CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL FAQ
For all the Cheltenham Festival questions, queries and curiosities that have yet to be itched, take a look at the information detailed below – we’ve outlined all the frequently answered questions to make sure that you are all clued up ahead of March 2023.
And if that still doesn’t quench your thirst for racing knowledge, we’ve got a nifty little Cheltenham Festival guide for you to peruse.
So, without further ado…
What is the Cheltenham Festival?
The Cheltenham Festival is a horse racing festival held every March. It is one of the biggest dates in the British horse racing calendar, with prize money second only to the Grand National.
Where is Cheltenham Festival held?
The festival is held at the Cheltenham racecourse at Prestbury Park in Gloucestershire.
How many people go to Cheltenham Festival?
Last year’s 2022 Festival saw a total of 280,627 people attended the festival over the four days of racing. Friday, Gold Cup Day, saw a sell-out crowd of 73,875 watch the final day of races. For the 2023 Festival, attendances have been capped to 68,500 people per day to enhance the race-going experience for fans.
When was the first Cheltenham Festival?
Racing has taken place in the Cheltenham area since 1815. In 1860 a festival was held under the name of the National Hunt Meeting. The exact venue changed frequently between 1860 and 1911, when it settled at Prestbury Park.
What is the oldest race at Cheltenham?
In its current format, the Stayers’ Hurdle is the oldest race at Cheltenham Festival, first taking place in 1912.
Has Cheltenham Festival ever been cancelled?
In 2001 Cheltenham Festival was called off due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain. Initially, the festival was delayed until April however a case of the disease was discovered in the local area resulting in a complete cancellation of the event that year.
How long does Cheltenham Festival go on for?
The Cheltenham Festival takes place over four days in the middle of March. Each of the days features 7 races, totalling 28 in all.
Racing begins on a Tuesday, known as Champion Day – day 1 of the action. This then develops into Wednesday, Ladies Day, Thursday, St Patrick’s Day, and Friday, the finale of the action in the form of the Gold Cup.
Who won the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup?
The 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup was won by A Plus Tard, ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
What is the prize money for the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
The prize money for the 2022 Gold Cup, the last time there were packed stands, was £625,000 and it looks to be the same case for the 2023 renewal. In total there is £4,590,000 to be won over the four days of racing. Around half of that total comes from the race sponsors.
What is the capacity of Cheltenham racecourse?
Cheltenham racecourse can hold up to 74,000 fans, with last year’s Friday racing pulling in 73,875. However, this year the capacity has been capped at 68,500.
Where to watch Cheltenham Festival 2023?
Broadcast live on TV as one of the biggest sporting events of the calendar, whether it’s Sky Sports (At The Races), BBC, or other platforms, you’ll be able to watch the top festival jockeys in races across devices (mobile, tablet and laptop).
However, there is also a range of live viewing options online. Indeed, most major betting sites – William Hill, Paddy Power Bet365 – offer live streaming services that ensure that wherever you are, you’ll be able to catch the latest action across all four days of races.
And it couldn’t be easier to gain access. All you have to do is fill out a registration form and place a small deposit and you’ll be on your way to watching the drama – no paperwork, tedious details or lump sums needed.
Is there a dress code?
Cheltenham Festivals are largely synonymous with fancy dress, therefore those attending are expected to impress with their outfits.
However, it’s also practical to err with the side of caution, especially considering the temperamental nature of British weather. This also applies to shoe wear – remember that there’s plenty of grass and mud about – as well as your choice of hat.
Any outfits that come across as offensive or ostentatious can be declined entry to the races, especially in particular enclosures, such as the Club Enclosure.
How much are Cheltenham tickets?
Tickets range from £55 to over £100 depending on which day or stand you are looking for.
You’ll want to buy ahead, as Cheltenham tickets are in high demand and are normally very quickly sold out. Fortunately, we’ve made it easier for you by providing online services that’ll allow you to buy tickets for this year’s Festival here.
Can I purchase tickets on the day?
Considering the nature of this event, if you haven’t bought tickets in advance, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to snap any up the morning or night before Cheltenham Day 1 – Champions Day.
Sure, there are always touts offering passage into individual races at the start of each day – Champions, Ladies, St Patrick, and the Gold Cup finale – but these are subject to availability.
Can I download my tickets or do I have to print them out?
Fortunately, as with most major sporting events, you can use your mobile to get into races by showing your tickets on the entry in PDF format.
If you wish to have a physical copy and print them out, you can do that too – the choice is yours!
Do I get a refund if the race meeting is abandoned?
If a race is abandoned before the first meeting of the day has taken place, then yes, a full refund will be in order. However, only a 50% refund will be given if the race is abandoned before the third race or feature race.
These Cheltenham tickets and refunds will take place online, as regrettably no cash refunds can be given on the day by Cheltenham services.