With The Festival 2021 held behind closed doors, anticipation for the 2022 event, from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 March 2022, has never been higher.
To ensure it lives up to the hype, Cheltenham Racecourse has some surprises in store for racegoers making their return to the jewel in Jump Racing’s crown this year.
1. The National hunt chase has been renamed for Ukraine
As well as making a donation to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal and encouraging racegoers to do the same, this year’s National Hunt Chase will be renamed the Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase, with the aim of using The Festival coverage to give the charity maximum exposure.
Taking place at 5.30pm on Tuesday 15 March 2022, it is the last race on the schedule for the first day of The Festival.
Cheltenham Racecourse has also organised a Gold Cup Hospitality Raffle, selling tickets for £10 for the chance to win one of 24 pairs of hospitality tickets to Gold Cup Day, with all funds raised going to the British Red Cross Ukraine Appeal.
2. New fine dining restaurant Four Eighty
Cheltenham Racecourse is constantly updating its hospitality offering and this year is no different. Four Eighty is the latest addition to its ever-growing collection of eateries and has been designed to showcase the best local produce from the south west and within 480 furlongs (equivalent to 60 miles) of the racecourse specifically.
Executive head chef, Warren O’Connor, has made use of everything from Bibury trout and Gloucester Old Spot pork, to Cotswold lamb and Daylesfood cheese, even incorporating herbs from his own garden and recreating a traditional ‘Cheltenham pudding’ as just one of the delicious options on the dessert menu.
3. Boodles announced as Cheltenham Gold Cup sponsor
Boodles is this year’s sponsor of the legendary Cheltenham Gold Cup. Founded in 1798, the iconic British jewellery brand has long been associated with Aintree and Chester Racecourses, and sponsored both the Leading Jockey Award at The Festival and the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle.
As well as lending its name to the Boodles Gold Cup – the pinnacle of Jump Racing on Friday 18 March 2022, the fine jeweller has donated a piece from its beautiful ‘Raindance’ collection, which will be auctioned off to help raise funds for WellChild, the official charity partner of The Festival.
4. Rosie Tapner unveiled as style ambassador
Cheltenham Racecourse has recruited Rosie Tapner as its official style ambassador for The Festival in 2022. The TV presenter and model, who graced the cover of Vogue aged just 16, is a keen horse rider and will be among the VIPs to look out for this year. ‘I cannot wait for the event and to share my outfits with everyone’, she said.
As well as co-hosting the After Hours show alongside Chris Hughes each evening after The Festival, Tapner has been dishing out the racing fashion advice on Instagram in the run up to the event. While the traditional Style Award will not be taking place this year, £5,000 will instead be donated to WellChild.
5. The Gold Cup goes on a community tour for the first time ever
In the run up to The Festival this year, Cheltenham Racecourse has taken community engagement to the next level by taking the Cheltenham Gold Cup on tour, allowing local people to get up close and personal with the iconic gold trophy.
As the original, made from nine carat gold with 18 carat gold plating, is close to 100 years old, the winners of the Gold Cup actually take home replicas of the 644g trophy, while the plinth on which the Gold Cup is mounted bears the name of every horse to have won it.
During the four days of The Festival from 15 – 18 March 2022, the Boodles Gold Cup will also be on display in the Festival Fun area in The Village, where racegoers can have their picture taken with it.
6. Even more premium experiences at The Orchard
Promising top-class entertainment and unique experiences for racegoers, The Orchard in the Tented Village is back this year, bigger and better than ever. Boodles and Bentley Motors will be complemented by French fragrances, award-winning wines and an exclusive invitation-only club.
The luxurious vintage Nyetimber Routemaster will also be in attendance again, where passengers can keep themselves topped up using the ‘push for Nyetimber’ button. The Orchard is open to Club Enclosure ticket holders, including hospitality guests, owners, trainers and Cheltenham annual members.