he Jockey Club announces today that Boodles, Britain’s leading fine jeweller since 1798, will sponsor the Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival™ in 2023 and 2024, when the iconic Grade One contest celebrates its centenary.
The family-owned company first supported the Blue Riband of chasing in March of this year, when Rachael Blackmore partnered A Plus Tard to a historic victory by becoming the first female jockey to succeed. The pair were roared home by a record crowd of 73,875 racegoers at the Home of Jump Racing.
Since Red Splash landed the inaugural staging of the three and a quarter mile contest as a Jump race in 1924, it has been won by some of the most famous names of all-time including Golden Miller, Arkle, Desert Orchid, Best Mate and Kauto Star.
In addition to its support of the Cheltenham Gold Cup Boodles also extends its sponsorship of the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at The Festival, which it has put its name to since 2018, for a further two years and gains further sponsorship rights across The Jockey Club.
Boodles’ first involvement with The Festival came in 2014, when it backed the Leading Jockey Award. The company also has a major presence in The Orchard™ at Cheltenham Racecourse. Situated in the tented village, The Orchard delivers top-class entertainment with premium and unique experiences for racegoers to make the most of their day at The Festival.
This 2023 edition of the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup will be run on Friday 17th March at the conclusion of the four-day Festival and broadcast live in the UK on ITV main channel, digital platforms, Racing TV, BBC Radio 5 Live and talkSPORT.
For the first time in 2022, the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup was broadcast successfully on national television in the USA via the Fox Sports network, which is available to 55 million households.
Michael Wainwright, Managing Director of Boodles, said:
“After an epic build-up to this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup and then a wonderful day for the race itself, capped by the charismatic Rachael Blackmore being the first female jockey to win it, the Boodles board had no hesitation in extending our association by another two years.
“The whole experience was fabulous exposure for Boodles, and for me personally it provided one of the best days of my life.”
Ian Renton, Managing Director for Cheltenham Racecourse and The Jockey Club’s West Region, said:
“I am thrilled that Boodles has decided to further extend its relationship with The Festival by agreeing to sponsor the next two renewals of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
“After enjoying a record attendance this year, the 2023 running of the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup takes place on St Patrick’s Day and the great race celebrates its centenary in 2024, so I am sure there are some truly memorable days ahead.
“Boodles is now approaching a decade of involvement with The Festival and hopefully has reaped the benefits of its association with the four biggest days in Jump Racing.
“Coverage of The Festival seems to start earlier and be more extensive with each passing year and it was a milestone moment this year when the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup received its first broadcast on national television in the USA.
“We look forward to continuing to work alongside the team at Boodles with their tremendous passion and commitment as well all our other partners, both old and new, in the coming times ahead.”
Cheltenham's season finale and only evening fixture takes place on Friday 29th April and will feature a live DJ set by Radio One's Greg James in The Centaur after the last race, from 8.30pm - 9.30pm.
It's a meeting that allows amateur riders and trainers to compete for the ultimate dream of winning at the Home of Jump racing with seven fiercely fought Hunter chases over distances expected to range from an extended two miles to four miles.
Gates open at 3.30pm with the first race at 4.40pm.
Please note. Access to The Centaur throughout the day and after racing will only be granted with a Centaur Party Package Wristband. You will be denied access to see Greg James if you do not have a wristband. Children under 18 must also purchase a ticket to access The Centaur.
You can find all the information and tickets here - www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/race-night
Horse racing returns to Cheltenham Racecourse on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th April.
It's no easy task following The Festival™ however, April’s two-day meeting is the perfect time to reflect on achievements and remember that racing, no matter the event, is competitive and above all else, a joyous occasion.
As the final chance to watch the professionals test themselves on the track before the summer break, make sure you are there for two-days of racing of the highest quality.
Wednesday will see racing start at 1.30pm and the highlight of the day is the Grade 2 Ceres Estates Charity Silver Trophy Chase.
Thursday is the final chance of the season to see the pro's in action at Prestbury Park this season and the card starts with three red-hot listed races.
To celebrate the Easter Holidays, there will be plenty of FREE family fun entertainment in The Centaur both days.
Book in advance for the best price
With a little over 3 weeks until the start of the best 4 days in the sporting calendar, The Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse on Sunday 13 March is the place to be.
Join host Oli Bell and a panel that will include Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty and Emma Lavelle from 6.00pm for our Official Cheltenham Festival Preview Night.
All proceeds raised on the evening will be donated to the Cheltenham Festival Charity partner, WellChild.
The official Cheltenham Preview raises the curtain on the festivities of The Festival™. Hear the views and opinions of the expert panellists as they gallop through the form of the best races of Four Days of Extraordinary.
There is also a new VIP hospitality option supported by Daylesford, enabling you to enjoy the occasion in style. VIP access is £40pp (£400 table of 10) – Enjoy a luxurious cheese and charcuterie platter with a welcome drink on arrival and seating at the front of the theatre next to the stage. Call the hospitality team at Cheltenham on 01242 806 570 to book your space.
Cheltenham Annual Members can apply for their complimentary ticket by calling the Membership Team on 01242 513 014. We hope very much that our Members will join the fundraising drive and make a donation on the night.
With only 6 weeks until the Cheltenham Festival, it's time to start planning your week.
Join a panel of horse racing royalty at The Hollow Bottom on Monday 14th March, the eve of the Festival, for a night of discussion, heated debates and the best tips.
Racing Tv's Alex Steedman will chair a panel which includes top jockey Sam Twiston Davies, Grand National-Winning Jockey Carl Llewellyn, Racing Post Tipster Paul Kealy and Star Sports betting guru Luke Tarr.
Enjoy a complimentary drink on arrival, some free bets and some price pushes on the night.
Tickets are just £20 and can be purchased HERE.
The fields for races at the Cheltenham Festival are beginning to take shape.
Entries for the 4 Novice Chases throughout the week have been revealed, with less than 8 weeks until the racing world descends on Prestbury Park.
The Festival™ takes place from 15th - 18th March 2022.
Arkle Chase Entries: Tuesday 15th March
Captain Tom Cat
Ciel De Neige
Do Your Job
Elixir De Nutz
Hardy Du Seuil
Haut En Couleurs
Third Time Lucki
National Hunt Chase Entries: Tuesday 15th March
Back On The Lash
Come On Teddy
Does He Know
Hold That Taught
Papa Tango Charly
Roi De Dubai
Run Wild Fred
Streets Of Doyen
The Bosses Oscar
Brown Advisory Novices' Chase Entries: Wednesday 16th March
Gaillard Du Mesnil
Galopin Des Champs
Hold That Taught
Papa Tango Charly
Run Wild Fred
Streets Of Doyen
The Bosses Oscar
Turners Novices' Chase Entries: Thursday 17th March
Captain Tom Cat
Gaillard Du Mesnil
Galopin Des Champs
Papa Tango Charly
Run Wild Fred
Hardy Du Seuil
Haut En Couleurs
Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham takes place on Saturday 29th January 2022.
This the the last opportunity to witness racing at Cheltenham Racecourse before The Festival™, and that means a superb competitive day of Jump racing.
With seven races on the card, it's the time to finalise your choices and favourites, before all roads lead back to Cheltenham in March.
Last year's meeting was sadly abandoned but in 2020 we witnessed an excellent day of racing with names such as Paisley Park and Santini securing victories.
Make sure you head to The Centaur after the last race to see the Bootleg Beatles perform live from 4.30pm - 5.30pm.
You can purchase tickets in advance by clicking HERE.
The Irish boast 16 of the 30 entries for the Cheltenham Gold Cup that takes place on Friday 18th March.
Last year's runner-up A Plus Tard that sits at the top of the market but will need to beat stable mate and reigning champion Minella Indo.
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2022 Entries:
Ahoy Senor (Lucinda Russell)
Al Boum Photo (Willie Mullins, IRE)
Allaho (Willie Mullins, IRE)
Angels Breath (Nicky Henderson)
A Plus Tard (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
Asterion Forlonge (Willie Mullins, IRE)
Aye Right (Harriet Graham)
Carefully Selected (Willie Mullins, IRE)
Champ (Nicky Henderson)
Chantry House (Nicky Henderson)
Chatham Street Lad (Mick Winters, IRE)
Conflated (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
Delta Work (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
Eklat De Rire (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
Fiddlerontheroof (Colin Tizzard, IRE)
Franco De Port (Willie Mullins, IRE)
Galvin (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
Imperial Aura (Kim Bailey)
Lostintranslation (Colin Tizzard)
Melon (Willie Mullins, IRE)
Minella Indo (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
Mister Fisher (Nicky Henderson)
Protektorat (Dan Skelton)
Remastered (David Pipe)
Royale Pagaille (Venetia Williams)
Run Wild Fred (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
Saint Calvados (Paul Nicholls)
Santini (Polly Gundry)
Tornado Flyer (Willie Mullins, IRE)
Mount Ida (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
The Cheltenham Festival takes place from Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th March 2022.
You can buy tickets by clicking on the image below.
Christmas comes early to Cheltenham every year, with the greatest gift of them all: two days of quality racing action at the Home of Jump Racing for The International on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 December.
The racecourse will be turning yellow on Friday 10th December in memory of Tiggy Hancock who tragically died in a riding accident in June 2021 aged just 15, whilst at team training for the Pony European Eventing Championships. Cheltenham Racecourse welcome everybody who is coming racing to wear an item of clothing that is yellow to support Tiggy's Trust.
With an overseas flare in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, and more top quality action in the shape of the Unibet Handicap Steeple Chase, Unibet International Hurdle and The International Gold Cup, this two-day race meeting is a highlight of the Christmas racing calendar and kick starts the festive sporting season.
The International Friday
From the the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase to the Unibet Handicap Steeple Chase, it's an important day in the Festive racing calendar and one that always delivers in the entertainment stakes.
Storm Control, Cogry and the Grand National-winning Mon Mome are just some of the names to taste glory on the Friday of the International.
After racing, we will see the return of the Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale which provide clients the opportunity to purchase quality English and Irish point to pointers and National Hunt Form Horses from the spring season. The sale is attached to racing and takes place after the last race.
Saturday at The International
The second day of The International Meeting on Saturday 11 December is another fixture that isn't to be missed, and we will be getting in the Festive spirit with Christmas Carols and Live Music.
With clues for The Festival appearing in every race, there's plenty to get excited about with JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle, the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and the Unibet International Hurdle.
Winners of those races include real fan favourites such as The New One, Cogry and Fusil Raffles, but who will be adding their name to our honours boards in 2021?
Got2Sing will get the Christmas party started with Christmas Carols on the Centaur Balcony as you enter the racecourse, you will then be able to catch them later in the day on the North Plaza - a perfect area to get racegoers involved in a Christmas sing-a-long.
As well as a fantastic variety of food and drink across the racecourse we will be offering a complimentary mulled wine and minced pie to racegoers on the North Plaza.
There will also be live Jazz music throughout the day from The Hipcats who will roam club/tattersalls enclosure
Finish each day in The Centaur and watch The Wickermen perform from 3.45pm - 4.45pm.
For tickets and more information, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/the-international
Countryside Day kicks off The November Meeting at Cheltenham on Friday 12th November and features some awesome displays before racing begins.
10.45am - 11.15am: Nick Gregory Gun Dog Display
Nick offers a lively and enjoyable display using up to a dozen different gundogs, he skilfully demonstrates their training stages from puppy to fully trained. His grand finale is a rare opportunity to see one person handling up to seven dogs off the lead at one time. A mesmerising display showing the love of man for his dog and vice versa.
11:25am - 11:40am: ROR Parade
We are looking forward to the return of the ROR Parade which feature a combination of well-known former racehorses that have been retrained in a second career together with notable success stories of horses excelling in a different discipline after retiring from racing. Equine heroes who will be parading include Gold Cup winning Coneygree, Grand National winning Pineau Du Re, Smad Place, Zarkandar, Annacotty, Minella Rebellion, Un Temps Pout Tout, Saphir Du Rheu, Thomas Crapper, and Wayward Prince.
11.45am-12.05pm: Q&A with Kaleb Cooper
Don't miss Kaleb Cooper from Amazon Prime Video's Clarkson's Farm, who will be doing a Q&A in the parade ring at 11.45am.
12.10pm-12.30pm: The Bremont Great War Display Team
The Bremont Great War Display Team are a group of highly experienced pilots who display replica World War One aircraft in a safe, they carefully replicate how aircraft were flown during the Great War over the trenches of Northern France and Belgium. (this display will take place over the course - head to the front of the stands for the best seat in the house)
13.50pm: Hounds Parade
Always a spectacle, this year we are pleased to be welcoming a number of packs to the racecourse for our Hound Parade led by the Cotswold.
and after racing...
Finish the day on a high and head to the Centaur where Radio 1 Chris Stark will be performing a live DJ set from 4.15pm - 5.15pm (approximately).
For The November Meeting tickets, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/the-november-meeting
We are just 2 weeks away from The November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse, an unmissable three-day meeting at the Home of Jump Racing.
This is where the magic really starts.
Countryside Day launches The November Meeting in true Cheltenham style on Friday 12 November.
Featuring six excellent races, including The Paddy Power Handicap Chase, which was won by Magic Saint in 2020, and The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase, it's a day that is jam-packed with top class Jump racing.
The Hipcats will be roaming around the Club/Tatts enclosure entertaining you with their Jazz music. Make sure you head to the Village where The Lucky 15's will be playing in between races!
Finish the day on a high and head to the Centaur where Chris Stark (from BBC Radio 1) will be joining us to perform a live DJ set from 4.30pm - 5.30pm.
Paddy Power Day returns on Saturday 13 November, and it's a day that simply can't be missed, with The Chip Shop Boys ready to entertain you after racing in the Centaur from 4.15pm - 5.15pm.
Paddy Power Day welcomes seven incredible races including the iconic Paddy Power Gold Cup.
The likes of Imperial Commander and Al Ferof have won the race down the years, but in 2020 it was Coole Cody that took home the glory for jockey Tom O'Brien and trainer Evan Williams.
The November Meeting Sunday returns on Sunday 14 November, and as our only Sunday fixture of the season, it's one that is famed for our world-class free Family Fun and entertainment for Club/Tatts ticket holders.
The Family Fun zone, situated in marquees M10 and M11 will provide a safe space for your tribe to let off steam. The children’s TV character Bing will be making personal appearances throughout the day and you can find out more info in our Family Fun tab above. Don’t forget that U18’s go free!
There's plenty to enjoy out on the track as well with six thrilling races, including the feature race of the day in the shape of the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.
The Shunter won the 2020 renewal, ridden by Robbie Power and trained by Emmet Mullins, before going on to glory at The Festival™.
Book your tickets now - www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/the-november-meeting
Today marks six months until The Festival™ returns to Cheltenham Racecourse.
Enjoy four incredible action-packed days of racing, featuring 14 Grade One races across four seven-racecards as the best horses, trainers and jockeys go head to head.
This year's festival was dominated by the Irish horses with Rachael Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead, both having unforgettable weeks.
Tickets for The Festival™ are on sale now.
Cheltenham-based charity WellChild has announced that almost £200,000 was raised at the Cheltenham Festival last week.
The voluntary-funded charity for seriously ill children was an official supporter of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in a new charity partnership with Jockey Club and Cheltenham Racecourse.
WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer has thanked the sport in an open letter below.
To the racing community,
Quite simply, Thank You! Last week The Festival at Cheltenham was run in support of WellChild thanks to a ground-breaking partnership created by The Jockey Club and supported by thousands of people from across the racing community.
Like so many of you, I watched the outstanding Festival coverage on ITV which, through host and WellChild Ambassador Ed Chamberlin along with fellow Ambassadors Oli Bell and Sir AP McCoy and the whole team, allowed the WellChild message to reach millions of people around the world.
Ed, the team at The Jockey Club, and others close to WellChild had told us in the build up to The Festival just how generous and warm the racing community is – but even that didn’t prepare us for the overwhelming response we have had over the past few days and weeks, an incredible and much-needed boost at such an important time.
WellChild is a voluntary-funded charity based in Cheltenham. We work across the UK with some of the country’s the most seriously ill children and young people. Like so many other organisations, the Covid-19 pandemic hit us hard, threatening more than 60 per cent of our regular income and creating unprecedented demand from families caring for children with exceptional health needs.
A remarkable number of people have reached out in the past week, and we are close to £200,000 already raised from The Festival partnership (and counting) – all of which will go towards the support services we have in place for some of the most vulnerable in our society.
From everyone at WellChild, we can’t thank the racing community enough for coming together to support us in this way and making such an incredible impact for thousands of families. The legacy of this partnership will last for many years to come.
WellChild Chief Executive
You can see all the incredible work that WellChild do and donate by visiting their website - www.wellchild.org.uk
You can now buy tickets for the Cheltenham Festival that takes place from the 15th to the 18th March 2022.
Enjoy four incredible action-packed days of racing, featuring 14 Grade One races across four seven-racecards as the best horses, trainers and jockeys go head to head.
This year's festival was dominated by the Irish horses with Rachael Blackmore, Henry De Bromhead and Willie Mullins who all had a hugely successful week.
Visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/the-festival/ to secure your tickets.
On the eve of the Cheltenham Festival, we go the brilliant Harry (@shakermakers over on Instagram) to mix us up a cocktail using the brand new Racing Gin from The Burford Distilling Company.
"BEFORE THE ROAR"
50ml Racing Gin
40ml Fresh Blood Orange Juice
15ml Rosemary Simple Syrup
10ml Fresh Lime Juice.
Add it all to a shaker, shake hard with ice.
Double strain into a rocks glass over ice.
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.”
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
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.”
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
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 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/
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.
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.
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.