Cheltenham 2024 Schedule

Each day of the Cheltenham Festival contains a Championship race, the pinnacle of each racing discipline within the National Hunt calendar. Outside of these, all four days are packed with other major Grade 1 races containing the best horses, jockeys, and trainers, and all are widely popular within the Cheltenham races betting community.

The race card with specific times and horses of each event is released months before the festival begins, just like the tickets. This year’s Cheltenham Festival 2024 dates are March 12-15, with a total of 28 races to be run.

13:30Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Hurdle
14:10Arkle Challenge Trophy
Chase
14:50Ultima Handicap Chase
Chase
15:30Unibet Champion Hurdle
Hurdle
16:10Mares' Hurdle Race
Hurdle
16:50Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Hurdle
17:30National Hunt Novices' Chase (Grade 2)
Chase
13:30Novices' Hurdle Race (Grade 1)
Hurdle
14:10Brown Advisory Novices' Chase (Grade1 )
Chase
14:50Coral Cup (A Handicap Hurdle Race)
Hurdle
15:30Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)
Chase
16:10Cross Country Chase
Chase
16:50Grand Annual Handicap Chase
Chase
17:30Champion Bumper (Grade 1)
Bumper
13:30Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
Chase
14:10Network Final (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (Listed)
Hurdle
14:50Steeple Chase (Grade 1)
Chase
15:30Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
Hurdle
16:10TrustATrader Plate (A Handicap Steeple Chase)
Chase
16:50The Mares Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)
Hurdle
17:30Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Chase
13:30The JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)
Hurdle
14:10County Handicap Hurdle Race (Grade 3)
Hurdle
14:50Novices’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1)
Hurdle
15:30Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase (Grade 1)
Chase
16:10Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Steeple Chase
Chase
16:50Mares' Steeple Chase (Grade 2)
Chase
17:30Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145)
Hurdle
Festival Day 1
13:30Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Hurdle
14:10Arkle Chase
Chase
14:50Ultima Handicap Chase
Chase
15:30Unibet Champion Hurdle
Hurdle
16:10Mares' Hurdle Race
Hurdle
16:50Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
Chase
17:30National Hunt Challenge Cup (Class 1) (Grade 2)
Chase
Festival Day 2
13:30Novices' Hurdle Race (Grade 1)
Hurdle
14:10Brown Advisory Novices' Chase (Grade1 )
Chase
14:50Coral Cup (A Handicap Hurdle Race)
Hurdle
15:30Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)
Chase
16:10Cross Country Chase
Chase
16:50Grand Annual Handicap Chase
Chase
17:30Champion Bumper (Grade 1)
Bumper
Festival Day 3
13:30Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
Chase
14:10Network Final (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (Listed)
Hurdle
14:50Steeple Chase (Grade 1)
Chase
15:30Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
Hurdle
16:10TrustATrader Plate (A Handicap Steeple Chase)
Chase
16:50The Mares Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)
Hurdle
17:30Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Chase
Festival Day 4
13:30The JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)
Hurdle
14:10County Handicap Hurdle Race (Grade 3)
Hurdle
14:50Novices’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1)
Hurdle
15:30Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase (Grade 1)
Chase
16:10Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Steeple Chase
Chase
16:50Mares' Steeple Chase (Grade 2)
Chase
17:30Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145)
Hurdle
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Tuesday, March 12, 15:30
UNIBET Champion Hurdle

The Unibet Champion Hurdle takes place on the first day of the festival and is the longest-running sponsorship of a Championship race at the Cheltenham Festival. The event is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle open to horses aged 4 and over and is raced on the Old Course over a distance of 2 miles and ½ furlong, or 3,298 metres. Horses battle for the prestigious trophy on an exciting racecourse with a total of eight hurdles, making it a challenging race right from the start.

The Unibet Champion Hurdle is the culmination of the critically acclaimed Unibet Road to Cheltenham series, a set of six 2-mile hurdle races throughout the season that also includes – among others – the G1 Unibet Morgiana Hurdle, G2 Unibet International Hurdle, and the G3 Unibet Greatwood Hurdle. 

You’ll find numerous Cheltenham betting offers focused on this race with great odds particularly on the runners in tow. Inaugurated in 1927, the prize money for the first Champion Hurdle was only £365 in the first edition. Its prize fund has jumped to £450,000 in the 2024 festival, the second-highest prize of the entire Cheltenham Festival!

Ruby Walsh is one of the most successful jockeys at the Unibet Champion Hurdle with 4 wins, matched by Barry Geraghty and Tim Molony. Five horses have managed to win it 3 times in a row. The last one to do such a feat was Istabraq in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Nicky Henderson is the leading trainer with 8 wins, while the leading owner is J. P. McManus.

Wednesday, March 13, 15:30
Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Queen Mother Champion Chase has a close connection to the Queen Mother, as the name suggests. Originally added to the Cheltenham race card in 1959 under a different name, it took today’s title in 1980 on the 80th birthday of the Queen Mother. It is named after her in recognition of her support for jump racing. 

The Queen herself was a successful owner of several Champion Chase runners, including Game Spirit, who finished runner-up in 1976. This event is always held on the second day of the festival and is the premier minimum distance (2-mile) chase race on the National Hunt calendar.

The leading horse in this part of the Cheltenham Festival event is Badsworth Boy with 3 wins in a row (1983, 1984, 1985). Pat Taaffe and Barry Geraghty are the leading jockeys, while Tom Dreaper, Paul Nichols, and Nicky Henderson are the most successful trainers, with 6 wins each. George Ansley is the leading owner, together with Doug Armitage and John Hales, with 3 wins apiece. The Queen Mother Champions Chase 2024 has a prize pool of £400,000, making it one of the most lucrative races at the festival.

Friday, March 15, 15:30
Gold Cup

The Gold Cup is one of the biggest horse races in the world. It’s the climax of the Cheltenham Festival and the most valuable event of the week, with a prize fund of £625,000. It’s always held on the closing day and run over a distance of 3 miles and 2 furlongs. There are 22 fences to be jumped on this course, which has been graced by the presence of legendary winners such as Golden Miller and Arkle over the years.

A steeplechase event open to horses aged 5 and over, the Gold Cup is the most prestigious National Hunt race on the calendar. Also known as the Blue Riband of jump racing, it draws the biggest crowd and has the largest prize pool of any non-handicap race.

The race was won a record 5 times in a row by Golden Miller in the mid-1930s, a feat that has never been repeated. Pat Taaffe is the most successful jockey with 4 wins, 3 of them coming on the famous Arkle. Tom Dreaper is the only trainer with 5 wins to his name at this event, while the most successful owner is Dorothy Paget with 7 winning horses.

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