Cheltenham Festival takes off from the stables

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If you’re a horse racing fan or just someone who loves the atmosphere of a great outdoor event, you could be one of the 200,000 people heading to Cheltenham this week to experience the annual Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire.

From the legendary ‘Cheltenham roar’ that will build among the crowd as the tapes rise for today’s first race to the final championship on Friday – otherwise known as Gold Cup Day – the Cheltenham races are some of the biggest on the calendar, second only to the Grand National itself.

The 26 races will bring many of the world’s finest horse racers to South West England (along with their trusty steeds), and according to the event’s website, over half a million pounds will be bet on the outcome by hopeful punters.

I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest horse racing fan, but any excuse to bask outdoors in the English countryside at the start of spring sounds good to me! As well as taking in world-class horse racing, festival-goers heading to Cheltenham on Wednesday can enjoy the double celebration of it being Saint Patrick’s Day, which always attracts racing fans from Ireland eager to see some excellent displays of one of the country’s national sports.

With tomorrow’s races also offering the possibility of a hat trick – something that’s never happened in the races before – you could even try to channel some of the luck of the Irish when having a flutter!

If you want to know what’s happening on each packed day of the Cheltenham Festival, check out the events calendar to help plan the best day for your visit. Bear in mind that Friday is sure to be the most popular day to visit, as the winning horses go head to head in one of the biggest championships of the sporting year, so don’t delay in booking your tickets and Cheltenham hotels!

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