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Tuesday 13 March 2018

Your Guide to the Cheltenham Festival 2018

Located at Prestbury, Gloucester, England, Cheltenham Racecourse is among the leading sites for horse racing events in Britain. The sporting facility is widely renowned for hosting the Cheltenham Festival every March. The annual occasions features Grade 1 races that include the Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup, World Hurdle, and Queen Mother Champion Chase. These prominent Cheltenham races attract hundreds of owners and trainers from all over Britain and are among the key racing events that bring together a large number of sporting champions and tens of thousands of horse racing enthusiasts from Gloucester and beyond the British borders. 

Located a short distance below the Cotswold Hills escarpment, the racecourse has a stunningly scenic appearance. Its splendour is perhaps the chief reason as to why this racing venue receives a large number of attendants. Statistics for the average number of fans for a single event is an estimated 67,500 – one of the largest in the whole of Britain. The racecourse has their own railway station, despite the fact that it is not connected to the national railway network.  

Cheltenham Racecourse has two courses that stand alongside each other – the Old Course and the New Course. The New Course has precarious downhill fencing and a fairly longer run-in for steeplechase while the Old Course’s run-in is shorter and it’s not as tricky. The two courses have most of their hurdles at the start with only two hurdles toward the end.

Hospitality and Attractions:

Cheltenham Racecourse boasts a wide range of multi-million-pound amenities for patrons. In 2014, the racecourse completed £17-million pound development, featuring several state-of-the-art facilities that transformed the initial appearance of Cheltenham Racecourse. As a result of these recent redesigning, the racing venue is categorised as one of the largest horse racing facilities in Britain. Its wide selection of racing and hospitality packages are unmatched by many other similar sporting amenities in the country and even Europe as a whole.

The scenic racecourse is home to hundreds of outstanding sightseeing attractions. To cater for the diverse range of patrons, and sightseers from the entire world, the racecourse offers many key hospitality services that very few horse racing facilities in Britain can rival. Holst, the famous composer of “The Planets” was born around the Clarence Road in the northern part of the town.

For those interested in the history of the popular racecourse, the Hall of Fame and the Whitewall Gallery will provide an insightful glimpse into its rich and colourful past. In addition to these, there are other smaller galleries that not only tell the unique story of this internationally renowned sporting facility but the whole of Gloucester. Featuring well-stocked museums that tell the unique story of the globally influential racing venue and its surrounds, Cheltenham is thus a frequent destination for horse racing holiday makers and tourists from the entire world. 
With accommodation and dining facilities put up to cater for both fundamental and leisure needs of trainers and tourists, Cheltenham Racecourse is simply the place to be. Some of the most notable places that offer a taste of this racecourse include the Cineworld Cheltenham, The Gardens Gallery, Leisure- at-Cheltenham, Painswick Rocco Garden, among many others.

In a nutshell, the impressive amenities for dining, accommodation, and recreation combined make this racecourse a top favourite to race fans, trainers, patrons, sightseers, and the general public. Although comparatively expensive, Cheltenham’s entertainment and basic hospitality and social services can be savoured by both well-off visitors and people traveling on a budget. Ranging from tasty foreign and indigenous cuisines to well prepared alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, the area provides at least something for everyone. Regardless of your personal tastes and preferences, Cheltenham Racecourse has the best of everything to meet every individual’s needs. As already mentioned, the horse riding facility is simply the place to be, regardless of the season. 

Admission Procedures:

Cheltenham Racecourse offers a wide selection of booking options. The vast range of choices enables you to get the best out of your race day. As you choose the best ticket and packages, go through the different categories in order to pick an appropriate option that not only fits within your personal budget but also provides the desired levels of entertainment and basic services. For people who may not have the means to pay for the individual entrance package, the group booking option would be an ideal choice. Group tickets are a prudent way to save your money while enjoying a fabulous experience at Cheltenham Racecourse. Further, for every group of more than 15 individuals, there are wonderful ticket discounts that further bring down your overall spending at the prestigious sporting venue.
Further, the ticket prices at these international sporting grounds are also determined by the age of the people attending. For instance, young people who are below 18 years are freely admitted into the racing venue. As such, your ticket expenditure will not increase if you take young children with you. However, it is imperative to note that festival full admissions only apply to children who are past the age of 5. Additionally, there are concessional entrance prices for young people aged between 18 and 24 years. However, these concessional prices will vary from one event to another. Special tickets also vary depending on the sporting season/time of the year. Note that proof of age is required before free and special tickets are awarded to young people. 

Moreover, Cheltenham Racecourse offers a number of private box options for visitors. Offering a vivid view of the racecourse, the private box option gives patrons to be close to the parade ring in a chalet. The Course facing option costs £145 per person. It provides a great combination of luxury and convenience which accords a fun memorable day, whether with other guests or alone. Other excellent private box selections include the Non Course Facing whose price is £125 per person, the Long Run Boxes for £360 per person, and the Hi-Lux Chalet choice which goes for £6800 per box. Although relatively more expensive, these separately paid-for options give you the chance to watch events at a secure closeness of horses and jockeys. 

Those entering the racecourse can also pay for the accommodation and dining facilities inside the sporting grounds. The great food and grand racing experience at Cheltenham Racecourse is one of its most thrilling aspects. The exquisite dishes and a stunning retinue of leisure activities are a singular treat that patrons will hardly find any other similar racing venues all over England and Europe at large. Note that the restaurant hospitality packages for amenities found within the sporting site are fairly more expensive that those found outside. Nonetheless, the extra fun and quality services they offer are worth the additional pounds visitors pay.

Among the restaurants inside the venue include the Panoramic Restaurant Package (from £125) and the National Hunt Room Package (from £145). These two packages are normally booked to capacity ahead of key fixtures. As such, it is essential to do your booking in time so that you are not left out. You may contact the support personnel via email or on their website to book a place at these first-class facilities in Cheltenham. Packages can also be booked by telephoning the management and paying your booking fees in advance. Nevertheless, be careful to confirm your ability to attend on the specified dates as the booked places cannot be sold to other persons. In a similar vein, refunds may attract some deductions as processing fee. 


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Furthermore, Cheltenham Racecourse has gifting options for both patrons and visitors. This great opportunity offers racing enthusiasts a chance to extend racing gifts to friends and family. Not only do you enjoy the possibility to appreciate those you love with a racing treat but also earn R4R points for doing so. A Jockey Club Gift Card makes for a fitting racing memento whose impact lasts the whole year. Depending on your financial ability, gifts cards can be acquired at denominations of £10, £20, £50 and £100. Note that your gift card can be used on the phone or online to buy tickets and hospitality services ahead of fixtures. It is a highly convenient way to book a place either at the main course or in the accommodation and dining section before they run out. 

The Jockey Club’s 15 Racecourses include key meetings such as the Investec Derby, Cheltenham Festival, William Hill King George Winter Festival, The QIPCO Guineas, and Crabbie’s Grand National. Cheltenham’s popular fixtures include family days, ladies days, music nights, festivals, as well as the usual race days for the general public. These meetings attract thousands of attendants from the local community and patrons as well racing fanatics and sports tourists from far-off corners of the world. These routine meetings are signature seasonal highlights that give Cheltenham a famously unique attention and influence that make it stand out from other racecourses in Britain. The highly publicized gatherings are shown on major television channels and broadly covered by the print media both locally and internationally. 

Using your racing gift card, you can also purchase exclusive tours of the National Stud. The National Stud first opened its gates in the 1970’s, and has remained a top favorite to thousands of racing adherents ever since. Again, the National Stud remains the sole commercial farm that allows individuals, small groups, and large parties an opportunity to view the privy intricacies of a working Thoroughbred Stud Farm. For every gift card bought, the purchaser earns up to 3 R4R in a royalty program that seeks to encourage fans and racers to tour Cheltenham horse riding grounds. If you would like to recognize members of Cheltenham Racecourse staff, you can use the Jockey Club Gift Card to reward them either out of a charitable heart or for exemplary service. 

Racecourse Committee:

Cheltenham Racecourse is run by a seven-member committee. Robert Waley-Cohen succeeded Lord Vestey as the committee chairman in 2011 after The Festival in which his horse registered a resounding victory during the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Christopher Hodgson was appointed a committee member in 1993, and has been in the management team that tracks Jockey Club Racecourses since 2005. Other distinguished members of the top managing body include Rupert Sweeting, Lisa Hancock, William Rucker, and Sir Richard Stagg KCMG. Each of these prominent members is tasked with specific responsibilities in the administration of the racecourse. Most of the top administration officials have served for at least more than four years and replacements or resignations from the Cheltenham managerial board are reasonably rare.

Owners & Trainers:

Nothing matches the thrill of having a runner at Cheltenham Racecourse. The Festival particularly offers trainers an extraordinary racing experience on the track. The Cheltenham’s team of dedicated staff are there make sure that Owner’s visits run smoothly. Ranging from managing enclosure access to distribution of badges and distribution of trophies, the support personnel always do a thoroughly commendable job to see to it that visitors enjoy an optimally rewarding experience at the racing grounds. Racers and trainers will be received at the gates and taken through the hassle-free procedures at the grounds to the very last registration requirement and activity. Owners are offered two car park labels, four Owners’ and Trainers’ badges, four admission tickets, among other requisite details. In addition, Owners of declared runners and Trainers are treated to private lunching facilities within Cheltenham Racecourse. These two categories can also book four complimentary luncheons and afternoon tea in the exclusive Tattersalls Owners’ & Trainers’ Pavilion – located slightly below the Parade Ring near the Tented Village. Note that admission into this facility is done through a wristband identification which is provided at the reception desk.