The 2020 Cheltenham Festival – How To Get The Most Out of Your Festival Experience

cheltenham festival 2020
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The Cheltenham Festival represents the pinnacle of jump racing in the United Kingdom and the four-day event will attract some 65,000 racegoers daily, starting on Tuesday 10 March and concluding on Friday 13 2020.

If you fancy experiencing jump racing at the very highest level, you need to get planning as tickets are selling fast.  The official website for the event is the ideal starting point where you can buy tickets directly and also access information regarding the race calendar, travel to the racecourse, parking (if needed), dress code, food & beverage options (Guinness is a popular choice!), and ancillary entertainment and shopping experiences.  Just click on to get the information you need.

Perhaps the ideal starting point is to think about what races you want to see.  The highlight of the first day – Tuesday 10 March – of the Cheltenham Festival is the Unibet Champion Hurdle, a 2 mile hurdle race run on the Old Course.  

On Wednesday, hats and fine frocks are to the fore, as it is Ladies Day, when the feature race on the Old Course is the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.  Trainer Nicky Henderson is looking for a treble as his horse, Altior, has won this race in 2018 and again last year.  

The following day will have a special Irish vibe as it is St Patrick’s Thursday, and the feature race is the Ryanair Chase, a 2 mile 5 furlong race over the New Course.  Time to top up on the Guinness and join in with an Irish jig!

But the final day, Friday 13 March, features the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, the most prestigious race in the jump racing calendar with an enormous prize pot of £625,000.  Owners, trainers and jockeys will all be vying to win the Gold Cup (literally made of 9-carat gold although winners only receive a replica, sadly) and the atmosphere, excellent on the preceding three days, will reach new heights as the day unfolds and the decibel levels rise.

A useful piece of advice is to allow yourself plenty of time to get to Cheltenham Racecourse as the pressure of numbers may well slow you down.  The gates open at 10.30am each day, with the first race at 1.30pm. When you arrive you need to go through security (expect the usual bag searches), and find your spot for the day, be it the Best Mate Enclosure (the cheapest option with official tickets from £42), Tattersalls (prices from £56), the Club Enclosure (tickets from £90) or, if you are exceedingly fortunate, the upmarket restaurant or hospitality pod/corporate box options.  If official sources of tickets run low, consider other alternatives such as but make sure you know what you are getting…caveat emptor, and all that jazz.

Expect to be rather weary when the last race sets off at 5.30pm, as the Cheltenham experience is very full-on.  If you are betting on the racing, using your mobile is an easy option but we recommend on-course betting with the bookies on the rails as it’s just more fun.  And, who knows, if your luck is in the costs of your not-inexpensive day at Cheltenham may be covered by your winnings and more!

By Matchedbets Experts


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