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Cheltenham Festival 2011 Feb 18
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Over 200,000 visitors are expected and bookmakers are already forming their betting guides for the big money Gold Cup competition to be held on the 18th of March. The Cheltenham Festival kicks off with Centenary Day on the 15th, when the festivities are dedicated exclusively to the racecourse’s illustrious 100 years of horse racing history. Five races are scheduled for Tuesday the 15th, including the Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase and the day’s main event – The Stan James Champion Hurdle.

Wednesday the 16th is Ladies Day at the Cheltenham Festival. Seven races will be run, headlined by the Queen Mother Champion Chase main event. The day’s races will be supplemented by the festival’s very own fashion award open to all visiting ladies. Prizes will be given to the winners of the Best Dressed, Best Accessories and Best Hat category winners. On the 17th, the festivities only get bigger as tens of thousands of visitors celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The racecourse’s shopping village, which is host to 100 stores, will be alive with traditional Irish music and dancing. In between the day’s seven races, make sure to catch the St. Patrick’s Day parade and a live performance from the Hothouse Flowers.

The Cheltenham racecourse holds the most important day of racing on the 18th, when the festival’s jump champion is crowned in the Gold Cup event. The cast will include three former Gold Cup winners, including last year’s champion – Imperial Commander. Tickets can be purchased beforehand from the official Cheltenham racecourse website or at the gate entrance on arrival. Three different enclosure areas and two grandstands are available, with tickets starting at £25. Restaurant and race day packages are also available at £298.

If you're looking to attend the Cheltenham Festival, and are looking for accommodation in Swindon, then check out Jurys range of hotels in Swindon.

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