Cheltenham Festival: When is Cheltenham 2021? Are fans allowed to attend?

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The Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner, with the 2021 meeting scheduled to take place between Tuesday March 16 and Friday March 19.

Here at Paddy Power we’re delighted to be offering non-runner money back on every single race at Prestbury Park, and it’s fair to say we cannot wait for the action to get underway.

Things will be slightly different this year due to coronavirus, with no fans on site to create that famous Cheltenham Roar, so we’ll have to be content watching from the comfort of home.

However, the basics remain the same – four jam-packed days of top-quality racing as the best of the best go head-to-head in the most anticipated event of the National Hunt calendar.

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Cheltenham Festival: When is Cheltenham 2021?

The Cheltenham Festival 2021 is a four-day meeting made up of 28 races – including 14 Grade 1 contests.

The action kicks off with Champion Day on Tuesday March 16. The seven-race card begins with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle before the Arkle Chase, Ultima Handicap Chase and the headline event – the Champion Hurdle. The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle, the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and the National Hunt Chase close out the day.

Next up is Ladies Day on Wednesday March 17 where the Queen Mother Champion Chase takes centre stage. That is preceded by the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, the Festival Novices’ Chase (formerly the RSA Chase) and the Coral Cup while the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase and the Weatherbys Champion Bumper round out the action.

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St Patrick’s Day on Thursday March 18 is kick-started by the Marsh Novices’ Chase and followed by the Pertemps Network Final and the Ryanair Chase before the feature Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle. We’ve then got the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate, the Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

Finally, Cheltenham Festival concludes with Gold Cup Day on Friday March 19. That sees the JCB Triumph Hurdle, the County Handicap Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle all take place before the showpiece race. The St James’ Place Festival Challenge Cup and the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase follow before the meeting is brought to a close with the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

All races follow the same schedule, with action getting underway at 1.20pm and the feature race taking place at 3.05pm. Check out a full list of race times here.

Al Boum Photo Paul Townend Gold Cup Cheltenham Festival March 13, 2020

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Cheltenham Festival: Are fans allowed to attend Cheltenham 2021?

Unfortunately that’s a no-go and it looks unlikely to change. A week in front of the TV it is then…

Cheltenham released the following statement addressing the issue of fans at the festival in 2021.

“Based on current Government restrictions, professional sport is able to continue under stringent health and safety protocols, without spectators present. In horseracing’s case this is vital to support the livelihoods of the many thousands of people who rely on the industry and for the welfare of the thousands of Thoroughbred racehorses who live and train in Britain.

“This means that under current restrictions, The Festival will take place as a televised event, but sadly without spectators at the course. We continue to monitor Government guidance and should this change in advance of The Festival we will act accordingly.”

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

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