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What to Expect at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

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Festival is arguably the most popular horse racing event in the world. Each year, thousands of enthusiasts visit Cheltenham to experience the thrill of the multi-day festival and enjoy all of its features.

The 2024 edition of this event will start on Tuesday (March 12) and will last until Friday (March 15). There will be plenty of things to look forward to and that is exactly what we will talk about in this article. We will list a few things that you and every other horse racing fan can expect.

Bets… Lots of Bets

First up, it is a well-known fact that Cheltenham is synonymous with betting. After all, betting is a huge part of the horse racing culture. There are plenty of on-site betting parlours where fans can wager on their favourites.

An interesting statistic regarding Cheltenham is that around 71% of the bets are placed on the favourites and 29% are placed on the non-favourites. Average winner odds are close to 12/1, but of course, the numbers vary from one race to another.

Even though on-site betting shops are a good way for you to experience the thrill, those who are looking to maximise their winnings usually turn to online bets. The reason why is that online bookmakers have fantastic coverage of the Cheltenham Festival and their odds are much higher.

To make things even better, you can pick among numerous Cheltenham offers for new customer and use the bonus funds to wager on any of the races during the 4-day event. The offers are one of the features that make online bookmakers so attractive and popular.

Whatever your preference is, you can expect everyone to wager at least once while the races take place.

100 Years of the Gold Cup

Cheltenham’s story began way back in 1924 and it is something that not only managed to stay alive but thrive in the next 100 years. Throughout this time, we were able to witness many great horses, races and jockeys such as Ruby Walsh take the courses and exceed all expectations.

In 2024, all of us will be lucky enough to witness the 100th anniversary of the Gold Cup. This is the most anticipated race in the event and it will take place on Friday. Although officials have not shared any details, they urged all fans to be present for something spectacular.

What we do know is that there will be special merchandise. To make things even better, The Gold Cup 100 Community Fund has been recently created as a way to help the community that lives where the festival takes place.

As for the celebration, we can only speculate that we will see various parades, visits from legends of the sport and much more.

Lots of Activities and Fancy Dress Codes

Those who have visited Cheltenham before will tell you how versatile and dynamic the event really is. The main focus may be the races, but there are tons of other things to do. Visiting local diners, pubs, restaurants, bars, spa breaks, live entertainment etc.

Interestingly enough, there are also dress codes in store for many of the races. Hence, you will always bump into people who wear classic tuxedos and dresses and they make the atmosphere all the more enjoyable.

Ladies usually wear nice dresses or costumes with hats that often have feathers. Gentlemen are seen with classic suits and caps.

If the races are the only thing that captures your attention, then you ought to get familiar with the schedule. The gates will open on Tuesday (March 12) at 10:30 am and the first race will take place at 1:30 pm. Each day will have 7 races and they will start at the following times:

  • 1:30 pm
  • 2:10 pm
  • 2:50 pm
  • 3:30 pm
  • 4:10 pm
  • 4:50 pm
  • 5:30 pm

There are several types of races each day (bumper, chase, hurdle). Additionally, each day has one standout race. For day 1, that race is The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1). Day 2 features The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase (Grade 1).

Day 3 has The Ryanair Steeple Chase (Grade 1) and Day 4 has The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase (Grade 1).

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