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With a history dating back almost two centuries, Cheltenham has become synonymous with world class National Hunt horse racing, and from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 March 2016, hundreds of thousands of people will descend on the Gloucestershire spa town for the world-famous spectacle of The Festival 2016.
Encompassing the internationally-renowned Cheltenham Gold Cup, the four-day event will see more than 25 races take place, with almost £600 million being bet on some of the world’s finest race horses as they speed around Cheltenham Racecourse’s Old Course, New Course and Cross Country Steeplechase Course.
Some of the best and bravest horses and jockeys, nervous and excited trainers and owners, and thousands of spectators will once again be uniting, determined to have the time of their lives.
Organisers said: ‘The Festival is one of those rare events that engages everyone who comes into contact with it, never failing to produce award-winning drama, enjoyment, camaraderie and sporting excellence in a cocktail for which no hangover cure is required. It truly is a life affirming four days.’
Tuesday 15 March 2016
The crowds are sure to roar as the tapes rises for the first race of the week, signalling the moment when racing’s favourite fixture is officially back. Today features the most important hurdle race of the season, the Stan James Champion Hurdle, when Faugheen should be back to defend his crown.
The race timings for Champion Day 2016 are as follows:
1.30pm The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race
2.10pm The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
2.50pm The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase
3.30pm The Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
4.10pm The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Race
4.50pm The 146th Year Of The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
5.30pm The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
Wednesday 16 March 2016
While many love Ladies Day for its colourful fashion, glamour and glasses of Champagne, the real action is on the track with a seven-race card including the anticipated Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The race timings for Ladies Day 2016 are as follows:
1.30pm The Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle Race
2.10pm The RSA Steeple Chase
2.50pm The Coral Cup Hurdle
3.30pm The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase
4.10pm The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase
4.50pm The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race
5.30pm The Weatherbys Champion Bumper
Thursday 17 March 2016
Expect a lively atmosphere and a real taste of Ireland in Cheltenham today as St Patrick’s Day is celebrated alongside the stellar racing line up. In between pints of the black stuff, be sure to check out The Guinness Village and bookmaker jungle, which is home to the fabled million pound wagers. Expect plenty of craic around the course, fancy dress – including fully decked out leprechauns – live music and Irish entertainment all adding to the festival spirit.
There will also be a Brightwells Bloodstock Sale at Cheltenham Racecourse, offering a limited number of quality horses in training, point to pointers and bumper horses.
The race timings for St Patrick’s Thursday 2016 are as follows:
1.30pm The JLT Novices’ Chase
2.10pm The Pertemps Network Final
2.50pm The Ryanair Steeple Chase
3.30pm The Ryanair World Hurdle
4.10pm The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
4.50pm The Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle
5.30pm The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase
Friday 18 March 2016
The Gold Cup, the one we’ve all been waiting for, the climax of the entire jump racing season and one which never fails to disappoint as an annual highlight. In 2015 it was novice chaser, Coneygree, who crossed the Gold Cup finish line first, pipping the likes of Silviniaco Conti and Road To Riches to the post – who’s turn will it be in 2016?
There are also six other gripping races to look forward to on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day 2016, including two more Grade 1 events and three fiercely competitive handicaps, making this a day that all racing fans cherish. Plus, don’t miss the chance to see Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton taking part in the Foxhunter Steeple Chase!
The race timings for Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016 are as follows:
1.30pm The JCB Triumph Hurdle
2.10 pm The Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle Race
2.50pm The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race
3.30pm The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase
4.10pm The St. James’s Place Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
4.50pm The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race
5.30pm The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
With plenty of live music, entertainment, dining, shopping and trade stands to enjoy, in addition to the races, whether you’re a seasoned racing fan or a first-timer – The Festival and Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016 is not to be missed.
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