The Cheltenham Festival To Remain A Four-Day Meeting

There had been consideration to make the four-day meeting a five-day event
12:05, 17 Oct 2022

The Jockey Club have announced that the Cheltenham Festival will remain a four-day event following a consultation exploring the idea of adding a fifth day to the meeting.

By adding an extra day to the March spectacle, races across the entire Cheltenham Festival would have been reduced from the traditional seven races per day to six, to make room for the additional day.


Ian Renton, managing director of the Jockey Club's west region, said: "At the Jockey Club, we care deeply about the long-term future of our sport and its role in society. That's a mission that enables us to think differently when making decisions.

"While we explored the financial benefits and an opportunity to reach new audiences, we also found a number of counterpoints to this. For example, it is clear that it would be challenging from a turf management perspective, without further work on the track, and on balance we still feel 28 races over four days is the right format.

“This research allows us to do much more than simply answer the question of whether extending the Festival is the right thing to do. We will now evaluate all the insight with a view to improving our facilities, investing in new on-course activations and giving our fanbase, participants, owners and other stakeholders the best possible experience at Cheltenham Racecourse.

"We are extremely grateful to everyone who has taken part in this process and have welcomed the opportunity to listen to owners, participants, Jockey Club colleagues, the local community, our partners, loyal racing fans and many others with a passion for our sport and the festival."

It was reported that senior racing figures outside the Jockey Club were expecting an extra day to be added to the Cheltenham Festival for 2024, with support also coming from individuals inside the Jockey Club to add a fifth day to the spring meeting.

However, the organisation, and particularly chief executive Nevin Truesdale, had insisted the final decision on whether to extend the festival would be formed on the information collected during a six-month consultation, which included interviews with key figures within the sport and online questionnaires completed by a wider audience.

Adding an extra day to the Cheltenham Festival had been supported by key figures within the sport including Nicky Henderson, with record crowds at the meeting this year and the potential for a Saturday card to make the meeting more accessible to those who could not attend the meeting during the week.

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