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Cheltenham The Big Attraction

The full programme for four days of racing action


More Of That wins the World Hurdle at the 2014 Cheltenham 2014

The 2017 Cheltenham Festival is held from Tuesday to Friday this week with the Cheltenham Gold Cup being run on Friday.

A record 260,579 racegoers attended the four days of The Festival in 2016, and over 200 000 racegoers from all over the world are expected on course this year with more than £500 million to be gambled throughout the week.

Barry Geraghty’s injury misfortune has turned into Mark Walsh’s opportunity and the Co Kildare jockey can look forward to an enviable book of Cheltenham festival rides for owner JP McManus next week that include the prime Champion Hurdle fancy, Yanworth.

With Noel Fehily set to team up with McManus’s other Champion Hurdle contender, Buveur D’Air, and the hot Stayers Hurdle favourite, Unowhatimeanharry, the McManus team are backing their Irish-based understudy to step up to the festival plate despite Walsh never having won there before.

Geraghty’s injuries, sustained over a week ago, initially threw riding plans for McManus’s large festival raiding party into disarray.

But it has been confirmed that Walsh will team up with both Yanworth and Uxizandre (likely to line up in the Ryanair Chase) for trainer Alan King and he keeps the Gold Cup ride on the Jonjo O’Neill-trained More Of That having ridden him in last month’s Irish Gold Cup.

Among other Grade One rides Walsh can look forward to is Jezki as McManus’s racing manager, Frank Berry, said: “Noel Fehily will ride Unowhatimeanharry in the Stayers and it’s more than likely Jezki will run in that race too. Mark Walsh will ride him.”

Walsh has tasted Grade One success for McManus in the past, including a memorable Irish Gold Cup victory on Carlingford Lough last year and he was supported into 12-1 in betting for the leading jockey award next week.

The Festival 2017 – Order of Running

Champion Day – Tuesday, March 14 (Old Course)

1.30pm £125,000 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f – 22 maximum field size

2.10pm £175,000 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m – 20

2.50pm £105,000 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f – 24

3.30pm £400,000 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f – 26

4.10pm £110,000 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f – 24

4.50pm £120,000 J T McNamara National Hunt Chase (Novices) (Amateurs) (Grade 2) 4m – 20

5.30pm £70,000 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (0-140) (Listed) 2m 4½f – 20

Kate Middleton and the Queen at Cheltenham

Ladies Day – Wednesday, March 15 (Old Course & Cross Country)

1.30pm £125,000 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f – 22

2.10pm £175,000 RSA Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m ½f – 20

2.50pm £95,000 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 5f – 26

3.30pm £350,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m – 24

4.10pm £65,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f – 16

4.50pm £80,000 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m ½f – 22

5.30pm £75,000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m ½f – 24

St Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday, March 16 (New Course)

1.30pm £150,000 JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f – 20

2.10pm £95,000 Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed) 3m – 24

2.50pm £300,000 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 5f – 24

3.30pm £300,000 Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m – 24

4.10pm £105,000 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 5f – 24

4.50pm £80,000 Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 1f – 22

5.30pm £70,000 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (Amateurs) (0-145) 3m 2f – 24

Sire De Grugy over last on way to winning at Cheltenham in 2014

Gold Cup Day – Friday, March 17 (New Course)

1.30pm £125,000 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1f – 22

2.10pm £95,000 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1f – 26

2.50pm £125,000 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m – 20

3.30pm £575,000 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 3m 2½f – 24

4.10pm £45,000 St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2½f – 24

4.50pm £65,000 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4½f – 24

5.30pm £105,000 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m ½f – 24


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