Category Archives: Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham dress code

What is the dress code for the Cheltenham Festival?

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Horse racing meetings are often as much about style and fashion as they are about the actual events, with many taking the opportunity to socialise and to bring out their fanciest and most glamorous outfits for display.

Deciding what to wear can be time-consuming, especially when there are rules and dress codes to follow. Knowing what’s allowed and what other people are likely to be wearing can help make that decision easier.

What is the dress code?

There is no real dress code at Cheltenham, which has a reputation for being more relaxed, informal and colourful than, say, Royal Ascot.

The only rules on Festival weekend involve the Club Enclosure, where no fancy dress is allowed. However, those that do arrive in fancy dress will be permitted entry to the Best Mate or Tattersalls enclosures where inoffensive fancy dress is allowed.

While management reserve the right to refuse entry, the lack of formal dress code means that the rules are fairly relaxed, although the vast majority of spectators outside of the Best Mate enclosure will choose to dress smartly.

What to wear on Ladies’ Day

Ladies’ Day places a strong emphasis on fashion, with competitions running for the best dressed throughout the day. As long as outfits are fashionable and not too revealing, virtually anything goes on Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham. Outlandish and gaudy costumes stand side by side with elegant and understated.

In 2015 for the first time it was all about colour with #ColourMeMarch, judged via social media. Hats are not a must, but for many Ladies’ Day is the ultimate excuse to don that fancy headwear and get down to the track.

Feathers, frocks and fancy shoes or scarves, gloves and winter coats – the weather is not always suitable for dressing to the nines so check the forecast before you head out without sleeves. For hen party ideas, Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham is certainly a good one!

Things to remember

One of the main reasons Cheltenham chooses not to enforce a dress code is because most of the racing season runs over the winter months. Spectators are advised to dress warm and dry when necessary in order to stay comfortable and enjoy their day at the races.

Most people will choose to avoid overly casual clothing such as sports clothes, but these are still allowed. Ladies choosing to bring out the towering stilettoes might do well to remember to pack a pair of pumps or flip-flops if they plan to be standing a lot throughout the day. Other than that, anything goes.

A day at Cheltenham is all about having your own style and enjoying the social aspects of the event as well as watching some spectacular world-class racing.

cheltenham festival day 2

Ladies day 2018 Cheltenham Festival Day 2

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On Wednesday, March 13th, it’s all glitz and glamour as Day Two of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival sees Ladies Day kick into gear.

But what is Ladies Day? It’s not all heels and hats. For racing punters, it’s a great opportunity to back bigger prices and each-way bets.

With bigger fields and bigger odds, today’s the day for some speculative betting. And it’s all topped off by the Queen Mother Champion Chase – the most prestigious race of the day.

Elsewhere, there’s cracking renewals of the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, the RSA Steeplechase, and the Coral Cup.

Get your glad-rags on!

Ladies Day – 2018 Race Schedule

 The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the big race of the day, featuring a fascinating battle between Altior, Min, and Douvan.

1.30     Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (2m 5f)

2.10     RSA Steeple Chase (3m 1/2f)

2.50     Coral Cup (2m 5f)

3.30     BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase (2m)

4.10      Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (3m 7f)

4.50      Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (2m 1/2f)

5.30      Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Open NH Flat Race) (2m 1/2f)

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle

Raced by four-year-old hurdlers and above, this Grade 1 race has produced some huge stars over the years. Hark back to the likes of Istabraq and Faugheen for example.

Willoughby Court won a thrilling race here last year.

Run over 2m 4f, this renewal looks a belter with Gordon Elliott’s highly-fancied Samcro the hot favourite

RSA Chase

Winners of this Grade 1 race tend to be put forward for Gold Cup contention in the following years.

This race isn’t one for the faint-hearted. You need to have plenty of speed, stamina, and determination to win here.

Presenting Percy and Monalee currently head the betting but the likes of Black Corton and Yanworth will be great dangers.

Coral Cup

Always a hugely competitive race, the Coral Cup presents speculative punters looking for bigger odds winners with a good opportunity.

Robbie Power and Jessica Harrington teamed up last year on the victorious Supasundae. William Henry and Bleu Et Rouge currently head the betting.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

Can Altior complete his comeback with a win in the 2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase?

Nicky Henderson’s charge blitzed the field on his return at Newbury in February and is a short-priced favourite at 4/6 to win.

Politologue was second that day. Can he sensationally beat Altior this time around? Or will it be one of Douvan or Min to upset the applecart?

Cross Country Handicap Chase

Run over 3m 7f, the Cross Country Handicap Chase favours stayers with good form in these tricky sorts of races.

Enda Bolger has a superb record in this race with five previous wins. And he has a fantastic chance of making it six wins with Josies Orders.

2017 winner Cause Of Causes currently heads the antepost betting.

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle is traditionally one of the most open and difficult races of the festival to predict.

Contested over 2m and eight hurdles, last year’s winner Flying Tiger came in as a 33/1 winner.

Nube Negra and Act Of Valour are currently neck-and-neck in the betting.

Champion Bumper

The most unique race of the entire festival, the Champion Bumper is the only race to be run on the flat.

It’s another extremely difficult race to predict and sometimes one that will be for a watching brief only.

Gordon Elliott won the 2017 renewal with Fayonagh.

Ladies Day Results 2017

1:30 – Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle

  1. Willoughby Court – 14/1
  2. Neon Wolf – 2/1
  3. Messire Des Obeaux – 8/1

2:10 – RSA Chase

  1. Might Bite – 7/2F
  2. Whisper – 9/2
  3. Belshill – 5/1

2:50 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

  1. Supasundae – 16/1
  2. Taquin Du Seuil – 12/1
  3. Who Dares Wins – 33/1

3:30 – Queen Mother Champion Chase

  1. Special Tiara – 11/1
  2. Fox Norton – 7/1
  3. Sir Valentino – 33/1

4:10 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase

  1. Cause Of Causes – 4/1
  2. Bless The Wings – 10/1
  3. Cantlow – 9/4F

4:50 – Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

  1. Flying Tiger – 33/1
  2. Divin Bere – 4/1F
  3. Nietzsche – 12/1

5:30 – Champion Bumper

  1. Fayonagh – 7/1
  2. Debuchet – 10/1
  3. Claimantakinforgan – 22/1

Find out all Cheltenham betting odds for 2018 at Ladbrokes!

cheltenham festival day 1

Champion Hurdle Day 2018 Cheltenham Festival Day 1

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Day One of the Cheltenham Festival begins at 1.30pm on Tuesday, March 13th.

After 12 long months away, 76,000 screaming punters will cram into Prestbury Park for the start of the greatest horse racing festival on the planet.The Cheltenham roar will bellow down the first stretch of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

There are seven races in total on the opening day, topped off by the Champion Hurdle – the most prestigious hurdle race in the world.For the 2018 Champion Hurdle, Buveur D’Air will defend his crown against the might of Willie Mullins’ Faugheen.

Champion Hurdle Day – 2018 Race Schedule

Day One of the Cheltenham Festival kicks off on Tuesday with seven festival races, four of which are major renewals.

Are you ready for the roar? Let’s take a look at the schedule and expand on eachof the Cheltenham Festival races.

1.30        Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2m 1/2f)

2.10        Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase (2m)

2.50        Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (3m 1/2f)

3.30        Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (2m 1/2f)

4.10        Mares’ Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy) (2m 4f)

4.50        National Hunt Chase (4m)

5.30        Novices’ Handicap Chase (2m 4 1/2 f)

Supreme Novices Hurdle

The 2018 Cheltenham Festival opens with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Run over 2m, this race is always a bit of a heart-pounder, with the best young hurdling horses all lining up for glory.

Gordon Elliot won here last year with the unfancied Labaik at a huge 25/1. But it’s Willie Mullins’ Getabird who’s the hot favourite for the 2018 renewal at 7/4.

Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeplechase

A Grade 1 chase for novices over 1m 7f, the Arkle Chase tends to produce plenty future major festival winners.

Nicky Henderson has a particularly brilliant record in this race with the English trainer winning six times, including last year’s winner, Altior.

Willie Mullins’ Footpad is the current favourite at Even-Money, with Petit Mouchoir next in the betting at 7/2.

Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase

At 3m long, this race can be a bit of a slog with the most consistent stayers generally triumphing.

The winner of this race traditionally goes on to take part in the Aintree Grand National.

Un Temps Pour Tout won back to back in 2016 and 2017, but it’s Singlefarmpayment and Gold Present who are vying for favouritism this year.

Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

£400,000 and the title of the most prestigious hurdling race of the year are at stake in the Champion Hurdle.

The cream of the hurdling crop is all included for this race, with Buveur D’Air emerging last year to win the 2017 crown.

Nicky Henderson’s charge is well-fancied to retain his crown again. But he could face a stern challenge from the likes of Faugheen, My Tent Or Yours, Yorkhill, and Min.

Mares’ Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy)

The first race was run back in 2008, and this race has gone from strength to strength over the years since.

A Grade 1 contest open to fillies and mares four-years-old and above and run over 2m 4f, 2018’s renewal looks a tight affair.

Apples Jade returns to defend her crown and retains strong favouritism at 8/13. However, the likes of Lets Dance and Vroum Vroum Mag should make it a cracking race.

National Hunt Chase

This gigantic 4m Listed race is open to amateur riders and novice chasers only. It’s traditionally an ultra-competitive race with generally only the best amateurs triumphing.

Tiger Roll here won last year for Gordon Elliot, but previous years have produced stars like Minella Rocco, and Native River.

This year’s favourites include Presenting Percy, Dounikos, and Elegant Escape at 8/1.

Novices’ Handicap Chase

The final race of a breathless first day at Cheltenham is the Novices’ Handicap Chase – a 2m 4f renewal over 16 fences,

Barney Dawn, Hells Kitchen, and Rather Be all currently head the betting for this incredibly competitive handicap.

Champion Day 2017 Results

Ahead of the 2018 renewals, check out every winner on Day One of the Cheltenham Festival 2017.

There were twists, turns, upsets, and favourites striding home to glory.

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2017 Result

  1. Labaik – 25/1.
  2. Melon – 3/1JF
  3. River Wylde – 6/1

Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeplechase 2017 Result

  1. Altior – 1/4F
  2. Cloudy Dream – 12/1
  3. Ordinary World – 25/1

Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase 2017 Result

  1. Un Temps Pour Tout – 9/1
  2. Singlefarmpayment – 5/1F
  3. Noble Endeavour – 15/2

Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy 2017 Result

  1. Buveur D’Air – 5/1
  2. My Tent Or Yours – 16/1
  3. Petit Mouchoir – 6/1

Mares’ Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy) 2017 Result

  1. Apple’s Jade – 7/2
  2. Vroum Vroum Mag – 11/4
  3. Limini – 6/4

National Hunt Chase 2017 Result

  1. Tiger Roll – 16/1
  2. Missed Approach – 50/1
  3. Haymount – 33/1

Novices’ Handicap Chase 2017 Result

  1. Tully East – 8/1
  2. Gold Present – 14/1
  3. Two Taffs – 7/1

Check out all Cheltenham festival odds at Ladbrokes!

Cheltenham Festival crowds umbrellas

The Cheltenham Festival: Explained

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The Cheltenham Festival is one of the main highlights of the National Hunt racing season, held over four days in March. Prize money for the Cheltenham Festival is second to only the Grand National and there are several Grade I feature races over the course of the event.

The Festival is noted on the racing calendar as much for its atmosphere as for its racing, with the phrase ‘Cheltenham roar’ having long been coined to describe the noise made by the crowds.

Origins of the Cheltenham Festival

The origins of the Cheltenham Festival date back to 1860, although the Festival as we know it and at its current location began in 1911.

Prior to this the racing event, known then as the Grand National Hunt Meeting, was held at a variety of locations, including Market Harbour, Cheltenham and Warwick. The Ladbrokes World Hurdle – formerly known as the Stayer’s Chase – is the oldest race still currently run, dating from 1912.

Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup riders

The feature races

There are 27 races in total over the four days of the Cheltenham Festival, with each individual day revolving around one feature race.

Day one, known as Champion’s Day, features the Champion’s Hurdle. Day two, Ladies’ Day, is known for the Queen Mother Champion Chase. On day three, referred to as St. Patrick’s Day, spectators gather for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

The fourth and final day (Gold Cup Day) is named after the blue riband event: the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Types of race

The Cheltenham Festival showcases a wide variety of events, with 14 steeplechases, 12 hurdles races and one bumper race, which is run on the flat as a sort of testing race for new horses.

Eight races are for novice or juvenile horses, 11 are handicap races and four are championship. There has also been a Cross Country Chase held since 2005, where horses are required to jump 32 obstacles such as ditches, walls, water and hedges as well as navigate steep banks, creating a unique spectacle for the crowd.

Cheltenham Gold Cup jockey winner

A day at the races

The Cheltenham Festival is as much about the social aspect as the racing, and this is never truer than on Ladies’ Day.

Cheltenham has a reputation for being slightly more colourful and laid-back than Royal Ascot, with thousands of women competing for the Best Dressed prize in an array of extravagant outfits.

The venue is populated with mobile catering stalls and bars, featuring live music at various points throughout the Festival. For members and club ticket holders there are also several quality restaurants serving everything from afternoon tea to tapas, and the exclusive Golden Miller Champagne Bar for those who want to really splash out.

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most prestigious events in the racing calendar, staging a number of thrilling races that can make stars of both horse and rider. With plenty of excitement and an electric atmosphere, this is not to be missed.

Would you like to bet on Cheltenham festival 2018? Get all Cheltenham odds, and races information at

The Cheltenham Festival Day 2, Ladies Day: Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

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Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

The  Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle takes place on the left-handed, turf-surfaced Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of 2m 5f. It is the opening race on day two of the annual Cheltenham Festival.

Horses are required to jump ten hurdles and can enter from four-years-old and upwards. The weight carried is set at 10st 12lb for any four-year olds and 11st 7lb for five-year olds and above, with a 7lb allowance for mares and fillies.

Last year’s renewal was won by Willoughby Court, who was ridden by David Bass and trained by Ben Pauling. Connections won £71,875.50 for their victory out of a total prize fund of £125,000.

The 2018 contest sees chances throughout the field, although Samcro is highly-fancied to land a first success in this renewal for trainer Gordon Elliott.

As ever, the race marks the start of Ladies Day on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival. The starter will waive the runners off at 1:30pm on Wednesday 14th March 2018.

Find out the latest  Ballymore Novices Hurdle odds at Ladbrokes

History of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

The race is registered as the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle, in honour of the creator of the original festival.

However, it has been known under a variety of different names over the years due to sponsorship. Currently the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, this race began life known as the Aldsworth Hurdle in 1971.

From 1974 until 2006 the race came under the guise of the Sun Alliance Novices Hurdle due to sponsorship from Sun Alliance (which was later Royal & Sun Alliance).

Ballymore Properties took over sponsorship for the following three years before Neptune Investment Management offered their support in 2010. Their sponsorship lasted seven years until Ballymore resumed their association with the event for the 2018 contest.

Race Records

No single horse has managed to achieve victory here more than once, although several winners have gone on to bigger and brighter things at the Festival including Faugheen (Champion Hurdle 2015) and Simonsig (Arkle Challenge Trophy 2013).

The record for leading jockey is held by Ruby Walsh. The 38-year-old has been aboard four winners of the race, most recently with Yorkhill in 2016. He’s one ahead of Charlie Swan who enjoyed three successes with Danoli in 1994, Urubande in 1996 and Istabraq in 1997.

Walsh’s success has gone hand in hand with that of trainer Willie Mullins. The Irishman has four winners under his belt in this renewal – Fiveforthree in 2008, Mikael d’Haguenet in 2009, Faugheen in 2014 and the aforementioned Yorkhill in 2016. Mullins is one ahead of rival Nigel Twiston-Davies, who has trained three winners.

Neptune Novices’ Hurdle Trends

  • Only one of the last 40 winners have been aged six or over.
  • 14 of the last 22 winners were aged exactly six-years-old.
  • Irish-trained horses have won six of the last 10 renewals.
  • Nicky Henderson has won this race just once from 26 attempts.
  • Willie Mullins has accounted for four of the last 10 winners of this race.
  • Only three of the last 12 SP favourites have claimed victory.
  • Even Dawn is the longest-priced winner at 40/1 in 1972.
  • 31 of the last 32 winners of the Baring Bingham had finished first or second in their previous start.
  • Two of the last 17 victors had previously won the Tolworth Hurdle in the same season.


The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle is an exhilarating race for novice hurdlers aged four and above, ready to make a big impact at Cheltenham for the very first time.

Success in the renewal is often the indicator of a true top-class hurdler. Istabraq won the 1997 renewal before going on to claim a hat-trick of Champion Hurdle successes. More recently Faugheen claimed the 2015 Champion Hurdle as well as a whole host of other major successes over sticks.

Walsh and Mullins have proved the dominant pair over the last decade. The duo have teamed up to enjoy success on no fewer than four occasions over the past ten years.

Novices Hurdle Winners

  • 2008: Fiveforthree – Ruby Walsh
  • 2009: Mikael d’Haguenet – Ruby Walsh
  • 2010: Peddlers Cross – Jason Maguire
  • 2011: First Lieutenant – Dave Russell
  • 2012: Simonsig – Barry Geraghty
  • 2013: The New One – Sam Twiston-Davies
  • 2014: Faugheen – Ruby Walsh
  • 2015: Windsor Park – Davy Russell
  • 2016: Yorkhill – Ruby Walsh
  • 2017: Willoughby Court– David Bass
Cheltenham David Nicholson Mares Hurdle

The Cheltenham Festival Day 1, Champion Day: OLBG Mares’ Hurdle

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OLBG Mares’ Hurdle

The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle is one of the newest races to be introduced at the Cheltenham Festival. Inaugurated in 2008, the race was originally intended to be a seventh race on the final day of the Festival, Gold Cup Day. From 2009 onwards it has been the fifth race on Day One – Champion Day.

The race was originally named in honour of legendary jockey and trainer David Nicholson, who passed away in 2006. Nicholson’s impressive record included five wins as a jockey at the Cheltenham Festival. When he retired to become a trainer he entered 17 winning horses in Cheltenham races.

The race was held on the New Course in 2008 but since moving to Day One has been run over the Old Course, with a race distance of two miles, four furlongs, and with horses leaping nine hurdles.

Hot favourite for the 2018 Mares’ Hurdle is the defending champion, Apple’s Jade. Gordon Elliott’s star fought off Willie Mullins’ duo of Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini to win.

The two former names will square off again for the 2018 renewal in what looks an exciting battle.

Cheltenham David Nicholson Mares Hurdle

Quevega, Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins

The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle has been dominated by three characters throughout its short history – horse Quevega, jockey Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins. Although the race was won in 2008 by Jason Maguire on the Donald McCain Jr trained Whiteoak, the famous trio would go on to take victory for six consecutive years.

When Ruby Walsh and Quevega entered in 2009 they were billed as the favourite and given short odds of 2/1. Over the following years, the consistent success of the pair caused those odds to be shortened even further, to 6/4, 5/6 and 4/7 in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively and to 8/11 in 2013 and 2014.

In the 2015 year, Quevega was retired and Ruby Walsh fell on Annie Power after being priced the 1/2 favourite. Another horse from the Willie Mullins stable, Glens Melody, took victory ridden by Paul Townend.

In 2015 year Quevega was retired and Ruby Walsh fell on Annie Power after being priced the 1/2 favourite. Another horse from the Willie Mullins stable, Glens Melody, took victory ridden by Paul Townend.

David Nicholson Mares Hurdle riders

Race Information

The fifth race on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle follows on from the day’s feature race, the Champion Hurdle.

The race is open to fillies and mares aged four and above, with four-year-olds carrying a weight of 10st 10lb and those aged five and over carrying 11st 5lb.

Run on the Old Course over 4,023 metres with nine hurdles, the prize pot for the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle stands at £110,000.

Statistics and Trends

  • The fastest winning time goes to Quevega in 2010 when she finished in 4 minutes and 45.4 seconds.
  • 8 of the last 10 winners have been favourite or 2nd favourite.
  • The longest price for a winning horse was 20/1 for Whiteoak in the inaugural 2008 running.
  • Willie Mullins has trained all but two winners in ten renewals.

Despite the narrow field of victories since its inception, the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle is a hotly-contested race, with each horse and rider team eager to be first past the post. It is part of what makes Day One at Cheltenham such a thrilling experience for racers and spectators alike.

You can find all your 2018 Cheltenham OLBG Mares’ Hurdle odds  at Ladbrokes.

Cheltenham Arkle Challenge Trophy jockeys

Arkle Challenge Trophy

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The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy

The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy is the second race of the Cheltenham Festival Day 1. A National Hunt steeplechase run on the Old Course, this race is the foremost novice minimum distance chase on the seasonal calendar.

It is open to five-year-old horses and above and run over a distance of around two miles.

Arkle Challenge Trophy

The Arkle Challenge Trophy was introduced in order to pay tribute to the legendary Irish thoroughbred racehorse Arkle.

Arkle famously won the prestigious and challenging Cheltenham Gold Cup on three consecutive years from 1964-1966; in honour of his achievements, the former Cotswold Chase was renamed the Arkle Challenge Trophy.

Until 1980 the race took place on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, moving in that year to its current slot as race two on Day One.

There have been four sponsors of the Arkle Challenge Trophy, the first being Waterford Castle from 1991 until 1993. Guinness sponsored the race from 1994 until 1999, followed by the Irish Independent newspaper from 2000 until 2011. Current sponsors the Racing Post took over in 2012.

There have been several winners of the Arkle that have later gone on to win the Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase, the most prestigious two-mile steeplechase on the calendar. These include Sprinter Sacre, who took home the Queen Mother in 2013.

Footpad is the hot favourite for the 2018 Arkle Chase. The Willie Mullins-trained star won the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown this year.

His nearest challenger that day – Petit Mouchoir – is the second favourite for the Cheltenham renewal.

The Course

The Arkle Challenge Trophy takes place over what is known at Cheltenham as the Old Course.

Thought of as slightly easier than the New Course due to being a little shorter, the Old Course is nonetheless challenging for horse and jockey alike. Open ditches and a water jump combine with an undulating course structure to create unique challenges requiring a fine balance of pace and stamina.

There are thirteen fences that must be jumped during the two-mile duration of the Arkle Challenge Trophy. Making all races at Cheltenham particularly challenging is the undulations in the turf and the fact that all courses feature relatively steep inclines and declines at various points.

Arkle Challenge Trophy Trends

  • Five of the last six winners have been the odds-on favourite.
  • The top jockey in terms of this particular event is Barry Geraghty, with four wins.
  • Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer with six winners.
  • Eight of the last 27 winners have gone on to win the following season’s Champion Chase.
  • Willie Mullins has trained two of the last three winners.
  • Six-year-olds and seven-year-olds are the most successful horses in this race.

This novice race helps get the Cheltenham Festival started, making Day One a thrilling and challenging day for newcomers to the world of competitive horse racing. If you’re after a really exciting flutter, this is the race for you.

Recent Winners

Over the last 10 years, the Arkle Challenge Trophy has been dominated by trainers Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins, who have won five of the last 10 renewals.

Of the jockeys, Barry Geraghty has three victories, with Ruby Walsh with two. The last ten winners are as follows:

  • 2008: Tidal Bay – Denis O’Regan
  • 2009: Forpadydeplaster – Barry Geraghty
  • 2010: Sizing Europe – Andrew Lynch
  • 2011: Captain Chris – Richard Johnson
  • 2012: Sprinter Sacre – Barry Geraghty
  • 2013: Simonsig – Barry Geraghty
  • 2014: Western Warhorse – Tom Scudamore
  • 2015: Un De Sceaux – Ruby Walsh
  • 2016: Douvan – Ruby Walsh
  • 2017: Altior – Nico de Boinville

Find out more about Cheltenham betting at Ladbrokes!

grand national runners 2018

2018 Cheltenham Festival Dates

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Are you ready the roar? The Cheltenham Festival is the greatest horse racing festival of them all. And one of the UK’s biggest and best sporting events of the year.When is Cheltenham? The 2018 Cheltenham Festival kicks off on Tuesday, March 13th and finishes up on Friday, March 16th.

The schedule takes in top-class racing over four days and 28 races in total, beginning with Champion Day on Tuesday and ending with the Gold Cup day on Friday.250,000 punters are expected to fill the 67,000 capacity course over the four days, with nearly £4.6m in total prize money to be won.

If you’re not lucky enough to be in attendance, you catch live coverage of the big races from 1:30pm on ITV every day.

Tuesday 13th March – Champion Hurdle Day

Cheltenham Festival Day One will see Buveur D’Air (4/9) and Faugheen (5/1) duke it out in the Champion Hurdle. There’s also a cracking Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Arkle to look forward to.

1.30 p.m      Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2m 1/2f)

2.10 p.m      Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase (2m)

2.50 p.m     Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (3m 1/2f)

3.30 p.m     Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (2m 1/2f)

4.10 p.m     Mares’ Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy) (2m 4f)

4.50 p.m     National Hunt Chase (4m)

5.30 p.m       Novices’ Handicap Chase (2m 4 1/2 f)

Wednesday 14th March – Ladies Day

Cheltenham Festival Day Two is traditionally known as Ladies Day. It sees a cracking renewal of the Queen Mother Champion Chase, including a battle between Altior, Min, and Douvan.

1.30 p.m     Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (2m 5f)

2.10 p.m     RSA Steeple Chase (3m 1/2f)

2.50 p.m      Coral Cup (2m 5f)

3.30 p.m     BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase (2m)

4.10 p.m     Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (3m 7f)

4.50 p.m     Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (2m 1/2f)

5.30 p.m Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Open NH Flat Race) (2m 1/2f)


Thursday 15th March – St Patrick’s Day

Cheltenham Festival Day Three is traditionally known as St. Patrick’s Day, falling on Ireland’s national holiday. However, this year, St. Patrick’s Day is actually on Saturday, March 17th.

1.30 p.m         JLT Novices’ Steeple Chase (2m 5f)

2.10 p.m        Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (3m)

2.50 p.m        Ryanair Chase (2m 5f)

3.30 p.m       Stayers’ Hurdle (3m)

4.10 p.m       Byrne Group Plate Handicap Steeple Chase (2m 5f)

4.50 p.m     The Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (2m 1f)

5.30 p.m        The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase (3m 1f)


Friday 16th March – Cheltenham Gold Cup Day

Cheltenham festival day four, and the final day of the Cheltenham Festival sees the renewal of the most prestigious race of the entire festival – the Gold Cup. It looks a keen contest between Might Bite, Native River, and Sizing John.

1.30 p.m         The JCB Triumph Hurdle (2m 1f)

2.05 p.m         The Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (2m 1f)

2.40 p.m         The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Spa Novices’ Hurdle) (3m)

3.30 p.m         The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (3m 2f) (3m 2 1/2f)

4.00 p.m         The St James’ Place Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup  (3m 2 1/2f)

4.40 p.m         Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (2m 4 1/2f)

5.15 p.m         Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Steeple Chase (2m 1/2f)

Check out for all Cheltenham odds at Ladbrokes!

Cheltenham Festival crowds Racecourse

The Cheltenham Festival guide: Which day is right for me?

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The Cheltenham Festival is a National Hunt meeting that takes place over four days in March each year and is one of the highlights of the horse racing calendar. Each day has its own unique character and revolves around its own championship feature race.

To help you decide which day is best suited to you, we’ve put together this guide to the individual events and characteristics of each of the four days.

Day One (Tuesday) – Champion Day

Opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is named for the feature race of the day, the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy.

While the Gold Cup is billed as the most prestigious event of the Festival, it can be argued that as a whole opening day is the most exciting, with seven important races and the tangible air of anticipation as spectators await the opportunity to let go the famous ‘Cheltenham roar’ to cheer their selections on.

The day is bookended by two novice races – the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. Each of these races acts as a showcase for up-and-coming young horses who may one day take the racing world by storm. There are plenty of opportunities for socialising on opening day, with many bars and restaurants on-site.

Day Two (Wednesday) – Ladies’ Day

Ladies’Day at the Cheltenham Festival is one of the most stylish yet fun days in the entire racing calendar. Known for being slightly more colourful and extravagant than its Royal Ascot counterpart, Cheltenham Ladies’ Day is all about style and glamour.

Often attended by celebrities and even royalty, the feature race of Ladies’ Day is the Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase – the lady herself often attended throughout her life. Cheltenham has a reputation for being one of the most social festivals of the jumps racing season and Ladies’ Day is the highlight of the event in these terms

Cheltenham Festival Racecourse Archway

Day Three (Thursday) – St. Patrick’s Day

While Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival certainly does not always fall on St. Patrick’s Day, the honorary title is still bestowed to the Thursday. Highly popular with Irish visitors and the reason the Guinness Village was established, Day Three has an atmosphere all its own.

World-class racing is combined with live music and entertainment, and the social opportunities are tremendous. The day’s feature race is the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, where horses such as Big Buck’s and Baracouda have made names for themselves. The Ryanair Steeple Chase is also an important race, and is often seen as a stepping stone to the following day’s Gold Cup.

Day Four (Friday) – Gold Cup Day

The Cheltenham Gold Cup day is ranked only just behind the Grand National in terms of iconic and prestigious jumps racing events and it is from this race that day four of the festival takes its name.

While every day at Cheltenham is special in its own right, the Friday sees the cream of the crop in terms of horses. Legends have been made here, from Arkle to Kauto Star, Golden Miller to Best Mate and more.

While this demanding race dominates the schedule, there is still plenty to see throughout the rest of the day. Annual members and club ticket holders can then finish off their festival in style with some live music in the Final Flight bar.

Whichever day you choose, excitement and some of the best racing in the world is practically guaranteed.

Check out for the latest Cheltenham gold cup odds at Ladbrokes!

The Cheltenham Gold Cup race 2018

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Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the sport’s biggest prizes. Second only to the Grand National in terms of prize money, the Festival’s premier race pits the cream of the racing crop against one another over fences on the final day of the Festival.

Last year’s renewal was won by 7/1 shot Sizing John under the guidance of Robbie Power for Irish trainer Jessica Harrington. The seven-year-old defied the odds to finish ahead of favourites Djakadam and Cue Card. It proved to be his middle Gold Cup success, in-between winning the Punchestown Gold Cup and the Irish Gold Cup. He is the only horse to have achieved the feat.

The 2018 Gold Cup will see Sizing John defend his crown on 16th March 2018. He will go up against runners including Might Bite, Native River and Road to Respect.

Get all the latest Cheltenham Gold Cup odds at Ladbrokes!

Race Information

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase for horses aged five and over. The weight restrictions are 11st 8lb for five-year-olds, and 11st 10lb for horses aged six or over; there is an allowance of 7lb for mares.

The number of participants ranges from fewer than 10 to more than 20. It’s acknowledged as the most important non-handicap National Hunt event.

The length of the course is 3 miles, 2½ furlongs (5,331 metres) and it has 22 fences, including a challenging downhill jump. The course has a long run-in stretch.

The purse for this race is a whopping ££625,000, with the winner taking home £355,937.50.

Race History

The Cheltenham Gold Cup was first run in 1819 as a three-mile flat race at Cleeve Hill, not far from today’s location. The prize fund was 100 guineas.

In 1924, the first jumps were added to the race, which moved to what is now the Old Course at Cheltenham. In the early days, the Cheltenham Gold Cup didn’t have quite the prestige that it does today; people tended to think of it as a trial for bigger-name races. In 1959 the race moved to the venue’s New Course, and a new era of the Gold Cup began.

The first company to put its name to the race was Pipe Champagne in 1975. They were followed by The Tote in 1980 which lasted up until 2003, after which point the race became known as the totesport Gold Cup.

Timico began sponsorship of the event in 2016 and will remain as principal sponsors until at least 2019.

Trainers, Jockeys and Horse Records

The most successful horse in Cheltenham Gold Cup history is Golden Miller. The Irish-bred raider won five consecutive races between 1932 and 1936.

Arkle also enjoyed significant success in the Festival showpiece. Tom Dreaper’s runner won a hat-trick of Gold Cups in 1964, 1965 and 1966 to write his name into the record books. Dreaper is also the most successful trainer in the history of the event with five victories. Three of those came with Arkle, while the other two were secured by Prince Regent in 1946 and Fort Leney in 1968.

Jockey Pat Taaffe combined with Dreaper for four of those victories to hold the record for the Gold Cup’s most successful jockey.

Michael Dickinson gives Dreaper a run for his money in terms of the most remarkable achievement in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In 1983, the top five finishing horses were all his – a feat which has never yet been equalled.

Golden Miller’s owner, Dorothy Paget, trumps them all, with seven Cheltenham Gold Cup wins under her belt. She won five times with Golden Miller in the 1930s, along with Roman Hackle in 1940, and Mont Tremblant in 1952.

Jim Culloty is the most successful jockey since the turn of the millennium thanks to three straight victories aboard Best Mate in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Paul Nicholls has trained four winners since 1999 and will likely saddle another runner in the 2018 edition.

Race Trends and Statistics

The horse most likely to succeed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup is an experienced and high-ranking chaser – although the 2015 victory was amazingly taken by the novice Coneygree, who had only ever started three races over fences.

  • 13 of the last 15 winners had run at Cheltenham before.
  • Nine of the last 15 had an OR of 150 or higher.
  • Eight of the last 15 winners have been SP favourite.
  • Seven of 15 had won over fences at Cheltenham previously.
  • Five of the last 15 winners have been Irish-trained.
  • Five of the last 15 winners had their last race in the King George VI Chase.
  • Only one runner has ever won at odds of 100/1 – Norton’s Coin in 1990.
  • Only two winners since 1953 has been under the age of seven – Mill House (1963) and Long Run (2011).

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners

  • 2008: Denman – Sam Thomas
  • 2009: Kauto Star – Ruby Walsh
  • 2010: Imperial Commander – Paddy Brennan
  • 2011: Long Run – Sam Waley-Cohen
  • 2012: Synchronised – Tony McCoy
  • 2013: Bobs Worth – Barry Geraghty
  • 2014: Lord Windermere – Davy Russell
  • 2015: Coneygree – Nico de Boinville
  • 2016: Don Cossack – Bryan Cooper
  • 2017: Sizing John – Robbie Power

As one of the most prestigious and hotly-contested races in the National Hunt calendar, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a real crowd-pleaser, with everyone in attendance at the Festival eager to guess which horse will earn a place on the elite list of Gold Cup winners.