Inside the Cheltenham Festival as Sportsmail goes behind the scenes

Lahoma Whitelow

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is in whole swing. The punters have turned out in drive, the beverages are flowing and the action on study course proceeds to deliver. 4 times of Nationwide Hunt racing in the picturesque Gloucestershire countryside draws in a staggering 250,000 folks. But what is all the […]


The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is in whole swing. The punters have turned out in drive, the beverages are flowing and the action on study course proceeds to deliver.

4 times of Nationwide Hunt racing in the picturesque Gloucestershire countryside draws in a staggering 250,000 folks.

But what is all the fuss about? Sportsmail went at the rear of the scenes to come across out what helps make the once-a-year function so particular.

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is in full swing and Sportsmail went behind the scenes

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is in whole swing and Sportsmail went at the rear of the scenes

Twenty-one races down, just seven to go. Cheltenham Racecourse is the house of leap racing and the Festival in March is the pinnacle of the sport.

It can be in which the finest fulfills the finest. The races that each trainer, owner and jockey want to win.

Twenty-8 races are operate from Tuesday to Friday each and every yr with a whopping £4.59million on supply in prize funds.

There are feature races in the course of the assembly with the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup on the remaining day.

The Gold Cup trophy from 1924 – the initially time it was operate around jumps – was returned to the keep track of two many years in the past and has been put on clearly show at the racecourse this week… but only those people who have landed the coveted prize can touch it.

As properly as seeking to get an elusive Festival win below their belts, trainers have the included competition of the Prestbury Cup in which Good Britain and Eire lock horns. Whichever region has the most winners at the close of the four-day assembly promises the gong.

Last year's Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo is favourite to win the feature on Friday afternoon

Last year’s Gold Cup winner Al Boum Image is favorite to win the feature on Friday afternoon

Last yr it was a tie with 11 winners each and every but it is at this time 11-9 to Eire so it is all to perform for heading into the remaining day.

The stars of the clearly show need the perfect stage to be ready to accomplish and that responsibility falls on the shoulders of clerk of the study course Simon Claisse and his floor workers.

The study course is prepared to go two months prior to the Festival and Cheltenham has the gain of deploying two chase tracks, two hurdle tracks as properly as the Cross-Place study course this means the similar floor is not utilised continually.

The course is ready to go two weeks prior to Festival and the same turf isn't used constantly

The study course is prepared to go two months prior to Festival and the similar turf is not utilised continually

‘All of the floor that we are heading to use in March we really don’t established foot on it for the whole yr,’ Claisse instructed Sportsmail.

‘We only use the floor that we race on for the four times in March, with a handful of exceptions in which the tracks cross.

‘It’s been sitting down at the rear of white rail given that final March so that helps make it reasonably easy to hold it in superior affliction.’

With prime-course horses lighting up the turf and all around 65,000 spectators a day there is a scramble to come across the finest vantage place.

With 42,000 sq. metres of short term amenities erected just for the Festival each and every yr there is an abundance of possibilities.

Get the job done commenced on the short term framework in the autumn of final yr and it caters for pretty considerably every little thing.

Trackside viewing from the Guinness Village, non-public boxes, a pub, suites, a pan-Asian cafe and a cafe operate by renowned cooks – and that is in addition to the long term Grandstand amenities.

Racegoers enjoy the Cheltenham Festival from the hugely-popular Guinness village

Racegoers love the Cheltenham Festival from the massively-well-known Guinness village

Cheltenham has installed hand sanitiser stations following the outbreak of coronavirus

Cheltenham has installed hand sanitiser stations next the outbreak of coronavirus

THE CHELTENHAM Festival IN Numbers

£2.4m taken from hard cash devices at the Festival final yr

134,600 folks applying Cheltenham Spa train station around four times

45,000 bread rolls eaten

45,000 afternoon teas served

36,500 autos parked around four times

More than 8,000 gallons of tea and espresso served

five,936 workers employed at the Festival

1,000 journalists reporting on function

350 cooks on site

two hundred pitch bookmakers on site

five tonnes of cheese, five tonnes of salmon and 9 tonnes of potatoes consumed

The 3-tiered marquee up coming to the massively-well-known Guinness Village is the largest framework of that variety in Europe at 185 metres long.

The Horse & Groom pub was developed for the 2019 Festival and was a comprehensive promote out this yr. Ian Renton, regional director of Cheltenham Racecourse and the south west, said: ‘This was final year’s new animal – the most expensive pub in the planet.’

Overlooking the remaining two fences and from selling prices concerning £600 and £750 attendees can love espresso and breakfast nibbles on arrival, a 3-study course a la carte lunch, afternoon tea and a complimentary bar of residence wines, spirits, beers and comfortable beverages.

All-around 45,000 afternoon teas and 45,000 bread rolls are consumed and a lot more than 8,000 gallons of tea and espresso are served at the Festival.

For a panoramic view of the study course, with the backdrop of the breath-using Cleeve Hill, and a lot more wonderful eating, attendees can be catered for by cooks Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr at the Chez Roux Cafe, which has a capacity of 520 folks.

The Horse & Groom pub was created for the 2019 Festival and was a complete sell out this year

The Horse & Groom pub was developed for the 2019 Festival and was a comprehensive promote out this yr

The pub overlooks the final two fences and prices range from between £600 and £750

The pub overlooks the remaining two fences and selling prices selection from concerning £600 and £750

Guests can gain trackside viewing plus dining at the pan-Asian restaurant called Theatre

Attendees can acquire trackside viewing as well as eating at the pan-Asian cafe identified as Theatre

Charges selection from £800 to £1,two hundred – the most expensive hospitality facility on site – for morning espresso and biscuits, a Champagne reception, Canapes, a four-study course menu, afternoon tea, Albert Roux advised wines, beers, spirits and comfortable beverages as well as a racing tipster.

No stone is still left unturned as at the rear of some of the finest seats in the residence there are a lot more marquees serving food and consume, a browsing village as well as a helicopter on clearly show.

The 2020 ‘animal’ is The Park, featuring a Ferris wheel, carousel, bars, avenue food and live songs. The Festival has attracted the likes of DJs Roman Kemp and Marvin Humes this time all around.

‘If we are heading to do anything distinctive, we make sure it doesn’t interfere with the racing,’ Renton instructed Sportsmail.

‘Ninety-5 per cent of racegoers are below for the racing.’ There are a host of parade ring viewing boxes for those people exploring for the up coming winner.

A quarter of a million people flock to Gloucestershire each spring for the Cheltenham Festival

A quarter of a million folks flock to Gloucestershire each and every spring for the Cheltenham Festival

No corners are slice and the interest to element is 2nd to none. Each individual yr advancements are created and even the slightest of adjustments, no matter if it’s the design and style of furniture or the colour of the carpet, are mounted to improve the Festival experience.

The four-day assembly draws in royalty, athletics stars and celebs as a quarter of a million folks flock to Gloucestershire each and every spring. Racegoers were not deterred this 7 days next the outbreak of coronavirus.

The curtain will slide on the 2020 Cheltenham Festival on Friday night. The punters will go away in their droves, vacant bottles and glasses will keep on being but the study course will have shipped as soon as once again.

The Cheltenham Festival races are the ones that every trainer, owner and jockey want to win

 The Cheltenham Festival races are the kinds that each trainer, owner and jockey want to win



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