Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival Guide for 2023

If you are into horse racing, then you must be excited about the upcoming Cheltenham Festival. The event starts on March 14th and will continue until March 17th. A total of 28 races will be held over this four-day period. If your horse racing knowledge is solid, you will probably want to place a bet or two. If so, read our Cheltenham Festival betting guide.

About the Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is named after the town of the same name where it began to take place decades ago, located in the county of Gloucestershire. Although officially established in 1911, horse racing in the region was organized around two centuries before that. It was originally a two-day event before, in 1923, it became a three-day one, and eventually became a four-day occasion in 2005. Today, the Cheltenham Festival is considered one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. But what will be the races to keep an eye on?

Champion Hurdle

Inaugurated in 1927, the Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race is for horses that are at least four years old. It is the most prestigious event of this type which takes place in the National Hunt calendar. The horses race over a distance of approximately three kilometres and have to jump over eight hurdles.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

Established in 1959, this Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase is intended for horses that are aged at least five years. The distance that must be raced is about three kilometres, and there are 13 fences to be jumped over. This is the most important race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Festival Trophy

Also known as the Ryanair Chase, this Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase is only for horses that are older than five years. First inaugurated in 2005, the racing distance is a little more than four kilometres and has 17 fences that have to be jumped. This is the third’s day most awaited race.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

First officially held in 1924, the Gold Cup is the most important race of the Cheltenham Festival, which is perceived as the Blue Riband of jump racing. This Grade 1 National Hunt horse race is intended for horses that are over five years old. The track is over five kilometres long and has 22 fences.


Let’s have a look at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival to find out what to expect. A total of 28 horse races are planned for the four-day period, all of which you will be able to bet on. Each day brings a different level of enjoyment, and in the following tables, you can see the program for the four days.

Day 1 – March 14th

The opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is known as Champions Day. The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle are among the most anticipated races. As the name suggests, the winner of the second is proclaimed the king of hurdlers.

13.30Supreme Novices’ Hurdle2m ½ f
14.10Arkle Challenge Trophy2m
14.50Festival Trophy Handicap Chase3m 1f
15.30Champion Hurdle2m ½ f
16.10David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle2m 4f
16.50Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle2m 4 ½ f
17.30National Hunt Challenge Cup3m 6f

Day 2 March 15th

The second day of the competition is known as Ladies’ Day. The day’s major race, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, has provided horse racing fans with numerous memorable moments throughout the years. Another race that is popular for wagering is the Coral Cup.

13.30Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle2m 5f
14.10Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase3m ½ f
14.50Coral Cup2m 5f
15.30Queen Mother Champion Chase2m
16.10Cross Country Chase3m 6f
16.50Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chace2m ½ f
17.30Champion Bumper2m ½ f

Day 3 – March 16th

Although bettors might be looking forward to the Gold Cup on the next day, there are a variety of outstanding races that measure the endurance of the horses. The Festival Trophy is thought to be the best race of the day, while the Stayers’ Hurdle is the second most popular.

13.30Golden Miller Novices’ Chase2m 4f
14.10Pertemps Final3m
14.50Festival Trophy2m 5f
15.30Stayers’ Hurdle3m
16.10Magners Plate Handicap Chase2m 5f
16.50Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle2m 1f
17.30Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup3m 2f

Day 4 – March 17th

The last day is known as Gold Cup Day because it features the largest and most important race of the entire festival – the Cheltenham Gold Cup. All eyes will be on this decisive competition.

13.30Triumph Hurdle2m 1f
14.10County Handicap Hurdle2m 1f
14.50Spa Novices’ Hurdle3m
15.30Cheltenham Gold Cup3m 2 ½ f
16.10Foxhunter Chase3m 2 ½ f
16.50Liberthine Mares’ Chase2m ½ f
17.30Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle2m 4 ½ f

Cheltenham Betting

What are the options for betting on the Cheltenham Festival? You can bet during the event itself, at high-street bookmakers, and at online bookmakers. What is the difference? When betting at the actual event, you can follow developments in real time and thus determine your bets. If you are a live viewer, however, you will miss out on a part of the experience while placing bets. In the case of physical bookmakers, you must go before or during the event to bet on your favourite.

However, on an online betting site, not only can you make live bets and cash out, you can also take advantage of various promotions through which your potential winnings could be greater. Some operators even offer live streaming of sporting events, which means that the races could be watched live on their websites. In addition, the odds at online betting sites are usually slightly better than those of high-street bookmakers. As there are many online betting sites, and comparing odds and offers is difficult, this is where review sites like come in, where you can see many Cheltenham betting odds and tips. If you love horse racing, Cheltenham Festival is an event that every fan should visit at least once. In case you don’t have tickets for the competition yet, you can buy them from the website of the The Jockey Club.

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