It’s the final dat at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival as race fans enjoy one of biggest occasions on the calendar.
There are no fans at famous course with last year’s edition among the final major sporting events to go ahead before the UK was plunged into its first national lockdown, but there has still been plenty of excitement.
Las year, Al Boum Photo and Paul Townend completed a stunning second consecutive victory in the showpiece event – The Gold Cup and big money has seen odds on another victory shorten.
Meanwhile, one punter took cashed out on a bet of around £250,000 for Envoi Allen – and it’s a good thing he did with the horse falling in the first race!
Here’s all you need to know about this year’s Cheltenham Festival…
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Cheltenham Festival: When is it?
The 2021 Cheltenham meet will get under way on Tuesday, March 16 with the Champion Hurdle being the headline race on Day One.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle will follow on the next two days before the festival culminates with The Gold Cup on Friday, March 19.
Racing will begin at 1:20pm each day with seven races held.
Cheltenham Festival: talkSPORT coverage
There will be four races a day live on the Hawksbee and Jacobs show on talkSPORT with Rupert Bell and Lizzie Kelly on commentary duty from the racecourse.
We’ll bring you all the showpiece races including the Champion Hurdle and The Gold Cup.
To tune in, click here for the live commentary stream or on the radio player below.
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The Gold Cup at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival is set to take place on Friday, March 19
Cheltenham Festival: Race schedule
Day One (Tuesday, March 16)
- 1.20pm – The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race – WINNER: Appreciate it
- 1.55pm – The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase – WINNER: Shiskin
- 2.30pm – The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase – WINNER: Vintage Clouds
- 3.05pm – The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy – WINNER: Honeysuckle
- 3.40pm – The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race – WINNER: Black Tears
- 4.15pm – The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race – WINNER: Jeff Kidder
- 4.50pm – The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup – WINNER: Galvin
Day Two (Wednesday, March 17)
- 1.20pm – The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race – WINNER: Bob Olinger
- 1.55pm – The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase – WINNER: Monkfish
- 2.30pm – The Coral Cup Hurdle – WINNER: Heaven Help Us
- 3.05pm – The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase – WINNER: Put The Kettle On
- 3.40pm – The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase – WINNER: Tiger Roll
- 4.15pm – The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup – WINNER: Sky Pirate
- 4.50pm – The Weatherbys Champion Bumper – WINNER: Sir Gerhard
Day Three (Thursday, March 18)
- 1.20pm – The Marsh Novices’ Chase – WINNER: Chantry House
- 1.55pm – The Pertemps Network Final – WINNER: Mrs Milner
- 2.30pm – The Ryanair Steeple Chase – WINNER: Allaho
- 3.05pm – The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle – WINNER: Flooring Porter
- 3.40pm – The Paddy Power Plate – WINNER: The Shunter
- 4.15pm – The Parnell Properties Mares Novices’ Hurdle – WINNER: Tellmesomethinggirl
- 4.50pm – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup – WINNER: Mount Ida
Day Four (Friday, March 19)
- 1.20pm – The JCB Triumph Hurdle – LIVE on talkSPORT
- 1.55pm – The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race – LIVE on talkSPORT
- 2.30pm – The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race – LIVE on talkSPORT
- 3.05pm – The WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase – LIVE on talkSPORT
- 3.40pm – The St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase
- 4.15pm – The Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeple Chase
- 4.50pm – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
Cheltenham Festival: Will there be fans?
Cheltenham organisers have confirmed that this year’s meet will be held behind closed doors and spectators will not be allowed in.
The racecourse bosses have had to take the decision due to the current government guidelines.
A Cheltenham Racecourse statement read: “Based on current Government restrictions, professional sport is able to continue under stringent health and safety protocols, without spectators present.
“In horseracing’s case this is vital to support the livelihoods of the many thousands of people who rely on the industry and for the welfare of the thousands of thoroughbred racehorses who live and train in Britain.
“This means that under current restrictions, The Festival will take place as a televised event, but sadly without spectators at the course. We continue to monitor Government guidance and should this change in advance of The Festival we will act accordingly.”