Cheltenham Racecourse, known as the ‘Home of Jump Racing’, has given so many great memories to race fans all over the world. All of the 13 Grade 1 races held at the track are done so during the world famous Cheltenham Festival in March, an event which draws hundreds of thousands of spectators each year who have been lucky enough to witness some of jump racing’s greatest triumphs.
The racecourse is set in a natural amphitheater in the shadow of Cleeve Hill, close to the village of Prestbury in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. The setting gives the racecourse a fantastic atmosphere, most notably the famous ‘Cheltenham Roar’ at the start and end of each race.
Flat horse racing at Cheltenham began in 1815, and at the current Prestbury Park site since 1831, with the addition of Steeplechasing at the course in 1898. The racecourse has had more than £80 million invested in racegoer and other facilities over the past 30+ years. Development of the original main grandstand was begun in 1979. The Panoramic Restaurant was added in 1997, followed by the Best Mate Enclosure and The Centaur conference & events facility in 2004.
In 2013, conscious of relentless competition from other sports and recent redevelopments at Ascot, Newmarket and York Racecourses, plus a planned major redevelopment at Newbury Racecourse, Cheltenham announced plans for a further £45 million investment in a state-of-the-art new grandstand. The spectacular new grandstand provides improved facilities for spectators, new views over the paddock and enhanced accommodation for owners and trainers.
Cheltenham Racecourse hosts 16 race-days over the winter between October and April. The highlight of the National Hunt Calendar is the Cheltenham Festival , featuring the World Hurdle, Champion Hurdle, Champion Bumper, Champion Chase and the Gold Cup. The other big race meetings at Cheltenham Racecourse include The Open in November, The International in December and Festival Trials Day in January.