Cheltenham Festival 2023: Race times, TV details, best of the Irish and more

Everything you need to know about the biggest week of the horse racing year

What is it?

The 2023 Cheltenham Festival – 28 races spread over four days.

When is it?

The tape drops on Tuesday, March 14th. They pass the last post on Friday, March 17th.


Where is it?

Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.

How can I follow it?

Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday and UTV will show the main races live on each of the four days. There will be additional coverage on ITV4 and on Racing TV.

How’s the weather looking?

The race course is currently covered in snow just four days before the festival begins, although it is expected to clear by the time racing gets underway next week.

Punters are set for a wet and wild festival – with at least some rain forecast each day of the festival. From Wednesday onwards there is more than a 60 per cent chance of rain.

What are the new whip rules?

The BHA’s decision to change its whip rules just weeks before Cheltenham has plunged cross-channel racing into bitter conflict. The new rules allow a horse to be disqualified if a jockey uses their whip too much. In order not to interfere with bookmakers paying out, disqualifications are carried out by a review committee days after the event.

“I think it’s scary. It’s something that really worries me. It’s one thing I would lie in bed at night thinking about; you could win a Gold Cup and lose it the next day,” trainer Gordon Elliott said.

Things to watch out for

Rachael Blackmore has won the last two editions of the Champion Hurdle but will instead go for a second Mares Hurdle title on Tuesday, on Honeysuckle, where she is 9-4 favourite. Willie Mullins has the favourite or joint-favourite in 13 races as Ireland’s perennial champion is quoted at about 7-4 to either equal or extend his own record of 10 winners at a single festival. That includes Galopin Des Champs, who is heavy favourite to win the Gold Cup for Mullins ahead of last year’s winner A Plus Tard.

Full racing schedule


1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Facile Vega (W Mullins) – 9-4 Fav

2.10 Sporting Life Arkle Trophy. Top Irish prospect: El Fabiolo (W Mullins) – 11-10 Fav

2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase. Top Irish prospect: The Goffer (G Elliott) – 10-1

3.30 Unibet Champion Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: State Man (W Mullins) – 5-1

4.10 Close Bros Mares Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Honeysuckle (H de Bromhead) – 9-4 Fav

4.50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Tekao (W Mullins) – 11-4 Fav

5.30 National Hunt Chase. Top Irish prospect: Gaillard Du Mesnil (W Mullins) – 11-8 Fav


1.30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Impaire Et Passe (W Mullins) – 5-2 Fav

2.10 Brown Advisory Novices Chase. Top Irish prospect: Gerri Colombe (G Elliott) – 5-2 Fav

2.50 Coral Cup. Top Irish prospect: Run For Oscar (C Byrnes) – 8-1

3.30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. Top Irish prospect: Energumene (W Mullins) – 6-4 Fav

4.10 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. Top Irish prospect: Delta Work (G Elliott) – Evs Fav

4.50 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual. Top Irish prospect: Dinoblue (W Mullins) – 6-1 Fav

5.30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Top Irish prospect: It’s For Me (W Mullins) – 5-2 Fav


1.30 – Turners Novice Chase. Top Irish prospect: Mighty Potter (G Elliott) – 5-4 Fav

2.10 Pertemps Final. Top Irish prospect: Percival Legolais (G Cromwell) – 4-1 Fav

2.50 – Ryanair Chase. Top Irish prospect: Janidil (W Mullins) – 9-2

3.30 Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Blazing Khal (C Byrnes) – 5-2 Fav

4.10 Magners Plate. Top Irish prospect: So Scottish (E Mullins) – 5-1 Fav

4.50 Jack de Bromhead Mares Novice Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Ashroe Diamond (W Mullins) – 3-1

5.20 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir. Top Irish prospect: Stumptown (G Cromwell) – 3-1 Fav


1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Blood Destiny (W Mullins) – 7-4 Fav

2.10 McCoy County Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Filey Bay (E Mullins) – 6-1 Fav

2.50 Albert Bartlett Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Corbetts Cross (E Mullins) – 3-1 Fav

3.30 Boodles Gold Cup. Top Irish prospect: Galopin Des Champs (W Mullins) – 6-4 Fav

4.10 St James’s Place Hunters Chase. Top Irish prospect: Vaucelet (D Christie) – 7-4 Fav

4.50 Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase. Top Irish prospect: Allegorie De Vassy (W Mullins) – 5-4 Fav

5.20 Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Hurdle. Top Irish prospect: Spanish Harlem (W Mullins) – 6-1 Fav

David Gorman

David Gorman

David Gorman is a sports journalist with The Irish Times