Cheltenham Festival: Jockey Club confirms event will remain at four days beyond 2023 after extensive review

After a comprehensive examination, the Jockey Club has concluded the Cheltenham Festival in March will stay as a four-day event beyond 2023; Jockey Club’s Ian Renton: “although we studied the financial rewards and a potential to reach new audiences, we also uncovered a number of counterpoints. The Jockey Club has announced that a fifth day will not be added to the Cheltenham Festival beyond 2023.

Cheltenham Festival 2023

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Cheltenham Festival – Fox Cric

The four-day event in March, the highlight of the jumps season, has been the subject of intense discussion after a comprehensive examination into the possibility of adding an additional day of racing on Saturday. Despite the fact that many prominent persons expected a fifth day to be added, the Jockey Club declared on Monday that the meeting would continue in its existing format. The Jockey Club is genuinely concerned about our sport’s long-term survival and its role in society.

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Cheltenham Festival – Fox Cric

That’s a goal that allows us to think differently when making choices,” said Ian Renton, general director of the Jockey Club’s west area and the man in charge of Cheltenham. While we studied the financial rewards and the possibility to reach new audiences, we also identified a number of counterpoints to this. Without further track construction, for example, it is evident that it would be difficult from a grass management standpoint, and on balance, we believe 28 races over four days is the proper schedule.

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Cheltenham Festival – Fox Cric

This study enables us to do much more than merely address the issue of whether extending the Festival is a good idea. We will now review all the information with a view to upgrading our facilities, investing in innovative on-course activations, and offering our audience, participants, owners, and other stakeholders the greatest possible experience at Cheltenham Festival Racecourse.

We are thankful to everyone who has participated in this process and have appreciated the chance to hear from racehorse owners, participants, Jockey Club colleagues, the local community, our partners, dedicated racing fans, and many more who care about our sport and the Festival.” Kevin Blake, a racing commentator, has led “an outpouring of excitement” in response to the Jockey Club’s news, stating that the Festival is already overcrowded with 28 races.

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It’s quite surprising,” he said to Fox Cric Racing. The way it had been framed, it looked unavoidable, despite the racing public’s continuous opposition. The commercial argument for growing to five was plain, and it seemed that they would prevail. There has been an outpouring of delight and relief, and I am surely among them.

It may sound odd that something we love we don’t want more of, but not only do we not need two more races, we probably need six, seven or eight events fewer if this is going to be a legitimate National Hunt championship. It’s already too diluted. It should not be muddying the waters to say that National Hunt racing is in a bad way, with long-standing concerns with the program book and the polarization of major owners and trainers.”

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