Cheltenham Festival: Dates, race times and antepost tips from our experts

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Cheltenham Festival

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The Cheltenham Festival 2021 takes place between Tuesday March 16 and Friday March 19 – and we’re offering non-runner money back on all races.

A bumper 28-race schedule over four mouthwatering days of action awaits racing fans. While there won’t be any punters in attendance (thanks coronavirus…), you’ll be able to watch from home and you won’t want to miss a second. Paddy Power News has rounded up all the key dates, race times and antepost tips from our experts to keep you in the loop. You’re welcome!

TUESDAY MARCH 16 – CHAMPION DAY

What better way to start the Cheltenham Festival than with the double hit of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Arkle Chase. The opening day’s feature race is the Champion Hurdle – won last year by the Nicky Henderson-trained Epatante. Can she defend her crown?

13:20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y

Ruby Walsh:APPRECIATE IT has the pace to win, he’s a good jumper and ticks all the right boxes”

6/4
Appreciate It Supreme Novices Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “MY DROGO is the one who has impressed me”

16/1
My Drogo Supreme Novices Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE TIPS FROM RUBY WALSH AND FRANK HICKEY

BETTING: SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE LATEST ODDS

13.55 – Arkle Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y

Ruby Walsh: “I think Shishkin is the best horse in the race but I’ll go with ENERGUMENE for a bit of value”

4/6
Energumene Arkle Chase Without Shishkin - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “ENERGUMENE is the bet in the race. He has been impressive and there is substance to how impressive he has been”

4/6
Energumene Arkle Chase Without Shishkin - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH AND FRANK HICKEY’S ARKLE CHASE TIPS

BETTING: ARKLE CHASE LATEST ODDS

14.30 – Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f

15.05 – Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y

Ruby Walsh: “Before Christmas I would have fancied Epatante but since the Irish Champion Hurdle, I would be all over HONEYSUCKLE”

9/4
Honeysuckle Champion Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: CHAMPION HURDLE ANTEPOST TIPS FROM RUBY WALSH

Frank Hickey: “The Irish or Epatante will win the Champion Hurdle, and HONEYSUCKLE should be clear favourite and is the most likely winner”

9/4
Honeysuckle Champion Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: CHAMPION HURDLE ANTEPOST PICKS REVEALED BY FRANK HICKEY

BETTING: CHAMPION HURDLE LATEST ODDS

15.40 – Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y

Ruby Walsh: “Concertista, Roksana and Dame De Compagnie are ahead of the others – but if one was going to break into the top three it’s probably GREAT WHITE SHARK”

12/1
Great White Shark Mares Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH’S MARES’ HURDLE ANTEPOST BEST BET

Frank Hickey: “We can’t ignore INDEFATIGABLE, who has a very decent Cheltenham record”

25/1
Indefatigable Mares Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: FRANK HICKEY’S MARES’ HURDLE ANTEPOST PICKS

BETTING: MARES’ HURDLE LATEST ODDS

16.15 – Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 87y

16.50 – National Hunt Chase (Grade 2) 3m 5f 201y

WEDNESDAY MARCH 17 – LADIES DAY

The Queen Mother Champion Chase takes centre stage on the second day of racing. Politologue took advantage of Altior’s absence to claim victory last year. The feature race is followed by the Cross Country Chase, which is set to see Grand National hero Tiger Roll take on Easysland.

13.20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f

Ruby Walsh: “I’m a big fan of BOB OLINGER – he was good at Naas and I loved him at Navan”

7/2
Bob Olinger Ballymore Novices Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “BEAR GHYLLS has a right engine if he can learn to jump better”

12/1
Bear Ghylls Ballymore Novices Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE ANTEPOST PICKS FROM RUBY WALSH AND FRANK HICKEY

BETTING: BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE LATEST ODDS

13.55 – Festival Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y

Ruby Walsh: “MONKFISH is a very polished chaser already, and he does everything that you would want a horse to do”

8/11
Monkfish Brown Advisory Novices' Chase - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “At 16/1, with non-runner, money back, PENCILFULLOFLEAD’s the interesting one”

20/1
Pencilfulloflead Brown Advisory Novices' Chase - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: FESTIVAL NOVICES’ CHASE ANTEPOST TIPS FROM RUBY WALSH AND FRANK HICKEY

BETTING: FESTIVAL NOVICES’ CHASE LATEST ODDS

14.30 – Coral Cup (Grade 3) 2m 5f

15.05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y

Ruby Walsh: “CHACUN POUR SOI’s in great form and he looks the best in the field”

4/6
Chacun Pour Soi Champion Chase - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “I think NUBE NEGRA will have a right chance of definitely hitting the frame”

8/1
Nube Negra Champion Chase - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH AND FRANK HICKEY’S QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE ANTEPOST PICKS

BETTING: QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE LATEST ODDS

15.40 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y

16.15 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y

16.50 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y

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THURSDAY MARCH 18 – ST PATRICK’S DAY

It’s only right that the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle features prominently on St Patrick’s Thursday at Cheltenham. The 2020 renewal produced a shock 50-1 winner as Lisnagar Oscar romped to glory. This year looks set to be a blockbuster battle between Paisley Park and Thyme Hill.

13.20 – Marsh Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m 3f 168y

Ruby Walsh: “A relatively new race and the most perfect horse in training – ENVOI ALLEN – is an odds-on shot”

4/5
Envoi Allen Marsh Novices Chase - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “You just can’t see any of the others beating ENVOI ALLEN”

4/5
Envoi Allen Marsh Novices Chase - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: MARSH NOVICES’ CHASE ANTEPOST TIPS FROM RUBY WALSH AND FRANK HICKEY

BETTING: MARSH NOVICES’ CHASE LATEST ODDS

13.55 – Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 7f 213y

14.30 – Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 127y

Ruby Walsh: “MIN is a classier, speedier horse than Allaho”

6/1
Min Ryanair Chase - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “The one I can’t get away from is SAINT CALVADOS”

9/1
Saint Calvados Ryanair Chase - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: RYANAIR CHASE ANTEPOST PICKS FROM RUBY WALSH AND FRANK HICKEY

BETTING: RYANAIR CHASE LATEST ODDS

15.05 – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y

Ruby Walsh: “Paisley Park’s struggle in last year’s race was probably a one-off but I think THYME HILL is the most likely winner”

7/2
Thyme Hill Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH’S PADDY POWER STAYERS’ HURDLE ANTEPOST PICKS

Frank Hickey: “I’ve got a feeling THYME HILL will run a career best”

7/2
Thyme Hill Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: FRANK HICKEY’S PADDY POWER STAYERS’ HURDLE ANTEPOST PICKS

BETTING: PADDY POWER STAYERS’ HURDLE LATEST ODDS

15.40 – Paddy Power Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 4f 166y

16.15 – Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 179y

Ruby Walsh: “If I was riding, based on form, I would pick Hook Up but I do have a preference for ROYAL KAHALA”

6/1
Royal Kahala Festival Mares Novice Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH’S MARES’ NOVICES’ HURDLE TIPS

Frank Hickey: “THE GLANCING QUEEN is without a doubt the best of the British and with no standout Irish contender in the race, she has every chance”

8/1
The Glancing Queen Festival Mares Novice Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: FRANK HICKEY’S MARES’ NOVICES’ HURDLE TIPS

16.50 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup 3m 2f

Min

FRIDAY MARCH 19 – GOLD CUP DAY

It’s all eyes on the Gold Cup for the final day of the Festival. Al Boum Photo made it back-to-back wins in the race last year – and the nine-year-old is expected to return for a third shot at glory. The card is stacked full of high-quality races including the JCB Triumph Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. There’s also the brand-spanking new Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase to keep you entertained.

13.20 – JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y

Ruby Walsh: “I’m going to leave Zanahiyr on the betting front and say you should back QUILIXIOS because he has to run in this”

6/1
Quilixios Triumph Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “TRITONIC is the one that could cause a little upset”

3/1
Tritonic Triumph Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE ANTEPOST BEST BETS

BETTING: JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE LATEST ODDS

13.55 – County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y

14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y

Ruby Walsh: “BARBADOS BUCKS looks like he will stay forever – and then stay forever again”

10/1
Barbados Bucks Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

Frank Hickey: “FAKIERA is just crying out for 3m and I would just love it if they stepped him up on his next start”

6/1
Fakiera Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH AND FRANK HICKEY’S ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES’ HURDLE ANTEPOST PICKS

BETTING: ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES’ CHASE LATEST ODDS

15.05 – Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y

Ruby Walsh: “It will not be straightforward, but AL BOUM PHOTO is the most likely winner”

5/2
Al Boum Photo Gold Cup - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: GOLD CUP ANTEPOST TIP FROM RUBY WALSH

Frank Hickey: “AL BOUM PHOTO will take an awful lot of beating”

5/2
Al Boum Photo Gold Cup - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: GOLD CUP ANTEPOST BEST BET FROM FRANK HICKEY

BETTING: GOLD CUP LATEST ODDS

15.40 – St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup 3m 2f 70y

16.15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2) 2m 4f 127y

Ruby Walsh: “ELIMAY’s tiny but a real character, as brave as a lion”

2/1
Elimay Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH’S MRS PADDY POWER MARES’ CHASE ANTEPOST PICK

Frank Hickey: “PUT THE KETTLE ON would be a huge player in this, if she runs”

11/2
Put The Kettle On Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase - Non Runner Money Back

FULL PREVIEW: MRS PADDY POWER MARES’ CHASE TIPS FROM FRANK HICKEY

BETTING: MRS PADDY POWER MARES’ CHASE LATEST ODDS

16.50 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 56y

Paul Townend celebrates winning the Magners Gold up for the second time on Al Boum Photo. Cheltenham Festival. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 13.03.2020

*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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