The Cheltenham Festival is one of British and Irish horse racing’s biggest events and its traditional running in mid-March means that it marks the beginning of the racing calendar each year.
It is one of the most attended and most prestigious horse race meetings of the year with more than a quarter of a million people attending each year. The highest attendance always occurs on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day, which saw 71,500 people pass through Cheltenham Racecourse’s gates in 2019.
The four-day Cheltenham Festival hosts 28 races, evenly spread across each day, with five feature races, the most prestigious being the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The others are the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Champion Hurdle, the Ryanair Chase, and the Stayers’ Hurdle.
With so many people attending and so many big races taking place, there are around 250 bookmakers at the racecourse each day to take the huge number of wagers placed. In more recent years, many bettors have also been placing bets through their smartphones through the growing number of online and mobile bookmakers. These brands offer an advantage over trackside bookies in that they’re able to provide horse racing tips and other insights to help people make more informed betting decisions.
So with this in mind, what can we expect from the Cheltenham Festival in 2021?
When is the Cheltenham Festival in 2021?
The Cheltenham Festival traditionally takes place over four days in the middle of March. In 2021, things will be no different with the meeting scheduled to begin on Tuesday 16th March 2021 and end on Friday 19th March 2021.
Day one will feature the Champion Hurdle race as well as six other hurdle and chase events. Day two will see another day of six races, beginning at 13:30 with The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race, the feature race that day will be The Queen Mother Champion Steel Chase, a circa 2-mile chase for Grade 1 horses. Day two also coincides with St Patrick’s Day and will, as is always the case, be filled with people celebrating Ireland’s patron saint while they enjoy the races.
Day three sees two feature races: The Ryanair Steep Chase and The Stayers’ Hurdle, the latter being a circa 3-mile hurdle race. The final day rounds out the Cheltenham Festival with The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase, a 3-mile 2.5-furlong chase that will see £625,000 awarded to the winning horse.
How to Watch the Cheltenham Festival in 2021?
As has been the case in previous years, you can follow all the action from the Cheltenham Festival from home if you’re not planning to attend in person. Free-to-air commercial broadcaster ITV will be showing all of the festival’s main races each day on its main channel ITV1. These three-and-a-half-hour live shows will include the feature race and several others, along with expert analysis, punditry and commentary.
If you want to catch all the action, then Racing TV will show every single race from each of the four days, so you won’t have to miss a thing.
Who Will Win The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase in 2021?
The entry list for the Cheltenham Festival has not yet been released and likely won’t be for a little while yet. However, most online betting sites and major news outlets will all be covering the event in detail, offering up-to-date odds, their picks, and predictions.
While most of the attention will be placed on The Cheltenham Gold Cup because it’s the most prominent race of the festival. However, there are plenty of other great betting opportunities among the other races taking place over the four days.
At this early stage, Al Boum is a clear front runner to win the Gold Cup after winning the race for the last two years. Many in the sport are asking whether he can make it three years in a row, joining Best Mate, Arkle, Cottage Rake, and Golden Miller.