The line-up for The Big Feastival was announced this morning.
The festival, located at Alex James' Farm in Kingham, is now in its 10th year and will boast DJ Sigala, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Rag 'n' Bone Man, Tom Walker and Zara Larsson as its musical headliners.
The beauty of The Big Feastival is that the food side of things is as good as the music. This year will see two Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw, Tom Brown from Michelin-starred Cornerstone, Mark Hix and Theo Randall all appear in The Big Kitchen.
As always, there will be an incredible selection of street food on offer too.
Visit https://thebigfeastival.com/ for tickets.
Landlords Pete Creed and Tom Noest of The Bell at Langford are opening a sister pub in the Cotswolds.
The Lamb Inn at Shipton-under-Wychwood will be opening on June 21st 2021.
You can see the sample menu below.
You can keep up to date with developments at www.thelambshipton.com.
The first pictures of some of the food we can expect to see at the new Bao & BBQ restaurant were released on Instagram this morning.
The restaurant is due to open at the end of March on Cheltenham's Regent Street, in the former home of the hugely popular Japanese restaurant Koj which closed in September 2020.
Bao & BBQ will be part of the JM Socials brand who already own Prithvi, Bhoomi Kitchen and Holee Cow in the town.
The official opening date is yet to be announced.
There is a treat for foodies coming to Guiting Power this spring. Chris Davey, the man behind the incredible The Cotswold Guy brand will be opening a boutique farm shop on the site of the old Watson's Bakery and shop.
The retail store will be a beautifully curated farm store with fresh produce, the best locally sourced artisanal products, dairy, bread and croissants, fish, meat and game. It will also have a takeaway trattoria style deli serving great coffee and refreshments, cakes and desserts, The Cotswold Guy oven ready meals and meal kits and their very own beautifully crafted Wellingtons, en croutes, pies, scotch eggs and sausage rolls.
The shop will be called The Cotswold Guy and refurbishment is due to be finished at the end of March, with the plan to open in May/June.
The property will also boast a commercial kitchen for our food production and trattoria style deli in the store.
If you would like to experience some of the food that will be on offer, please visit The Cotswold Guy website - www.thecotswoldguy.co.uk
There will be more live racing on terrestrial TV than ever before this year as it was announced that ITV will be showing six live races every day.
ITV have been given a one-off permission to extend its output beyond their usual five daily races by rights manager Racecourse Media Group, as it's looking more and more likely that The Festival will be held behind closed doors. This will mean the programme will run from 1pm to 4.30pm and the gap between races will be reduced to 35 minutes from 40 minutes.
There will be new provisional race times too with the first race brought forward to 1.20pm, with the feature each day moving to 3.05pm.
THE JOCKEY CLUB AND WELLCHILD ANNOUNCE MAJOR CHARITY PARTNERSHIP FOR THE FESTIVAL™ AND 2021 CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP
A major new charity partnership announced today between WellChild and The Jockey Club will see Jump Racing’s flagship event, The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, and the sport’s most prestigious race, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, support one of the UK’s leading charities helping seriously ill children and their families.
Several million people in the UK will watch The Festival supporting WellChild between Tuesday 16th and Friday 19th March, broadcast on ITV’s main channel and via its digital platforms. Based on Government restrictions for professional sport, currently the event’s 28 races would be staged over four days without any spectators present at the racecourse.
On the climactic Gold Cup Day will be the Grade 1 2021 WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Willie Mullins-trained Al Boum Photo is currently the favourite to win the race and become only the fifth horse in history to do so three or more times, alongside the legendary Best Mate, Arkle, Cottage Rake and Golden Miller.
WellChild is the national charity for seriously ill children and headquartered in Cheltenham. More than 100,000 children and young people are living with serious illness or exceptional health needs across the UK. Without the type of support WellChild offers, many can spend months or even years in hospital. Meanwhile those who are at home are constantly challenged by inconsistent or inadequate levels of support. The charity helps children and young people living with serious health needs to have the best chance to thrive, properly supported at home with their families.
When the COVID-19 crisis took hold, the charity lost 60% of its projected income and had to quickly adapt its services to meet a sudden and urgent demand for help from families having to deliver round-the-clock care to their children alone. The charity expanded its digital services with online information and peer-to-peer support, and set up a crisis response service in 10 days to source and distribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to shielding families so that they can let external carers back into their home. The charity has now distributed more than 289,000 items of PPE to more than 1,000 vulnerable families across the country.
The Jockey Club, which is one of the UK’s leading sport businesses and runs Cheltenham Racecourse, hopes to build significant awareness and inspire donations for WellChild. The pair plan to launch a series of activities in the build-up to next month’s event and over the four days of racing, including a soon-to-be-launched competition to inspire children who are currently home schooling to showcase their creativity.
Colin Dyer, Chief Executive of WellChild, said:
“As a national charity with its headquarters in Cheltenham, we are thrilled to have been invited to work with The Jockey Club, particularly around an event as iconic as The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse.
“This has been a challenging year for our organisation and the families we support, many of whom have felt hidden and isolated more than ever before. However, we have responded at every turn to ensure that families have access to the support and equipment they need to thrive at home. This partnership will bring a much-needed boost to our organisation after a challenging period and will help to ensure that we are ready to respond again in 2021 and beyond.”
Ian Renton, who runs Cheltenham Racecourse as The Jockey Club’s Regional Managing Director, said:
“WellChild plays a vital role in our society supporting seriously ill children and young people, and those who care for them. Their services have been needed more than ever during the pandemic and we are very proud indeed to help such an important charity amongst our communities, including in Cheltenham.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Magners for their support in 2019 and 2020, and express our gratitude to our various and valued partners who have retained their involvement with The Festival in 2021 and those we are welcoming for the first time.”
The Jockey Club hopes to garner support for WellChild from across the British Racing industry and amongst racing fans. 20-times Champion Jump jockey, Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy, welcomed the news:
“This is a fantastic move from The Jockey Club‘s team at Cheltenham. What WellChild does is just so important when you look at it and I’m really pleased that the best four days in our sport are being put forward to help. Racing is a charitable sport, full of generous people and I’m sure they’ll get right behind this. I’ll certainly support the charity in any way I can.”
Ed Chamberlin, ITV Racing’s Lead Presenter and WellChild ambassador, said:
“I have been an ambassador for WellChild for nearly ten years. When I was being treated in Southampton Hospital the children’s cancer ward was next door and broke my heart. If I recovered I vowed to support a charity that got children treated at home, rather than a hospital ward. The work WellChild do from their headquarters in Cheltenham with seriously ill children is truly remarkable. They, like all charities, have had a brutal year and I’m so thrilled about this partnership. It combines two of the passions in my life: WellChild and the Cheltenham Festival.”
After an intense 2 year search for a new destination, The Coconut Tree have revealed that they will be opening a new restaurant in the historic city of Bath.
36 Broad Street will be the home of incredible Sri Lankan street food and will open later this spring.
This is the seventh Coconut Tree restaurant that first opened its doors in Cheltenham in 2016. You can find them now in Cheltenham, Oxford, Cardiff, Bournemouth, and two venues in Bristol.
Entries are unveiled today for the three G1 novices’ hurdles at The Festival™ - the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – plus the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle, which is restricted to four-year-olds.
There are 96 entries in 2021, with a record 59 of those trained in Ireland. Sponsor Sky Bet make one of the Irish-trained entries, Appreciate It (Willie Mullins), the clear 5/2 favourite. The seven-year-old was runner-up in the G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at The Festival™ in 2020 and has looked hugely talented when landing both his starts over hurdles this season, most recently sauntering to a nine-length victory in a G1 contest at Leopardstown on 27 December.
To view all the entries, news and odds, click here - www.thejockeyclub.co.uk
There are lots of restaurants, delis and pubs offering awesome takeaways this week here in the Cotswolds. Check with each for their opening times and availability and support as many as you can.
The Stump, Nr. Northleach
Incredible pizza from the Stump Shack
Smiths, Bourton on the Water
Burger and dirty fries heaven
Hiro Sushi, Chipping Norton and surrounding areas
Awesome sushi to your door
Greedys Fish and Chips, Stow on the Wold
Great British classic
Holee Cow, Cheltenham
The best burgers in 'Nam
The Coconut Tree, Cheltenham
Sri Lankan heaven
The Old Butchers, Stow on the Wold
The best takeaway menu on the market
Click and collect Japanese takeaway
The Bell Inn, Langford
Michelin quality food at home
Sublime Indian Cuisine
Woodsman, Stratford upon Avon
Wild at heart
The Ebrington Arms, Nr Chipping Campden
A weekend takeaway for your walk
Great food at home
Fine-dining at home
D'Ambrosi, Stow on the Wold
The best deli in the Cotswolds
Bottle of Sauce, Cheltenham
Burger Click and collect
The Cotswold Guy
Great food delivered to your door
The Find, Cheltenham
Brunch and Sunday Lunch at Home
The Bathurst Arms, North Cerney
Great takeaway menu
Sourdough Revolution, Lechlade
Wonderful bread, pizza, chicken + more!
The Killingworth Castle, Nr Woodstock
A treat for your walk
St. James’s Place Wealth Management has renewed its brand sponsorship at Cheltenham Racecourse for a further five years, up to and including The Festival™ in 2025.
Cirencester-based St. James’s Place Wealth Management will be promoted at The Festival through the St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase. First contested in 1904, the St. James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase takes place on the fourth and final day of The Festival (Friday, 19 March in 2021).
The extended three and a quarter mile chase was previously run as the St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase and the updated race title is intended to strengthen the race’s identity as being a fundamental part of The Festival, while respecting its rich heritage as one of the leading hunter chases in the sport.
The St. James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase is unique in being the only race at The Festival open to trainers who are not full-time professionals. To secure a place in the field, previously race conditions required horses to have either finished in the first two in a hunters' chase on two occasions or won two open point-to-point races, or one of each, within the previous two-and-a-half years. A condition has been added for this year only as a result of the pandemic to allow horses who finish in the first four on two occasions in a hunters' chase between 20th January – 1st March 2021 to qualify.
Point-to-pointing on both sides of the Irish Sea plays a vital and complimentary role to racing under rules, often acting as a springboard for horses and jockeys to go on to achieve great success in front of a larger audience at the racecourse. The 2003 winner Kingscliff was a point-to-point graduate who went on to achieve G1 success in the inaugural running of the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in 2005.
Further back in time, perhaps the greatest ever winner of the contest was Spartan Missile in 1979, a point-to-point graduate who was owned, trained, ridden and bred by John Thorne. Spartan Missile famously went on to finish a gallant second behind Aldaniti and Bob Champion in the 1981 Grand National at Aintree. The 1981 hero and fellow point-to-point graduate Grittar actually went one better at Aintree, going on to success in the Grand National of 1982.
Many famous amateur jockeys feature on the race’s roll of honour, including Lord Oaksey, Gay Kindersley, Ted Walsh and Nina Carberry. There are also numerous examples of winning riders going on to forge highly successful careers as professionals. Two recent examples are Sam Twiston-Davies and Bryony Frost.
The St. James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase acknowledges Jump racing’s grassroots, while also being the source of a number of successes for women at The Festival. Jockey Caroline Beasley’s success aboard Eliogarty in 1983 was the first victory at The Festival for a female jockey and the contest has been won by female jockeys a further nine times – most recently Maxine O'Sullivan aboard It Came To Pass in 2020.
Former champion, Nina Carberry who won the race in 2015 and 2016 with companion, On The Fringe, said: ‘I was thrilled to win it twice – it’s a special race, an amateur’s gold cup which holds a lot of fond memories for me. I really like the name St. James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase – it reinforces the race’s connection with the Home of Jump Racing whilst also keeping its tradition as one of the sport’s most iconic Hunter Chases.’
Ian Renton, Regional Managing Director for The Jockey Club, commented: “The Jockey Club is extremely grateful to St. James’s Place for extending its generous sponsorship at The Festival. All of us at Cheltenham look forward to working with St. James’s Place for the next five seasons.”
Ian Gascoigne, Managing Director for St. James’s Place Wealth Management added: “We have been a proud sponsor at Cheltenham Racecourse for a number of years and are delighted to continue our support of a flagship event in our local community. Cheltenham Festival provides the opportunity to reach a large audience and the team continuously offer St. James’s Place a fantastic experience.”
We don’t always have the time to research new and exciting wines to drink so why not let The Cellar at Stow on the Wold choose for you?
Located in the market square of the town, The Cellar represents a carefully selected group of small independent winemakers who share the philosophy of producing wines that are expressive of their place, adopting traditional methods and showing maximum respect for the wine and the wider environment.
With doors current closed, The Cellar has created an idea to help free you from the shackles of much of the boring wine that seems to flood the shelves in your weekly food shop and have launched their very own wine club.
For £35, each month you will receive 2 bespoke bottles of wine to your door which have been carefully selected by The Cellar to expand your tasting horizons. Each wine will have a minimum RRP of £20. These won't necessarily be everyday wines but will certainly be exceptional ones.
There are 3 subscription options to choose from, all of which can be one-off purchases or monthly.
USE COTSWOLDGENT5 TO RECEIVE £5 OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER
Visit www.thecellaratstow.co.uk/the-cellar-club for all information and to purchase.
The Scenic Supper returns this April at a new location, tucked away in the beautiful Todenham Manor Farm near Moreton-in-Marsh.
After launching during the summer 2020, The Scenic Supper created a spectacular and unique dining experience with spectacular views across the Cotswolds and served over 680 diners, mixed more than a thousand cocktails and opened for 40 incredible evenings.
2021will see seven brand new sustainably built glasshouses that will host parties of two and four, equally stunning views and a stunning 5-course menu featuring lots of wonderful local ingredients.
There will also be a brand new King Stone Gin bar which will be serving even more craft cocktails, English sparkling wine, and other local booze.
The spring dates run from Thursday 1st April to Friday 28th May 2021.
Book your table now at www.thescenicsupper.co.uk
Properly good burgers have been hard to find in the North Cotswolds. There are pubs (The Chequers at Churchill) and restaurants (The Old Butchers) who have exceptional patties on their menu, but, until now, nowhere has ever offered a dedicated menu.
Smiths of Bourton (on the Water) is run by brothers Seb and Theo Smith. Seb fell in love with burgers while living out in America and Theo's passion for food saw him enjoy an inspiring stint at the much-acclaimed Mash Inn at Radnage. However, like all other restaurants, they've had to adapt to the COVID times in which we live and adapt they have.
They open every evening for takeaway, from 5pm - 9pm. The "Lockdown" menu features eight burgers with an extra unique special each week. There's everything from a classic cheeseburger, with extra pickles and bacon as optional extras, to the lively Chimichurri Burger and Triple B with goats’ cheese, blueberry BBQ sauce, bacon and crispy onions
On top of that there are 4 types of fries, including their incredible crispy bacon, house sauce and spring onion-donned Dirty Fries, truffle aoili, parmesan and crispy sage fries and Rosemary and Parmesan, as well as your regular fries which each burger comes with. You can up grade to any of the others which is most definitely worth doing.
We ordered last weekend for a Sunday night treat. The food was still hot after the 7-minute drive home and the 2-minute photo shoot for the gram... and this post.
The burgers were big, fat and juicy... and delightfully messy, the types where you walk to wash your hands with your arms in the air to avoid touching anything on your way to the taps, which you try turning on with your elbow.
The fries were equally incredible. The sauce on the "Dirty" ones tasted like it had just come out of a Big Mac and the Truffle ones disappeared before a bite of a burger was taken... they were that good.
The whole lot surpassed our expectations, although we had only heard very good things. Perhaps we're just not used to this kind of thing being available in the North Cotswolds. Let's just hope they're here to stay.
Now all we need is Deliveroo.
Heat after drive and photo shoot 8
Expectations surpassed 10
A total of 41 horses have been entered for the Magners Gold Cup at Cheltenham to be held on Friday 19th March.
Al Boum Photo will seek to emulate Best Mate and become a triple winner of the Grade 1 encounter, ran over three miles, two furlongs and 70 yards.
There are 6 entries from Cotswolds-based trainers.
Here are all the entries. Cotswolds entries are in bold.
Acapella Bourgeois (FR) W. P. Mullins IRE
Al Boum Photo (FR) W. P. Mullins IRE
Allaho (FR) 7 W. P. Mullins IRE
A Plus Tard (FR) Henry de Bromhead IRE
Aso (FR) Venetia Williams
Battleoverdoyen (IRE) Gordon Elliott IRE
Black Op (IRE) Tom George
Bristol de Mai (FR) Nigel Twiston-Davies
Burrows Saint (FR) W. P. Mullins IRE
Castlebawn West (IRE) W. P. Mullins IRE
Champ (IRE) Nicky Henderson
Cyrname (FR) Paul Nicholls
Delta Work (FR) Gordon Elliott IRE
Frodon (FR) Paul Nicholls
Imperial Aura (IRE) Kim Bailey
Itchy Feet (FR) Olly Murphy
Kemboy (FR) W. P. Mullins IRE
Lake View Lad (IRE) N. W. Alexander
Lord du Mesnil (FR) Richard Hobson
Lostintranslation (IRE) Colin Tizzard
Magic of Light (IRE) Mrs J. Harrington IRE
Master Tommytucker (GB) Paul Nicholls
Melon (GB) W. P. Mullins IRE
Minella Indo (IRE) Henry de Bromhead IRE
Mister Malarky (GB) Colin Tizzard
Monalee (IRE) Henry de Bromhead IRE
Native River (IRE) Colin Tizzard
Presenting Percy (GB) Gordon Elliott IRE
Real Steel (FR) Paul Nicholls
Royale Pagaille (FR) Venetia Williams
Saint Calvados (FR) Harry Whittington
Samcro (IRE) Gordon Elliott IRE
Santini (GB) Nicky Henderson
Shattered Love (IRE) Gordon Elliott IRE
Simply The Betts (IRE) Harry Whittington
Spyglass Hill (IRE) Henry de Bromhead IRE
Terrefort (FR) Nicky Henderson
The Conditional (IRE) David Bridgwater
Vinndication (IRE) Kim Bailey
Waiting Patiently (IRE) Ruth Jefferson
Yorkhill (IRE) Sandy Thomson
Cheltenham Festivals have announced the dates of their 2021 events.
The year kicks off with the Cheltenham Jazz Festival at the end of April and finishes with the incredible Cheltenham Literature Festival in October.
28 April – 3 May 2021
Cheltenham Jazz Festival (In association with BBC Radio 2)
Cheltenham Jazz Festival is one of Europe’s leading jazz festivals, featuring international headline acts, cutting-edge jazz and unique collaborations.
For more info and updates visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz
10 – 13 June 2021
Cheltenham Science Festival
Cheltenham Science Festival explores the theme ‘Be The Change’ combining in-person and online events to show how science is shaping our future. The Schools and Family programme will be available digitally for free, while hands-on activities will be presented in a safe, socially-distanced environment for people of all ages.
For more info and updates visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science
2-9 July 2021
Cheltenham Music Festival
Cheltenham Music Festival will celebrate the best of British music, with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, New English Ballet Theatre and the UK’s finest soloists. There will be talks from industry leaders and an Opening Weekend of free music outdoors, with a wealth of artists covering Western classical music and beyond.
For more info and updates visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/music
8-17 October 2021
The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival
Still leading the way in celebrating the written and spoken word, the world’s first literature festival will Read the World, presenting the best new voices in fiction and poetry alongside literary greats and high-profile speakers. The Festival’s pioneering mix of in-person and online events won it a coveted FutureBook 2020: Best Lockdown Event award and its Literature for Schools programme inspires a love of books in thousands of school children.
For more info and updates visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature
The International starts on Friday, 11 December, with the rearranged G2 Fitzdares Club Loves The Peterborough Chase (1.50pm) headlining an excellent eight-race card.
The famous colours of Sea Pigeon will be on display in the Catesby Handicap Hurdle as the Jonjo O'Neill trained Tegerek runs for the first time for the brand new Jonjo O'Neill Racing Club.
Top Notch (Nicky Henderson/Daryl Jacob) is aiming for a third success in the Peterborough Chase, having lifted the spoils in 2017 at Taunton and in 2019 at its usual home, Huntingdon.
The latest horse to win three runnings of Peterborough Chase was Edredon Bleu, who captured the two-and-a-half-mile contest four times between 1998 and 2001.
Top Notch, having his first start since wind surgery, is joined by stable companion Mister Fisher (Nico de Boinville), who was pulled up when fancied for the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month.
Local trainer Tom George is also double handed with G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase third Bun Doran (James Bowen) and progressive Newbury handicap chase scorer Clondaw Castle (Tom Scudamore).
Kalashnikov (Jack Quinlan, pictured below) underwent wind surgery during the summer and was not disgraced on his comeback in the three-mile G3 Betfair Exchange Stayers' Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park on 21 November, finishing seventh.
The seven-year-old was just touched off in the G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival™ in 2018 before going on to G1 success over fences at Aintree’s Grand National Festival the following season.
Trainer Amy Murphy said: “Kalashnikov is in good shape.
“I was really pleased with his comeback effort at Haydock, where he got tired late on and probably didn’t stay the trip on that ground.
“The Peterborough Chase wasn’t Plan A, but now it is being run on a left-handed track it made sense to go as he is much better going this way round."
A competitive line up also features Dolos (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden), Fanion d’Estruval (Venetia Williams/Charlie Deutsch), and Glen Forsa (Mick Channon/David Bass).
Michael Scudamore is hoping Kingswell Theatre (Tom Scudamore, pictured below) can extend his winning record around Cheltenham’s unique Cross Country Course in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (3.00pm, 11 runners).
Kingswell Theatre caused something of a shock when landing the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at The November Meeting for a second time last month, making all to beat Beau Du Brizais (Philip Hobbs/Micheal Nolan) by five lengths despite being 18lb out of the handicap. This was the 11-year-old’s second cross country success at Cheltenham, following his victory in the Glenfarclas-sponsored contest at The November Meeting in 2017.
Scudamore said: “Kingswell Theatre seems to have come out of his latest race in fine fettle. He has been a stable star for the yard and we could not be happier with him.
“It is clearly a different race this time around. With Easysland and Potters Corner coming out of the race, he will have to carry an awful lot more weight, so we will see how he handles that.
“Carrying a lot of weight round there is going to be tough, but I suppose the big two horses being out makes it a slightly easier race, although with the likes of Step Back and Neverushacon in there, it remains a really open race.”
Enda Bolger has a formidable record in cross country races and the Co Limerick handler is represented My Hometown (Darragh O’Keeffe), one of four Irish-trained runners in the race.
There is also Irish representation in the G3 Unibet Handicap Chase (2.25pm, seven runners) courtesy of fast improving mare Court Maid (Tom Mullins/David Mullins).
Court Maid has proved a revelation over fences this season and relished a stamina test on her latest start when winning the competitive Porterstown Handicap Chase by 13 lengths at Fairyhouse on 29 November.
Novice action is provided by the British EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle (11.30am, 2m 1f, six runners) and the International Decorative Surfaces Novices' Chase (12.05pm, 3m 1f 56y, five runners).
The remaining handicaps on the card are the Catesby Handicap Hurdle (12.40pm, 2m 1f, 17 runners), the CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares' Handicap Chase (1.15pm, 2m4f127y, 12 runners) and Citipost Handicap Hurdle (3.35pm, 3m, 14 runners), in which Unowhatimeanharry (Harry Fry/Kevin Brogan (7)) bids to follow up a recent win at Aintree. The JP McManus-owned 12-year-old has been a real star during his career and is a four-time winner at the Home of Jump Racing, headlined by his success in the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival™ back in 2016.
The International continues on Saturday, 12 December, when the highlights are the £112,000 G2 Unibet International Hurdle (2m 1f, 10 entries) and the £105,000 G3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (2m 4f 127, 24 entries).
The Trustees of Blenheim Palace today announced that The Jockey Club has been awarded a five-year contract as organisers of the prestigious Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials from 2021, following a competitive tender process.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1750 and with Her Majesty The Queen as its Patron, is one of the largest organisations in British sport and stages more than 340 horseracing fixtures each year, along with thousands of other events at its 15 venues nationwide.
The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is a pinnacle of the eventing calendar and normally takes place over four days in September each year. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 event.
The fixture includes FEI-accredited and internationally-recognised competitions; a CCI4*-L (four-star Long) and CCI4*-S for eight and nine-year-old horses (four-star Short).
The 2019 CCI4*-L competition was won by one of Britain’s leading event riders, Piggy March, with her then ten-year-old gelding, Brookfield Inocent. The 2019 CCI4*-S was won by Australian Chris Burton and his nine-year-old, Clever Louis.
Roy Cox, Estates Director, Blenheim Palace, said:
“The International Horse Trials is one of our most prestigious events, attracting world class riders to compete in this iconic competition.
“We are delighted its future has been secured and have every confidence The Jockey Club, with its rich history and wealth of experience, working alongside British Eventing, is the perfect combination to ensure this great event which contributes so much to the local area continues to thrive.”
Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s Regional Managing Director, whose role includes the running of nearby Cheltenham Racecourse, said:
“It truly is a great honour to be appointed to organise the Blenheim Palace Horse Trials for the next five years. We look forward to working closely with Blenheim Palace and British Eventing to ensure the event has a fantastic future.
“As a company we welcome nearly four million people a year to events at our venues and our team are excited to put on a fantastic show at Blenheim in keeping with the international prestige of both the Horse Trials and the Palace itself.
“With the Home of Jump Racing just 40 miles away I’m also confident there are economies of scale and cross-promotional opportunities from this partnership.
“Overall we’re thrilled to be involved and thank the Blenheim Palace and British Eventing team for placing their faith in us.”
Jude Matthews, Chief Executive of British Eventing, said:
“Blenheim Place International Horse Trials is a key fixture in the British Eventing calendar, showcasing some of the most talented horse and rider combinations in the world. The event has been established over many successful years and we look forward to working with The Jockey Club to continue this development and to potentially bring our sport to a wider audience.”
The Blenheim Palace Horse Trials will take place from the 16th -19th September, 2021.
Jeremy Clarkson's Farm Shop has started selling its good online.
Diddly Squat Farm Shop is located on his farm near Chipping Norton.
Established in 2020, Jeremy opened Diddly Squat after realising that potatoes did indeed grow well on his farm and he had accidentally produced 40 tonnes of them. From there, with his partner Lisa, he bought hives and began to produce and sell bee juice, along with apple juice and cow juice from a local dairy.
Some of the products available online include his "Bollocks Candle", tea towles, aprons and hats.
The shop is open from 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am to 4pm on Sundays.
The November Meeting takes place behind closed doors this weekend at Cheltenham but fear not, you can stay involved and watch all of the unmissable action of the three-day meeting at the Home of Jump Racing.
The week kicks off on Wednesday 11th November with a November Meeting Preview Evening, featuring Ruby Walsh, retired Festival winning jockey who has a record 59 wins to his name. The panel also includes Paddy Power, ITV Racing and Grand National winner Mick Fitzgerald and trainer Emma Lavelle.
Click HERE to find out all the information, submit a question to the panel, and for all the Zoom details.
As always, Countryside Day launches The November Meeting in true Cheltenham style on Friday 13 November 2020.
Featuring six excellent races, including The Mucking Brilliant Paddy Power Handicap Chase and The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase.
As racing is behind closed doors, stay involved from home through The Jockey Club's Jump Season Hub for a digital racecard, news, and top tips. You can also follow @cheltenhamraces on Twitter.
The November Meeting Saturday, now known as Paddy Power Day returns on Saturday 14 November 2020.
Paddy Power Day features the iconic Paddy Power Gold Cup. Happy Diva won in 2019, trained by Kerry Lee and ridden by Richard Patrick. Who will win the 2020 renewal?
The November Meeting Sunday features six thrilling races, including the feature race of the day the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. Haranbe won the 2019 renewal, ridden by Tom Bellamy, owned by Niall Farrell and friends and trained by Alan King.
For further information and for all the race schedules, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/the-november-meeting/
The Bathurst Arms in North Cerney, Nr Cirencester, has been awarded five prestigious stars for "Organic Served Here" by the Soil Association Certification.
It is the first pub in the UK to receive 5 stars and the award has been a target for Bathurst Arms director, Jordan Pelly and his head chef, Michal Wlodarcyk, since they reopened the doors to the famous pink pub in July this year.
Mark Machin, Development Manager for Soil Association Certification said, “We’re very proud to welcome The Bathurst Arms to the movement of hospitality businesses that have decided to grow back better by putting sustainability at the heart of their business.
“After a particularly challenging period for the industry, it’s really encouraging to see businesses like The Bathurst continue engaging with Organic Served Here. By sourcing organic food and drink, Organic Served Here award holders are helping reduce the carbon footprint of their menu and ensure higher levels of biodiversity on our farmland.”
Jordan said: “This is great news for us as a young team with my first business, the message behind what we offer here is a strong one and something we should all learn more about. We are so lucky to have such fantastic farmers on our doorstep like Purton House Organics, Duchy Home Farm and Daylesford Organic and fishmongers New Wave and Flying Fish, all of these businesses help us source the finest ingredients for our menu with strong sustainable principals. As well as the ethical contribution sourcing organic & wild foods is such an obvious choice for us, as we strive for the best quality ingredients. From beef fed on a pasture diet to ingredients in season, flavor is paramount with these choices inevitably kinder to the environment and world we live in.
“We offer great small plates that showcase our approach using the best the seasons have to offer. Right now we are serving dishes like “Salt baked celeriac with wild girolles and mushroom”; “Purton Farm organic pork belly with Jerusalem artichoke with pork & apple sauce”; and for the seafood lovers, line caught plaice, on the bone with a smoked lime butter and pickled sea lettuce.”
The pub has also recently been using surplus organic vegetables and fruit from the village as there are several allotments owned by the nearby Bathurst Estate looked after by hard working villagers.
“We plan to roll out a five star organic menu in a take away format as well, we understand that in the current climate not everyone is comfortable eating out so we want to be able to create our dishes for you to take home and enjoy. “Jordan added.
Cheltenham Racecourse have launched a jump racing hub for you to enjoy all the racing, news and views from the comfort of your own home.
You can also see updates of the going from Simon Claisse, the racecards for all the races, as well as all the race replays moments after the races have finished.
Click RACE AT HOME WITH CHELTENHAM to find our more.
It has got to be nearly twenty years since my first visit to Michael's in Chipping Campden, shamelessly trying to impress my peers that my palate was familiar food from Greece and Cyprus although at that time I had never been to either.
Back then it was called Alexiou's and was one of, if not, the best restaurants in the Cotswolds. It was only ever open in the evenings and was mostly always full. To impress people even more, you would always book a second sitting on a Friday or Saturday as there was always a chance of smashing some plates in the restaurant.
Today it is much different, but still just as charming.
The large kitchen that used to serve the restaurant is now a delightful bedroom, part of the stunning Woolmarket House that Michael and Sarah own. The seating area at the back of the restaurant has also made way to an equally beautiful bedroom.
The front of the restaurant has had a makeover. It feels less "evening only" and more "daytime too" which it is with the recent addition of breakfast, brunch and lunch.
In these crazy and socially-distanced, curfew times, the restaurant now has only around 16 covers and waiting staff serving you in visors.
The menu is pretty much the same as it has always been; Stifado, Kleftico (which I think I have had every time I have been there) and their showstopper "Filleto Marathona", fillet steak served on a board with mushroom, tomato & French-fries, and it is always exceptionally good. After 35 years, Michael still goes and handpicks the hunks of meat that the restaurant serves.
Dinner is a race against time at the moment. I'm not sure how Chipping Campden would cope with 14 diners spilling out of Michael's and onto the streets.
I started with garlic mushrooms as I wanted something lighter as I always make the mistake of filling myself up on the pitta bread. Obviously I did so again as the oily, garlicky remains at the bottom of the cast iron dish couldn't be left.
Obviously I had the Kleftico for my main. It's the best way to eat lamb, especially when it falls off the bone like this has for the past two decades and is cooked in wine, washed down with a couple of Cotswolds Gins.
As if the pitta bread and half a lamb weren't enough, I also tried squeezing a chocolate brownie in too. I ultimately succeeded at tortoise speed but it was most definitely worth it.
Although the restaurant has over halved in size, it still has lots of its charm, a lovely relaxed atmosphere and two owners who are, after all this time, hugely passionate about the food they serve and experience they offer to their guests.
It's safe to say that it's still up there with the best restaurants in the Cotswolds.
Racing returns to Cheltenham with The Showcase on Friday, 23 October and Saturday, 24 October. The two-day meeting is the first action to be staged at The Home of Jump Racing since The Festival™ in March. In accordance with government COVID-19 regulations, the meeting will take place behind closed doors.
You can follow the action with the Jockey Club's new Racing At Home service.
There are seven races on each day of The Showcase with Saturday's highlight being the £48,000 Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase (3.50pm) over three miles and a furlong. Heading the 17 entries is Frodon (Paul Nicholls), who famously landed the 2019 G1 Ryanair Chase at The Festival™ under Bryony Frost. The eight-year-old is a five-time winner at Cheltenham and was last seen when fourth in the 2020 Ryanair Chase. Also engaged is Cogry (Nigel Twiston-Davies), winner of this race in 2017. The 11-year-old went on to be second in 2018 and third in 2019.
Another possible starter is Walk In The Mill (Robert Walford). The 10-year-old finished fourth to Tiger Roll in the 2019 Randox Health Grand National and is twice a winner over the Grand National fences at Aintree, having taken the Randox Health Becher Chase in 2018 and 2019.
Dorset-based Robert Walford said today: "Walk In The Mill is in good form and a possible runner at Cheltenham on Saturday. It all depends on the weather but if it is good to soft, he will take his chance.
"We are delighted with him at home and he seems to be in really good order. He had a nice summer break and obviously we were gearing up for the Grand National until COVID-19 intervened. We are looking forward to seeing him back in action.
"The Grand National is again a potential long-term target for Walk In The Mill. The big race we will target first however again is the Becher Chase. He has a fine record in the race and we just need to get one run into him before we head to Aintree."
Saturday's action gets underway with the Masterson Holdings Hurdle (2.05pm) which takes place over an extended two miles for four-year-olds only. The roll of honour includes dual Randox Health Grand National hero Tiger Roll (2014) as well as subsequent Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase scorer Dodging Bullets (2012).
The top-rated performer among the 11 entries is the front running Allmankind (Dan Skelton), a G2 winner over the course and distance at The November Meeting last season before going on to win the G1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in December. He ended the campaign when third in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival™, a race in which Sir Psycho (Paul Nicholls) finished fifth.
rainer Dan Skelton said: "Allmankind is in good form and Saturday's contest at Cheltenham has been the plan since the start of the season.
"The Masterson Holdings Hurdle is an ideal race to run in given it is against four-year-olds, so he can take on his age group one last time before he takes on the older horses.
"He has to carry a penalty, but he is a G1 winner. I would just like to see a bit of rain, but he is a planned runner at the moment. I am really happy with him at home and he is ready to start.
"He just ran quite flat at Cheltenham in the Triumph Hurdle. I am not saying he would have beaten Goshen in the Triumph Hurdle, but he just ran very flat in that race.
"There is no point dwelling on the past and we are looking forward to getting him started. It is a new season, with a new start and new objectives."
An intriguing contest could be further enhanced by Grand Roi (Gordon Elliott), successful in three of his four starts when with Nicky Henderson last season, and the potentially unexposed performers Botox Has (Gary Moore) and Monte Cristo (Nicky Henderson).
Fusil Raffles (Nicky Henderson), G1 winner at Punchestown in 2019, tops the 10 entries for the Best Odds At Matchbook Novices' Chase (2.40pm) over just under two and a half miles.
Mossy Fen (Nigel Twiston-Davies) landed the G2 Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick in January before going to finish fifth in the G1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at The Festival™ and is likely to make his chasing debut at The Showcase.
Carl Hinchy, who owns Mossy Fen in partnership with Mark Scott, said today: "Mossy Fen is in fine form and the plan is to head to Cheltenham this weekend. He will either run on Friday [Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices' Chase, 3m ½f] or on Saturday, but we haven't made a decision yet as to which race to target.
"Mossy Fen is a point-to-point winner and he has schooled very well. We are excited about getting his season underway, but we would not want to risk him to early in the season on watered ground. Rain is forecast so hopefully it will ease the ground so he can run."
This could also be another fascinating contest with the likes of recent Listed Chepstow winner Grand Sancy (Paul Nicholls) and Pileon (Philip Hobbs), the short-head runner-up in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at The Festival™, also holding entries.
The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (3.15pm, 32 entries) over three miles is the first race in the series of qualifiers for the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at The Festival™. Horses need to finish in the first six in a qualifier to be eligible for the contest at The Festival™. Tobefair (Debra Hamer), the neck runner-up in the 2019 contest at The Festival™, won this qualifying contest 12 months ago and is entered once again.
Completing Saturday's programme are the Showcase Novices' Hurdle (4.25pm, 3m, 11 entries), the Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase (5.00pm, 3m 1f, 20 entries) and the concluding Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (5.35pm, 22 entries).
Friday's programme at The Showcase runs from 1.50pm through to 5.15pm and is headlined by the £48,000 October Handicap Chase (3.35pm, 17 entries). This contest was previously run on the Saturday of The Showcase. The weights are headed by G2-placed Dolos (Paul Nicholls), who is entered alongside stablemate Getaway Trump, runner-up in G1 company over hurdles and the comfortable winner of a beginners' chase at Warwick on 1 October.
The going at Cheltenham is currently Good. The forecast is for an unsettled week, with rain at times. Racing at The Showcase takes place on the Old Course.
Seven hotels in the Cotswolds have been named in The Sunday Times Best Places to Stay in Britain that was published this weekend.
The list of 80 features everything from great new openings to swish spas and cosy pubs with rooms.
Birch in Hertfordshire was named as Hotel of the Year 2020.
You can find the full list here.
Below are the hotels from the Cotswolds that feature in the guide.
Nestled in the village of Southrop, Thyme is a wonderful enclosed collection of restored historic buildings forming a peaceful hamlet environment, a ‘village within a village,’ that epitomises the understated and natural beauty of the surrounding area.
The Stump, Nr Cirencester
The Stump is a hugely popular ancient roadside inn that boast 10 en-suite rooms and serves incredible pasta, pizza and well-poured pints.
The George, Cheltenham
The George is the first hotel within the Cult Hotels collection, focusing on connecting a clued-up urban crowd with local culture. The new concept has cut out the fluff and is all about fantastic beds, superb showers, and super fast WiFi, as well as automatic check-in and drop-and-go departures.
Foxhill Manor, Broadway
This luxury 5-star private house offers an incredible unique stay with 400 acres to explore, a kitchen at your beck and call, and a no-rule motto of ‘whatever you fancy, wherever you fancy it’. Your personal host will be on hand 24 hours a day to make sure you have everything you need, every minute of your stay.
Artist Residence, Nr Witney
Artist Residence Oxfordshire is a boutique hotel is an idyllic retreat in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside. The 16th-century inn has five luxurious bedrooms nestled under its cosy thatch and three suites in the farm outbuildings, each a calming combination of luxurious linens, bohemian styling and antique furnishings.
Calcot Manor, Tebury
Set in 220 acres of rolling countryside, Calcot Manor offers a variety of luscious rooms, a stunning chic spa and delightful dining making it a truly wonderful place to relax in the Cotswolds.
The Harcourt Arms, Nr Witney
Following an extensive four-year-long renovation, The Harcourt Arms now home to a brand new restaurant, ten lovely bedrooms and The Harcourt Stores where you’ll find artisanal treats amongst the everyday essentials for the Stanton Harcourt community to enjoy.
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.