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2021 Cheltenham Festival Schedule – Dates, times and all four race cards

  • We take you through the schedule for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival
  • The Cheltenham Festival will begin on Tuesday 16th March, and end on the Friday
  • Race times are slightly different from what racing fans might be used to
  • We’ve got all the Cheltenham Festival schedule information you need
Cheltenham Festival gold cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup will be run at 3:05pm this year. (Getty)

The countdown to the 2021 Cheltenham Festival is well and truly on. Horse racing fans have less than a week to wait before “the greatest show on turf” hits our screens, and ITV Racing have secured the rights to show the first six races on all four days of this historic meeting.

Over the four days, ten Grade Ones will be handed out, along with several other Graded races and some lucrative handicap prizes. To fit in with television schedules, race times have been brought forward slightly in 2021, as you can see from the racecards below.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Schedule

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day One Race Card - Tuesday 16th March

1:20pmSupreme Novices' HurdleGrade One2m
1:55pmArkle Challenge Trophy Novice's ChaseGrade One2m
2:30pmUltima Handicap ChaseGrade Three Handicap3m
3:05pmChampion HurdleGrade One2m
3:40pmMares' HurdleGrade One2m 4f
4:15pmBoodles Juvenile Handicap HurdleGrade Three Handicap2m
4:50pmNational Hunt ChaseGrade Two3m 6f

The opening Tuesday at the Cheltenham Festival is known as Champion Day, and the Champion Hurdle is the main event on the card. Viewers will take in three further Grade Ones races in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the Arkle and the Mares’ Hurdle. 

The Ultima Handicap Chase and the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle also feature on the opening day’s schedule, before the National Hunt Chase rounds off the day one action.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day Two Race Card - Wednesday 17th March

1:20pmBallymore Novices' HurdleGrade One2m 5f
1:55pmBrown Advisory Novices' ChaseGrade One3m
2:30pmCoral Cup Handicap HurdleGrade Three Handicap2m 5f
3:05pmQueen Mother Champion ChaseGrade One2m
3:40pmCross Country ChaseClass Two Handicap3m 6f
4:15pmGrand Annual Handicap ChaseGrade Three Handicap2m
4:40pmChampion BumperGrade One2m

Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham is headlined by the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle opens the afternoon, with the Brown Advisory Chase following close behind. 

Punters will sink their teeth into the Coral Cup and the Grand Annual handicaps. The Cross County Chase and the Champion Bumper also feature on Wednesday’s card.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day Three Race Card - Thursday 18th March

1:20pmMarsh Novices' ChaseGrade One2m 4f
1:55pmPertemps Final Handicap HurdleListed Handicap3m
2:30pmRyanair ChaseGrade One2m 4f
3:05pmStayers' HurdleGrade One3m
3:40pmPaddy Power Plate Handicap ChaseGrade Three Handicap2m 4f
4:15pmMares' Novices' HurdleGrade Two2m 1f
4:40pmKim Muir Handicap ChaseClass Two Handicap3m 2f

Thursday is known as St Patrick’s day, with the oldest championship race at the Cheltenham Festival, the Stayers’ Hurdle serving as the main event. Day three opens with the Marsh Novices’ Chase, closely followed by the Pertemps Final and the Ryanair Chase.

The Paddy Power Plate and the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle follow the Stayers’ Hurdle. The last race on day three is the historic Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day Four Race Card - Friday 19th March

1:20pmTriumph HurdleGrade One2m
1:55pmCounty HurdleGrade Three Handicap2m
2:30pmAlbert Bartlett Novices' HurdleGrade One3m
3:05pmGold CupGrade One3m 2f
3:40pmHunter ChaseClass Two3m 2f
4:15pmMares' ChaseGrade Two2m 4f
4:40pmMartin Pipe Handicap HurdleClass Two Handicap2m 4f

The fourth and final day at the Cheltenham Festival features the flagship event in National Hunt racing, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Friday’s card features two further Grade Ones, the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and the Triumph Hurdle, which kicks off day four’s action.

The Hunters Chase follows the Gold Cup on Friday at the Cheltenham Festival. The County Hurdle will also be run on Gold Cup day, before the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle brings the curtain down on the meeting.

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