Cheltenham Festival 2024: Dates, times, racecourse guide and more

Cheltenham racecourse
Cheltenham will welcome about 70,000 punters every day of the four-day festival - Sportsfile/Harry Murphy

The four-day Cheltenham Festival starts today, pitching the best of British jump-racing against rivals from across the Irish Sea.

The Irish have dominated in the past few years and are expected to do so again, with about 55,000 Irish turfistes descending on Gloucestershire. The Cheltenham racecourse itself welcomes about 70,000 spectators every day.

In the build-up to this week’s festival there was disappointment for trainer Nicky Henderson, after Constitution Hill, the defending champion, was ruled out of today’s Champion Hurdle.

For a full guide to the first day of the festival, see our tips and best bets for day one.

When is the 2024 Cheltenham Festival? Start and end dates

The Cheltenham Festival starts today, March 12 and ends on Friday, March 14. The Gold Cup is on the final afternoon – view our full guide to the runners and riders for Friday’s Cheltenham showpiece.

How many days is the Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Festival is a four-day race meeting.

How to watch the Cheltenham Festival

ITV have the free-to-air broadcast rights and will show the first five races of each day of the meeting. For comprehensive coverage you will need a subscription to Racing TV, which can be accessed through Sky and Virgin Media, or streamed online.

How many races are there?

There are 28 races run over the four days. Each day has one ‘feature’ race: Champion Hurdle (today), Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday), Stayers’ Hurdle (Thursday) and the Cheltenham Gold Cup (Friday).

Looking for the latest Cheltenham betting offers? Our comprehensive list contains all leading bookmakers

Race schedule: Times for every race at the 2024 Festival

Tuesday, March 12

  • 1.30: Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • 2.10: Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

  • 2.50: Ultima Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap)

  • 3.30: Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)

  • 4.10: Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • 4.50: Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap)

  • 5.30: National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

Wednesday, March 13

  • 1.30: Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • 2.10: Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

  • 2.50: Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap)

  • 3.30: Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)

  • 4.10: Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase)

  • 4.50: Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap)

  • 5.30: Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1)

Thursday, March 14

  • 1.30: Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

  • 2.10: Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap)

  • 2.50: Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)

  • 3.30: Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • 4.10: TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap)

  • 4.50: Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

  • 5.30: Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

Friday, March 15

  • 1.30: JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) (New Course)

  • 2.10: County Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) (New Course)

  • 2.50: Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • 3.30: Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1)

  • 4.10: St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

  • 4.50: Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2)

  • 5.30: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Cheltenham racecourse: A short guide

Aside from Aintree, Cheltenham is the most storied jumps racecourse in Britain. Located in the west of England, the track has played host to very best jumps horses from Britain and Ireland since the meeting was first held there in 1904.

There are two courses at the track, each posing different tests. The Old Course, used over the first days of the festival, is a shorter, tighter track with less of emphasis on stamina. As such, speedier horses and those comfortable with front-running are often better suited to its demands.

The Champion Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase are both run on the Old Course.

The New Course is the opposite. With more gentle sweeping turns and a long climb from the bottom of Cheltenham’s home-straight hill to the top, the New Course suits strong stayers over a variety of trips.

The Stayers’ Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup are both run on the New Course.

How to get tickets and how much do they cost?

Tickets to the festival are available directly from The Jockey Club website and come in three categories. Club tickets cost £107.00 for the first three days of the meeting and are sold out for the final day.

Tattersalls tickets come in at £74.00 for each of the first three days and £89.00 on the final day. Best Mate enclosure tickets come in at £52.00 over the first three days and £70.00 on the final day.

Cheltenham Festival parking

Parking is available to book in advance from £20 per car per day or £30 for minibuses (up to 15 seats), £75 for limousine parking and £75 for coach parking (16 seats and above).

For further parking formation visit

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