All the details ahead of the 2021 Festival

Cheltenham Festival 2021: Schedule, odds, betting tips, records and live TV coverage details


The 2021 Cheltenham Festival gets under way on Tuesday March 16 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 all the latest Sky Bet odds and offers.

2021 - Are You Ready to Win?

Contents

  1. Schedule, racecards and times
  2. Daily Tips
  3. Antepost betting previews & features
  4. Sky Bet odds and offers
  5. Stable tours, videos and podcasts
  6. Dress code, tickets and travel
  7. Facts, records and statistics
  8. TV coverage

1. Cheltenham Festival 2021: Schedule

CHELTENHAM DAY 1 - TUESDAY MARCH 16 (OLD COURSE)

Officially billed as Champion Day, the opening afternoon of the Cheltenham Festival is packed with top quality and starts with a bang as the best young hurdlers clash in the opening Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle. The newly-named Sporting Life Arkle crowns the champion two-mile novice chaser and the headline race on day one is the Unibet Champion Hurdle, won by some legends of the sport over the years including magnificent mare Dawn Run, the hugely popular Brave Inca and three-time winners Hatton's Grace, Persian War, See You Then and Istabraq. Last year the two-mile crown went to the Nicky Henderson-trained Epatante.

  • 1.30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y
  • 2.10pm Sporting Life Arkle Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y
  • 2.50pm Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f
  • 3.30pm Unibet Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y
  • 4.10pm Close Brothers David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y
  • 4.50pm Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle (Handicap Hurdle) 2m 87y)
  • 5.30pm National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders' Novices' Chase) (Grade 2) 3m 5f 201y

CHELTENHAM DAY 2 - WEDNESDAY MARCH 17 (OLD COURSE & CROSS COUNTRY)

Ladies Day consists of a fine 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 fly around Prestbury Park's demanding chase course.

The RSA Insurance Novices' Chase is a severe examination for burgeoning staying talent and the Cross Country Chase gets better by the year, with dual hero Tiger Roll famously going on to claim Grand National glory at Aintree on the occasions he was successful. Last year he had to settle for second behind the promising French challenger Easysland.

  • 1.30pm Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f
  • 2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y
  • 2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 5f
  • 3.30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 99y
  • 4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y
  • 4.50pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y
  • 5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y

CHELTENHAM DAY 3 - THURSDAY MARCH 18 (NEW COURSE)

St Patrick's Thursday and every reason to celebrate with a couple of cracking Grade One contests in the Stayers' Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase.

The Marsh 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.

  • 1.30pm MARSH Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m 3f 166y
  • 2.10pm Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 7f 213y
  • 2.50pm Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 127y
  • 3.30pm Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y
  • 4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 4f 166y
  • 4.50pm Daylesford Mares' Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 179y
  • 5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase 3m 2f

CHELTENHAM DAY 4 - FRIDAY MARCH 19 (NEW COURSE)

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 saw Al Boum Photo claim back-to-back wins in the race, the first horse to do so since Best Mate who went on to win a third the following year. Willie Mullins' charge is likely to be back to try and emulate that great chaser this time around.

The JCB Triumph Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle also crown top-class talents, while a recent tweak to the programme now means the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle is the 28th and final race of the Festival.

  • 1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y
  • 2.10pm Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y
  • 2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y
  • 3.30pm Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y
  • 4.10pm St James's Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2f 70y
  • 4.50pm Mrs Paddy Power Mates' Chase 2m 4f 127yds
  • 5.30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4f 56y

2. Free Daily Cheltenham Tips

Our in-depth, daily tips centre will be packed full of expert analysis from the likes of Ben Linfoot, Oli Bell, Matt Brocklebank, Simon Holt, Donn McClean, Alex Hammond, Ed Chamberlin and more.

Will appear here...


3. Cheltenham Festival 2021: Ante-Post Betting Previews & Features

Our tipping and 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...


Mark Howard reflects on the recent action and identifies a horse available at 50/1 he's looking to get on side in the Grand Annual market. Click here for the full preview.

Trainer Evan Williams is enjoying a marvellous season

Matt Brocklebank takes an early look at the 2021 Ryanair Chase and settles on a 10/1 fancy who has previous in the Cheltenham Festival contest. Click here for the full preview.

Saint Calvados (left) is backed to turn the tables on Min

The Cheltenham Festival is on the horizon in mid-March and Mark Howard kicks off his Portfolio by keeping faith in Gordon Eliott's Stayers' Hurdle hope. Click here for the full preview.

Fury Road is tipped at 20/1

Ronald Pump features among two long-range selections as our Matt Brocklebank previews the 2021 Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Click here for the full preview.

Ronald Pump


Paul Nicholls is backed to win the 2021 Queen Mother Champion Chase, but not with the big Sandown winner Politologue - check out our latest long-range preview.

Duc Des Genievres


The November Meeting came and went in a flash, but who were the standout performances? Matt Brocklebank wants one of the winners on side at 25/1 for the Festival. Click here for full preview.

Check out the latest long-range tips from our racing expert


4. Cheltenham Festival 2021: Odds & Offers

Sky Bet, who sponsor the first event of the Festival, have priced up the races well in advance.

Click here to place your bets on the 2021 Cheltenham Festival

5. Cheltenham Festival 2021: Stable tours, videos & podcasts

We'll be visiting some of the biggest and best yards in Britain and Ireland to get the very latest insight from key players ahead of the Festival. So keep this page saved for news from Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, Colin Tizzard, Phillip Hobbs, Alan King, Gordon Elliott and more.

Sporting Life Racing Videos

Tom Scudamore - Life as a jockey

Tom Scudamore on being a jockey at Christmas, rider safety and mental health

Harry Coben - Life as a jockey

Amazing story of how champion jockey contender Harry Cobden began his career!

Willie Mullins - My Racing Greats

THE GREATEST EVER! Willie Mullins reflects on some of the greatest horses in his incredible career.

You in Two Daryl Jacob

You in Two | Jockey Edition - Daryl Jacob

6. Cheltenham Festival 2021: Raceday Details

What is the dress code at the Cheltenham Festival?

Providing spectators are allowed into the course in March 2021, the dress code for Cheltenham is significantly more relaxed than some racecourse, especially the likes of 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, tickets and travel to and from the Festival.


7. Facts, records and statistics

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.

Cheltenham Festival - Top Jockeys

The top jockey for the Festival is the jockey who wins the most races over the four days. The winners since 1980, with wins in brackets, are:

  • 2020 Paul Townend (5)
  • 2019 Nico de Boinville (3)
  • 2018 Davy Russell (4)
  • 2017 Ruby Walsh (4)
  • 2016 Ruby Walsh (7)
  • 2015 Ruby Walsh (4)
  • 2014 Ruby Walsh (3)
  • 2013 Ruby Walsh (4)
  • 2012 Barry Geraghty (5)
  • 2011 Ruby Walsh (5)
  • 2010 Ruby Walsh (3)
  • 2009 Ruby Walsh (7)
  • 2008 Ruby Walsh (3)
  • 2007 Robert Thornton (4)
  • 2006 Ruby Walsh (3)
  • 2005 Graham Lee (3)
  • 2004 Ruby Walsh (3)
  • 2003 Barry Geraghty (5)
  • 2002 Richard Johnson (2)
  • 2001: Festival cancelled
  • 2000 Mick Fitzgerald (4)
  • 1999 Mick Fitzgerald (4)
  • 1998 Tony McCoy (5)
  • 1997 Tony McCoy (3)
  • 1996 Richard Dunwoody (2)
  • 1995 Norman Williamson (4)
  • 1994 Charlie Swan (3)
  • 1993 Charlie Swan (4)
  • 1992 Jamie Osborne (5)
  • 1991 Peter Scudamore (2)
  • 1990 Richard Dunwoody (2)
  • 1989 Tom Morgan (2)
  • 1988 Simon Sherwood (2)
  • 1987 Peter Scudamore (2)
  • 1986 Peter Scudamore (2)
  • 1985 Steve Smith Eccles (3)
  • 1984 Jonjo O'Neill (2)
  • 1983 Graham Bradley (2)
  • 1982 Jonjo O'Neill (1)
  • 1981 John Francome (3)
  • 1980 Jim Wilson (3)

Cheltenham Festival - Top Trainers

The leading trainer for the Festival is the trainer who trains the most winners in the races over the four days. The winners since 1997, with wins in brackets, are:

  • 2020 Willie Mullins (7)
  • 2019 Willie Mullins (4)
  • 2018 Gordon Elliott (8)
  • 2017 Gordon Elliott (6)
  • 2016 Willie Mullins (7)
  • 2015 Willie Mullins (8)
  • 2014 Willie Mullins (4)
  • 2013 Willie Mullins (5)
  • 2012 Nicky Henderson (7)
  • 2011 Willie Mullins (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)
  • 2000 Nicky Henderson (4)
  • 1999 Paul Nicholls (3)
  • 1998 Martin Pipe (4)
  • 1997 Martin Pipe (4)

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), Willie Mullins (2019 & 2020 Al Boum Photo)

Most successful trainers in the Champion Hurdle

  • 8 - Nicky Henderson (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular, 2017 & 2018 Buveur D'Air, 2020 Epatante)
  • 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), Nicky Henderson (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian's Rainbow, 2013 & 2016 Sprinter Sacre, 2018 & 2019 Altior)
  • 6 - Paul Nicholls (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop, 2008 & 2009 Master Minded, 2015 Dodging Bullets, 2020 Politologue)
  • 3 - Michael Dickinson (1982 Rathgorman, 1983 & 1984 Badsworth Boy)

Most successful trainers in the Ryanair Chase

  • 3 - Paul Nicholls (2005 Thisthatandtother, 2007 Taranis, 2019 Frodon), Willie Mullins (2016 Vautour, 2017 Un De Sceaux, 2020 Min)

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)

8. TV coverage

Every race of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival will be live in HD on Racing TV - Sky channel 426, while all the main races will be shown on ITV1 in a three-and-a-half hour live show.

The coverage starts at 1pm and is on until 4.30pm. It will be presented by Ed Chamberlain, with Richard Hoiles commentating and expert analysis from Ruby Walsh and Sir Anthony McCoy among others.


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.


Responsible gambling

We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

Sky Bet's responsible gambling tools are detailed here and if you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, or visit begambleaware.org.

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