Cheltenhamfestival.net is your complete guide to the Cheltenham Festival and an indispensable aid to finding the winners of some of the most prestigious and competitive horse races run anywhere in the world.
The 27 races that make up the Cheltenham Festival are the most hotly contested of the entire racing calendar, with around 500 horses competing for over £6.12 million of win and place prize money which compete only with the Grand National in terms of prestige in the jump racing calendar.
Whatever the weather, spring arrives in Gloucestershire on the first Tuesday of the Festival. Helicopters clatter in over Cleeve Hill, the first of 200,000 pints of Guinness are sunk and spectators roar off the start of the first race at the Cheltenham Festival. That now traditional roar is an outpouring of a range of emotions from the relief of the racing community that Cheltenham has finally come round again, to the exhilaration of the crowd at the thought of what lies ahead - four days of high drama, effort and excess that will test both wallets and livers.
The week climaxes with the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, while other highlights include Tuesday's Champion Hurdle, Wednesday's Queen Mother Champion Chase and the World Hurdle on Thursday.
The clash between the top English and Irish horses is what makes the Festival for many and the biggest cheers are almost always reserved for the Irish-trained winners, many of whom are well-backed. Certainly, the Festival would certainly not be the same without the Irish punters, who revel in taking on the Cheltenham bookmakers in their great annual pilgrimage to the Gloucestershire countryside.
All spectators will be able to recall their favourite Festival race. Perhaps the older ones were there for the epic Gold Cup contests in the 1960s between the incomparable Arkle and brave Mill House; others will have marvelled at Dawn Run - the only racehorse to have completed the Champion Hurdle - Gold Cup double (in 1984 and 1986 respectively). Many will look back with fondness to the popular grey Desert Orchid’s Gold Cup triumph in 1989 or, more recently, Best Mate’s third Gold Cup in 2004 and Moscow Flyer's second Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2005, whilst Kauto Star's triumphant second Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2009 will also rank highly for many.
Our site contains everything you need to know about these four magical days in March, when the whole racing community converges on Prestbury Park for the Olympics of National Hunt racing:
Reviews: We review every race at the Cheltenham Festival for the last few years. Each race page on the site records how the races unfolded and our take on the performances of note.
Previews: Read our Cheltnham Festival betting previews, with an in-depth analysis of each contest - providing invaluable guidance on finding the Cheltenham Festival winners. Best of all, our Cheltenham Festival tips are completely free.
Of course, you can then decide whether to follow our advice or use your own intuition to make your final selections. However, we have enjoyed some remarkable success in recent years and here are just a few of the pointers you could have found:
2007 Champion Hurdle – "Sublimity has a good combination of speed and stamina and will be suited by the way the race is run…Afsoun could prove best of the outsiders" (Sublimity won comfortably at 16-1 and Afsoun was third at 28-1).
2007 Brit Insurance Hurdle – "Wichita Lineman looks like being many people’s banker of the Festival and he is hard to oppose. He seems to have all the attributes necessary to land this event...it is not hard to see an outsider making the frame and the one to follow could be Air Force One" (Wichita Lineman won by 12 lengths at 11-8 and Air Force One was second at 25-1).
2007 Jewson Handicap – "L’Antartique’s trainer Ferdy Murphy had an excellent Festival last season...this looks like his trip and if the stable’s horses are again showing signs of form at the Festival he could be worth an interest at a big price" (L’Antartique won at 20-1).
2008 Arkle – "Noland definitely looks the one to beat. Tidal Bay would be the biggest danger to the selection if running here in preference to the Sun Alliance, whilst the front running Kruguyrova won’t be easy to peg back and could hold on for a place" (The result? 1st Tidal Bay 6-1, 2nd Kruguyrova 9-1, 3rd Noland 7-4!)
2008 Coral Cup – "Ferdy Murphy is better known for the exploits of his chasers at recent Festivals, but Naiad Du Misselot has a big chance here...He is only lightly raced, and should have plenty of improvement in him" (Naiad Du Misselot won at 7-1).
2009 Champion Hurdle - "Whilst Binocular is worthy favourite, Punjabi seems to save his best for the spring and will be hard to keep out of the frame" (Punjabi won at 22-1).
2009 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle - "Pride Of Dulcote looks the pick of the fancied runners, but Weapon's Amnesty is our choice" (Weapon's Amnesty won at 8-1, Pride of Dulcote finished second at 3-1).
2010 Coral Cup - "Spirit River was unlucky at Newbury last time out, but he hacked up here in December and must have a huge chance if he lasts out the trip. His form in France suggests he has every chance of doing so" (Spirit River won at 14-1).
2010 Gold Cup - "Billed as a two horse race, but that leaves Cheltenham specialist Imperial Commander outstanding value. Kauto Star and Denman have obvious chances but, with his untapped potential at the trip, Imperial looks the better bet" (Imperial Commander won at 7-1).
2011 Supreme Novices Hurdle - "Cue Card is a worthy favourite, but Al Ferof looks a solid each-way alternative. Sprinter Sacre could be anything and may give the selection most to do" (Al Ferof won at 10-1, Sprinter Sacre was third at 11-1).
2011 David Nicholson Mares Hurdle - "It is impossible to look beyond Quevega who looks a class above her rivals here" (Quevega won at 5-6).
2011 Neptune Novices Hurdle - "In a race that looks unlikely to produce a shock, preference is for First Lieutenant whose win at Leopardstown in December is working out really well" (First Lieutenant won at 7-1).
2011 Fred Winter Novices Hurdle - "What A Charm is very well handicapped on her flat form and fillies have a decent record in this race, she is taken to run a big race" (What A Charm won at 9-1).
2011 Jewson Novices Chase - "Preference is for Noble Prince, who was just about the best of these over hurdles, and a step up in trip and better ground should see him improve the already decent form he has shown over fences to date" (Noble Prince won at 4-1).
2012 Supreme Novices' Hurdle - “Cinders And Ashes has won his last three races on soft / heavy ground but it's a misconception that he needs that sort of surface to show his best, and he could improve again when encountering better ground in the spring” (Cinders And Ashes won at 10/1).
2012 Pulteney Land Investments Novices' Handicap Chase - “Hunt Ball is one of the most improved horses of the season and his winning spree may not be over yet, with the 2m4f Listed novices' handicap chase at the Festival looking an ideal target” (Hunt Ball won at 13/2).
2012 National Hunt Chase – Having found things happening a bit too quickly for him in the Feltham Novices' Chase, Teaforthree appreciated this proper stamina test [Chepstow novices' chase] and he looks tailor-made for the four miler at Cheltenham” (Teaforthree won at 5/1).
2012 Coral Cup – Son Of Flicka showed himself to be well suited to the hurly burly of a big field handicap when finishing second in last season's Martin Pipe race, and he's one to give very careful consideration too when returning there, with the Coral Cup a possible option” (Son Of Flicka won at 16/1).
2012 Jewson Novices' Chase – Willie Mullins' runner won't be a huge price for the Jewson with the likes of Peddlers Cross to take him on, but he looks one of Ireland's best exports for many a year and we'll be surprised if he's beaten” (Sir Des Champs won at 3/1).
2012 Gold Cup - “Long Run has yet to truly convince with his jumping and could be a Cheltenham favourite worth taking on. Step forward Lexus winner Synchronised, who is not getting the credit he deserves from bookmakers and is a value price” (Synchronised won at 8/1).
2012 Grand Annual - “Nicky Henderson always fires several arrows at the race named in memory of his father and anything he runs must be given serious consideration. He last won it with Greenhope in 2006 and is due to another one, with the betting not always the best guide to his runners' chances” (His Bellvano won the race at 20/1 beating stablemate and 9/1 shot Tanks For That).
Don’t forget, the prices above are the SPs, but our ante-post Festival tips are posted on the site in advance of the relevant contests at a time when even more rewarding odds are available. For example, Sublimity was generally available at 50-1 when we highlighted his chances in February 2007.
Trends: In making our selections, we pay special attention to the patterns that have developed over the years, as Cheltenham is such a unique course and the races at the Festival have their own special characteristics. Certainly, history repeats itself here more than at any other meeting and our careful analysis of these trends enables us to whittle down large fields to a few prime contenders.
Statistics: In our statistics sections you'll find previous Cheltenham Festival results - we currently detail the winners of every Festival race since 1989, including the horse and jockey plus the starting-price. We plan to expand this section in the near future and list all Festival winners dating back to the days of Mill House and Arkle. We also provide statistics for both Cheltenham Festival Jockeys and Trainers, with Ruby Walsh and Nicky Henderson currently heading their respective fields.
Tickets and Enclosures: Finally, for those wanting to join in the pilgrimage to the home of National Hunt racing, we have all the information you’ll need to make the most of your visit, including details of Cheltenham Festival tickets and information on all of the enclosures and Cheltenham Festival hospitality at the racecourse.