicks off The Cheltenham Festival’s four days of elite jump-racing on Tuesday the 16th of March 2021, with the first race of the day The Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle Race.

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle Race

The first race of The Cheltenham Festival is The Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle Race, beginning at 13:30. 

This Grade 1 National Hunt is open to horses aged 4 years or older and covers a distance of 2 miles and 87-yards, featuring 8 hurdles along Cheltenham’s ‘old course’.

In 2020, The Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle Race had a prize pool of £120,000, with £71,187 going to the winning horse.

The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase

The second race of The Festival at Cheltenham is The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase, which starts at 14:10.

This Steeple Chase is a Grade 1 listed National Hunt that is opened to any horse aged 5 years or above. The race is 1 mile 7 furlongs and 199-yards long and has a total of 13 fences to jump.

The prize pool for The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase last year was £175,000, with £98,473 of that being set as the first-place prize.

The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

Race number three of Champion Day at The Festival is The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase, commencing at 14:50.

The Festival Trophy Handicap Chase is a Grade 3 National Hunt Steeplechase which is run by horses aged five years old and up. The first horse to jump the twenty fences of this 3 miles and 1-furlong race will take home the first-place prize.

In 2020, the placement prizes were £61,897 for first-place, £23,320 for second-place, £11,671 for third-place and £5,830 for fourth.

The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

The fourth race of Champion Day is the first featured race of The Festival – The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy – starting at 15:30.

Horses aged four years and over can participate in The Champion Hurdle – a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race that is run over the 2 miles and 87-yards of the ‘old course’ at Cheltenham, featuring 8 hurdles.

The huge £470,250 prize-pool is awarded to the first four horses to finish, with the winner raking in £264,610, then second-place receiving £99,693, third-place £49,894 and fourth £24,923.

The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race

The first race of the second half of Champion Day and the fourth race of The Festival is The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race, which starts at 16:10.

Originally The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, this race is open to mares aged four and above and is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race that spans about 2 miles and 4 furlongs of Cheltenham’s racecourse.

The first four horses to jump the 10 hurdles and reach the finish line will win a share of the £120,000 prize pool.

The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race

The penultimate race of Champion Day at The Cheltenham Festival is The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race, beginning at 16:50.

The Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle race that is open to 4-year-old horses. Run over the ‘old racecourse’ of Cheltenham, this race is 2 miles and 87-yards in length and consists of 8 hurdles.

The last prize pool for this race was £80,000, with £45,016 going to the winning horse.

The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

The final race of Day One at The Festival 2021 will be The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup, which will take place at 17:30.

This Grade 2 National Hunt Steeplechase is open to amateur riders with horses aged five years or older. Taking place on Cheltenham’s ‘old course’, this lengthy 3 miles and 6-furlong race features 23 hurdles and a prize pool of £125,000.

News

For all The Cheltenham Festival’s news and ticket information including all you need to know about Champion Day, sign up to The Jockey Club’s newsletter at https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/newsletter/ 

Don’t miss a trot, gallop or canter heading into The Cheltenham Festival 2021. Sign up today.

Odds

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest events on the racing calendar, if not the biggest, and so year after year we find some of the best prices and odds available for the races that take place at this amazing event.

Last year’s Champion Day featured race saw prices as high as 100/1, with 16/1 Sharjah placing in second. The two biggest upsets of Day One at The Cheltenham Festival last year were 16/1 Put The Kettle On in The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase and 12/1 Ravenhill in the last race of the day – The National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase

The highest-priced horse of Champion Day 2020 was Hollow Sound with a starting price of 150/1 in The Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle Race, and when 15 runners are jumping 8 hurdles, who knows what could happen.

Cheltenham Races TEst

With the Cheltenham Festival just around the corner, it’s time to get back into the spirit of this grand occasion, and for that, you’ve come to the right place.

With the offset commencing on Tuesday 16th March featuring The Unibet Champion Hurdle, you could be right there experiencing it all up until the final few races trickle through following The Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday 19th March.

Cheltenham Racecourse hosts the most anticipated event of the racing calendar where punters and racing enthusiasts can experience this exciting event from a number of perspectives, whatever the weather.

Four days of extraordinary racing offers a prize pool of over £4.5 million to the hopeful participants, with passion and emotion tantalising the senses of all in attendance.

Kissing the beautiful Cotswold countryside, Cheltenham Racecourse was voted the greatest racecourse in the world by The Racing Post in 2019. Each of the three magnificent Cheltenham Racecourse enclosures gives you a stunning view of the alluring surroundings.

The Cheltenham Festival offers world-class hospitality available to suit a wide range of budgets, so, if you wish, you could step up the quality of your experience to ensure you make the absolute best of this fascinating horseracing occasion.

Besides the racing, you can visit the shopping village featuring approximately 70 bespoke, carefully selected vendors for a mixture of essentials and luxuries. You can also indulge yourself at the bars and listen to live music all throughout the Cheltenham racing calendar.

Betting Tips

If you’re looking for the most diligently researched professional betting tips for the Cheltenham Festival 2021 races, our team of competent, experienced tipsters will provide all the fruitful information you need to make the most lucrative betting decisions possible.

The in-depth information we offer on favourites, horses to look out for, trainers, jockeys and more can mean it won’t just be the horses, trainers and jockeys getting Cheltenham results.

Tickets

Whether you have attended this enthralling event before and you’re looking for your annual fix, or you’ve been intrigued by the captivating aura that surrounds these races inducing the desire to make your Festival debut, you can find all the information you need on Cheltenham tickets right here.

Standard entry tickets are very affordable and there is a range of package options to suit your exact needs, so whatever your budget, The Cheltenham Festival 2021 will be the place to be this March.

Festival Guide

Any information you’re looking for on the festival including dates for the diary, the racecourse, the horse trainers, the jockeys, festival history, where to eat, where to stay and how to get there can be found right here at cheltenham.co.uk.

Race Calendar

The Cheltenham Festival 2021 features a variety of 28 breathtaking races, with 7 per day over the course of the four-day festival. Our race calendar makes it very easy to keep track of exactly what is going on and when.

The highlight of day one will be the Unibet Champion Hurdle with a prize pool of £450,000. Day two sees the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase take place where records continue to be broken.

Day three presents The Ryanair Chase and The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle race, both in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Then Finally, Friday hosts the grand finale in the form of The Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The full Cheltenham race schedule is available right here, from the Tuesday 10:30 gate opening to the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle final race at 5:30 pm on Friday.

Hospitality

The beauty of the Cheltenham races is the sheer quantity of options when it comes to how you want to experience it.

If you head down to The Festival simply to view the races and absorb the exciting atmosphere you don’t need to break the bank. If you’ve set a higher budget for this pulsating occasion, you can get plenty for the money you want to spend.

You can choose from any of the 11 onsite restaurants for your evening meal, with a variety of restaurant types from The Horse & Groom Pub to the Champions Walk restaurant, you can choose the atmosphere that’s served alongside your meal.

Those with a higher budget and more cash to splash will be delighted by the range of luxury experience options, including viewing boxes with private bars, Room With a View packages complete with Bentley and helicopter transfers, and the luxurious Orchard Pods suitable for up to 20 guests with a private balcony.

Free bets

Free bets are a fantastic opportunity to step up the thrill of the races with a chance to recoup some of your festival expenditures, increase your spending money, or even strike it lucky and walk away from your exhilarating day with a smug smile.

Free bets work just like real bets except there is no risk involved. You can place a stake on your favourite horse and if it wins, so do you. Real cash.

The Cheltenham Festival is amongst the busiest periods of the year for bookmakers and betting sites, so they always come up with some incredibly tempting sign-up offers and free bets to lure you in. The high competition between the bookies is good news for you, as they compete to offer the most generous free bet deals.

We scour the web for all the best betting deals – including free bets – and provide you with a one-stop-shop to accumulate your free bet funds, meaning less time searching and more time sitting and sipping.

Odds

It’s thanks to the high competition between bookmakers that you can get such fantastic prices on the horses. Odds are competitive, so very high profits are possible.

We’ll make sure you have access to all the best odds from all the best betting sites, so you can experience how profitable the Cheltenham races can truly be.

Track all the odds as the Festival approaches ever closer so you know exactly who to look out for and back when the big week finally arrives.