This is an unoffical, fan based guide to the 2016 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. This site is not associated with the official Cheltenham website cheltenham.co.uk
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 Cheltenham 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 at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival:
2015 Supreme Novices' Hurdle - "It has been impossible to ignore the confidence behind Douvan in recent weeks and he looks set to hammer the bookies in the opener" (Douvan won by over four lengths at 2/1)
2015 Champion Hurdle - "If you have one bet all week then it has to be Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle. He looks a cut above the opposition and he can't be opposed" (Faugheen powers to victory at 4/5)
2015 Neptune Investment Hurdle - "Windsor Park is threatening to deliver a huge performance and Dermot Weld's charge is certainly good enough to win this" (Windsor Park wins at 9/2)
2015 Coral Cup - "Paul Nicholls has been keen to play down the chances of French recruit Aux Ptits Soins but ignore his comments. He looks to have a superb chance in the most competitive race of the entire week" (Aux Ptits Soins wins the Coral Cup at 9/1)
2015 Pertemps Final - "Nicky Henderson's Call The Cops still looks to be well in and there will be no horse cruising through the race as well as him. He is a fantastic each-way bet" (The selection wins at 9/1)
2015 Ryanair Chase - "Uxizandre looks a big price for a horse that was in superb form earlier in the year and he has an each-way squeak" (AP McCoy and Uxizandre win at 16/1)
2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup - "Connections of Coneygree can prove that they were right to pitch their horse into Gold Cup company and he can make all for a famous victory" - (Wins the feature at 7/1)
2015 Martin Pipe Handicap - "Killultagh Vic isn't as well fancied as Mullins' Roi Des Francs but he has every chance and he is sure to be in the mix" (He wins at a tasty 7/1)
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 back 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.