Cheltenham Festival 2021

The Cheltenham Festival is the most prestigious race meeting in the British National Hunt (jump) racing calendar. It takes place over four days in early spring at Cheltenham racecourse in Gloucestershire, England.

Is the 2021 Cheltenham Festival cancelled?

Concerns that this year’s running of The Festival might have to be cancelled due to the pandemic have not come to pass and, while there will not be any spectators on site in 2021 due to Covid restrictions, the top-class racing will be going ahead and promises to be as exciting as ever.

Cheltenham Festival 2021 dates: 16-19 March

Top Cheltenham Festival stories

Major races at the Cheltenham Festival

The most prestigious race at The Festival is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which has been won by such iconic horses as Arkle, Golden Miller, Best Mate, Kauto Star and Denman. Al Boum Photo triumphed in both 2019 and 2020, and is expected to return this year to try to join the elite group of horses that have won the flagship race three times in a row.

Other top races held at the festival include the Champion Hurdle (Tuesday), the Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday) and the Stayers’ Hurdle (Thursday).

The Cheltenham Festival also hosts the Festival Hunters’ Chase, formerly called the Foxhunter Chase, for amateur riders. Around the same course and distance as the Cheltenham Gold Cup, it typically follows the famous race on the final day of The Festival. This year no amateur jockeys will be allowed to ride at the Festival due to Covid-19 restrictions, therefore all horses in the Foxhunter Chase will ridden by professionals.

View the full Cheltenham Festival race card

Which jockey has ridden the most Cheltenham Festival winners?

Ruby Walsh has ridden 59 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and was crowned leading jockey at the Festival on 11 occasions between 2004 and 2017 before retiring in 2019. On two occasions he set the record of riding seven winners across the four-day Festival, the first time in 2009 and again in 2016.

Paul Townend claimed the leading jockey award at the 2020 Festival, narrowly ahead of Barry Geraghty. Both jockeys finished with five winners, but Townend took the title as he’d ridden more horses into second place.

Which horse has won the most Cheltenham Gold Cups?

Golden Miller holds the record for winning the most Cheltenham Gold Cups. He won the race five years in a row, from 1932 to 1936, and in 1934 he became the only horse ever to win the Grand National at Aintree and the Gold Cup in the same season.

Cottage Rake (1948-1950), Arkle (1963-1965) and Best Mate (2002-2004) all won the race three times in consecutive years, claiming their place in the history books.

Countdown to the first race of the Cheltenham Festival