The Cheltenham Racecourse is one of the most famous racetracks not just in England but in the entire world. It is located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and it is the host of National Hunt races. Its flagship meeting each year is the Cheltenham Festival that takes place in March. Numerous Grade I races are part of this festival.
Up to 67,500 spectators can attend the Cheltenham Racecourse on race day and it is found in a scenic area. There are two separate courses as part of the Cheltenham Racecourse, being the New Course and the Old Course.
The History of the Cheltenham Racecourse
The first written records of a flat race taking place at the Cheltenham Racecourse on Nottingham Hill was in 1815. This came at a time when racing was becoming more and more popular in the UK. In 1830, the Cheltenham Racecourse grandstand was burned down after the local minister talked about the evils associated with horse racing.
This is what led to the Cheltenham Racecourse moving to where it is today in 1831. Steeplechasing became a part of the Cheltenham Racecourse in 1898. It was in 1964 that the Racecourse Holdings Trust was created in order to ensure the future of the Cheltenham Racecourse.
This is now a group that has ownership over 14 different racetracks, in addition to notable training grounds. All of the profits are reinvested back into these tracks and facilities to help strengthen racing in Britain.
Perhaps the most famous race that takes place during Cheltenham week is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The trophy was first handed out in 1924 and is given to the winner of the prestigious event each year.
As mentioned, there are two different racecourses at Cheltenham. The New Course has a series of difficult downhill fences, as well as a much longer run-in than you will see with the Old Course. For hurdles on this course, it is also a different type of race than normal because of most of the hurdles coming at the start of the race, with the final seven furlongs only having two hurdles. A cross country course also exists inside of the main racecourse.
The Old Course is known as the home of National Hunt racing, with all legendary jumps winners having proven themselves around this track. Both courses are left-handed and the last stretch is always uphill, with the crowd roaring their horses home as they come up the stretch.
The prices for Cheltenham Racecourse tickets will vary depending on what set of racing you are planning on attending. Naturally, the tickets are going to be a bit cheaper when you book online as opposed to turning up on the day.
For the popular Cheltenham Festival in March, it is vital that you book tickets in advance. These will often be a lot pricier than other meetings during the year, particularly as the week of racing goes on. For a Festival ticket, you could be looking at prices starting at £90 and upwards.
Tactics to Consider
For chases, horses that tend to start out in front tend to do well over the distance at Cheltenham Racecourse. With the final half a mile uphill, there is not too much of a change in the lead in these final stages. For the hurdles course, there is more importance placed on having stamina, with the races often having large fields and the two-mile stretch often sees horses getting blocked off or held up.
The Old Course is definitely the quicker of the courses. You want to be betting on a horse that can race within itself and turn on the jets when needed. This is especially important when a horse has gotten bumped out of position and needs to regain a solid positioning.
The biggest races at Cheltenham Racecourse take place during the Cheltenham Festival in March. Over the course of the few days of racing, you will have major Grade I races such as:
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