The dates for the 2014 Cheltenham Festival have been announced and the full schedule is now available.
The 2014 Cheltenham Festival dates have been announced and the National Hunt horse racing extravaganza will take place between Tuesday 11th March and Friday 14th March 2014.
Over the four days, we will witness the world's best horses compete at the Cheltenham racecourse, with the current schedule as follows:
Tuesday 11th March - Centenary Day
Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival, featuring the 2014 Champion Hurdle
Hurricane Fly wins the Champion Hurdle. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Wednesday 12th March - Ladies Day
Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival, featuring the 2014 Queen Mother Champion Chase
Sprinter Sacre will be odds-on for the Champion Chase. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Thursday 13th March - St Patrick's Day
Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival, featuring the 2014 Ladbrokes World Hurdle
5.15 St. Patrick's Derby (Charity Race) (1m 5f)
Big Buck's wins the World Hurdle, will he be back in 2014? (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Friday 14th March - 2014 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Day
Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival, featuring the 2014 Gold Cup
Bobs Worth wins the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
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.
The Cheltenham Festival