ITV racing will be on ITV daily from Tuesday 12th to Friday 15th March 1pm-4.30pm.
The Opening Show is on daily on ITV4 from 9.30-10.30am.
The Cheltenham Festival 2019, presented by Magners, offers four days of extraordinary racing.
ITV Racing will broadcast five races a day on ITV in a three-and-a-half hour live show as well as the Opening Show daily on ITV4.
Presented by Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani, the team includes Sir Anthony McCoy, Oli Bell, Mick Fitzgerald, Alice Plunkett, Brough Scott, Matt Chapman, Luke Harvey, Kevin Blake, Brian Gleeson and Sally Ann Grassick with commentator, Richard Hoiles.
Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins and Lorraine’s Mark Heyes join the team on Ladies Day, Wednesday 13th March, and 2017 Love Island star and racing enthusiast Chris Hughes, joins the team on Thursday 14th March.
Across the week, the Bafta-winning production and technical team will use state-of-the-art equipment and will show 18 hours of coverage of the Festival.
The team will have unrivalled access to the racecourse and all the key players, and show many behind-the-scenes features and ‘jargon busters’. Matt Chapman will be at the helm of the ‘social stable’ providing a platform for viewers to interact with the action. The Opening Show, hosted by Oli Bell, with Sally Ann Grassick out and about on the track as the horses exercise, Kevin Blake bringing an insight into the Irish angle, a variety of guests and Richard Hoiles’ ‘Festival Quiz time’.
Every day there will also be a free-to-enter ITV7 competition, which has total jackpot prizes of over £500,000 across the week.
Tuesday 12 March – Champion Day
Feature Race – the Unibet Champion Hurdle
Champion Hurdle favourite, Buveur d’Air, goes for a historic hat-trick in the race hoping to join the five other greats who have achieved this - including See you Then (1985-87), also trained by Nicky Henderson, and the legendary JP McManus-owned, Istabraq who dominated the race from 1988-2000. Hoping to upset the English apple cart will be the two mares from Ireland - Apple’s Jade and Laurina. This day also sees Lalor, trained by Kayley Woollacott (whose husband tragically died last year) see if he can bring home the Racing Post Arkle for a small stable and an emotional victory.
Wednesday 13 March – Ladies Day
Feature Race – the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
This day will undoubtedly be all about Altior, the Nicky Henderson-trained superstar who goes for a second win in the Queen Mother and has not been beaten in 17 starts over jumps.
This is also Ladies Day so ITV Fashion experts Charlotte Hawkins and Mark Heyes will be out and about on course soaking up the fashion and festivities.
Thursday 14 March – St Patrick’s Thursday
Feature Races – the Ryanair Chase / the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle
Paisley Park, trained by Emma Lavelle will be the favourite for the Stayers’ and all talk will be whether he can win it for his blind owner, Andrew Gemmell.
The Ryanair could also be one of the races of the Festival. The Irish have had a stranglehold on the race in the last three years and are likely to take home the prize again.
Love Island’s Chris Hughes also joins the team on the Opening Show on Thursday morning and will then be with Matt Chapman in the social stable all afternoon. Having grown up in Gloucestershire, at the very heart of a racing community, Chris is a hugely enthusiastic and knowledgeable supporter of the sport.
Friday 15 March – Gold Cup Day
Feature Race – the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup
With a new sponsor and an old trophy (the 1924 Cheltenham Gold Cup comes back to life having resurfaced after being ‘lost’ for years), Friday is all about the Gold Cup, racing’s most coveted prize.
Having been so impressive in the RSA Chase last year, Presenting Percy returns as Ireland’s ‘People’s Champion’, 25 years on from the great Danoli, who had similar legendary status from across the water. It will undoubtedly be one of ITV’s most-watched days of racing this year.
“I really enjoy the craic with the Irish both within the ITV Racing Team and across the racecourse. They make Cheltenham special and give the Festival its unique atmosphere. They want to take our big prizes back across the Irish Sea but make sure they enjoy the ride whatever happens.” Ed Chamberlin
“I love Cheltenham for the buzz. The passion of the crowd, the jockeys, the grooms and the owners. It is so electric it is almost touchable. The emotion runs through every inch of the place.” Alice Plunkett