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Cheltenham Festival 2022 Fixtures: Race times, main runners, weather and free bets


Tickets have been bought by fans eager to head back to Cheltenham Festival, after being without crowds in 2021. Willie Mullins and Rachael Blackmore are two of the big names chasing the winner.

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Chris Hughes toured Dan Skelton’s racing stable before Cheltenham

Fans are counting down the days to Cheltenham Festival 2022.

In one of the biggest weeks on the National Hunt calendar, the top horses, trainers, and riders take to the field to win.

Henry de Bromhead’s Minella Indo won the Feature Gold Cup last year, with Jack Kennedy in the saddle.

Robbie Power will beat this year’s defending champion when he faces A Plus runner-up Tard again at Prestbury Park.

Racing driver Rachael Blackmore is set to land behind Champion Hurdle to win at Honeysuckle, while Shishkin is another star in Champion Chase.

Willie Mullins, the top coach for the past three years, sends to another top team, with Galopin Des Champs and Facile Vega just two of his exciting prospects.

His horses contributed to Ireland’s record 23 wins at last year’s bout and British coaches will be hoping to get more than five in the table.







A runner watches the action at Cheltenham Racecourse
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Here’s a quick guide to the big event in Gloucestershire…

Time of the racing card

There will be 28 races over four days, March 15-18. Here is the program:

Day 1: Championship Day – Tuesday, March 15

Race of the Supreme Newbies – 1:30pm

Arkle Novices ‘Chase – 2 hours 10 minutes

Ultima Handicap Chase – 2 hours 50 minutes

Champion Hurdle – 3:30pm

Mares’ Hurdle – 4:10pm

Boodles Handicap Juvenile Handicap – 4:50pm

National Hunt Novices ‘Chase – 5:30pm

Day 2: Women’s Day – Wednesday, March 16

Ballymore Novices ‘Hurdle – 1:30pm

Brown Advisor ‘Chase’ – 2 hours 10 minutes

Coral Cup – 2:50pm

Champion Chase – 3:30pm

Cross Country Chase – 4:10pm

Big Annual Handicap – 4:50pm

Champion Bumper – 5:30pm

Day 3: St. Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday, March 17

Beginner’s chase – 1:30pm

Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle – 2 hours 10 minutes

Ryanair Chase – 2:50pm

People who stay ‘Hurdle – 3:30pm

Paddy Power Plate – 4:10pm

Mares’ Novice Hurdle – 4:50pm

Kim Muir Challenge Cup – 5:30pm

Day 4: Gold Cup Day – Friday, March 18

Triumph Hurdle – 1:30pm

County Hurdle – 2:10 p.m

Albert Bartlett Novices ‘Hurdle – 2:50pm

Gold Cup – 3:30pm

Festival Hunters ‘Chase – 4:10pm

Mares ‘Chase – 4:50pm

Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle – 5:30pm

Main runner

The action gets underway on day one with a Honeysuckle race to win consecutive Champion Hurdle (3:30pm). Ignored by Rachael Blackmore, the first woman to win the top jockey title in 2021, the mare is on the hunt for a 15th straight win.

The Supreme Novices ‘Hurdle (1:30pm), in action, features strong contenders from home coach ‘Nicky Henderson. The British stables had only five winners at last year’s meeting, but he has strong claims to the powerful Sandown top scorer, Constitution Hill and expensive Jonbon purchase.







Honeysuckle in action at Leopardstown
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Champion Chase on Wednesday (3:30pm) saw one of the big clashes of the week, as Shishkin took on Energumene. Only a long road separates the pair at Ascot and Willie Mullins, the coach of the latter team, also plans to run Chacun Pour Soi. He was the favorite for last year’s race, but his run ended behind the final hurdle.

Tiger Roll will also be running on cards in the cross-country chase (4:10pm) – and if he can deliver another win, it will be his sixth at the meeting.

‘Banker’ Allaho will be one of the week’s shortest priced favorites at Ryanair Chase on Thursday (2:50pm), ahead of The Stayers’ Hurdle (3:30pm). It’s very open this year, when the Gavin Cromwell-trained Floor Dump returns to defend his title. Cases can be made for people like Champ, Klassical Dream and 2019 hero Paisley Park.







Jockey Robbie Power with gold trophy after Sizing John’s 2017 win
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Henry de Bromhead Gold Cup (3:30pm) one-two from 2021, Minella Indo and A Plus Tard, continuing their rivalry in the Festival feature, sponsored by Boodles for the first time this year. There was just over a period of time between them on that occasion and this season A Plus Tard had the most impressive warm-up performance, easily taking down Betfair Chase.

Double winners Al Boum Photo and Protektorat, owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, are also on the list.

Weather

Based on current forecasts, up to 10mm of rain is possible at Cheltenham this week.

The meeting has started on soft ground in recent seasons and that is how it is described at the moment.

Course secretary John Pullin is monitoring conditions, as the closer the rain is to the start of the meeting, the greater its effect.

A couple of dry days can see the ground go faster – and this can even happen with a light breeze.

This week itself looks dry and bright, with temperatures around 14°C.

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