One of the biggest events in the racing calendar is less than a month away.
And despite the lead up to The Festival getting off to a shaky start with the threats posed by equine influenza, everyone is raring to go.
So with just a few weeks to go, here’s everything you need to know about The Festival.
When is it?
The Festival takes place annually in March and usually coincides with St Patrick’s Day.
But this year, the fun kicks off a week before St Patrick’s Day on Tuesday, March 12 – known as Champion Day – and runs for four days.
Here’s your day-by-day guide
Cheltenham Festival presented by Magners race schedule
Day one – Champion Day (Tuesday, March 12)
1:30pm – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2:10pm – Racing POst Arkle Challenge Trophy Case
2:50pm – Ultima Handicap Chase
3:30pm – UniBet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
4:10pm – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
4:50pm – Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
5:30pm – National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Steeple Chase)
Day two – Ladies Day (Wednesday, March 13)
1:30pm – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
2:10pm – RSA Chase
2:50pm – Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race)
3:30pm – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
4:10pm – Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
4:50pm – Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
5:30pm – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race)
Day three – St Patrick’s Day (Thursday, March 14)
1:30pm – JLT Novicess’ Chase
2:10pm – Pertemps Network Final
2:50pm – Ryanair Chase
3:30pm – Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle
4:10pm – Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
4:50pm – Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle
5:30pm – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase
Day four – Gold Cup Day (Friday, March 15)
1:30pm – JCB Triumph Hurdle
2:10pm – Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle
2:50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
3:30pm – Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase
4:10pm – St James’ Place Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup
4:50pm – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase
5:30pm – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
How do I get tickets?
Tickets now start from £37 and are available here.
There are three areas to choose from – the Best Mate Enclosure, Tattersalls Enclosure and Club Enclosure.
Each one offers a different view of the course from being next to the finish line to being up close and personal at the Winning Post. – and don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for those celebs.
What do I wear?
As one of the biggest events in the racing schedule, many attendees will dress to impress.
However there is no official raceday dress code at Cheltenham and, as always, the weather can be unpredictable so dress appropriately – especially as last year was notably wet and windy.
Many ladies will wear hats and men usually wear a suit or something similar in the Club Enclosure, but two-thirds of the venue are on grass so heels might not be the best choice.
(Image: Getty Images)
On Ladies Day there are prizes up for grabs for the fashionistas out there who decide to add a splash of colour to their outfit.
For those a little more daring, fancy dress is permitted – but only in Tattersalls and provided the outfit “is not offensive.”
The rules don’t stop there though. For security reasons, racegoers aren’t allowed to bring large bags such as suitcases, holdalls and larger rucksacks. But you can use the Left Luggage facilities which are located just before the enclosures.
How do I get there?
There are plenty of buses that travel to and from the races, including National Express services that are dedicated to taking revellers to The Festival – tickets can be purchased here.
Local buses also get in on the action and Stagecoach services D and E run every 10 minutes during the day and between 10 minutes and every hour from Monday to Saturday evenings (every 15 on the two biggest event days).
And if you’re travelling to the town by train, shuttle buses will run from Cheltenham Spa Station and outside WH Smith in the centre of the town before heading to the racecourse.
(Image: Anna Lythgoe/Moose PR/Stagecoach)
And if you’re travelling from London to The Festival then you can reserve your First Class seats on The Festival Train.
Cheltenham’s private Charter Train offers refreshments and transfers from London Euston Station.
You can even upgrade to First Class Dining which includes a full breakfast on the outward journey and a four-course dinner on the return – just what you need after a day of racing.
Download the Gloucestershire Live app
Gloucestershire Live now has an app.
You can also choose to receive notifications when the biggest stories break so you’re always keeping pace with what’s happening locally.
You can download the app now, just search for Gloucestershire Live in your app store.
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