When is Cheltenham Festival 2021? Dates, race schedule, Gold Cup runners, TV channel and will fans be in attendance?

THE big one is back!

Cheltenham Festival – the biggest event in Jumps racing – returns 12 months on… with a heck of a lot having happened since the last one.

These days we're stuck to watching the racing at home.

But will that change in time for the Festival? Read on to find out all you need to know about Cheltenham Festival 2021.

When is Cheltenham Festival 2021?

Cheltenham Festival lasts four days.

This year it starts on Tuesday March 16 and finishes on Friday March 19.

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Who are the Gold Cup runners?

Entries for the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup have been announced.

Al Boum Photo will be going for his third Gold Cup in a row and he heads the list of entries, as well as being 3-1 favourite.

The other runners entered are below. This list will be cut five days before the race and again 48 hours before.

7-1 A Plus Tard

8-1 Minella Indo, Royale Pagaille, Santini

10-1 Champ

14-1 Frodon, Kemboy

20-1 Allaho, Delta Work, Lostintranslation, Melon, Presenting Percy, Waiting Patiently

25-1 Cyrname, Imperial Aura

33-1 Bristol De Mai, Monalee, Native River, Saint Calvados, Samcro

40-1 Burrows Saint, Master Tommytucker, Vinndication, Yorkhill

50-1 Acapella Bourgeois, Battleoverdoyen, Itchy Feet, Lake View Lad, Mister Malarky, Real Steel, Shattered Love, Simply The Betts, Terrefort, The Conditional

66-1 Aso, Black Op, Lord Du Mesnil, Magic Of Light

80-1 Spyglass Hill

What are the races?

Tuesday

  • 13:20 The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race
  • 13:55 The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
  • 14:30 The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase
  • 15:05 The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (feature race)
  • 15:40 The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race
  • 16:15 The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race
  • 16:50 The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Steeple Chase)

Wednesday

  • 13:20 The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Race
  • 13:55 The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase
  • 14:30 The Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race)
  • 15:05 The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase (feature race)
  • 15:40 The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase
  • 16:15 The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
  • 16.50 The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race)

Thursday

  • 13:20 The Marsh Novices’ Chase
  • 13:55 The Pertemps Network Final
  • 14:30 The Ryanair Steeple Chase (feature race)
  • 15:05 The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle
  • 15:40 The Paddy Power Plate (A Handicap Steeple Chase)
  • 16:15 The Mares Novices’ Hurdle
  • 16:50 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup (sponsored by the JRL Group)

Friday

13:20 The JCB Triumph Hurdle

13:55 The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race

14:30 The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race

15:05 The WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase (feature race)

15:40 The St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Steeple Chase

16:15 The Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Steeple Chase

16:50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

What TV channel will Cheltenham be on?

TV punters were given a big boost as ITV Racing announced they would be showing six races from each day for the first time.

Coverage usually ends after the fifth race each afternoon, but thanks to a new agreement between right holders, punters are in for a special treat.

The move is for one year only with the increasing likelihood the meeting will be held entirely behind closed doors.

Each day's first race will now go off at an earlier than usual 1.20pm so that ITV can go off air by 4pm.

Will fans be in attendance?

Almost certainly not – and it looks like even owners could be barred from going.

This is due to strict coronavirus guidelines.

Cheltenham Festival 2020 was one of the last events before country was plunged into its first lockdown.

And though bosses have not definitively ruled out what will happen, with cases and deaths still high all over the country it is all but certain this year's Festival will be behind closed doors.

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