If you are lucky enough to be going to the Cheltenham Festival this year – the biggest meeting in national hunt racing – now is the time to start planning your trip. Here is a guide to what to wear during the week and things to look out for at the track and in the town at the end of the day.
— Hadley Langley-Smith (@Hadleyls) February 14, 2017
Although like some horse racing meetings, most notably Royal Ascot, Cheltenham does not have a strict dress code. That’s not to say you should not make an effort though. The weather will play a big part in what you wear at the meeting as if it comes up cold during the week, you need to make sure you wrap up, while at the same time, the spring sunshine has been known to come early for the Festival so make sure you check the forecast so you are not caught out.
Most women who attend the meeting wear a hat or fascinator. If you don’t want to splash out on some new headgear, you can hire something for your day. Always think about what dress you are going to be wearing before making the decision on your hat, otherwise you could be left with an awkward combination.
Choice of clothing for men should depend on which part of the racecourse you have bought tickets for. If you are in one of the boxes at the course or have hospitality as part of your package, you should look to wear a dinner suit. On the other hand, in the general grandstand, you can lean towards casual clothing with smart shoes.
Things to Do at the Track
For those who really enjoy horse racing and following the sport throughout the year, the Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of their calendar. The most prestigious race in the sport takes place on day four with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which always throws up a great story, as you can see from the top five memorable Gold Cup moments.
Cue Card triumphs in the Betfair Ascot Chase. All roads now lead to Cheltenham… pic.twitter.com/zoNBADsaGS
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) February 18, 2017
If you are looking to place a bet on this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, the betting is headed by the Colin Tizzard-trained horse Cue Card, who is 3/1 with Paddy Power for the 3-mile 2-furlong contest.
Unlike some other meetings throughout the year though, there is a range of entertainment for you to enjoy at the track and around the town during the festival. Look out for the marquees around the course where there will be live music being played. If you are looking for food, you can book yourself into one of the restaurants. There is everything from fine dining to burger and chips depending on what you fancy.
In the evening, the bars and pubs get very busy around Cheltenham town centre as racegoers flock in their numbers to celebrate their winnings or just to extend their day. Hopefully you will have plenty of cash in your pocket at the end of the day and the champagne may well be on you.