Cheltenham is known as the home of National Hunt racing and racing here is invariably of the highest standard, with the highlight of the year being the National Hunt Festival in March, for some of us the best race meeting of the year, anywhere in the world.

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Course Characteristics:

Cheltenham has a number of courses the main ones being the Old and New Courses, in addition there is a cross country course in the centre. The Old and New courses are left handed (anti-clockwise) whilst the cross country course meanders in all directions. The courses are hilly and there is a steep uphill run in, which can often result in a leading runner being caught by a fast finisher.

Cheltenham is a tricky course and it provides a tough challenge, the racing is invariably top draw so it is a course where quality shines. The third last fence is especially trappy. Horses who are adaptable and versatile tend to shine at the course.

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Admission (2013 prices):

There are three types of meetings at Cheltenham - Feature, Premier and, of course, The Festival. Each has a differing pricing structure.

Feature days operate a single main enclosure policy costing £20, £25 or £30, with the Best Mate enclosure open at some meetings for £10 or £15.

For Premier days a three enclosure policy is in operation with Club costing £30, Tattersalls £25 and the Best Mate enclosure £15. (At the Open meeting reserved seating will cost you £20 extra)

For the Festival a three enclosure policy is again in operation. For the first three days the costs are £75, £45 and £30 respectively increasing to £85, £65 and £45 on Gold Cup day, Friday tickets must be booked in advance. (Seating at the Festival ranges from an additional £25 through to £90 depending on the day and location)

Annual membership: £320 including Festival (plus £100 one-off enrolment fee), £150 excluding Festival (plus £75 one-off enrolment fee), £125 for seniors, excluding Festival (plus £25 one-off enrolment fee), Age 18-24 membership: £195 (includes Festival), Best Mate Enclosure: £160 (includes Festival)

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The course is situated 1 mile north of the town. There are numerous routes to the course and they are signposted from both the M5 and the A40 with generally good, although at times “subtle” signposting as you approach. At the Festival it is essential that you follow the recommended routes as volumes of traffic are heavy and there are delays, so ensure you arrive in plenty of time.

Ease of public transport access: Moderate (rail to Cheltenham then bus or taxi transfer)

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Suitability for the first time racegoer: goodpoor at the Festival)

Last Reviewed: January 2013

Web Site:

Telephone: 01242 513 014

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