Cheltenham Festival 2023: when does horse-racing festival start - full schedule and how to watch on TV

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Everything you need to know ahead of Cheltenham Festival 2023

Four extraordinary days of racing will return once more as the Cheltenham Festival begins this week. The week of horse-racing festivities will begin with Champions Day - a day to celebrate the return of jump racing’s great festival and reigning and future champions will reunite, each hoping to carve their name into a star-studded wall of jump racing greats.

As the week continues, with St Patrick’s Day fast approaching, Thursday will present an opportunity to celebrate with Irish passion raising the rafters and horses hoping to put on a special show ahead of Friday’s famous Gold Cup day - the jewel in Jump Racing’s crown.

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With only a few hours to go before the festivities commence, here is all you need to know about when the racing will kick off and how to keep up-to-date with the action.

When is Cheltenham Festival?

The Festival will start on Tuesday 14 March 2023 and will conclude with Gold Cup day, which takes place on Friday 17 March 2023. Here is the full schedule (all times are GMT):

Day One: Champion Day

  • The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race - 1.30pm
  • The porting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase - 2.10pm
  • The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase - 2.50pm
  • The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy - 3.30pm
  • The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race - 4.10pm
  • The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race - 4.50pm
  • The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup - 5.30pm
History maker Rachael Blackmore will return to Gloucestershire this weekHistory maker Rachael Blackmore will return to Gloucestershire this week
History maker Rachael Blackmore will return to Gloucestershire this week | Getty Images

Day 2: Festival Wednesday

  • The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race - 1.30pm
  • The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase - 2.10pm
  • The Coral Cup Hurdle - 2.50pm
  • The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase - 3.30pm
  • The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase - 4.10pm
  • The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup - 4.50pm
  • The Weatherbys Champion Bumper - 5.30pm

Day 3: St Patrick’s Thursday

  • The Turners Novices’ chase - 1.30pm
  • The Pertemps Network Final - 2.10pm
  • The Ryanair Steeple Chase - 2.50pm
  • The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle - 3.30pm
  • The Magners Plate - 4.10pm
  • The Jack de Bromhead Mares Novices’ Hurdle - 4.50pm
  • Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup - 5.30pm

Day 4: Gold Cup Day

  • The JCB Triumph Hurdle - 1.30pm
  • The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race - 2.10pm
  • The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race - 2.50pm
  • The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase - 3.30pm
  • The St James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunter’s Steeple Chase - 4.10pm
  • The Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeple Chase - 4.50pm
  • Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle - 5.30pm

How to buy tickets for Cheltenham Festival

Tickets for each day and for all enclosures, including Club enclosure, Tattersalls Enclosure and Best Mate Enclosure are still available and can be purchased from the Jockey Club website. Prices start from £55.

How to watch the Cheltenham Festival

For those not attending the event, fans can tune into ITV in order to watch the action from Cheltenham. ITV will be broadcasting the first five races of each day’s racing. The coverage will be available on ITV One and on ITVX for those hoping to stream.

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What is the weather like in Cheltenham this week?

According to The Met Office, Tuesday and Friday look to be the better days to attend the festival based on weather. Tuesday is set to be around 7C with little chance of precipitation while both Wednesday and Thursday offer gloomier prospects with the chance of rain up to 50% each afternoon.

The temperature will be around 8C on Wednesday and 12C on Thursday while Friday will see temperatures rise again to 14C. Sun is expected but could well be interupted by showers with the chance of rain around 40%.

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