CHELTENHAM RACES

DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4

28 Cheltenham Festival races consist of 13 Chases (over fences) and 13 Hurdle races, plus a Cross Country Chase and a Bumper.

14 are Grade 1 contests, in addition to 3 Grade 2, 7 Grade 3 and 4 Listed races.

Distances vary from 2 miles up to 3 miles, 6 furlongs - with Days 1 & 2 races on the Old Course and Days 3 & 4 on the New Course.

FEATURE RACES

Cheltenham Festival Trophies
Champion Hurdle - Tue 15.30
Queen Mother Champion Chase - Wed 15.30
Ryanair Chase - Thu 14.50
Stayers' Hurdle - Thu 15.30
Cheltenham Gold Cup - Fri 15.30

Each day of the Festival has a showpiece contest, but there are five feature races - Thursday boasts two blue riband events.

RACES BY PRIZE MONEY

RACE
GRADE
PURSE*
Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase
1
£625,000
Champion Hurdle
1
£450,000
Queen Mother Champion Chase
1
£400,000
Ryanair Chase
1
£375,000
Stayers' Hurdle
1
£325,000
Arkle Chase
1
£175,000
Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase
1
£175,000
Turners Novices' Chase
1
£175,000
Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
1
£135,000
Supreme Novices' Hurdle
1
£135,000
Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
1
£135,000
Triumph Hurdle
1
£135,000
National Hunt Chase
2
£125,000
Ultima Festival Trophy Chase
3
£125,000
Grand Annual Chase
3
£125,000
Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle
1
£120,000
Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase
2
£120,000
Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Chase
2
£120,000
Ryanair Mares Novices’ Hurdle
2
£105,000
County Hurdle
3
£100,000
Coral Cup Hurdle
3
£100,000
Pertemps Final Hurdle
3
£100,000
Champion Bumper
1
£80,000
Boodles Juvenile Hurdle
3
£80,000
Martin Pipe Hurdle
Listed
£75,000
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase
Listed
£75,000
Cross Country Chase
Listed
£75,000
Festival Hunters' Chase
Listed
£50,000
*2022 (1st prize for each race is over 50% of total purse)

The respective prize money of Cheltenham Festival races tends to reflect their status.

FESTIVAL HANDICAPS

Ultima Handicap Chase - Tue 14.50 
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - Tue 16.50 
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle - Wed 14.50
Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase - Wed 16.50
Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle - Thu 14.10 
Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase - Thu 16.10 
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase - Thu 17.30 
County Handicap Hurdle - Fri 14.10 
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle - Fri 17.30 

There are nine handicaps at the Festival, all of which are Grade 3 or Listed races.

A handicap mark in the low 130s is the bare minimum required for entry to most - and at least 140 for the more valuable events.

In a handicap race the weight each horse carries is determined by the handicapper - the horse with the highest rating carries top weight.

The other horses carry less weight proportionate to their handicap ratings. So if the top-rated horse has a mark of 150 and carries a top weight of 11st 12lb, a 140 rated horse will carry 10lb less (11st 2lb).

FESTIVAL NOVICE RACES

Supreme Novices' Hurdle - Tue 13.30
Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase - Tue 14.10
National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices' Chase - Tue 17.30
Ballymore Novices' Hurdle - Wed 13.30
Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase - Wed 14.10
Turners Novices' Chase - Thu 13.30
Mares Novices' Hurdle - Thu 16.50
Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle - Fri 14.50

Eight Cheltenham Festival races are for Novices only (4 hurdles and 4 chases).

Those hurdles are open to horses aged four years or older, but most novices' at the Festival are aged at least five or six.

These races feature horses that have the potential to become future Festival stars.

A novice is a horse that has yet to win, in its discipline (hurdles or fences), before the start of the current season.

JUVENILE RACES

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - Tue 16.50
JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle - Fri 13.30

There are also two Festival Juvenile Hurdle races, the more prestigious of which is the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle.

These are for four-year-old's only, the youngest horses racing at Cheltenham.

Juveniles are horses aged three at the start of the season.

All horses turn a year older on 1st January, meaning that they are aged four when the Festival comes around in March.

AMATEUR JOCKEY RACES

National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices' Chase - Tue 17.30
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase - Thu 17.30
Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase - Fri 16.10

Three Festival races are for amateur riders only (professional jockeys took part in 2021 due to Covid restrictions).  

Leading amateur jockeys with Festival wins include Jamie Codd, Patrick Mullins, Sam Waley-Cohen and Derek O'Connor.

Several of the leading amateurs regularly compete with the pros in other races too.

Notably, Jamie Codd has ridden a total of 10 Festival winners (7 amateur races).

CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle - Fri 17.30

There is also one Cheltenham Festival race that is only open to apprentice jockeys just starting out in the professional ranks.

FILLIES & MARES RACES

Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (fillies & mares)- Tue 16.10
Ryanair Mares Novices’ Hurdle (fillies & mares) - Thu 16.50
Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (mares only) - Fri 16.50

Finally, three of the races at the Festival are solely for female horses: fillies (four-year old's) and/or mares (five years+).

The Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle was a steppingstone in 2020 for Honeysuckle, who went on to win the Champion Hurdle in 2021 and 2022.