By The Racing Expert: When Was The First Cheltenham Festival Celebrated?

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL will take place this year, between TUESDAY 10 – FRIDAY 13 MARCH 2020 containing 4 extraordinary days of jump racing. Cheltenham brings together the finest horses, jockeys, owners, and trainers to battle it out for the highest racing honours and is truly is a bucket list event if you’re a horse racing lover.

But you’re here because you want to know bit of history about the 4 day spectacle! SO let us indulge you!

Here’s what you need to know about the birth of the Cheltenham Festival!

The history of Cheltenham Racecourse precedes Cheltenham Festival with the first records of racing taking place in 1815 on Nottingham Hill. In 1829 disruption to the racecourse was created by Reverend Francis Close, who turned his congregation against horse racing. A move to another location was forced when the courses grandstand was burnt to the ground. With this, racing was moved to Prestbury Park, it’s current location, as you may know.

Originally the National Hunt Meeting, The Cheltenham Festival was the meeting that staged the National Hunt Chase, a 4 mile course for amateur riders. This race was first run in 1860 at Market Harborough but regularly changed venue.

It was held at Prestbury Park in 1904 and 1905 and it was finally decided it would be held there permanently as of 1911. So the first Cheltenham Festival took place at Prestbury Park in 1911.

This was established off the back of The National Hunt Committee agreeing with The Steeplechase Company to allow the National Hunt Meeting to stop with its traditional annual tour and henceforth remain at a venue which was to be Cheltenham.

Back then, it was a two-day fixture as oppose to todays 4 day extravaganza. 2005 saw the first four day festival with six races on each day.

Each year, the crowds, television and radio audiences grow cementing the festivals place alongside classic British sporting events, such as Wimbledon, The FA Cup and the British Grand Prix. SO be sure to tune in to the next Festival to get your, horse racing and sporting fix.

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Seven No Trumps

Racing Post – Weak in the market but produced a promising display in third on racecourse debut in a maiden hurdle at Ludlow (2m5f, heavy); should have learned plenty from that and in-form stable’s runners have to be respected.



Doc Kauto

Racing Post – Promising over fences last season but well held on only subsequent outing at Newton Abbot in July; market check advised after his absence.



Sword Of Fate

Racing Post – Has appreciated the recent return to hurdling, leading home several returning rivals when about 3l second over C&D at 50-1 last month (soft) and consolidating that form effort at Carlisle ten days later; shortlisted off same mark with Brian Hughes once more up, and drier ground is fine.



Akarita Lights

Racing Post – Last three starts 2m7f-3m1f on soft or heavy; runner-up at Market Rasen latest; does not look on a great mark but still considered.

Returns and odds correct at time of publishing.