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The Festival 2018 - updated statistics

Press Release 23rd March 2018 Cheltenham

For full media pack, containing updated jockey, trainer & leading owner statistics, please click HERE

The Festival was staged this year at Cheltenham from Tuesday, March 13 through to Friday, March 16 with a record total attendance of 262,637 over the four days. 

Ian Renton, Regional Director, The Jockey Club South West, said at the conclusion of The Festival (Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 16): "It's been a tremendous week with brilliant racing, even on soft and heavy ground.

"There have been plenty of memorable finishes and I'm delighted that we have attracted a record attendance [262,637] for the entire Festival, with today sold out in advance again.

"It's an event that is getting better and better, and we now have the facilities to match the quality of the racing.

"The team here has been brilliant in coping with the conditions leading up to the meeting - the groundstaff did an unbelievable job.

"Similarly, it's been pretty tricky out in the car parks. It won't have been a particularly happy experience parking cars in the conditions, but the team have put in a mass effort to get vehicles in and out.

"We have up to 7,000 staff working here today, we bought in seven miles of trackway and many hundreds of tons of stone, and on Wednesday we even had a complete team working on a new road to give access to a car park.

"To see Native River and Might Bite competing in such a great race for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup was wonderful, and for Richard Johnson, Britain's champion jockey, to come out on top was no less than he deserved. Also great credit must go to the Irish - Michael O'Leary [racehorse owner], Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins, are but three who have had the most wonderful meeting.

"The Irish have had the success they deserved, but we have witnessed great training and riding performances all week.

"A wonderful aspect of The Festival is its ability to give everyone a chance of glory. There have been successes for small trainers, women jockeys and young jockeys at the start of their careers - The Festival can put them at the top. I'm looking forward to The Festival 2019 already."

DAY/YEAR 2018 2017 2016 2015
FRIDAY 70,684 70,160 70,242 68,957
THURSDAY 66,384 66,200 65,544 60,495
WEDNESDAY 58,959 57,681 57,093 55,359
TUESDAY 66,110 66,019 67,700 63,249
Totals 262,637 260,060 260,579 248,050
new record figures in bold

The Holland Cooper Leading Jockey Award went to Davy Russell for the first time. The popular 38-year-old partnered four winners at The Festival 2018, including G1 successes on Presenting Percy in the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase on the Wednesday, Ladies Day, and aboard Balko Des Flos in the Ryanair Chase on St Patrick's Thursday.

Russell narrowly edged out 18-year-old Jack Kennedy for The Festival riding honours. Kennedy also rode a quartet of winners across the four days, but lost out on second places.

It was the most successful year ever for female jockeys at The Festival, with four wins.

Lizzie Kelly created history by becoming the first female professional to score at The Festival when capturing the Ultima Handicap Chase on the Tuesday, Champion Day, aboard Coo Star Sivola.

Bridget Andrews was the second female professional to succeed at The Festival on Mohaayed in the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle on Gold Cup Day.

Amateurs Katie Walsh (her third win at The Festival) and Harriet Tucker (on her first ride at The Festival & overcoming a dislocated shoulder) were also on the scoreboard in the G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Ladies Day) and the St. James's Place Foxhunter (Gold Cup Day) respectively.

The first of the 14 women to have enjoyed success in the saddle at The Festival was Caroline Beasley, who took the 1983 Foxhunter Chase on Eliogarty.

The Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award went to Gordon Elliott for the second successive year in 2018. Elliott recorded eight winners across the four days, equalling the record haul established by Willie Mullins in 2015.

Mullins himself enjoyed seven winners this year, which enabled him to overhaul Nicky Henderson as the most successful trainer of all-time at The Festival with 61 successes.

Henderson's two winners in 2018 were in a couple of the feature races, with a seventh G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle through Buveur D'Air and a fifth G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase courtesy of Altior.

Contested for the second time in 2018, the NetJets Leading Owner Award went to Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud for the second successive year, with a sparkling seven winners, among them four G1 victories including the Ryanair Chase with the Henry de Bromhead-trained Balko Des Flos.

J P McManus, who had two winners during the week, remains as the most successful owner ever at The Festival, with 54 victories, with Gigginstown House Stud on 26.

The Festival 2019 runs from Tuesday, March 12 to Friday, March 15. Tickets are available to purchase now online at

Winners - The Festival 2018

Champion Day, Tuesday, March 13

1.30pm G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle
SUMMERVILLE BOY (Roger Brookhouse) Tom George 6-11-07 Noel Fehily 9/1

2.10pm G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase
FOOTPAD (Simon Munir & Isaac Souede) Willie Mullins IRE 6-11-04 Ruby Walsh 5/6 Fav

2.50pm G3 Ultima Handicap Chase
COO STAR SIVOLA (Babbit Racing) Nick Williams 6-10-10 Lizzie Kelly (3) 5/1 Fav

3.30pm G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle
BUVEUR D'AIR (J P McManus) Nicky Henderson 7-11-10 Barry Geraghty 4/6 Fav

4.10pm G1 OLBG Mares'Hurdle
BENIE DES DIEUX (Susannah Ricci) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-05 Ruby Walsh 9/2

4.50pm G2 National Hunt Amateur Riders' Novices' Chase
RATHVINDEN (Ronnie Bartlett) Willie Mullins IRE 10-11-06 Mr Patrick Mullins 9/2

5.30pm Listed Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase
MISTER WHITAKER (Tim Radford) Mick Channon 6-11-02 Brian Hughes 13/2

Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 14

1.30pm G1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
SAMCRO (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 6-11-07 Jack Kennedy 8/11 Fav

2.10pm G1 RSA Insurance Novices' Chase
PRESENTING PERCY (Philip Reynolds) Pat Kelly IRE 7-11-04 Davy Russell 5/2 Fav

2.50pm G3 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
BLEU BERRY (Luke McMahon) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-02 Mark Walsh 20/1

3.30pm G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
ALTIOR (Patricia Pugh) Nicky Henderson 8-11-10 Nico de Boinville Evens Fav

4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
TIGER ROLL (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 8-11-04 Keith Donoghue 7/1

4.50pm G3 Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
VENEER OF CHARM (Martin Wasylocha) Gordon Elliott IRE 4-11-00 Jack Kennedy 33/1

5.30pm G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper
RELEGATE (Paul McKeon) Willie Mullins IRE 5-10-12 Ms Katie Walsh 25/1

St Patrick's Thursday, March 15

1.30pm G1 JLT Novices' Chase
SHATTERED LOVE (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 7-10-11 Jack Kennedy 4/1

2.10pm G3 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
DELTA WORK (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 5-10-10 Davy Russell 6/1

2.50pm G1 Ryanair Chase
BALKO DES FLOS (Gigginstown House Stud) Henry de Bromhead IRE 7-11-10 Davy Russell 8/1

3.30pm G1 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle
PENHILL (Tony Bloom) Willie Mullins IRE 7-11-10 Paul Townend 12/1

4.10pm G3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase
THE STORYTELLER (Pat Sloan) Gordon Elliott IRE 7-11-04 Davy Russell 5/1 Fav

4.50pm G2 Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle
LAURINA (Sullivan Bloodstock Limited) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-07 Paul Townend 4/7 Fav

5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase
MISSED APPROACH (Alan & Andrew Turner) Warren Greatrex 8-11-05 Mr Noel McParlan 8/1

Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 16

1.30pm G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle
FARCLAS (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 4-11-00 Jack Kennedy 9/1

2.10pm G3 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle
MOHAAYED (June Watts) Dan Skelton 6-10-08 Bridget Andrews (3) 33/1

2.50pm G1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
KILBRICKEN STORM (A Selway & P Wavish) Colin Tizzard 7-11-05 Harry Cobden 33/1

3.30pm G1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup
NATIVE RIVER (Brocade Racing) Colin Tizzard 8-11-10 Richard Johnson 5/1

4.10pm St James's Place Foxhunter Chase
PACHA DU POLDER (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 11-12-00 Miss Harriet Tucker 25/1

4.50pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
BLOW BY BLOW (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 7-11-10 Donagh Meyler 11/1

5.30pm G3 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase
LE PREZIEN (J P McManus) Paul Nicholls 7-11-08 Barry Geraghty 15/2

BetBright Prestbury Cup

Great Britain 11
Ireland 17

The BetBright Prestbury Cup - Irish-trained successes at The Festival

2018-17 (28 races)
2017-19* (28 races)
2016-15 (28 races)
2015-13 (27 races)
2014-12 (27 races)
2013-14 (27 races)
2012-5 (27 races)
2011-13 (27 races)
2010-7 (26 races)
2009-9 (26 races)
2008-7 (25 races)
2007-5 (24 races)
2006-10 (24 races)
2005-9 (24 races)
2004-4 (20 races)
2003-6 (20 races)
2002-5 (20 races)
2000-3 (20 races)
1999-5 (20 races)
1998-4 (20 races)
1997-3 (20 races)
1996-7 (20 races)
1995-4 (20 races)
1994-3 (20 races)
1993-6 (20 races)
1992-2 (19 races)
1991-2 (18 races)
1990-2 (18 races)
1989-0 (18 races)
1988-1 (18 races)
1987-1 (18 races)
1986-4 (18 races)
1985-2 (18 races)
1984-4 (18 races)
1983-5 (18 races)
1982-6 (18 races)
1981-3 (18 races)
1980-4 (18 races)
1979-5 (18 races)
1978-6 (12 races**)
1977-7 (18 races)
1976-5 (18 races)
1975-5 (13 races***)

* Record, although The Festival was previously three days up until 2005. Prior to The Festival's extension to four days in 2005, the previous record was eight wins in 1958 (when 18 races were run).

** In 1978, the third day of The Festival was abandoned due to snow. The Triumph Hurdle and Gold Cup were subsequently run in April.

*** In 1975, waterlogging caused several races to be lost.


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