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Each year the Cheltenham Festival gets underway with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, a race greeted by the famous roar from the crowd that tells us that four days of exhilarating horse racing action has finally begun.

Raced at a distance just over two miles the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is run at a frantic pace and it almost always gets the Festival off to a bang.  A big field will tackle the race and some future stars of the hurdling and chasing world will be in action. 

The second race of the Festival, the Arkle is run over the demanding Cheltenham fences at a distance of two miles.  The ultimate test of speed and fluent jumping, it is almost always run at a frenetic pace and it almost always goes to one of the classiest horses in the race.

Then it is on to one of the most competitive races of the Festival, the Hill Trophy Hanidcap is a war of attrition fought out by a huge field of experienced jumpers. 

The sort of race that is more than likely to throw up a big priced surprise, a victory here puts the winner in the picture for the Grand National the following month.  That was the case in 2007 when Joes Edge landed the Handicap at odds of 50/1 before being sent off favourite for the Aintree showpiece.

However, the highlight of the first day’s racing at the Festival is the Champion Hurdle, the Grade one showpiece run over two miles that often confirms who is the champion of the hurdling division.

That is followed by the Cross Country Handicap Chase which adds a different dimension to the Festival and the cross country event is as competitive as anything else on the card. 

The day finishes with  the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle which was introduced onto the card in 2008. The David Nicholson Mares Hurdle gives four year old (and above) Mares the chance to battle it out to see who is the Queen of the first day of Cheltenham’s meeting.

Tuesday 11th March – Champion Day

1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (2m 1/2f)
2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase (2m)
2.40 Festival Handicap Chase (3m 1/2f)
3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (2m 1/2f)
4.00 OLBG Mares Hurdle (2m 4f)
4.40 National Hunt Chase (4m)
5.15 Novices' Handicap Chase (2m 4 1/2 f)

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