Cheltenham Festival

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20 Sep 10 12:00
Date Joined: 07 Jun 10
| Topic/replies: 954 | Blogger: TheAdvisor's blog
Hi All, i'm generally a footy gambler and only dabble on the horses occasionally unless we're going to the meeting, then get well involved! Going racing is a more of a hobby for my girlfriend and I but so far we've only been to the smaller meets, mainly at Goodwood due to it's close proximity to where we live. Anyway, we're keen to go to the Festival for a couple of days in 2011 as it sounds fantastic. I notice most people on here are saying don't bother with Gold Cup day due to the crowds and general hassle, would the Tuesday and Wednesday be the best days to attend in that case? Also, what are the timescales for getting tickets bought and booking somewhere to stay, and where should we stay? Hopefully this will turn into an annual thing for us so I want the experience to be cracking. Any advice/help would be greatley appreciated.
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Report That Horse September 20, 2010 12:44 PM BST
Tues and wed are by far the best days. I used to go for the week and just go to the friday meeting. However yes I would agree to avoid the friday - book tickets early as you get a discount. Id also book accommodation now to avoid disappointment. I stay with friends in chelt but the whole week is special. Atmosphere of the town is fantastic and is a week you will never forget and will be back year after year like the rest of us.
Report CVByrne September 20, 2010 12:49 PM BST
Tuesday is the best day. Tuesday and wednesday would be the best two days to go. Best racing too.
Report Just So September 20, 2010 1:06 PM BST
the Tuesday is electric, and the first four races of the meeting are all absolute crackers - it can be a mighty intense sequence of racing - personally I usually have to take a seat on the Club lawn after the Champion hurdle and remind myself to breathe :o)...

the Wednesday is a belting good day's sport as well.

thursday is pleasant but can lack the intensity of days 1 and 2.

Friday becoming increasingly uncomfortable / unpleasant IMO.
Report VECTIS September 20, 2010 3:45 PM BST
Tuesday is the day,the first couple of hours leave you breathless,The Novice opener ,The Arkle,Champion hurdle,go for a pint while 4 JP mCMANUS Horses battle out the cross countrySilly,and finally cheer home QuevegaLovefor a third David Nicholson,blissGrin.
Report R Carver September 20, 2010 4:58 PM BST
TheAdvisor, maybe i am going against the crowd, but if you are going for the first time you must go to gold cup day. Yes, its v busy, but that adds to the fun imo. The atmosphere is electric. You will never experience anythign like it. Plus, if you are going to the festival, you have to see the gold cup, surely? Yes, you get a few moron's getting in the way, but that happens each day.

Thursday is the weakest day of the 4 imo, so if you do not need to stay overnight, maybe try Tuesday and Friday? If you need to go consecutive days, i would go Thurs & Fri simply so you can see the gold cup. Yes, the Thursday is arguably the weakest of the 4 cards, but it is still very very good. In my experience (i never miss a day) it is marginally quieter than the first 2 days or the last day so you can familiarise yourself with the place before the bedlam of Friday. The atmosphere on Friday is much much better than the other 3. Thursday is marginally weaker than Tues and Weds, but if going on Thurs means you can go Fri, that will more than make up for it... enjoy.
Report Deplasterer September 20, 2010 6:34 PM BST
The Advisor, have to agree with all the above's comments, tues & weds best for racing, getting around and brilliant atmosphere especially the "roar" for the Supreme novices. Cheltenham is definitely the place to stay but can be hard to find accomodation & can be pricey, we fly in from Ireland and stay in Bristol, where accomodation is fine & quite cheap. approx £80 for double room, only 40-45 mins to cheltenham on train, and if you want to stay for a few hours after racing there are trains running up to around 11 PM. Book everything early and get cheap rates especially tickets from Cheltenham racecourse website. For someone coming for the first time it is something very special, win losse or draw on the gambling front.
Report TheAdvisor September 20, 2010 7:12 PM BST
Thanks for all the tips so far. Interesting comments on all fronts, although i'm now really not sure which days to go! Deplasterer - thanks for the advice on where to stay, sounds like a good idea travelling to Bristol as we can then go out in the city after the racing if we fancy it. I really like the idea of the Gold Cup but I don't want any hassle (mainly knobs in baby blue suits with white loafers) but obviously do want the atmosphere!
Report VillaBoy September 20, 2010 7:32 PM BST
I'd go Gold Cup day. Yes, it's busy but the Gold Cup is still the race to watch. Imo there is a massive difference between buying Tattersalls and Club tickets. If comfort is important over price then make sure you buy Club. The racing views from the Club enclosure lawn are good and it's not crowded. Tatttersalls is really cramped and it takes ages to move anywhere. You need to be in position very early before each race to benefit from Tattersalls.
Report 1st time poster September 20, 2010 7:39 PM BST
forget the rampers on here,if its damp and miserable and you back 20 losers its a desperate place ,made more desperate by the fact that there will be plenty of people who,ve backed winners, nightlife again is governed by the amount of winners you back great when you,ve backed a few not so good when u,ve done your kippers
Report TheAdvisor September 20, 2010 8:29 PM BST
VillaBoy - Good bit of advice. Is it worth paying the extra for club tickets, what's the general opion? Tattersalls might have a better atmosphere, but I guess it's electric everywhere....
Report Banks September 20, 2010 9:35 PM BST
Tattersalls are pointless unless you get a ****ss grandstand ticket.

It is all down to personal preference but I would buy a tatts and ****ss grandstand ticket rather than a club which is virtually the same price. I used to think you were a bit too far out but the view is fantastic.

Best Mate is not too bad either. I actually think the viewing in Best Mate is better than Tatts.

As for accommodation I would advise staying in Cheltenham and paying a little extra. I stop in a fantastic private house for £140 per night for the 2 of us. We get our own annex which is home for the week. It was originally booked through one of the private accommodation sites. They are excellent and miles better value than the hotels.

I wouldn`t stay in Bristol etc as although it sounds like a neat idea it is quite an effort to commute in and out every day. Cheltenham station is quite a way from the track and town centre and I reckon if you do all week by train you will be dead on your feet by Friday. Might be OK if there are 4 of you for a taxi but even then taxis from Ch`nam can be a long wait some nights.

Pay a little extra, reduce the hassle and you will have the best week of your life every March!
Report rogerthebutler September 20, 2010 9:54 PM BST
If you're going with the Memsahb, is she tolerant of crowds, long queues for a slash (or whatever it is that women do in there that takes forever), bacon rolls and beery nightlife?

If so, then Thursday / Friday and stayover in Cheltenham, get down to Montpelier after racing and the both of you drink yourselves comatose with plenty of others on the lash.

If you want to stroll hand in hand, mooning around at the clorious scenery, before a dinner of pan-fried harp seal cooked in its own phlegm, served on a bed of unicorns, then you might want to try a hotel in the Cotswolds - Broadway, Stow, Moreton-in-Marsh etc.
Report R Carver September 20, 2010 10:18 PM BST
Sorry yes, i forgot to say, tatts has really improved, but you have to buy club, the atmosphere is electric. I wish i was going for the 1st time again, although it feels like christmas every march! winchcome, bristol, stow, all recommended.
Report cricnut September 20, 2010 11:29 PM BST
Tuesday is definatly the best day, just because its the first and all the lead up to the Festival is now over. The roar that goes up as the tape rises for the first race is incredible and agree that it is incredibly tight to move around on the Friday. Don't think we have another great horse around for Gold Cup honours this season, although the Commander loves Cheltenham. So if I was going for 2 days, it would be Tuesday/Wednesday
Report 2rivets September 21, 2010 6:02 PM BST
until last year id only ever been on gc day went tuesday for 1st time and it was so much better.went in tatts and had a great time if it wasnt for kauto i think id do the tuesday and weds this year
Report abbott September 21, 2010 7:25 PM BST
First timw I went was on the Wednesday and it was great but I regret only getting Tatts tickets.
The next year and since then I have been in the club going Tue, Wed and Fri.
After last years dibacle I am seriously thinking about missing out on Gold Cup day and replacing it with Thursday.
The friday is good but is way to busy and I lost a fair amount of my enjoyment having to walk from one end of the course to another to find a toilet that didnt have 100 people in the que.

Long and short of it if only going for 2 days it has to be Tue/Wed by far the best days.
Report Perpetual.... September 21, 2010 9:19 PM BST
As others have said, Tatts with a Granstand seat is perfect - particularly for GC day

Great view, bar, toilets, Coral, Tote and food all on hand

I'm booked Tues, Wed, Fri this year and the ****ss village Thursday
Report ImSoLuckyLucky! September 21, 2010 9:40 PM BST
Grandstand seat seems a bit PRICEY


I rather MINGLE

Report Perpetual.... September 21, 2010 9:46 PM BST
You'll be doing more than mingling on the Friday Grin
Report Desmond Orchard September 22, 2010 12:34 PM BST
I echo the Tue/Weds thing, I vowed a few years ago never to return on a Friday and whilst I get a pang of regret watching the Gold Cup winner being lead in, I know I would've hated it 99% of the time.
My top-tip is to get your lady to put a decent wad of loo roll in her handbag, you'll be grateful for it at some point.
Report ilikewavingatbuses September 22, 2010 12:50 PM BST
Report Howdi September 22, 2010 1:31 PM BST
desmond aint wrong Happy
Report 2coats October 3, 2010 8:16 PM BST
Been to every day of the last 10 festivals, whether 3 or 4 days. This year will be the first time that me and my mates will miss Gold Cup day. Just too busy and full of idiots who probably dont know that racing is going on outside of the bars!
Used to travel up and back each day from Cheltenham. Totally knackering. Been staying in Cheltenham for past 6 or 7 years and it is worth paying good money for good accomodation, some good lets out there although hotels have inceased their prices this year which is bad news.
In answer to you The Advisor, I would travel up Monday evening, stay in a good hotel and go racing Tuesday and Wednesday. Enjoy.
Report j0e_ October 4, 2010 11:25 PM BST
I went for the first time this year with my girlfriend.
I'm not sure if the link will work but we used these
If you can stand 4/5 hrs on a coach then its a pretty good deal as you dont have to worry about driving so can drink as much as you fancy etc!
I was only interested in going Gold cup day and did underestimate how busy it would be, was a good experience even though I did my conkers!
Report j0e_ October 4, 2010 11:26 PM BST
Report j0e_ October 4, 2010 11:26 PM BST
Nope not working but have a look on the site.
Report ickers1 October 5, 2010 6:31 AM BST
anyone coming to cheltenham for race meeting the only taxi company to use is SPA-TAX TAXI & PRIVATE HIRE SERVICE.  01242 807666
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