28 races take place across the four-day festival, with 7 races featured each day. Some of these are more esteemed than others, and they are known as Championship Races. In total there are 4 Championship races, one each day. They are:
Tuesday - Champion Hurdle 15:30 (3:30)
The main race of day one is the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy, which is run over a length of 2 miles and half a furlong. It is the fourth race of the meeting and for many it signifies the fact that the festival is in full swing.
In recent years, the race has produced some prolific winners such as Buveur d’Air, who won it back-to-back in 2017 and 2018. Similarly, Honeysuckle also claimed back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022. Other recent winners include Faugheen (2015), Annie Power (2016) and Constitution Hill, who won last year.
In terms of the betting trends for this race, trainers to keep an eye on include Nicky Henderson, who has won it a total of nine times, including five times since 2010. It’s also worth looking out for horses owned by J.P. McManus, as he has won this race nine times.
Wednesday - Queen Mother Champion Chase 15:30 (3:30)
Day two features the 2-mile-long Queen Mother Champion Chase. As with all Championship races, it’s the fourth race on the card. It also offers an eye-watering purse of £400,000. Altior famously won this race in both 2018 and 2019, and this feat was followed by Energumene, who claimed the crown in both 2022 and 2023.
When looking at the betting trends of recent years one trainer stands out from his counterparts: Nicky Henderson. He’s had three winners in the last decade and six overall. Henry de Bromhead and Paul Nicholls also have relatively good records in this race in recent years.
Thursday - The Stayers’ Hurdle 15:30 (3:30)
The feature race on Thursday is The Stayers’ Hurdle, which is run over a distance of 3 miles. This race has produced some legendary horses in the past. Most notably, it was won in four consecutive years by Big Buck’s. Since, it has also been won twice by Flooring Porter.
Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer in this race in recent years. He trained Big Buck’s before all four of his wins. The now retired Ruby Walsh has five wins as a jockey.
Friday - Cheltenham Gold Cup 15:30 (3:30)
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the biggest prize on offer at the Cheltenham Festival. It features the largest purse at £625,000 and it’s the race that everyone wants to win.
The fact that only Al Boum Photo has won the race more than once in the last 10 years shows you how highly competitive it is. That said, the duo of Paul Townend and Willie Mullins have won three out of the last five Gold Cups.