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  1. #1
    Senior Member Maxbet's Avatar
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    Cheltenham Festival: Could it be five days in 2023?

    The prospect of a five-day Cheltenham Festival in 2023 has again been raised.

    The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail both ran stories on Monday morning around the possibility with Jockey Club Racecourses looking at all options to them.

    The group, like all those who run racecourses, have taken a major financial hit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The possibility of extending Cheltenham by a day has been discussed in detail before and while it has been ruled out for 2022, it could happen 12 months later.

    A statement from JCR to the Daily Telegraph said: “The last time this was discussed in earnest in public, some key stakeholders in our sport expressed their desire for a fifth day.

    “We always explore every option to improve the Festival and support British racing, but we have made no decision to extend the length.”

    It is understood that the Gold Cup would remain on the Friday and only two new contests would need to be found if six races - rather than the current seven - were staged on each day.

    One of those is likely to be a novice handicap chase after the race was removed this year to make way for the Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase.

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  3. #2
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    wholly unsurprising. racing, and jumps racing in particular, needs cash where it can find it.

    was hoping the field sizes, competition etc, in this years festival was something of a one off but with Irish festivals either side of it offering decent prize money in the DRF and Punchestown and the adding of more races to further dilute it, Cheltenham in a few years will probably look like just another festival, such as Aintree etc, rather than what we've been used to in the past.

  4. #3
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    As certain as death and tax this will happen

    They want to get back the money they've lost over the last 15 months, not a cat in hells chance there'll be capacity crowds at the festival for the foreseeable

    I wouldn't rule out it being moved to April either

  5. #4
    Senior Member barjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truncheon View Post
    As certain as death and tax this will happen

    They want to get back the money they've lost over the last 15 months, not a cat in hells chance there'll be capacity crowds at the festival for the foreseeable

    I wouldn't rule out it being moved to April either
    Cheltenham has become so much the be all and end all nowadays that it seems to obliterate everything else. I’d like to see it earlier in the season - like Royal Ascot - so that we and trainers can then give proper focus to all the other quality racing that takes place.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    I would bet my last penny the cu*nts aren't looking at reducing it to a 3-day Festival again, so the notion they are "looking at all options" is utter bollocks.

    For those that attend the Festival for the full week, they're basically asking you to increase your costs by 20%, for the sake of adding a novice handicap chase (which should never have been dropped in the first fu*cking place), and - I dunno - probably a Veterans Chase, or a National trial.

    I certainly won't attend the Festival if this comes to pass, and neither will I attend the November meeting, as the chances of me renewing my Membership are zero.

    They can go and fu*ck themselves in the hoop with a cold stone.
    "Beat the price and lose. It's what we do".

    SlimChance, March 2018

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  8. #6
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    I'd struggle to do 2 days at Cheltenham. 5 days is a nightmare.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
    I would bet my last penny the cu*nts aren't looking at reducing it to a 3-day Festival again, so the notion they are "looking at all options" is utter bollocks.

    For those that attend the Festival for the full week, they're basically asking you to increase your costs by 20%, for the sake of adding a novice handicap chase (which should never have been dropped in the first fu*cking place), and - I dunno - probably a Veterans Chase, or a National trial.

    I certainly won't attend the Festival if this comes to pass, and neither will I attend the November meeting, as the chances of me renewing my Membership are zero.

    They can go and fu*ck themselves in the hoop with a cold stone.
    Can't understand your negativity. They could have interesting races like a Novice Chase for horses that have never run before or tie two horses together and have a 6 legged hurdle race. As they are looking at all options they should take these seriously.

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  11. #8
    Senior Member G-G's Avatar
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    One thread on Twitter raising this earlier today, there are numerous but I think it was the ATR one, everyone I saw who had replied earlier was adamantly against a fifth day being brought in.
    For people travelling in, it's an extra night in already expensive accommodation, plus food/drinks/taxis/trains/car parking fees, on top of hiked ticket prices, which has already started at other racecourses ( Edward V11 enclosure prices for Champions Day at Ascot is utterly outrageous ) . Accommodation will be more expensive /harder to book if people try to book only say 3 days instead of 5, if people have to rationalise, or they will end up not being able to come at all if premises don't want to rent space for part of a week plus all of those premises will be hiking their prices anyway. This all of top of hiked ticket prices taken as a given from next year anyway.
    Friday's all about one race really, which isn't always the best race of the meeting, I know that's just how it happens some years- my humble opinion only.
    No way can they move into April, be too close to Aintree, and Aintree aren't going to move back in time to accommodate them either. I would think a lot of Irish horses wouldn't come either as it would be too near to Leopardstown possibly?
    I struggle to do 2 days, couple of years ago I had membership including the Festival and I tried all 4 but it was too much to be honest. The next year I booked without the Festival and chose to go only on Thursday/Friday and I had only booked GC day in case Frodon went there instead of the Thursday, which he didn't. Next year BBB may well go for the handicap chase he missed out on this year, so that would be the Thursday and if ( BIG if ) LBB went for the bumper but then obviously I would get in as hysterical owner. Other wise I think prices will put me off booking anything plus I have to travel.
    Problem leaving it late i.e. as in see what's actually running, is either can't get tickets as sold out, or they are so expensive when really most days going to see one or two races only. And that to watch from the paddock , as tried to go out the front once and never did it again ( totally appreciate that is because I am not 5ft 11 unfortunately and couldn't see over heads, and just too many people, and most annoyingly Cheltenham don't the big screen on the other side of the course near to where the final hurdle/fence is. Every other meeting but not the Festival which I can't fathom either)
    I can't see the value add other than to the racecourse and associated businesses rather than the sport itself.
    And we sang Shang A Lang and we ran with the gang, singing do waap a doo di dee eye, with the juke box playing and everybody saying that music like ours couldn't die.

  12. #9
    Senior Member Euronymous's Avatar
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    If it goes to 5 days my running order:

    Tues:
    Supreme - Arkle - Ultima - Champion Hurdle - Nov Hcap Chase(new old race) - Mares Hurdle
    Wed:
    Veterans Chase(new) - Brown Adv - Coral Cup - QM - XCounty - Boodles
    Thurs:
    Marsh - Pertemps - Grand Annual - Stayers - NHC - Bumper
    Fri:
    Ballymore - Martin Pipe - Plate - Ryanair - Foxhunters - Mares Chase
    Sat:
    Triumph - County - AB - Gold Cup - Mares Novice Hurdle - Kim Muir

  13. #10
    Senior Member Tout Seul's Avatar
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    I have stayed for the Festival meeting for more than 40 years and iirc missed only 2. I am at an age when I prefer not to be standing for several hours at a go and definitely not for five days in a row. I therefore have an annual badge and pay for a seat in front of the Insurance Bar. The group I go with changes several personnel halfway through the week but I stay throughout. The cost of staying, dining out etc is inflated. At the same time the racing is being diluted. Too many people attend making the experience a trying one for most people. Some of my friends who subscribed to the Debentures years ago go home on the Friday morning and give me their tickets( seats in the stand either side of the finishing line) for my group.
    The experience of the 2020 Festival made me consider not going. The potential extension, whether it takes place or not, means I'm out. Big Screen TV and friends at my house.

  14. #11
    Senior Member Desert Orchid's Avatar
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    Going to the festival would be one of the things I would really want to experience at least once just to be able to say i'd done it but a further dilution to five days more than dampens the enthusiasm.

    A bit like looking forward to a shag off Rachel Riley and ending up with a grope... having been made to wear a boxing glove.
    Two's company, three's allowed.

  15. #12
    Senior Member Maxbet's Avatar
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    Day 5 is going to be for British entries only...
    Last edited by Maxbet; 22nd June 2021 at 11:21 AM.

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