Cheltenham Festival will continue as four-day event for 2023 and beyond

The event attracted a record attendance over the four days in 2022

Cheltenham Festival will remain a four-day event for 2023 and beyond, it has been announced.

The racing event is run by The Jockey Club, which had been looking at the possibility of adding an extra day to the festival to make it a five-day affair.

Following talks with key stakeholders - including owners, jockeys, racing staff, fans of the festival and broadcasters - the club has today (17 October) confirmed it will remain a four-day event.

The festival is Britain’s third biggest sporting event in terms of attendance. In 2022, it attracted a record total of 280,627 people across four days.

It was extended from three days to its current four-day format in 2005.

Organisers previously said they identified growth opportunities for the future of the festival.

But they have now decided not to extend the festival beyond its current four-day format due to the potential impact on the racing surface as well as the uncertainty of the current economy. 

Ian Renton, who runs Cheltenham Racecourse as managing director of The Jockey Club’s west region, said: "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.

"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."

When is Cheltenham Festival 2023?

Cheltenham Festival will be held from Tuesday 14 March until Friday 17 March next year. Gold Cup Day will take place on Friday 17 March.

The event's capacity will be capped at 68,500 each day.