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Information update: Alterations at The Festival™ presented by Magners in 2019

Press Release 4th February 2019 Cheltenham

Monday, February 4, 2019 – Cheltenham Racecourse today announces some alterations to the running order on the first and last days of The Festival™ presented by Magners as well as the removal of the option for any horse to be declared to run twice during the four-day event, which is staged from Tuesday, March 12 to Friday, March 15 2019.

Running Order

On Champion Day (Tuesday, March 12), the sixth and seventh races will swap round, with the £70,000 Listed Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase becoming the sixth race on the card (4.50pm) and the £125,000 G2 National Hunt Chase now the seventh and final contest at 5.30pm. As the National Hunt Chase for novice chasers is restricted to amateur riders, this switch means that professional jockeys will be able to conclude their day one race earlier.

Similarly, on Gold Cup Day (Friday, March 15), the £110,000 G3 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase becomes the sixth race at 4.50pm, with the £70,000 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle the seventh and final race at 5.30pm. Thus, races open to senior professional jockeys will be concluded with the sixth race, which will help in the operation of the Weighing Room and the presentation of the Leading Jockey Award.

St Patrick’s Thursday (March 14) already concludes with the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase for amateur riders, so the alternations announced today mean that three of the four days of The Festival now finish with a race for either amateur or conditional jockeys. 

Ian Renton, Regional Director of the south west region of The Jockey Club commented, “We already have an amateurs’ race as the last on the card on Thursday, which works well allowing the professional jockeys to conclude their day after the sixth race, and we will now have a similar order of running, with the National Hunt Chase on the Tuesday and the Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Hurdle on Friday as the concluding races.”

The revised full order of running for The Festival can be found at the end of this information update.

Declaration Arrangements

From 2019 onwards, connections will not be able to declare a horse to run in any race at The Festival if the same horse has already been declared for another race or has already competed in another race over the four days.

This development is an extension of the change introduced in 2016, which prevented horses from being declared to run in any of the 10 Festival handicaps if they had already been declared for another Festival handicap which had yet to take place.

With all races at The Festival having 48-hour declaration stages from 2018 onwards, the chance of horses appearing twice became very slim and the change announced today definitively rules out the possibility of horses running twice over the four days.

Cheltenham Racecourse believes this change to declaration arrangements will provide greater certainty as to the horses running in all of the 28 Festival races for racegoers, the media, the off-course betting market and the international audience, and that the move is also appropriate given its commitment to the highest standards of equine welfare.

The Festival™ presented by Magners 2019 race programme

Champion Day - Tuesday, March 12 (Old Course) – prize money £1,175,000

1.30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y £125,000

2.10pm Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade1) 1m 7f 199y £175,000

2.50pm Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f £110,000

3.30pm Unibet Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y £450,000

4.10pm OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (registered as the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle) (Grade 1)2m 3f 200y £120,000

4.50pm Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) 2m 4f 44y £70,000

5.30pm National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase) (Grade 2) 3m 7f 147y £125,000

Ladies Day - Wednesday, March 13 (Old Course & Cross Country) – prize money £1,020,000

1.30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (registered as the Baring Bingham) 2m 5f £125,000

2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y £175,000

2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 5f £100,000

3.30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 99y £400,000

4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y £65,000

4.50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (registered as the Fred Winter) (Grade 3) 2m 87y £80,000

5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y £75,000

St Patrick’s Thursday - Thursday, March 14 (New Course) – prize money £1,195,000

1.30pm JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (registered as the Golden Miller) 2m 3f 166y £150,000

2.10pm Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 7f 213y £100,000

2.50pm Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) (registered as the Festival Trophy) (Grade 1) 2m 4f 127y £350,000

3.30pm Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y £325,000

4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 4f 127y £110,000

4.50pm Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 179y £90,000

5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase 3m 2f £70,000

Gold Cup Day - Friday, March 15 (New Course) – prize money £1,200,000

1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y £125,000

2.10pm Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y £100,000

2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (registered as the Spa Novices' Hurdle) 2m 7f 213y £125,000

3.30pm Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y £625,000

4.10pm St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2f 70y £45,000

4.50pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y £110,000

5.30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4f 56y £70,000

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse is situated in Prestbury on the northern outskirts of the historic spa town of Cheltenham. The Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world's pre-eminent Jump meeting. The Festival™ presented by Magners, which happens in March over four days every year, next takes place from Tuesday, March 12, to Friday, March 15, 2019 inclusive and tickets are on sale. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a stunning natural arena and offers the highest-quality action throughout the Jump season.

More information is available at and through Twitter (@CheltenhamRaces), Facebook and Instagram (@CheltenhamRaces).


About The Jockey Club

Cheltenham is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Festival™ presented by Magners and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences The Jockey Club offers through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny made goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 and today is the largest commercial group in Britain's second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and the charity, Racing Welfare. For more information, visit


If you need any information about racing at Cheltenham, please contact: Sophia Dale, Communications Manager - Jockey Club Racecourses South West 01242 537 683



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