Cheltenham Festival 15th - 18th March 2005

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Cheltenham 2004

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Tuesday, Wednesday ,Thursday and Friday, March 15 to 18, 2005

First Day _ Tuesday, March 15 (Old Course)

Time Race Distance Total Prize Fund

2.00 Letheby & Christopher Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 110yds £100,000

2.35 Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade 1) 2m £140,000

3.15 Smurfit Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) 2m 110yds £300,000

4.00 William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 110yds £80,000

4.40 Sporting Index Cross Country Handicap Chase 3m 7f £40,000

5.20 Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) 2m 110yds £75,000

Second Day _ Wednesday, March 16 (Old Course)

Time Race Distance Total Prize Fund

2.00 Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f £100,000

2.35 Royal & SunAlliance Chase (Grade 1) 3m 110yds £140,000

3.15 Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m £250,000

4.00 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 5f £75,000

4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase 3m 110yds £50,000

5.20 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1) 2m 110yds £40,000

Third Day _ Thursday, March 17 (New Course)

Time Race Distance Total Prize Fund

2.00 Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed Race) 2m 5f £80,000

2.35 Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy Chase (Grade 2) 2m 5f £150,000

3.15 Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m £200,000

4.00 Mildmay of Flete Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 5f £75,000

4.40 National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup 4m 1f £50,000

5.20 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed Race) 3m £60,000

Fourth Day – Friday, March 18 (New Course)

Time Race Distance Total Prize Fund

2.00 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1f £100,000

2.35 Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 3m £75,000

3.15 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 110yds £350,000

4.00 Christie's Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup 3m 2f 110yds £40,000

4.40 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup (Grade 3) 2m 110yds £75,000

5.20 Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1f £65,000

TOTAL PRIZE MONEY IN 2005 OF £2,710,000


The first ever four-day Festival at Cheltenham gets underway on Tuesday, March 15, and the extra day at the 2005 Festival, which carries record prize money of £2.71 million, means that five new races have been added to the programme. There will be 24 races run at the 2005 Festival, four more than last year, and prize money has increased by almost £400,000.

Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy Chase - 2.35pm, Thursday, March 17, 2m 5f, £150,000

There has long been a call for a championship chase over a distance between the two miles of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the 3m 2f 110yds of the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup with The Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy Chase filling that niche. Horses such as the Stan James King George VI Chase winner Kicking King should be ideally suited by the 2m 5f trip of this £150,000 event.

Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase - 2.00pm, Thursday, March 17, 2m 5f, £80,000

The revamped Thursday card begins with this 2m 5f contest which offers novice chasers a valuable and prestigious alternative to the Festival’s Grade 1 contests over a distance between those of the Irish Independent Arkle Chase and Royal & SunAlliance Chase.

Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle - 2.35pm, Friday, March 18, 3 miles, £75,000

This three-mile contest gives an opportunity to staying novice hurdlers who find the 2m 5f distance of the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle too sharp. The exciting Brewster came home 12 lengths clear from Jackson and Football Crazy in the Grade 2 Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle, backed by the Festival sponsor, over the same trip at Cheltenham on December 11.

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - 5.20pm, Tuesday, March 15, 2m 110yds, £75,000

There are a huge number of four-year-old hurdlers around and the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, remembering one of the greatest jockeys and trainers to have participated at Cheltenham, brings down the curtain on the opening day of The Festival.

This handicap complements the JCB Triumph Hurdle, the Grade 1 championship conditions event for four-year-olds.

The Sporting Index Cross Country Chase - 4.40pm, Tuesday, March 15, 3m 7f, £40,000

Cross-country races have added a new dimension to Cheltenham’s programme throughout the season and the Festival will feature an event over the unique course for the first time. The Sporting Index Cross Country Chase, the penultimate contest on The Festival’s opening day, is being targetted by the J P McManus-owned Spot Thedifference. The 12-year-old has won both races over the Cross Country course at Cheltenham this season.

Edward Gillespie, Managing Director at Cheltenham Racecourse, said today: "With nine weeks to go, we can look forward to not only the largest and richest Festival ever staged at Cheltenham but also the most diverse. The five new races will complement the existing programme, providing new opportunities for horses that have not always been catered for at The Festival."

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