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The Cheltenham Festival
is one of 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
trained horses race against each other, the extent of which is relatively rare during the rest of the season.
The festival takes place annually in March at Cheltenham Racecourse
. The meeting usually coincides with Saint Patrick's Day
, and is popular with Irish
Large amounts of money are bet during festival week, with hundreds of millions of pounds
being gambled over the four days. Cheltenham is often noted for its atmosphere, most notably the "Cheltenham roar", which refers to the enormous amount of noise that the crowd generates as the starter raises the tape for the first race of the festival.
The official title of the Cheltenham Festival is the National Hunt Meeting. This originated in 1860, when the National Hunt Chase
was first held at Market Harborough and titled the Grand National Hunt, featuring the one race alongside other steeplechases. After taking place at a number of locations, including Cheltenham in 1861, the race returned to Cheltenham in 1904 and 1905. It was staged over a new course established at Prestbury Park, Cheltenham in 1902, although racing had taken place in the park... Read More