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The 2024 Cheltenham Festival

When is the 2024 Cheltenham Festival?

The Festival takes place between Tuesday 12th and Friday 15th March. There are seven races taking place each day, each 40 minutes apart. The first race is scheduled to start at 13:30pm each day with the last at 17:30pm.

This page contains information about the event along with a Cheltenham Festival betting guide should you wish to have a flutter.

The Latest Cheltenham Betting Offers & Tips
Cheltenham Betting Offers
Cheltenham Betting Tips

Where does the Festival take place?

Cheltenham Festival 2024 takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse which is also known as Prestbury Park. The address of the racecourse is Evesham Rd, Cheltenham GL50 4SH.

Races at the meeting take place over two courses. Races over the first two days take place on the old course with races on days three and four taking place on the new course. Both courses are situated at Cheltenham Racecourse and simply have a slightly different layout.

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What are the biggest races at the Cheltenham Festival?

Each of the four days feature high profile races of which have prize money of up to £625,000 each.

Day One – Champions Day

The opening day of the festival where excitement and ambitions are high. The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is the race to open the event with the featured race being The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy at 15:30pm.

Read our Festival Day 1 Tips

Day Two – Ladies Day

Both women and men flock to Cheltenham Racecourse dressed to impress and ready for a day of glamour. The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the featured race on day 2. A race that Altior won in 2018 and 2019, Politologue in 2020, Put The Kettle On in 2021 and Energumene in 2022 & 2023.

Read our Festival Day 2 Tips >

Day Three – St Patrick’s Thursday

An atmosphere not to be missed with live bands playing and Irish owners battling for victory in the seven races. Guinness sales skyrocket during the festival and even more so on day 3 with an estimated 250,000 pints to be sold over the four days.

Day three’s stand out races are The Ryanair Chase (14:50) and The Stayers’ Hurdle (15:30).

Read our Festival Day 3 Tips >

Day Four – Gold Cup Day

Day four is the host of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. With a prize of £625,000 and millions of pounds wagered on the runners, it is the big money race of The Festival. The Gold Cup is scheduled to start at 15:30 with three races following it including the race to close the festival, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

Read our Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Tips >

How To Get There

The easiest way to get to the 2024 Festival each day is via train which stops at Cheltenham Spa Railway Station. Journey by car is possible but be aware that hundreds of thousands of people attend the festival each year and so traffic and parking may be an issue.

Cheltenham Festival Tickets

Tickets can be bought in advance or on the day subject to availability. It is an extremely popular event and so be sure to get your tickets as early as possible to avoid missing out. Day 4 of the festival (Friday 15th) is the most popular day to attend as it features the prestigious Gold Cup. 

Enclosure tickets for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival start from just £40 and go up to several thousand pounds for an Orchard Pod or private boxes.

Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide

5 Key Pieces of Advice for Betting on the Cheltenham Festival
5 Key Pieces of Advice for Betting on the Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival Course:

For the first two days of the festival, the slightly sharper and less galloping Old course is utilised. Whereas the final two days, the New course is where the action takes place, and this is notoriously more stamina-sapping and can suit a different type of horse.

Cheltenham Course Map

It is definitely worth paying attention to which track is in use when considering potential selections, as certain horses (just as they may be course specialists at different courses) can also be more suited to either the Old Course or the New course.

For a more in-depth look into this and how it can affect races at the Festival, have a look at this brilliantly informative course walk by Racing TV’s Lydia Hislop and Ruby Walsh.

Walk the Old and New Courses at Cheltenham with Ruby Walsh and Lydia Hislop
Walk the Old and New Courses at Cheltenham with Ruby Walsh and Lydia Hislop

Festival Specialists

The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle and the main focal point of the whole jumps season of virtually every owner, trainer, jockey and punter. So too, by association, you will find that many horses are targeted at the Festival for virtually their whole season, and will produce quite markedly better performances there.

This pattern has stood the test of time, and year on year, you will find that horses suddenly improve a huge amount on the form that they have been showing throughout the season. Put simply, the main starting point for any form study for the Cheltenham Festival should begin with the previous year’s Festival, and then everything else will slot into place around that.

Quite often, big priced winners can be found by applying this simple methodology.

Cheltenham Odds

These four days in the middle of March can be the defining point of the whole year for many a bookmaker and punter, and so it is a time to be alert to offers, better odds and many more opportunities that will become available to you, that wouldn’t normally arise at any other meeting.

Don’t be afraid to look for the bigger priced runners, as given the extra media attention nowadays, many of the favourites can become over-hyped and thus their price will be falsely short.

Don’t be afraid to back more than one horse in many races, as giving yourself a few possible results makes a lot of sense at a meeting where luck can play a large part in the running of some of the races.

Take advantage of the offers in the handful of days before the meeting, as most bookmakers will be competing for your business. This can include very tempting each-way place terms, as quite often in some of the big field handicaps at the festival, bookmakers will offer 4, 5, 6 and sometimes even 7 places for each-way bets.

Top Trainers

Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott have dominated the Cheltenham Festival in recent years, and have been crowned Top Trainer at the meeting on nine occasions out of the last 10 years. They have taken over from Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls, who won the title 8 times between them between the years of 1999 and 2012.

These four training battalions are very much still the ones to concentrate on, as given the talent and quantity of horses at their disposal, it is very much a feature of their operation to target the Festival each year.

Top Jockeys

Much can depend on form, fitness and which trainer or owner certain jockeys are associated to as the Cheltenham Festival comes around.

Given it is the biggest stage, bringing with it the highest of pressures, the experienced proven jockeys will continually be seen to best effect. Go back through the last 10 or so years, and the names AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty and Davy Russell will appear frequently. This is no coincidence.

Times are changing, and fitness allowing, expect the likes of Jack Kennedy and Rachael Blackmore to be additions to the list of Cheltenham legends in the saddle.

While in the big handicaps, the young and improving jockeys who can still claim weight off their mounts as apprentice or conditional jockeys, will be highly sought after. Many a career has been launched by big wins at the Cheltenham Festival, and it very much pays to stay alert to who may be the chosen ones each season.

What To Wear

There is no official dress code for The Festival but the vast majority of attendees dress smart. This is especially the case on day 2 of the festival (Wednesday) which is Ladies Day. Many ladies opt to wear hats with men being in suits. Fancy dress costumes are permitted within reason but not in the Club Enclosure.

How To Watch the Cheltenham Festival Racing

If you are not attending the 2024 festival, you will be able to watch the first five Cheltenham races live each day on ITV. Some betting sites such as Bet365 provide live streams of the races to members (subject to meeting the requirements).

Cheltenham Festival Betting

Whether you’re attending the festival or watching from home, you may wish to have a flutter on some of the big races. You’ll be able to bet on Cheltenham with all bookmakers which accept horse racing bets with some of the bigger bookies being Bet365, William Hill, Betfred and Coral. You’ll be able to compare Cheltenham betting odds for each horse and take advantage of some Cheltenham betting offers such as Best Odds Guaranteed, Moneyback Specials, Non-Runner No Bet and many more. These Cheltenham Festival betting promotions are available at a number of bookies which we list on WhichBookie.

There will be lots of good value Cheltenham betting offers available both in the run-up and during the festival which are worth keeping an eye out for. Here at WhichBookie, we have compiled a list of the best bets for Cheltenham so that you don’t have to spend the time searching for them. We also have professional Cheltenham Festival betting tips for each day of the festival which may help you land a winner.

So, whether you’re looking for the best Cheltenham Festival 2024 betting offers or hot tips for each race, WhichBookie has you covered.

Other Activities at the Festival?

For those looking for more of a day out at the festival, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a lot more to do than watch the races and drink. 

Live Bands: Live bands will be playing at various locations around the venue.

Shopping: The shopping village has approximately 70 bespoke shopping stands where you can browse bags, belts & hats, luxury home accessories, bespoke tailoring, artwork, clothes and much more.

The Orchard: The Orchard was introduced in 2019 and is a premium experience for those with a Club Enclosure ticket. It is a uniquely themed area hosting a range of luxury brands and you can even book your own private Pod in The Orchard which accommodates up to 20 guests and features dining and a private balcony.

Food & Drink: Guests have a huge selection of food and drink options at Cheltenham ranging from a quick burger and pint to fine dining with a bottle of champagne.

Cheltenham Festival FAQ

When does the Chaltenham Festival start?

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival will start on Tuesday 12th March and run through to Friday 15th March.

How many days is the Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Festival takes place over 4 days. There was speculation that the festival would move to a five-day event from 2024 but it was decided that it would remain as it currently is.

The festival was initially a two-day event, but it was later expanded to three days in 1924, and then to four days in 2005.

How many races take place at the Cheltenham Festival?

There are 28 races that take place at the Cheltenham Festival. The races are divided into different categories, including championship races, novice races, and handicap races, and they range in distance from two miles to over three miles.

How much is a pint at the Cheltenham Festival?

The price of drinks at the Cheltenham Festival varies. However, be prepared to pay premium prices for some beverages. The festival made headlines in 2022 after racegoers were shocked by having to pay £7 for a pint of Guinness, over £8 for a glass of wine and £14 for gin and tonic.

When was the first Cheltenham Festival?

The first Cheltenham Festival was held in 1902. It was originally known as the Grand National Hunt Meeting and took place at several different venues in the Cheltenham area before settling at its current location at Cheltenham Racecourse in 1911.

How much are tickets to the Cheltenham Festival?

Tickets for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival vary in price depending on what level of ticket you require. Best Mate enclosure tickets are the cheapest and start at £55, Tattersalls Enclosure tickets start at £72 and tickets for the Club Enclosure are from £103.

Where is best to stay for the Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Festival is a major event that attracts visitors from all over the world, and there are many different accommodation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Some popular areas to stay for the festival include Cheltenham town centre, which is located close to the racecourse and offers a range of hotels, guesthouses, and apartments, as well as restaurants and bars.

Another option is to stay in the nearby town of Gloucester, which is located just a short distance from Cheltenham and offers a range of accommodation options. Other nearby towns and villages such as Tewkesbury, Cirencester, and Bourton-on-the-Water also offer a variety of accommodation options and are easily accessible by car or public transport.

It’s worth noting that accommodation in and around Cheltenham can be in high demand during the festival, so it’s a good idea to book well in advance to ensure availability and to get the best possible rates.

How many people attend the Cheltenham Festival?

The attendance figures for the Cheltenham Festival can vary from year to year, but typically, the festival attracts around 250,000 visitors over the course of the four days. This includes both local residents and visitors from other parts of the UK and around the world. The festival is one of the largest events in the National Hunt racing calendar, and it attracts some of the best horses, jockeys, and trainers from around the world, as well as a significant number of spectators who come to watch the races and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Despite the large number of people attending the festival, the organizers work hard to ensure that it is a safe and enjoyable event for everyone involved.

The maximum capacity for each day at the Cheltenham Festival from 2023 was capped at 68,500 to avoid overcrowding.

What channel is the Cheltenham Festival on?

All races at the Cheltenham Festival will be broadcast live on both ITV Racing and Racing TV. The festival is also shown on ITV1 but only a certain number of races daily.

What time is the first race at the Cheltenham Festival?

The first race on each of the four days of the Cheltenham Festival starts at 13:30. Seven races take place each day with the last at 17:30.

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