History of Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the National Hunt season in the United Kingdom & Ireland, featuring 28 races over four days of top quality racing. (Photo credit Chelenham Racecourse).

The Cheltenham Festival is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated event among racing fans of UK. The Prestbury Park sparkles with life in March every year when all the best British and Irish horses come together for the staggering prize money and big racing glory. The Gold Cup is the jewel in the crown of the Cheltenham festival while the World Hurdle, Champion Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase are also quite famous races.

The festival used to be a 3-days event until the year 2005 saw the addition of one more day to the festival. That year, 5 new races were also added with the number now standing at 28 for 2019.

Like the Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival can boast of a long history. The race started in the 1860s when the Market Harborough was the venue for the event and it was known as the Grand National Hunt Meeting. The Prestbury Park at Cheltenham has been the venue for the event since the year 1911.

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Wagering on Cheltenham Festival

You can bet on any of the 28 races of the Cheltenham Festival. Presenting Percy and Native River are the current favorites for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Bet 365 is offering 5/1 for Presenting Percy. Betfair is giving 9/1 for Might Bite to win the Gold Cup while Bet365 is offering 16/1 for Road to Respect to win the trophy. You can also choose Champion Chase for your betting. Currently, Altior, Footpad and Min are running as the top favorites for the Champion Chase. For the RSA Chase, Santini, Delta Work, and Topofthegame are the favorite contenders while Penhill, Apples Jade and Champagne Classic are the favorites for the Stayers Hurdle.

A generous £30 Welcome Bonus will be yours if you select Moplay. Opening an account with BetVictor will get you £30 for betting £5. While with Bet365, you can enjoy up to £100. And if you want to avail the Claim Your £40 Risk-Free Bet, then you should choose Paddy Power. William Hill, 888 Sports, and Sky Bet are also worth checking out.

Stayers Hurdle Oldest Race of Festival

Stayers Hurdle has the distinction of being the oldest race of the Cheltenham Festival. While the Cheltenham Gold Cup, currently the most famous of all, was originally a supporting race for the main County Hurdle with subsequent changes making it a championship race soon. Red Splash is considered as the first horse to win the Gold Cup.

The Queen Mother Champion Chase was started in 1959 while the Champion Hurdle began in 1927. Both these races were different from the Stayers Hurdle and the Gold Cup because both were championship races from the very beginning.

The year 2001 saw the outbreak of foot and mouth in the whole United Kingdom. In response, the authorities decided to postpone the festival. But they abandoned the festival later when a case of foot and mouth occurred very close to the Prestbury Park.

Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins are the most famous trainers of the Cheltenham Festival. Paul Nicholls finished the 2007-08 season with 155 winners and a record amount in prize money while Willie Mullins is the leading most winning trainer at the festival. Ruby Walsh is the most successful Cheltenham jockey holding the record of riding 56 winners at the festival.

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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