Cheltenham Racecourse, together with the British Horseracing Authority, have today confirmed that the new Grade 2 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeple Chase to be run at The Festival 2021 will replace the Listed Novices’ Handicap Chase, which was traditionally run on the opening day.
A decision as to which race would be replaced by the inaugural running of the 2m 4f Grade 2 mares’ chase was made after consultation with key stakeholders, including trainers from Britain and Ireland over several months.
Recognising the importance of the Listed Novices’ Handicap Chase to the Jump racing season, the BHA Jump Pattern Committee has given permission for the race to be staged at Sandown Park as part of the Paddy Power Imperial Cup meeting just days before The Festival.
The new Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase will be run on Gold Cup day, with the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase moving to the Wednesday and the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle moving to the opening day.
Cheltenham Racecourse Clerk of the Course, Simon Claisse, explained:
“We’re looking forward to being able to bring the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase into the racing calendar for The Festival 2021. Not only is this a great example of the sport working together to boost the mares’ race programme in Britain to benefit the industry, but we also now have an improved mares’ population providing quality competition.
“Deciding which race to replace was not an easy decision and it was important that we took into account all the factors and feedback we received. But when we evaluated the other Novice Chase opportunities at The Festival, as well as the importance of maintaining the current balance of Chases and Hurdles over the four days, this was considered the best option.”
Ruby Walsh, winner of 59 races at The Festival, added:
“The Mares’ Chase will prove a great addition to The Festival, especially when it beds in over a three or four year period. Jumps horses rarely have a financial value when they finish racing but for owners who are lucky enough to have a good mare, they can be worth a considerable amount as brood mares and thus owners get some return on their investment.
“Therefore the need for mares-only races is paramount for the value of unraced fillies, to encourage owners to buy them as racehorses. Having the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase to go along with the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle adds to the attraction of purchasing a filly. Cheltenham are showing their support to the breeding industry by adding this race and in my opinion showing a loyalty to the whole horseracing industry and not just the sport.”
Paul Mallon, Paddy Power’s Head of Brand, said:
“The race is brilliant in providing further opportunities to those racing mares under National Hunt rules and hopefully the winners of our race will go on to emulate the great Dawn Run by scooping the Cheltenham Gold Cup.”
Annie Mc from the Jonjo O'Neill stables could be one of the runners in the new race.
Leading bookmaker Paddy Power will return as sponsors of The November Meeting’s feature race, the G3 Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham Racecourse on Paddy Power Day, Saturday 14th November 2020.
The race, which is the showpiece of Britain’s third most popular jumps fixture, was sponsored by Paddy Power for 13 consecutive years from 2003 until 2015, during which time winners included Imperial Commander, Our Vic and Al Ferof. The bookmaker has now signed a three-year sponsorship deal for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 renewals.
The Grade 3 Handicap chase is worth £130,000 and attracts a high class field each year. In 2019 fans were treated to a thrilling finish up the famous Cheltenham Hill as Happy Diva held off Brelan D’As on the line by just a neck.
The race takes place on the second day of what is traditionally the third most attended Jump racing fixture in the UK, behind only The Festival™ at Cheltenham in March and the Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree in April.
Ruby Walsh, the winning-most jockey at the Cheltenham Festival, said: “The Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham is an early highlight in the National Hunt season. I always felt the November meeting really signalled the beginning of the jumps season proper. There’s not many Grade One horses who contest handicaps any more but the Paddy Power Gold Cup comes at a time in the season when people might take a chance. But not all work out let’s remember - Frodon, Thisthatandtother and Long Run all failed here before achieving glory in March and others have succeeded like Imperial Commander and Our Vic. Either way, plenty of future Grade One names crop up at the November meeting in a bid to scoop a good pot in handicap company as a stepping stone to the top level.”
ITV Racing’s Mick Fitzgerald, who won the race in 2003 aboard Fondmort, added: “The Paddy Power Gold Cup is one of the highlights of the Jump season. When I won it in 2003 it meant an awful lot to me because it was another one of the big ones that I had ticked off the list. To win it on Fondmort was special as he was just a very special horse and to add that race to my CV meant plenty.”
As well as the Gold Cup, Paddy Power will sponsor four other races at The November Meeting:
Friday 13 November
13:50 The Paddy Power Handicap Chase (0-150) (Class 2)
Saturday 14 November
13:50 The Paddy Power Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial Novices Steeple Chase (Grade 2)
14:25 The Paddy Power Gold Cup Steeplechase (Grade 3)
15:00 The Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle Race (Listed)
15:30 The Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle Race (0-140) (Class 2)
Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s Regional Director, Cheltenham & the South West, said: “The November Meeting has become a huge event for us and is considered a key milestone in the Jump racing calendar, particularly the feature race on day two, now known as Paddy Power Day.
“It is wonderful to be able to welcome Paddy Power back as our lead sponsors over the meeting to help us showcase three of the most exciting days of racing our sport has to offer.”
Carey Weeks, Regional Head of Partnerships, added: “Paddy Power was a huge part of The November Meeting and synonymous with the fixture’s Gold Cup race for many years so we’re delighted to be partnering with them again.
“We thoroughly enjoy working with the team and we’re excited to see how they help bring to life the November Meeting. No doubt they will have some tricks up their sleeve!”
Paul Mallon, Paddy Power’s Head of Brand, said: “We returned to sponsorship at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day 2020 and the success of these initiatives, including subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini landing the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase and Lisnagar Oscar scoring in our jewel in the crown Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at The Festival, meant as a company with a huge racing tradition supporting the Paddy Power Gold Cup again wasn’t too hard a sell to the Powers that be.”
Paddy Power (himself) added: “England fans have spent a lot of time singing ‘It’s coming home,’ over the last few years, but unlike them, I feel it actually has for us! We loved sponsoring the Paddy Power Gold Cup, which don’t forget went to a later Cheltenham Gold Cup hero in Imperial Commander in 2008, and I’m absolutely over the moon at being associated with my favourite race again. We’d like to thank the previous sponsors for keeping it warm for us.”
The November Meeting takes place from Friday 13th November to Sunday 15th November.
The Cheltenham & South West Syndicate is for Jump racing fans who share the dream of a Festival winner and have a love for our sport: horse racing. Here is your opportunity to experience racehorse ownership for a one-off fee and become part owners of three fantastic Jump racehorses.
The Syndicate features a host of benefits including complimentary membership to Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick, and Wincanton for their 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Jump racing season.
By the use of a fair ballot system, members will share the opportunity to go racing with our horses and enjoy the full benefits and facilities on offer for Owners & Trainers at the racecourse in question.
Membership should not be seen as an investment; it’s for the fun, excitement, and ups and downs of racehorse ownership.
Purchase your two-year membership today, for an one-off fee of £3,250.
MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS INCLUDE:
Cheltenham & South West Syndicate horse Diamond River, trained by Nicky Henderson
It's with great sadness to share the news that Japanese restaurant Koj is closing for good in Cheltenham.
In a statement on his website, Andrew Kojima said
"I am sorry to announce that Koj Cheltenham will not be re-opening. Despite the premature ending, I am very happy to have opened a business in Cheltenham. An initial nine-week trial confirmed in my mind that the town was the right place for my first permanent restaurant. It is a town that is an attractive place to live, work and visit. I have been blessed with enthusiastic, hard-working and outgoing employees. We have been privileged to serve customers who are engaging, fun-loving and loyal. And I have been inspired by other business owners who are supportive, entrepreneurial and passionate.
I am immensely proud of what my team and I achieved in three years and of our own contribution towards enhancing Cheltenham’s reputation for good lifestyle: two glowing reviews in national newspapers, a clutch of awards and multiple listings in the Michelin Guide, The Good Food Guide and Harden’s. While these accolades were not part of the business plan, the recognition for our hard work provided reward and an incentive to maintain and improve on our standards. They also gave me the drive to believe that there was unfinished business to return to once the pandemic had subsided. I felt that there was more to come.
I have been in regular discussions with fellow restaurateurs and my accountants since we closed in March. I had budgeted for re-opening costs such as re-stocking, COVID-19 guideline compliance and re-training. The prospect of incurring these costs was daunting, especially given that business continuity remained at risk through factors out of our control: a confirmed case on site, or further regional lockdowns and restrictions. Nevertheless, I had hoped that if both the virus itself and the guidelines began to stabilise, we would be able to reopen.
The recent rise in infections has prompted the government to impose further restrictions, which could last for at least 6 months. They are the final nail in the coffin for any hope and fight that I had left in me.
The restaurant industry is a broad church. Some restaurants sell food, some sell the experience. Those at the foodservice end of the spectrum are little more than supermarkets with microwaves and places to sit. I always wanted Koj Cheltenham to do more than just satisfy hunger. I also wanted the experience to be affordable enough to make cocktails and dinner an occasional treat, not just for special occasions.
I loved the atmosphere in our small restaurant when it was buzzing, so my initial concern was our ability to retain that character in the current environment. The task of generating revenues that exceed our overheads has been made all the harder by social distancing measures. Consumer confidence, already damaged by both the virus itself and its economic impact, will suffer a fresh blow now that the widely anticipated second peak has lead to further restrictions. And I expect the trading environment to deteriorate further as more redundancies follow. Even our most loyal customers will have to cut back on their occasional treats.
In opening my first restaurant, I realised a dream and expressed my passion. I followed my heart. Sadly, I have concluded that now is the time for my head to rule my heart, so that I can make a fresh start, rebuild my career and make a living to support my wife and our young children through this turbulent time, rather than add to their worries. Without the backing of a wealthy and optimistic investor, I cannot take the risk of incurring further losses and greater debt.
While I have lost a lot, I have gained confidence and experience in rising to the challenge of building and running a business, learning how to manage a team and dealing with setbacks and mistakes. I have had the pleasure of seeing customers delight in conversation, laughter and good food. I have made many new friends, both among fellow business owners and our customers. I have grown very fond of Cheltenham. It has been an honour to serve as a Director of Cheltenham BID. It has been rewarding to work with Marketing Cheltenham, and most recently TURF Cheltenham, on promoting the town’s hospitality credentials.
I look forward to continuing this work even though Koj Cheltenham will now exist only in the memories of its customers and employees and within the pages of my first book, No Sushi.
Japanese restaurant, KIBOU, officially opened its new, larger restaurant and bar on Regent Street in Cheltenham last weekend. The new venue, operated by the original award-winning KIBOUsushi team, features all their signature dishes and includes an extended bar offering with late-night licence.
Serving an extensive range of authentic Japanese food and drink, KIBOU’s menu includes steaming bowls of ramen, made with pork, chicken or vegan broth, freshly prepared katsu curry, and increasingly popular donburi, Japanese rice bowls. Alongside these, you’ll find pillowy steamed bao buns with a variety of fillings, a range of tempura, including their show-stopping softshell crab, and an extensive selection of handmade to order sushi and sashimi, including KIBOU’s signature and much-talked-about volcano roll - salmon, avocado and tobiko futomaki, tempura fried and served with KIBOU house sauce.
Featuring an 80-cover restaurant and spacious bar and lounge, the new cherry blossom-adorned venue aims to transport customers to the bustling backstreets of Tokyo’s adventurous bar and restaurant scene. Cleverly designed to include a range of eclectic and luxurious drinking and dining zones, the large venue conveys an intimate and atmospheric feel, reminiscent of the much-loved original 25-seater basement restaurant, whilst ensuring social distancing measures are met in a sympathetic and relaxed way.
Choose to dine in the main restaurant overlooking the semi-open kitchen and sushi station, the horigotatsu - traditional sunken Japanese style dining area, raised snug overlooking the bar or opulent 6-seater banquettes, featuring a beautiful array of Japanese prints. The venue also includes a plush private dining area for up to 10, and a theatrical 10-seater teppanyaki grill (due to open October 2020).
The large and stylish bar is framed by a projection of Japanese geisha illustrations created by local artist Martyna Sabadasz, who’s original artwork is featured extensively throughout the venue. With an enviable back bar of premium Japanese whisky and gin, KIBOU has extended its drinks offering to include a variety of bang on trend Japanese highballs and an extensive signature and classic cocktail list.
New look KIBOU is a stylish and sophisticated addition to Cheltenham’s flourishing food and drink scene, bringing Japanese socialising, eating and drinking to an expanded audience looking for a grown-up hang out to enjoy authentic food and an imaginative, premium drinks list.
Visit kibou.co.uk/Cheltenham for more information and to book.
To celebrate the launch of The Alchemist Cheltenham (opening in The Brewery Quarter tonight), we have stolen their recipe for a Classic Old Fashioned.
You can try this at home but believe us, if you head to the bar itself, there will be lots of theatre and a cracking atmosphere.
The old fashioned is concocted by muddling sugar with bitters, adding whiskey with a twist of citrus rind garnish.
Getting to it;
Visit thealchemist.uk.com/venues/cheltenham-brewery-quarter/ for all the info about their new Cheltenham bar.
Originally scheduled for an April opening, theatre is soon to be served in Cheltenham. The Alchemist will be launching on the 28th August bringing immersive experiences, expertly crafted cocktails and all day dining to Gloucestershire. Creative bar and restaurant concept, The Alchemist is bringing its famed cocktail concoctions to The Brewery Quarter, which is set to be a new favourite with cocktail connoisseurs in Cheltenham.
The 4,500 sqft venue designed by London agency Turner Bates will feature an impressive emerald marbled bar top and signature dark wall murals. It’s not just the menu that plays with your senses as the bespoke mind bending floor-to-ceiling bar takes centre stage and will provide the perfect back drop for The Alchemists signature cocktails. Cocktails served with a dash of theatre such as the Colour Changing One created with Grey Goose Vodka, Briottet Apple, soda & citrus which, as the name suggests, will mysteriously change colour before your eyes! Guests can also opt for The Cherry Poppins; a concoction of Whitley Neil raspberry gin, cherry, strawberry, citrus and a cherry fog bubble that’s sure to set alight anyone’s Instagram feed!
To complement the show-stopping cocktails, The Alchemist Cheltenham will offer an all-day dining menu which of course includes a touch of playfulness, starter dishes such as the Chorizo & Cheddar Doughballs (choose your cheese level with the accompanying syringe) and Tempura Prawn Lollipops. For something more substantial, enjoy Pan-Fried Seabass with spicy Bombay potatoes, coconut yoghurt and charred lime and for a delicious plant-based meal try the Vegan Cauliflower Katsu Curry. To finish, the flaming Cotton Candy Baked Alaska is a must for a dessert with extra-oomph or, for something a little more low-key, order an Espresso Martini & Petit Fours.
The Alchemist Cheltenham will open on Friday 28 th of August at 10am.
For more information, please visit: www.thealchemist.uk.com
The Times & The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2020 will be streamed free on the Cheltenham Festivals website from 2-11 October.
The Festival will present 100 live-streamed events with a socially-distanced live audience (government guidance permitting) in Cheltenham Town Hall and the Everyman Theatre. And, in a year when international travel is limited, an innovative series of filmed events with major international names, supported by a global network of festival partners and publishers.
The events will be streamed via the Cheltenham Festivals website through a digital hub, where the audience can interact with speakers and other Festival-goers. Visitors to the hub can navigate the virtual Festival site, browsing in the bookshop and exploring activities for book-lovers of all ages.
Announcing that the world’s oldest Literature Festival will take place digitally this year live from Cheltenham, Director of Festivals Ian George said: “We are recreating the spirit of the Festival online and sharing the joy of books with thousands of people across the globe who can’t meet in person in Cheltenham this year. Since lockdown, when we have all needed culture and creativity more than ever, Cheltenham Festivals has committed to bring its Festivals digitally to homes all over the world, for free. As the COVID-19 crisis means we are faced with losing vital box office income from our biggest Festival of the year, we hope that our devoted audiences and friends will keep donating generously so that we can continue our work.”
The Festival is equipping schools and families to run their own Literature Festival, providing 30 free author events, creative writing challenges, draw-alongs and read-aloud sessions available online from 5-9 October to watch on-demand. Plus eight live-streamed weekend events with best-selling children’s authors, poets and illustrators.
In a new partnership with CLPE, the CLiPPA (CLPE Poetry Award) will be awarded live at the Festival on Friday 9 October, with the shortlist announced on National Poetry Day, Thursday 1 October.
The programme will feature content unique to Cheltenham, presenting some of the biggest names in publishing this autumn. Award-winning authors of fiction and non-fiction will join poets, spoken word artists and new voices to delve into a range of topics including travel and adventure, food and drink, lifestyle, history, art and religion.
Through a continued partnership with The Times and The Sunday Times, expert commentators will consider the political, social and cultural ideas that will shape our future as we navigate a post-Covid world.
Guest curators are award-winning British-Turkish novelist and storyteller Elif Shafak and Shamil Thakrar – co-founder of Dishoom, winner of Best Restaurant in the UK two years running and author of the best-selling Dishoom cookbook.
THE STREETS, GARY NUMAN AND LIGHTNING SEEDS TO PLAY DRIVE-IN CONCERTS AT CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE THIS SUMMER!
The Streets, Gary Numan, Lightning Seeds, Dizzee Rascal and Ash are just a number of acts coming to Cheltenham this summer as part of the Utilita Live from the Drive-in concerts, taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th July - 5th September 2020.
Other names on the list include Tony Hadley, The Zutons, Skindred and Cream Classical Ibiza.
Tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd June at 10am.
Click HERE for the full line-up.
Two of The Lucky Onion’s restaurants, The Tavern in Cheltenham and The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power have launched takeaway options in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
In a message to all their customers, The Lucky Onion said.
In light of current events we have be working away on some different ways to support our local communities in Northleach, Guiting Power, Minchinhampton and Cheltenham Town.
From 5:30pm tonight we will be offering a take-away service for food and drinks at the Tavern in Cheltenham and the Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power.
We are working towards providing further food and drink options at our other properties in the next 24 hours as well as looking into ways we can re-purpose our business to support the current environment.
We will provide further communication on this as soon as we have it.
Please see all our food and beverage offerings below and gives us a call to order.
We will be taking orders from 5:30pm to 9:30pm every night.
Please note* You will need to collect and pay for your order. Our staff will be vigilant with regard to social distancing.
TAVERN TAKEAWAY MENU (To order Please call 07934 716729)
CHORIZO SCOTH EGG £4.5
ROAST BEETROOTS (v) £8
Whipped feta, dill & dukkah
DUCK & PORCINI MEATBALLS £8.5
Slow cooked tomato sauce
THE MAIN EVENT…
PUY LENTIL & VEGETABLE LASAGNE (v) £14
Baby gem, radish & shallot salad
COTSWOLD WHITE CHICKEN MILANESE £16
Garlic butter, parmesan & chicory salad
HOT BUFFALO WINGS & blue cheese dip £8
SWEET STICKY WINGS sesame & spring onions £8
KOREAN WINGS radish & black sesame £8
MAC ‘N’ CHEESE (v) £6
CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD £11
TAVERN BURGER & fries £10
AMERICAN CHEESE BURGER £13
Streaky bacon & fries
BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN BURGER & fries £10
8oz FLAT IRON (ANGUS) £15.5
8oz ONGLET (ANGUS) £18
8oz SIRLOIN (HEREFORD) £22
10oz RIB-EYE (HEREFORD) £26
SIDES all at £4.50
French fries (v)
Tavern slaw (v)
Chilli cheese fries (add 1.5)
Sweet potato fries (v)
DRINKS MENU AND PRICES:
House White - £18
French Sauv Blanc - £22
House Red - £18
Malbec - £26
House Rose - £18
Studio Rose - £29
Prosecco - £26
Nyetimber - £56
Dunkertons - £4.50
Peroni - £4.50
THE HOLLOW BOTTOM TAKEAWAY MENU (To order, please call 07398 620737)
Vegan Burger and Fries £12.50
Cheese Burger and Fries £12.50
Fish and Chips £14.50
House White - £18
French Sauv Blanc - £22
House Red - £18
Malbec - £26
House Rose - £18
Studio Rose - £29
Prosecco - £26
Nyetimber - £56
Dunkertons - £4.50
Peroni - £4.50
Flynn's Bar & Brasserie in Cheltenham has tonight announced that it will not be renewing its lease and will close with immediate effect.
A statement by Kelly Jones on Facebook said "We have made the very difficult decision not to renew our lease and so with immediate effect we are closing our doors.
As you can imagine it is an extremely emotional time. It has been my absolute privilege to work with the most incredible and loyal staff over the last 21 years. We have been so fortunate to get to know and look after our wonderful customers who will all be terribly missed and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your custom over the years.
The first announcements for the Wychwood Festival have been announced and will include The Divine Comedy, Embrace, The Lightning Seeds and Seth Lakeman.
The festival takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th - 31st May, with over 100 acts performing across four stages, plus music, dance and arts workshops, a circus school and a programme of talks, debates and comedy for all ages.
This Spring will see Cheltenham welcome a brand-new hotel concept focusing on the culture and experience of the beautiful town. Cult Hotels is the brainchild of Julian Dunkerton, co-founder of fashion giant Superdry and the highly successful Cotswold’s hotel and restaurant portfolio - The Lucky Onion.
Inspired by the originality and diversity of each local area, Cult Hotels will be an easy, accessible bolthole for travellers who are big on exploring and big on design.
The George will be the very first and flagship hotel by Cult Hotels made up of five beautifully refurbished Grade II listed Regency townhouses with 46 bedrooms. The original features cleverly weaved in with modern touches.
With well-considered practical elements such automatic check ins and post-box key return, a well-stocked Pantry for guests to visit at any time day and night, Cult Hotels will be tapping into the clued-up urban crowd who value design and exploration. The plan will see the brand rolling into popular cities within the UK and beyond over the next few years.
Socially conscious, the team behind the brand love to repurpose these characterful, older buildings and this will be a cornerstone of the brand as it expands its footprint with ambitious growth plans for the future.
Julian Dunkerton states ‘The name Cult Hotels is a nod to my history and where it all began for me, naturally Cheltenham is home to the flagship hotel – The George. As an entrepreneur I identified a gap in the market to create a new hotel concept that is accessible, approachable & cool. Cult Hotels exists for the savvy traveller who values aesthetic and culture at a fair price. My ambition with this venture is to continue to breathe new life into old buildings and bring a game changing hotel concept to the marketplace”
Room categories and rates start from:
Edgy - £105
Urban - £115
Cool - £125
Culture - £145
It's always an exciting time with Cheltenham just around the corner.
I will start with Annie Mc at Bangor. It was great that she won again and I was so pleased with the way she jumped because it was real testing sticky ground and she jumped out of it like it was good ground. She's definitely going the right way and will be entered in the Novices' Handicap over 2 and a half miles on the Tuesday at the Marsh Novices' Chase and the Plate on the Thursday. It will probably be between the two races on the Thursday but we will be deciding nearer the time.
The journey with Annie has been amazing, with Chris [Hughes] and everyone at Coral, We have been very lucky and you have to pinch yourself sometimes that we have stumbled on such a nice mare.
There was plenty of pressure on my ride on Native River at Newbury but I just tried to take it in my stride. It was a huge day and definitely the most important success of my career so far. Hopefully it will springboard a few more opportunities. He was deadly and jumped fantastically well. The blinkers definitely sharpened him up. I am very lucky.
It's desperately sad to hear that he will miss the Gold Cup and the National and I'm gutted for the Tizzards, Mr and Mrs Broom, Brocade Racing, and Dickie [Johnson]. It looked like he was really coming back to form and it's just really frustrating and unfortunate for everyone.
Copperhead was very good at Ascot last week. He put decent horses to bed very quickly, jumped them into submission really and was relentless in the finish. I don't think we found the bottom of him. Whether he goes for the National Hunt Chase or RSA Chase at Cheltenham, he'll be a huge ride in either race but we'll see where the connections want to go. He's going to be very exciting and will only improve with some summer grass on him.
Photo courtesy of Nigel Kirby
The full line-up for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival was announced this morning.
The festival returns in May with a broad spectrum of world -class contempor ary jazz, blues, soul, R&B and pop. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Cheltenham The Festival Town from May 5-10, this year’s programme once again delivers a balance of core jazz and mainstream offerings from today’s biggest stars, heritage legends and next -generation talent, with an impressive spread of UK exclusives and special commissions in the mix.
Coinciding with the Early May Bank Holiday, which moves to Friday (8 May) to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, this year’s festival will host New Wave icons Squeeze with hits from their illustrious 45-year career, as well as rarities from their back catalogue and solo careers, beloved UK soulstress Beverley Knight, R&B funk legends KC & The Sunshine Band, Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May with the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band and multi-million-selling vocalist Emeli Sandé. Blues/folk-inspired co-operative Saving Grace unveil their brand-new project featuring singers Robert Plant and Suzi Dian, Malian pop duo Amadou & Mariam and The Blind Boys Of Alabama present ‘Bamako To Birmingham’, multi-instrumentalist, DJ and cultural pioneer Nitin Sawhney will showcase music from his seminal record Beyond Skin alongside repertoire from his 20-album career, while Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning Booker T Jones returns to the Festival with material from his new album Note By Note. The Festival’s Artistic Curator Gregory Porter opens the 6-day event with a concert at the 2000-seat capacity Henry Westons Big Top and has selected various acts for the ‘Gregory’s Picks’ series: Lizz Wright, Keyon Harrold, Makaya McCraven and Gary Bartz & Maisha, announced last month.
The Parabola Arts Centre programme presents a snapshot of the global landscape of jazz today, with this year’s line-up stronger and more diverse than ever. Award-winning trumpeter Laura Jurd presents her latest boundary-pushing project Stepping Back, Jumping In featuring a 14 piece-ensemble, Portuguese rock-fuelled outfit The Rite of Trio perform their UK debut as Cheltenham’s pick from the 12 Points Festival European jazz showcase, Anglo-Swiss quintet YDivide celebrate Switzerland’s lively jazz scene and legendary jazz vocalist Norma Winstone teams up with German pianist Pablo Held. British singer Lianne Carroll pays tribute to the legendary Carole King with a concert at The Daffodil and million-selling US vocalist Stacey Kent will delve into the Great American Songbook with acclaimed saxophonist Jim Tomlinson at the Everyman Theatre.
The Festival’s long-standing partnership with BBC Radio 2 continues with special broadcasts throughout the weekend including Squeeze live in concert and a New Orleans-themed Friday Night Is Music Night with Guy Barker’s Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Taste-making DJ and broadcaster Gilles Peterson takes up residence at Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter – a new pop-up venue, where in addition to his own DJ set will showcase some of the acts he’s championing right now on the UK scene: alt singer-songwriter Rosie Lowe, punk jazzers Melt Yourself Down and the genre-bending Nubiyan Twist.
Also on the bill and representing the UK’s kaleidoscopic jazz scene are SE London collective Steam Down, jazz/hip-hop/soul-influenced vocalist and guitarist Oscar Jerome and 8-piece Afrobeat outfit KOKOROKO. Elsewhere, Ibibio Sound Machine, fronted by Nigerian singer Eno Williams will explore a tapestry of African and electronic soundworlds and iconic drummer Tony Allen pays homage to the late South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela. And set for Cheltenham are some of the most in-demand blues artists currently touring the world: recent Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Keb’ Mo’, US bassist and founding member of blues-rock band Trampled Under Foot Danielle Nicole and harmonica extraordinaire Errol Linton.
Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2020 is hosted in a tented festival village in the town centre’s Montpellier Gardens featuring the Henry Westons Big Top stage, Jazz Arena, Free Stage, Yamaha Discovery Space, a programme of family activities and events and a food, drink and market area. The Festival reaches beyond the festival village into Cheltenham bringing jazz to venues throughout the day until late into the night. These include Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham Ladies’ College Parabola Arts Centre, Hotel du Vin, The Daffodil and a new pop-up venue Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter plus a dozen more clubs and bars and three street stages in the …around town programme supported by Cheltenham BID.
Tickets go on sale to Members at 10am on Wednesday 26 February 2020 and on general sale from 10am on Wednesday 4 March 2020.
It's been a really good busy month with over 50 runners and a few winners which is always nice.
I have to start with Annie Mc. It's great that she has won her second Novice Chase. The horses she is beating are not mugs. She beat If You Say Run the first time at Wincanton who's a good yard stick, and was wasn't too far away from Reserve Tank who was a dual-grade one winner over hurdles last year. She beat one of Alan King's mares who is rated at 140 decisively at Wetherby. She jumped great and is getting better and better with each run.
She will probably go to a normal Novice Chase next with two penalties but will get a Mares' allowance so will probably only be offset by 3lbs. If she won that, we would definitely to have start thinking about the Cheltenham Festival with her, either the handicap or the Grade 1 Marsh Chase. Her next run will probably tell us a lot more. She's going the right way and we're very excited about her.
It was good to get Django Django on the right track. I was really impressed with the first day behind Erick Le Rouge and Not That Fuisse at Uttoxeter which is really good form. He was disappointing the next time at Aintree with Bryony but to be fair, he lost his two hind shoes so there's an excuse for that run. He looked very strong in the finish at Newbury and won going away. He does look like he could turn into a National horse next year but he has a long way to go but he does have that way about him. He's a horse I have always really liked and has probably still got another year until he reaches his full potential. A horse we're very much looking forward to for some lucky owners who are very loyal to us at Jackdaws Castle.
We really fancied Knight Destroyer in the Fred Winter at The Festival couple of years ago when he fell and it was great to see him win again at Taunton. He had a major pelvis injury, which he has now got over, and seemed to lose a bit of confidence. I would say we will be going over fences sooner rather than later. He suits the tight tracks and making all the running and it's great he got his confidence back and really deserved the win.
Arrivederci beat a strong field at Wincanton. He was due a win after coming second behind Fiddlerontheroof last time out at Sandown who went on to win a Grade 1. He's got very good form, he came third to Tea Clipper at Warwick who has gone onto win a few races since. He's progressing nicely and is going to be a chaser for next year and definitely a horse to look forward to.
It was good for the veteran Valadom to get back to his winning grove at Catterick, and good placing by Richard Hobson. He runs at Musselburgh tomorrow in a similar race but I won't be riding him as I will at Sandown.
Beaufort West was very good at Fontwell for Colin Tizzard. He quickened away nicely and really impressed me. It will be interesting to see where they go with him now. I think he could go for a handicap race at Cheltenham, perhaps the Martin Pipe or Coral Cup.
It was very exciting to win Conditional Jockey of the Year at The Lesters. It's a huge honour to win a Lester award as it's your peers who are voting. I feel very lucky that I have a good network behind me and around me. It really does make you appreciate how lucky we are that we live in a such a good weighing room where the camaraderie is great.
I'm extremely grateful and feel very privileged to get asked to ride Native River and to be associated with a Gold Cup winner. It's a huge call up which I'm relishing and don't take lightly. It's Dicky's (Johnson) ride and hopefully he'll be back fit for Cheltenham but it's great to be riding him at Newbury and hopefully it works out well. He won very well at Aintree last time and the blinkers seem to sharpen him up. I'm very much looking forward to Newbury next weekend!
I have three good rides for Mr Tizzard at Sandown tomorrow (Saturday 1st Feb). Elderado Allen in the Champion Hurdle Trial. He's pretty unexposed and ran really well on comeback when he was second at the same track earlier this month. Vision Des Flos in the Scilly Isles Grade One Novices Chase. He's bee a very good horse who won at Chepstow last time very comfortably and has a good chance n what looks like a open race. Mister Malarky runs in the Masters Handicap Chase. He ran very well in the Ladbrokes Trophy earlier in the season. If he returns to that kind of form he should go close.
Cheltenham Racecourse opens its doors for its final raceday before the The Festival™ presented by Magners in March on Saturday 25 January, Festival Trials Day.
With seven cracking races on the card, including the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase, often considered a trial for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle which always produces key contenders for The Festival™ presented by Magners.
Last year, we saw three winners from Festival Trials Day go on to success at the Cheltenham Festival, including the formidable Frodon and Bryony Frost, Paisley Park winning for trainer Emma Lavelle and owner, Andrew Gemmell who has been blind since birth, and Lizzie Kelly aboard Siruh Du Lac.
Popular Irish contemporary band, Lampa will be back to perform on The Centaur stage after racing to keep the celebrations going.
Tickets are available to buy online from £12 in advance - www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/festival-trials-day/
BUY BEFORE 31ST JANUARY AT 10:59AM FOR THE BEST PRICE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL TICKETS
Artistic Curator Gregory Porter opens Cheltenham Jazz Festival with a headline show on Tuesday 5 May. He has selected four concerts as Gregory’s Picks - favourite artists he thinks more people should hear during the six-day Festival in May (5-10 May).
Undeniably one of the best voices of our generation, Porter has also revealed today that he will release his sixth studio album All Rise on Decca Records/Blue Note in April and will kick off his much-anticipated UK tour of the record at Cheltenham.
American vocalist and composer Lizz Wright will be Gregory’s special guest in his show and will perform her own show at the Everyman Theatre on Bank Holiday Friday 8 May featuring songs from her new album Grace.
‘Beat scientist’ Makaya McCraven is a drummer, producer and sonic collagist who has made a big impact on Chicago’s cultural scene and who won ‘International Jazz Act of the Year’ at the Jazz FM Awards 2019. He plays the Jazz Arena on Friday 8 May.
Also playing the Jazz Arena on 8 May is trumpeter Keyon Harrold, best known for his performances in Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead (where he earned his nickname The Mugician).
Gary Bartz & Maisha perform on Saturday 9 May. The sax legend manages to be both an elder statesman of jazz and at the forefront of a new wave, backed by Maisha – the UK’s leading spiritual jazz outfit.
These names join Bebel Gilberto, a double bill of Blind Boys of Alabama and Amadou and Mariam, and David Liebman/Randy Brecker/Marc Copland Quintet, who were announced at the end of last year.
The full Cheltenham Jazz Festival programme will be revealed on Wednesday 12 February. Tickets go on sale to Members on 26 February and General sale is on 4 March.
The line-up of DJ's in The Park at the Cheltenham Festival is now complete.
Nick Grimshaw (Day One) and Laura Whitmore (Day Two) were already confirmed, and they have now been joined by Roman Kemp (Day Three) and Marvin Humes (Day Four).
The Park is a brand new addition to The Festival™ presented by Magners, featuring entertainment and live music throughout the day, a range of new bars showing live racing and boasting an electric atmosphere, followed by a 90 minute DJ set at 4:30pm.
The entries for the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Ryanair Chase have been announced for The Festival™ presented by Magners at Cheltenham in March.
Altior heads 31 entries for the £400,000 Grade 1 Betway Queen Mother Chase, the highlight of day two at the four-day event.
Memorable 2019 winner Frodon is among 44 entries for the £350,000 Ryanair Chase on day three. His win was part of an unforgettable hour at Prestbury Park with the Andrew Gemmell Paisley Park winning an emotional Stayers' Hurdle in the following race.
The Festival takes place from 10-13 March 2020.
BUY YOUR TICKET BEFORE 31ST JANUARY AT 10:59AM FOR THE BEST PRICE.
There are 31 entries for the Cheltenham Gold Cup that takes place on Friday 13th March 2020.
Last year's winner Al Boum Photo is the current favourite.
Local entries include the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Bristol de Mai and The Conditional trained by David Bridgewater.
The Festival™ presented by Magners takes place at Chelteham Racecourse from 10-13 March 2020
There is no better place to start 2020 than a day at Cheltenham.
There will be seven races, including two Grade 2 contests and a whole heap of complimentary entertainment in the Family Fun Zone. Under 18s go free!
Why not enhance your day at the races and book hospitality or your own private box from just £155? We can't think of a better way to kick off the new decade!
The King's Arms in Prestbury, on the outskirts of Cheltenham, has reopened its doors today by Raymond Blanc's White Brasserie Company.
The pub has undergone an extensive renovation since closing at the end of last year and will offer fresh, seasonal French fare and Great British pub classics.
The pub is steeped in history with parts pf the building dating back to the 14th Century. There has been a huge effort to bring the best of the old pub back to life, reinstating the three fireplaces, restoring original beams and floors and rehanging the front door so it could be open from the High Street for the first time in over two decades.
Take a look for yourself here - kingsarmsprestbury.com
There is an exciting brand new addition to The Festival™ presented by Magners at Cheltenham Racecourse in March 2020.
Featuring entertainment and live music throughout the day, The Park will boast a range of new bars showing live racing and boasting an electric atmosphere and a 90 minute DJ set at 4:30pm.
Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw and Laura Whitmore have been confirmed for Day One and Two.
From the heights of a Ferris wheel, the buzz of the Magners bar and street food to live music from The Wandering Wings throughout the day, there is something for everyone.
Admission into The Park is available to racegoers with a Club or Tattersalls ticket, simply purchase as an upgrade in advance from just £15 per person (save £10 off the on-the-day price).
18-28 Members will receive a complimentary wristband for The Park and exclusive access to the Members only area, The Love Ireland Bar.
It's been a great couple of weeks which started with Soaring Glory winning, in my opinion, a very strong bumper at Ascot on bad ground. It was pleasing that he put daylight between the second and third who are both good horses. He still has to go forward but it looks like he has the world at his feet at the minute. He will probably return to Ascot next Friday in a listed bumper.
It was a really nice surprise to have a 40/1 winner on Who Shot Jr for Colin Tizzard in the Novice Hurdle at Taunton. He won nicely, although I'm not sure it was the deepest of races. However, he had come on a lot from his first two experiences at Chepstow and Wincanton.
I had great ride in the Hennessy at Newbury on Mr Malarky. He ran a cracker. I thought 3-out that he had a right chance. He probably didn't quite see out the trip but the cheek pieces definitely made a difference to him and there's definitely a good race for him to win this year. It was nice to see him back to his usual self.
Plumpton on Monday was a great day. I was just touched off on Bean In Trouble in the first which was a little frustrating. Adicci battled really nicely to win over 2 miles. It was a good performance and a nice horse for the future. He definitely will get further in time as he's from the same family as Black Jack Ketchum. It was great to ride out my claim too and to do it on one of dad's made it even more special.
We had a comfortable success at Lingfield on Tuesday with Maypole Class, followed by Cobolobo winning very nicely at Haydock on Wednesday after a good display of jumping.
Huntingdon produced another winner with Pagero. Hopefully we might get him out at the end of the week as he runs without a penalty.
Quarenta jumped nicely to win what turned out to be, a two-horse race at Fontwell yesterday. It was the feature race and good pot to win.
The horses are in great form at the minute. That's 6 winners in the last 9 days so hopefully it can continue!