7 things to know about the Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the National Hunt racing calendar. A four-day festival of world class horse racing with the top jockeys and entertainment. Each year The Cheltenham Festival attracts crowds of around 260,000 spectators with 70,000 enjoying Gold Cup Day.

1)      What to wear – There is no official dressage code but mart, country clothing is advisable. Browns, greens, fur and tweed. As the festival is in March its important to be ready for any weather, warm coat, umbrella and comfortable shoes.

2)      Get there early – The festival draws in a large crowd and although the racing starts each day at 1.30pm, as a popular event it is recommended to get there when the gates open at 10.30 am.

3)      Visit the parade ring – the parade ring is your chance to look closer at the horses before they run. Try and pick a winner based on their strength and conformation or just the colour of the jockey silks….

4)      Cheltenham Shopping Village – The retail village at Cheltenham Festival boasts an extensive range of boutique shops from luxury homeware to bespoke tailoring, bags, belts, boots, hats and artwork.

5)      Food and drink – The festival provides the chance to explore a range of drinks and cuisine from soups and pies to tapas and champagne, there is something for everyone.

6)      See the Winners Enclosure – Cheer the winners into the winners enclosure. Soak up the atmosphere of the successful horse, jockey, trainers and owners whilst experiencing history where legends such a Best Mate, Kauto Star and Denman have previously stood.

7)      Ones to Watch – Friday 15th March is Cheltenham Gold Cup Day. 20 race horses will take on a course of 3m 2 ½ furlong with 22 jump fences. This year Native River is looking to defend his 2018 title with a strong field including Thistlecrack, Might Bite and Presenting Percy.

Keep up to date with all the action that is being shown throughout the day on ITV. However, if you are heading down to Gloucestershire have a great time and hold onto your hats in Storm Gareth! The Horse Exchange team will be enjoying the races at Cheltenham on Gold Cup Day.