The Cheltenham Festival is the most prestigious meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom and has race prize money second only to the Grand National. It is an event where many of the best British and Irish trained horses race against each other, the extent of which is relatively rare during the rest of the season.
It takes place annually in March at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
The 2013 festival will run from 13th to 16th March 2013
The first Cheltenham Festival was held in 1902 at Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, which still remains the same venue for the festival to this day. It was in 1904 that the first National Hunt Steeplechase was introduced to the festival.
This race became known as the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1924, when it was won by a horse called Red Splash.
Cheltenham Festival.. The Gold Cup was the first of the four Championship races, before the Champion Hurdle was introduced in 1927.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase was introduced in 1959 before the Stayers Hurdle, the last of the championship was first run in 1972.
Below are the best Bookmaker odds for the favourite in each of the big races.
The top jockey for the festival is the jockey who wins the most races over the four days. The winners since 1980 with wins in brackets are: