The 2019 Cheltenham Festival gets under way on March 12 and we've got all the information you need ahead of the four-day spectacular.
Right here, we have a full schedule of the biggest week in horse racing, as well as exclusive free tips from our team of experts, plus the latest Sky Bet odds and offers.
- Schedule, racecards and times
- Antepost tips & features
- Sky Bet odds and offers
- Stable Tours, videos and podcasts
- Dress code, tickets and travel
- Facts, records and statistics
1. Cheltenham Festival 2019: Schedule
CHELTENHAM DAY 1 - TUESDAY MARCH 12
Officially billed as Champion Day, the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is packed with top quality and starts with a bang as the best young hurdlers clash in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
The Racing Post Arkle crowns the champion two-mile novice chaser and the headline race on day one is the Unibet Champion Hurdle, won for the past two years by the Nicky Henderson-trained Buveur D'Air, who returns to defend his crown this year.
- 1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle
- 2.10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase
- 2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase
- 3.30 UniBet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
- 4.10 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
- 4.50 National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Steeple Chase)
- 5.30 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
CHELTENHAM DAY 2 - WEDNESDAY MARCH 13
Ladies Day consists of a perfect blend of speed and stamina, with the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase one of the most exhilarating races of the entire week as the fastest two-milers wing around Prestbury Park's demanding chase course.
The RSA Chase is a severe examination for burgeoning staying talent and the Cross Country Chase gets better by the year, with last year's winner - Tiger Roll - famously going on to claim Grand National glory at Aintree.
- 1.30 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
- 2.10 RSA Chase
- 2.50 Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race)
- 3.30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
- 4.10 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
- 4.50 Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
- 5.30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race)
CHELTENHAM DAY 3 - THURSDAY MARCH 14
The St Patrick's Thursday crowd has every reason to celebrate with a couple of cracking Grade One contests in the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase.
The JLT Novices' Chase also carries top-class status while the Pertemps Network Final provides a fantastic puzzle for punters to solve as a huge field scrap for hurdling honours over three miles.
- 1.30 JLT Novices’ Chase
- 2.10 Pertemps Network Final
- 2.50 Ryanair Chase
- 3.30 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle
- 4.10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
- 4.50 Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle
- 5.30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase
CHELTENHAM DAY 4 - FRIDAY MARCH 15
Gold Cup Day barely needs introduction.
One of the most sought-after titles in racing is decided on the final day of the Festival and always promises to provide the greatest spectacle.
The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup is a race associated with the elite of the sport and nothing can rival the Cheltenham roar as the horses charge up the famous hill - last year's battle between Native River and Might Bite will live long in the memory and connections of the 2019 contenders will be dreaming of something similar.
The JCB Triumph Hurdle and Albert Bartlett also crown top-class talents, while the 28th and final race sees quality two-mile handicappers vie for glory in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase.
2. Cheltenham Festival 2019: Antepost Tips & Features
Our tipping preview package will continue to build ahead of the Festival so don't forget to bookmark this page and keep track of all our tips and recommended bets along the way...
Lydia Hislop - Road to Cheltenham
Matt Brocklebank - Antepost Angle
- Antepost Angle: Novice hurdles - Three bets here, two at 33/1 and a 20'1 chance
- Antepost Angle: Arkle & JLT Novices' Chase - Stakes are ramped up with a strong fancy in the Arkle and a 16/1 bet in the JLT Novices' Chase.
- Antepost Angle: Champion Hurdle & Stayers' Hurdle - Matt Brocklebank has 100/1 and 33/1 tips as he looks ahead to two of the feature hurdle races at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.
- Antepost Angle: Cheltenham Gold Cup & Ryanair Chase - The focus falls on two of the biggest races of Cheltenham week - the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase.
- Antepost Angle: RSA Chase - A 16/1 shot kicks off the 2019 portfolio as our man looks to unearth the early value at the Festival.
Antepost Angle schedule - keep track of which races will be previewed when and reflect on the tips already published.
3. Cheltenham Festival 2019: Odds & Offers
Sky Bet, who sponsor the first event of the Festival, have priced up all 28 races well in advance and to give punters the opportunity to bet in confidence prior to the meeting, they are offering Non-Runner, No Bet - which means you'll be refunded in full if your selection does not take part in the race.
On top of that, the online firm are offering their standard Best Odds Guaranteed price promise, which means if the Starting Price is greater than the ante-post price you take, you'll get paid out at the longer odds.
So whether you think Altior is a stone-cold certainty in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, or you have a dark horse for the Pertemps Final, head to the Sky Bet antepost racing pages to place your bets on the Cheltenham Festival.
There will also be plenty of offers in the run-up, including Festival Fever and Money Back promotions on each day's first race.
Cheltenham Festival 2019: Stable Tours, Videos & Podcasts
We'll be visiting the leading yards of Nicky Henderson, Colin Tizzard, Paul Nicholls, Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins and Jessica Harrington in the run-up to the Festival, while regular columnist Warren Greatrex will be providing us with all the latest news from his stable.
All the latest news and stable tours will appear right here...
Cheltenham Festival 2019: Raceday Details
What is the dress code at the Cheltenham Festival?
Luckily for some, the dress code for Cheltenham is significantly more relaxed than at Royal Ascot.
That's also a blessing given the Festival has occasionally been held in unseasonably wintry conditions, with the 2018 edition notable for heavy rain and strong winds throughout most of the week.
Many ladies wear hats, but we recommend you keep the weather firmly in mind. Gentlemen usually wear a suit or similar in the Club Enclosure and in restaurants and hospitality facilities.
Two-thirds of the Cheltenham Racecourse car parks are on grass, including most public car parks, so do bear this in mind and wear suitable footwear for the conditions.
Fancy dress is NOT permitted in the Club Enclosure during the Festival but is allowed in Tattersalls as long as the outfit is not offensive and Cheltenham reserve the right to decline entry should the need arise.
Follow this link on the Jockey Club website for more on dress code and raceday style for the Festival.
Where can I buy Cheltenham Festival tickets?
Whether you're looking for corporate hospitality, Club Enclosure, Tattersalls or Best Mate Enclosure tickets, the official Cheltenham Festival website is the best place to book all your tickets for the meeting.
We will also be running competitions to win tickets in the build-up to Cheltenham so make sure you follow our social media channels to be in with a chance of winning your way to the biggest National Hunt meeting in the world.
What is the entertainment at the Cheltenham Festival?
Live bands can be seen throughout the duration of Cheltenham Festival, playing at various locations across the racecourse, including displays in The Pavilion (Best Mate Enclosure), Centaur, Guinness Village, The Plaza (Tattersalls & Club Enclosure), The Courtyard (Club Enclosure) and in The Final Flight Bar.
The line-up for The Festival 2019 presented by Magners sees the return of many favourites, along with a whole host of new acts to get your toes tapping.
What is the best way to travel to the Cheltenham Festival?
Travelling from London to the Festival? Reserve your First Class seats in Cheltenham's private Charter Train - The Festival Train.
Please note, this service does not include your admission into Cheltenham Racecourse, click here to purchase your ticket.
Whether you're travelling in pairs or groups, The Festival Train is a fantastic transport option with guaranteed First Class seats, refreshments and transfers all included from London Euston Station. A First Class Dining upgrade is available, with full breakfast on the outward journey and 4-course dinner on return.
Travelling as a group? Make sure you travel in style with the option to reserve entire carriages with branding options (ask for details).
Cheltenham Festival 2019: Records and Facts
Cheltenham Festival Fun Facts
- There are over 3,000 catering staff alone, including 350 chefs and managers at the Festival - around 40,000 hospitality guests are served over the four days of racing.
- Apart from World War II, the only time Cheltenham has closed was 2001 due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
- 250,000 people attend the Cheltenham Festival during the week. The maximum capacity at Cheltenham Racecourse on Gold Cup day is 67,500.
- Over £600,000 is expected to be bet on the 28 Cheltenham Festival races.
- Kauto Star is the only horse in history to re-gain the Cheltenham Gold Cup, winning the coveted prize in 2007 and 2009, after losing it when second to Denman in 2008. The Paul Nicholls-trained great also fell in 2010, was third to Long Run the following year in 2011 and was pulled-up on his final ever appearance in the 2012 edition, won by Synchronised under Sir Anthony McCoy.
Winners Of The Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award
- 2018 Gordon Elliott IRE (8)
- 2017 Gordon Elliott IRE (6)
- 2016 Willie Mullins IRE (7)
- 2015 Willie Mullins IRE (8)
- 2014 Willie Mullins IRE (4)
- 2013 Willie Mullins IRE (5)
- 2012 Nicky Henderson (7)
- 2011 Willie Mullins IRE (4)
- 2010 Nicky Henderson (3)
- 2009 Paul Nicholls (5)
- 2008 Paul Nicholls (3)
- 2007 Paul Nicholls (4)
- 2006 Paul Nicholls (3)
- 2005 Howard Johnson (3)
- 2004 Paul Nicholls (4)
- 2003 Jonjo O'Neill (3)
- 2002 Martin Pipe (3)
- 2001 Cancelled
- 2000 Nicky Henderson (4)
- 1999 Paul Nicholls (3)
- 1998 Martin Pipe (4)
- 1997 Martin Pipe (4)
- 1996 Ferdy Murphy, Edward O'Grady IRE, Martin Pipe (2)
- 1995 David Nicholson (3)
- 1994 David Nicholson, Edward O'Grady IRE (2)
- 1993 Nicky Henderson, Martin Pipe, Nigel Twiston-Davies (2)
- 1992 Nicky Henderson, David Nicholson, Simon Sherwood (2)
- 1991 Martin Pipe (3)
- 1990 Nicky Henderson (2)
- 1989 Toby Balding, John Edwards, David Elsworth, Josh Gifford, Martin Pipe (2)
- 1988 Josh Gifford (3)
- 1987 Toby Balding, Nicky Henderson, Fred Winter (2)
- 1986 Nicky Henderson (3)
- 1985 Nicky Henderson (3)
- 1984 Michael Dickinson (3)
- 1983 Michael Dickinson (3)
- 1982 Michael Dickinson (3)
- 1981 Peter Easterby (3)
- 1980 John Edwards, Edward O'Grady IRE, Bob Turnell, Fred Winter (2)
Most successful trainers in the Cheltenham Gold Cup
- 5 - Tom Dreaper IRE (1946 Prince Regent, 1964, 1965 & 1966 Arkle, 1968 Fort Leney)
- 4 - Basil Briscoe (1932, 1933, 1934 & 1935 Golden Miller), Paul Nicholls (1999 See More Business, 2007 & 2009 Kauto Star, 2008 Denman), Vincent O'Brien IRE (1948, 1949 & 1950 Cottage Rake, 1953 Knock Hard), Fulke Walwyn (1952 Mont Tremblant, 1962 Mandarin, 1963 Mill House, 1973 The Dikler)
- 3 - Owen Anthony (1927 Thrown In, 1936 Golden Miller, 1940 Roman Hackle), Henrietta Knight (2002, 2003 & 2004 Best Mate)
- 2 - Ivor Anthony (1938 Morse Code, 1941 Poet Prince), Jack Anthony (1929 & 1930 Easter Hero), George Beeby (1939 Brendan's Cottage, 1951 Silver Fame), Noel Chance (1997 Mr Mulligan, 2000 Looks Like Trouble), Michael Dickinson (1982 Silver Buck, 1983 Bregawn), Peter Easterby (1979 Alverton, 1981 Little Owl), Nicky Henderson (2011 Long Run, 2013 Bobs Worth), Dan Moore IRE (1970 & 1971 L'Escargot)
Most successful trainers in the Champion Hurdle
- 7 - Nicky Henderson (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular, 2017 & 2018 Buveur D'Air)
- 5 - Peter Easterby (1967 Saucy Kit, 1976 & 1977 Night Nurse, 1980 & 1981 Sea Pigeon)
- 4 - Willie Mullins (2011 & 2013 Hurricane Fly, 2015 Faugheen, 2016 Annie Power), Vic Smyth (1941 Seneca, 1942 Forestation, 1947 and 1948 National Spirit), Fred Winter (1971 & 1972 Bula, 1974 Lanzarote, 1988 Celtic Shot)
- 3 - Colin Davies (1968, 1969 and 1970 Persian War), Aidan O'Brien IRE (1998, 1999 & 2000 Istabraq), Ryan Price (1955 Clair Soleil, 1959 Fare Time, 1961 Eborneezer), Willie Stephenson (1952, 1953 & 1954 Sir Ken)
Most successful trainers in the Queen Mother Champion Chase
- 6 - Tom Dreaper IRE (1960 & 1961 Fortria, 1964 Ben Stack, 1966 Flyingbolt, 1969 Muir, 1970 Straight Fort)
- 5 - Paul Nicholls (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded, 2015 Dodging Bullets), Nicky Henderson (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian's Rainbow, 2013 & 2016 Sprinter Sacre, 2018 Altior)
- 3 - Michael Dickinson (1982 Rathgorman, 1983 & 1984 Badsworth Boy)
Most successful trainers in the Ryanair Chase
- 2 - Nicky Henderson (2006 Fondmort, 2012 Riverside Theatre), Willie Mullins IRE (2016 Vautour, 2017 Un De Sceaux), Paul Nicholls (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis), Jonjo O'Neill (2010 & 2011 Albertas Run), David Pipe (2008 Our Vic, 2014 Dynaste)
Most successful trainers in the Stayers' Hurdle
- 4 - Paul Nicholls (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Big Buck's)
- 3 - Howard Johnson (2005, 2007 & 2008 Inglis Drever), Fulke Walwyn (1982 & 1986 Crimson Embers, 1985 Rose Ravine)
- 2 - Francois Doumen FR (2002, 2003 Baracouda), Nicky Henderson (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal), Willie Mullins (2017 & 2018 Penhill), John Mulhern IRE (1987 & 1988 Galmoy), Edward O'Grady IRE (1978 Flame Gun, 1980 Mountrivers), Jonjo O'Neill (2004 Iris's Gift, 2014 More Of That), Martin Pipe (1994 Balasani, 1996 Cyborgo)
My Stable - Horse Tracking Made Simple
It’s that time of the year when jump season takes centre stage. With thousands of horses, hundreds of jockeys and plenty of trainers performing across the UK & Ireland in multiple meetings every single day, it can be tough to keep track of all that catches your eye.
But not any longer. Our My Stable service is the simple and perfect way to stay on top (and ahead) of the game. You can easily follow the progress of your favourite horses, jockeys and trainers across six months of pure racing theatre by adding them to My Stable.
It’s your own personal space on your free Sporting Life account where you can create a yard full of talent that means something to you. That way, you can develop your racing knowledge and build a better picture of the races to come. Plus, you also get notifications when anyone in My Stable is due to perform so you never miss a jump – or an opportunity to profit.