Cheltenham is located in a town by the same name, inside Gloucestershire County, South West England. The Jockey Club Racecourses-owned course sits on the Prestbury Park, and underwent a redevelopment worth £45m in 2013. Its main claim to fame is the annual Cheltenham Festival held in March.
The course has been used for horse racing purposes since 1831, when flat races were moved to Prestbury from Nottingham Hill to evade the church’s violent opposition to horse racing. Most modelling and development was done in the 1920s, but works have been done over the years to accommodate dynamic crowds and racing trends.
Cheltenham is regarded a natural amphitheatre because it attracts many other events besides horse racing. It can hold 67,000 spectators across the sections, with a grandstand and Royal Box to catch all the action from.
There are two racing courses, the Old and New, with slight variations from each other. One particular downhill fence is a source of interest for spectators, as it is tricky and requires horses and their riders to be at their best.
There are also member areas and bar facilities within the course, all upgraded during the 2013 redevelopment.
During the annual festival, Grade I Races like the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Champion Hurdle, and Stayers’ Hurdle take place. Many notable races have taken place in these events, among them the five races won by Golden Miller in the 1930s.
Horses who ran there
Golden Miller remains the most legendary horse to run here, with five consecutive Gold Cup wins. L’Escargot in 1975, Arkle in 1996, Best Mate in 2004 and Kauto Star in 1999 also deserve a mention.
Inside the Cheltenham is Centaur, an auditoria with a 2000 sitting/4000 standing capacity for conferences and concerts. Major events held here include the Greebelt faith, arts and justice festival, Wynchwood Music Concert and Gloucestershire University’s graduation and summer ball.