When does Cheltenham Festival 2021 start? Dates, race schedule & times, TV channel, stream and which horses are OUT

THE big one is back!

Cheltenham Festival 2021 – the biggest event in Jumps racing – returns 12 months on… with a quite a lot having happened since the previous one.

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When is Cheltenham Festival 2021?

  • Cheltenham Festival lasts four days.
  • This year it starts on Tuesday March 16 and finishes on Friday March 19.
  • The first race gets underway at 1.20pm each day.

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Who are the Gold Cup runners?

Entries for the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup have been announced – and the final runners will be revealed two days before.

Al Boum Photo will be going for his third Gold Cup in a row and he heads the list of entries, as well as being 3-1 favourite (odds correct at time of writing).

The other runners entered are below. This list will be cut five days before the race and again 48 hours before.

7-1 A Plus Tard

8-1 Minella Indo, Royale Pagaille, Santini

10-1 Champ

14-1 Frodon, Kemboy

20-1 Allaho, Delta Work, Lostintranslation, Melon, Presenting Percy, Waiting Patiently

25-1 Cyrname, Imperial Aura

33-1 Bristol De Mai, Monalee, Native River, Saint Calvados, Samcro

40-1 Burrows Saint, Master Tommytucker, Vinndication, Yorkhill

50-1 Acapella Bourgeois, Battleoverdoyen, Itchy Feet, Lake View Lad, Mister Malarky, Real Steel, Shattered Love, Simply The Betts, Terrefort, The Conditional

66-1 Aso, Black Op, Lord Du Mesnil, Magic Of Light

80-1 Spyglass Hill

What are the races?

Tuesday

  • 13:20 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 13:55 Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (ITV 1)
  • 14:30 Festival Handicap Chase (ITV 1)
  • 15:05 Champion Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 15:40 David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 16:15 Boodles Juvenile Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 16:50 National Hunt Chase (Racing TV/ Paddy Power)

Wednesday

  • 13:20 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 13:55 Festival Novices’ Chase (ITV 1)
  • 14:30 Coral Cup (ITV 1)
  • 15:05 Queen Mother Champion Chase (ITV 1)
  • 15:40 Cross Country Chase (ITV 1)
  • 16:15 Grand Annual Chase (ITV 1)
  • 16.50 Champion Bumper (Racing TV/ Paddy Power)


Thursday

  • 13:20 Golden Miller Novices’ Chase (ITV 1)
  • 13:55 Pertemps Final (ITV 1)
  • 14:30 Ryanair Chase (ITV 1)
  • 15:05 Stayers’ Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 15:40 Festival Plate (ITV 1)
  • 16:15 Dawn Run Novices’ Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 16:50 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir (Racing TV/ Paddy Power)

Friday

  • 13:20 Triumph Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 13:55 County Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 14:30 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (ITV 1)
  • 15:05 Cheltenham Gold Cup (ITV 1)
  • 15:40 Foxhunter Chase (ITV 1)
  • 16:15 Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase (ITV 1)
  • 16:50 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle (Racing TV/ Paddy Power)

What TV channel will Cheltenham be on?

TV punters were given a big boost as ITV Racing announced they would be showing six races from each day for the first time.

Coverage usually ends after the fifth race each afternoon, but thanks to a new agreement between right holders, punters are in for a special treat.

The move is for one year only, with the Festival behind closed doors due to Covid.

Each day's first race will now go off at an earlier than usual 1.20pm – ITV Racing will be on air until 4.30pm.

Which big horses aren't running?

A number of punters will be disappointed by the late withdrawals of some big names.

Among those is Altior, the Nicky Henderson-trained superstar who was set to run in the Champion Chase.

Energumene is also a non-runner after being lined up against Shishkin in the Arkle.

Another popular horse punters were looking to back was Annie Mc – but Chris Hughes' beloved horse has also been pulled out due to injury.

Will fans be in attendance?

Fans will unfortunately not be in attendance at the Racecourse this year, with strict coronavirus protocols in place.

Cheltenham Festival 2020 was one of the last events before country was plunged into its first lockdown.

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