It’s that time of year when horse-racing punters nationwide begin to sharpen their focus, as the jump-racing season reaches the business end.
And there aren’t many bigger meetings than the annual Cheltenham Festival.
“As soon as the National Hunt season begins in earns – usually when the nights start drawing in – Cheltenham in March is in every big trainer’s mind,” said the Daily Mirror’s Newsboy, David Yates.
“The meeting has given us so many great champions and incredible stories down the years, and it’s the place where the connections of every chaser or hurdler would love to win.”
With the Gold Cup as its big draw, Cheltenham is quickly becoming the most hotly-anticipated event in the racing calendar.
Hordes of race-goers, jockeys, owners, trainers, and of course the horses themselves, will be preparing to descend upon Prestbury Park.
As the seasons climax approaches, we give you the run down of all you need to know before the event…
When does it start?
The festival will commence on Tuesday 13th March, with the first race set to go off at 13:30pm (GMT).
With seven races to get through on the opening day, starting off the proceedings will be the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race.
It’s a four-day feast of racing, with the event set to run until the last race ends shortly after 17:30pm (GMT) on Friday 16th.
Day One – Champion Day – Tuesday 13th March 2018
13:30 – The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race
14:10 – The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
14:50 – The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase
15:30 – The UniBet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
16:10 – The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Race
16:50 – The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
17:30 – The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
Day Two – Ladies Day – Wednesday 14th March 2018
13:30 – The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race
14:10 – The RSA Steeple Chase
14:50 – The Coral Cup Hurdle
15:30 – The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase
16:10 – The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase
16:50 – The Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race
17:30 – The Weatherbys Champion Bumper
Day Three – St. Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday 15th March 2018
13:30 – The JLT Novices’ Chase
14:10 – The Pertemps Network Final
14:50 – The Ryanair Steeple Chase
15:30 – The Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle
16:10 – The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
16:50 – The Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle
17:30 – The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase
Day Four – Gold Cup Day – Friday 16th March 2018
13:30 – The JCB Triumph Hurdle
14:10 – The Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle Race
14:50 – The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race
15:30 – The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase
16:10 – The St. James’s Place Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
16:50 – The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race
17:30 – The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
Unsurprisingly, tickets for one of racing’s showpiece events are in hot demand and short supply.
There are still some available though via the official Cheltenham festival website.
It’s the aim of the game, and you can be certain that plenty of cash will be wagered over the course of the week.
Over £150 million is expected to be gambled by punters trying to get lucky, and we’ve teamed up with bookmakers William Hill to bring you some of the odds and markets that might take your fancy. For more deals, you can also check out our William Hill promo codes.
But please remember – always gamble responsibly.
https://get.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co.uk%2Fsport%2Fhorse-racing%2Fwhen-cheltenham-festival-start-2018-11940867&cre=bottom&cip=65&tags=%5B%22Cheltenham%20Festival%22%2C%22Cheltenham%20racecourse%22%2C%22Racing%20tips%22%2C%22Horses%22%5D§ion=sportTuesday: Supreme Novices Hurdle
*All odds correct at time of publishing