Cheltenham Festival 2019 : The highlight of the Jump season from 12 – 15 March 2019, The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse epitomises the racing experience.This is the showpiece event of the National Hunt season – the Cheltenham Festival featuring the finest jumps horses in Britain and Ireland.
Wednesday 13th March – Ladies Day Live Stream
13:30 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
14:10 – RSA Steeple Chase
14:50 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
15:30 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase
16:10 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
16:50 – Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
17:30 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
Thursday 14th March – St Patrick’s Day
13:30 – JLT Novices’ Steeple Chase
14:10 – Pertemps Final
14:50 – Ryanair Chase
15:30 – Stayers’ Hurdle
16:10 – Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase
16:50 – Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices Hurdle
17:30 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase
Friday 15th March – Gold Cup Day
13:30 – JCB Triumph Hurdle
14:10 – Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle
14:50 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
15:30 – Cheltenham Gold Cup
16:10 – Foxhunter Steeple Chase
16:50 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
17:30 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Steeple Chase
The Festival opens with a top-class contest that has identified plenty of future stars, including Altior, Brave Inca and, if you go all the way back to 1964, Flyingbolt. I always used to say it was a good race in which to not have a bet, because then you’d be better off than most folk in the stands five minutes later, which certainly felt like good advice when Ebaziyan won at 40-1.
This year’s race looks as tricky as ever, with three horses proving hard to separate at the top of the betting. Al Dancer is unbeaten in four over hurdles and won the Betfair last time, the winners of which have gone close in this a handful of times.
They’ve left his usual hood off and will trust in ear plugs to keep him calm. Angels Breath has long been fancied for this but there were only four hurdles to jump when he won in December and he managed to get beaten at odds-on when last seen, so he has a lot to prove. Klassical Dream is a progressive sort who’ll be suited by softening ground and represents the Mullins/Walsh axis that has won this three times in six years.
Fakir D’Oudairies could be a rare winning four-year-old, having stormed around here in January; the rain will make this a stern physical test for a young horse. Felix Desjy could go well from the front at a big price while The Big Bite, from the yard that won this last year, appears to be attracting support.
The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest week in National Hunt horse racing, with more than £4.5million on offer in prize money across 28 races.
The Gold Cup hero of 2018 Native River is set to defend his crown, but will face stiff competition from a host of challengers, most notably King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux, and Irish-trained Presenting Percy.
Gordon Elliott, whose string include Grand National winner Tiger Roll, will be looking to retain his trainers title, while Davy Russell was last year’s top jockey.
Cheltenham Festival is gearing up for another week of excitement with runners and riders preparing for the big showdowns to come.
Seven races will take place each day this week with all the biggest names in UK horse racing involved in the action.