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The Festival™ supporting WellChild

The opening day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival will kickstart four days of world-class racing on Tuesday 16 March 2021, with no fewer than four Grade One contests on the card.


The feature race is the Unibet Champion Hurdle over two miles, the first of five ‘Championship’ races at The Festival™. The yellow and gold colours of legendary owner JP McManus are synonymous with this race and he’s won each of the last four renewals, including with the mare Epatante last year. She’ll be back to defend her crown, while the 2017 and 2018 hero Buveur D’Air is back in business after more than 400 days away from the track.


The supporting card is a stellar one, with the curtain being raised by the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The ‘Cheltenham Roar’ may not be the same in 2021, but this race regularly produces a future star, as does the Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy. 


Also on the bill is the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle, a race with a knack for producing late drama like no other, while each of the Ultima Handicap Chase, the National Hunt Chase and the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle are all hugely competitive and intriguing affairs.  

Race Schedule


Start Times





The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race

2m abt ½f



The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase

abt 2m



The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

3m abt 1f



The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
(feature race)

2m abt ½f



The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race

2m abt 4f



The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race (Grade 3)

2m abt 4½f



The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Steeple Chase) (Grade 2)

3m abt 6f


TurfTrax IT Systems - Display Going Report Test

The next meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse will be the highlight of the Jump Racing season: the four days of The Festival™ supporting Wellchild from Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 March 2021.


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™ supporting WellChild 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™ supporting WellChild we will act accordingly.

The Cheltenham Festival - Be Ready

Stream The Preview Evening Live


Join Alice Plunkett, Sir Anthony McCoy, Ruby Walsh, and Festival ambassador Barry Geraghty as they share their top tips and ones to watch at this year's Festival™ supporting WellChild. 

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Enter to win

The Ultimate Cheltenham Festival 2022 Experience worth over £5,000, plus the chance to win amazing daily prizes from our partners.

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Our Jump Season Hub


This is your place for all the latest news, racecards, and competitions from Cheltenham Racecourse. 


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How to watch from home

Are you wondering how fans of the infamous sporting event can watch all the action from home? 

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Order A Luxury Hamper


Brought to you by British Fine Foods, why not enjoy the raceday at home with the choice of three exquisite hampers, all of which include award-winning food from artisan producers across the British Isles.

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watch How to ride the Unibet Champion Hurdle from barry Geraghty 

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About WellChild


WellChild is the national charity for sick children. Thousands of children and young people are living across the UK with serious health needs. Many spend months, even years in hospital because there is no support enabling them to leave. WellChild exists to give these children the best chance to thrive – properly supported at home, with their families.

About The Festival™

About The Festival™

Cheltenham Racecourse presents four days of world-class racing. Be part of the pinnacle Jump racing event of the year, an event with an atmosphere that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. 

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The Unibet Champion Hurdle

The feature race on Day One of The Cheltenham Festival, the Championship race for two-mile hurdlers and the highest-quality race of its type run anywhere in the world.

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Festival 2020 Highlights

History was made as Willie Mullins won the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the second consecutive year on Day Four. 

View Our Highlights

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