The most prestigious racing jump event of the year, The Cheltenham Festival has arrived (10-13 March), marking the start of the social season.
Each year over 260,000 people flock to The Jockey Club for four days of horse racing, live music, food and drink. Horses are made heroes and reputations of top jockeys are on the line. Champions return to retain their crown, while others battle to steal the limelight. It’s a week of drama and high emotion, with moments of pure theatre thrown in for good measure. There’s plenty to enjoy off the track too: from shopping to restaurants to entertainment. Here’s everything you need to know about The Cheltenham Festival 2020, presented by Magners.
The festival is held at Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Road, Cheltenham, GL50 4SH. It’s a 5-minute drive from the town centre.
The festival takes place from 10-13 March 2020. Gates open at The Festival every day at 10.30am. The first race is at 1.30pm, and the last race at 5.30pm. Each day there is a feature race at 3.30pm, including The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase on Friday 13 March.
- Day One: Featuring the Unibet Champion Hurdle
- Day Two: Featuring the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
- Day Three: Featuring the Ryanair Chase
- Day Four: Featuring the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup
Incredible horses are set to run – don’t miss Tiger Roll in the Cross Country on Wednesday or Altior in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Friday’s Gold Cup is set to be another spectacular steeplechase as Al Boum Photo takes to the stage to retain his crown.
The dining options at the festival are world class, with over 45,000 meals being plated up over the four days and a fantastic 3,500 catering team taking part each day. In true British style over 9,000 gallons of tea and coffee are consumed, with nine tons of locally produced potatoes and five tons of locally sourced salmon devoured throughout the week. Local produce is in fact at the heart of the festival’s catering, with up to 70 percent of the fruit & vegetables coming from within the Cotswolds region and 100 percent of the cheese produced within 50 miles of Cheltenham. What’s more, the entirety of the afternoon tea selection is quintessentially ‘best of British’.
Award-wining venues include The Horse and Groom Pub, a relaxed and informal spot which overlooks the final two fences of the racecourse, and Theatre@ The Festival, which offers fine dining and unrivalled views from the third floor of the premium course suites. Elsewhere visitors can dine in the company of the iconic Roux family at Chez Roux, one of the most prestigious restaurants at the festival hosted by the world-renowned Albert Roux, his son Michel Roux Jr. and granddaughter Emily. The Champions Walk Restaurant, meanwhile, offers great views of the horses as they move between the Parade Ring and the course, alongside a menu focused around local Cornish produce.
New for 2020 is The Park, a hive of fun offering live music and entertainment throughout the festival. Guests can expect DJ sets from the likes of Nick Grimshaw, Laura Whitmore, Roman Kemp and Marvin Humes, alongside lively bars showing the racing and plenty of delicious street food.
C&TH is thrilled to be the official media partner of The Orchard, which returns to the festival for its second year. Situated in the heart of the Tented Village and open to Club Enclosure ticket holders, it will be home to brands such as Boodles, Nyetimber and Bentley, offering top-class entertainment and unqiue experiences for racegoers. Delicious cocktails will be served at the Glenfarclas Cocktail Bar, whilst Fine Wine Partners will be offering perfectly chilled wine to accompany the race-watching; it’s thirsty work, after all. Why not go the extra mile and delight in booking one of The Orchard’s exclusive Pods, new to festival this year, complete with a private balcony and available to hire for 12 up to 20 guests.
The Jockey Club Cheltenham and South West regional director, Ian Renton said: ‘We’re incredibly excited to show racegoers this fantastic area and are proud with how much it has develop since last year. We work so closely with the brands involved and they have some amazing things for you to see, do and of course buy during The Festival™. We’re all set for a fantastic festival next month.’
Tickets for the festival are on sale from £37. Book at thejockeyclub.co.uk