Cheltenham Festival

Who will reach the finishing line first?

Cheltenham festival hosts some of the most hotly contested events in the racing calendar. The four-day event runs between the 15-18 March at Cheltenham Racecourse and is attended by thousands of spectators each day.

There are 27 races that make up the Cheltenham festival - 14 chase, 12 hurdle and one bumper (also known as a flat race). Eleven of these races are handicap events which means horses of different weight categories can enter.

Back to the events calendar.

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15-18 March - Will this year's Cheltenham festival be awash with sunshine or a washout? Check the Cheltenham weather forecast.

The course and the weather

The weather can have a significant impact on the racing so jockeys, owners and spectators will be keeping an eye on the Cheltenham Racecourse weather on the lead up to the festival. 

We had a quick chat with Sarah-Jane from Cheltenham Festival, to find out how the weather can affect the event:

How can the weather affect race preparations?
The weather can affect whether the grass will grow - this year it was so mild that we've had to cut it six times over the winter, last winter we didn't cut it at all.

How does the weather affect race results?
The weather can affect the 'give' of the course. In dry weather the ground is firmer, and in wet weather it is softer. Different horses like different ground, so the weather can affect race outcomes.

What are the ideal conditions for Cheltenham Festival?
Ideally it would be dry and warm - between 10-14°C, sunny and the ground would be good to soft.

Race highlights

Gates open at 10.30am, with the first race each day at 1.30pm and the last race each day at 5.30pm.

The festival highlights are spread over all four days with the ones to watch listed below.

DateDayBig racesPrevious winners from 2015
15 March  Centenary Day      Stan James Champion HurdleFaugheen
16 March   Ladies DayQueen Mother Champion Chase     Dodging Bullets
17 March   St Patrick's DayRyanair World HurdleCole Harden
18 MarchGold Cup DayTimico Cheltenham Gold CupConeygree

You can check the weather forecast for other events through the Events Calendar.

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