What you need to know about 2021 Cheltenham Festival

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The Cheltenham Festival will go ahead as planned for the 2021 edition, although unlikely to happen with a full capacity.

This is the announcement from David Armstrong, chief executive of Racecourse Association, who in September said that it is “pretty unlikely we have full capacity at any racecourse this year”. Usually, more than 50,000 people attend the races each day of the festival.

The event is a meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom, having some of the biggest race money prizes, summing up to £4.5 million.

When, where and what is happening?

The horse racing festival will take place very near to the Cotswold countryside, at Cheltenham Racecourse, outside the historic spa town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It unfolds in March, from Tuesday the 16th till Friday the 19th, and it is one of the biggest such events, with a history of 160 years.

Among the attendees are members of the Royal Family. But the festival is also popular among Irish visitors, as it usually coincides with Saint Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated on March 17th.

During the event, there will be several Grade I races. Some of them are Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and Stayers’ Hurdle. They all start at 3.30 PM, local time, one in each day.

And the races attract many gamblers. The amount of money involved is huge, reaching up to hundreds of millions of British pounds. Gamblers can check the bets for the ante-post Cheltenham Festival and other sports betting odds at Unibet.

There are a lot of categories, and you can find all of them with odds from Unibet.

The favorites

The first big race is the Champion Hurdle, which takes place in the first day, on Tuesday. The favorite is Epatante, with +350 odds, followed by Abacadabras and Goshen, each with +600. Epatante, which is a 6 and a half years old bay mare, from France, won this year’s edition too.

Then is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, following on Wednesday. Chacun Pour Soi is the favorite, with +500 odds. Next are Altior (+800, winner in 2018 and 2019) and Defi Du Seuil (+900). Chacun Pour Soi is an 8 and a half years old French bay gelding.

The third important race is the Stayers’ Hurdle, happening on Thursday. Paisley Park is the favorite, with +700 odds, followed by Benie Des Dieux (+800), and Honeysuckle and Thyme Hill, with +1200 each. The 8 and a half years old Irish bay gelding Paisley Park is a veteran at Cheltenham, winning this race in 2019, and finishing it 7th this year.

Finally, the last day brings another big race, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Al Boum Photo is the favorite, with +500 odds. Following are Santini (+600), and Champ and Lostintranslation (+1200 each). Al Boum Photo is an 8 and a half years old French-bred dark bay gelding with a small white star, having won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2019 and 2020. This race also has the biggest prize money, which is £625,000.

The races will be split in two: The first two days will be run on the Old Course, while the last two days will be held on the New Course.

Regarding the atmosphere of the event, it is considered one of the most extraordinary racing events of the year, which electrifies the public. Also, having the best horses, jockeys, owners and trainers attend the event makes it one like no other. The atmosphere and the dress code are more relaxed at Cheltenham comparing to other similar occasions.

Last, but not least, the Cheltenham Racecourse was voted The Greatest Racecourse in the World by the Racing Post in 2019.