All you need to know about Cheltenham Festival 2024 including forecast and race timings

Jockey Paul Townend celebrates after winning the Gold Cup in 2023 Credit: PA Wire

It's one of the highlights of the racing calendar with thousands of people expected to descend on Cheltenham Racecourse from March 12.

The racing event is run by The Jockey Club and is Britain’s third biggest sporting event in terms of attendance.

Attendance during The Cheltenham Festival triples the town’s population and the event is worth an estimated £274 million to the local economy, prize money across the four days will be in excess of £4.8 million.

When is Cheltenham Festival 2024?

The Festival runs from Tuesday 12 March until Friday 15 March. There are a total of 28 races over the 4 days. Gates open at 10:30 each morning.

On all four days the racing starts at 1.30 in the afternoon and the final race is at 5.30pm

Tickets for Friday’s Gold Cup Day are sold out, but there are still some available for other days.

The Jockey Club says it has no formal dress code in place but does advise people to dress appropriately for the weather.

Thousands of people will descend on the racecourse. Credit: Cheltenham Racecourse

What is the weather forecast for the Festival?

Day 1 - Tuesday 12 March

A cloudy start to Champions Day with outbreaks of heavy rain in the morning. Turning drier and brighter from 3pm. Maximum temperatures of 12 degrees.

Day 2 - Wednesday 13 March

A drier day on Wednesday but winds increasing to 18mph around midday. It will feel warmer though with highs of 14 degrees.

Day 3 - Thursday 14 March

St Patrick’s Thursday could see the best conditions of the festival with brighter albeit overcast skies. There will be a moderate breeze and highs of 15 degrees.

Day 4 - Friday 15 March

Gold Cup Day will see a mixture of sunny spells and showers. It will be breezy though with wind speeds of around 19mph around midday. This will make it feel cooler with temperatures hitting highs of 13 degrees.

Will there be disruption on the roads?

National Highways is advising drivers using the M5 in Gloucestershire to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys during the Cheltenham Festival.

The busiest times on the roads are expected to be between 9.30am and 12.30pm each day.

There is the potential for delays on the M5 between junctions 9 and 11, on the A40 west of junction 11 and on the A46 east of junction 9.