Get ready for the famous Cheltenham roar as the annual racing extravaganza returns to our screens, with extensive live coverage on Channel 4.
The coliseum in the Cotswolds will once again play host to the climax of a the jump season. Featuring the best horses, jockeys and trainers, the Cheltenham Festival is considered by many within the sport to be pinnacle of racing on these shores.
The festival will build to a crescendo as Long Run (above) looks to defend his crown in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup against a strong field of challengers, including Weird Al, Burton Port and Midnight Chase. Despite a recent fall at home, perennial festival favourite Kauto Star has been declared fit to run.
Long Run famously upstaged Denman (now retired) and Kauto Star last year, but a resurgent Kauto has beaten him twice this season.
The festival has firmly established itself as one of the true highlights of the British sporting calendar, and you can follow all the action on Channel 4, with Alastair Down and Alice Plunkett presenting live coverage throughout the week.
Roving reports and interviews will come from Derek Thompson and Lesley Graham, and updates from the betting ring will be provided by John McCririck and Tanya Stevenson.
Commentary on all the races comes from the ‘voice of Channel 4 Racing’ Simon Holt, with analysis from John Francome, Jim McGrath and Ted Walsh.
There will also be a special festival edition of The Morning Line, where presenter Nick Luck and special guests will preview each day’s racing on at 7.55am, and a late-night highlights programme every night throughout the festival.
Racing UK will also provide coverage of the festival with all 28 races live, including exclusive coverage of the final two races of each race day.
The subscription channel is available on Sky (432), Virgin Media (536), and now on Freeview via an internet-connected receiver (ch. 114) – For details on how to subscribe: CLICK HERE
.Cheltenham Festival 2012 – Live on Channel 4 / Racing UK TV Schedule / Race Cards
Champion Day – Tuesday 13th March
The wait will be over as the first race begins to signal that the shining jewel in Jump racing’s crown is back. See Willie Mullins’ Hurricane Fly attempt to defend his crown in the Stan James Champion Hurdle – the highlight of opening day’s seven-race card.TV Festival Morning Line – Channel 4 – 7.55am-8.55am Day 1 LIVE – Channel 4 – 12.30pm-4.15pm | Racing UK – 1pm-6pm Highlights – Channel 4 – 12.10am-12.40am Race Card 1330 – William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 1405 – Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase 1440 – JLT Specialty Steeple Chase (Handicap) 1520 – Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy 1600 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase 1640 – David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle Race (Live on Racing UK) 1715 – Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase (Live on Racing UK) .
Ladies Day – Wednesday 14th March
Wednesday at the Cheltenham Festival is Ladies Day. The feature race is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, as the best two-mile chasers fly over the Cheltenham fences at lightning speed. Ireland’s Sizing Europe is favourite to win again.TV Festival Morning Line – Channel 4 – 7.55am-8.55am Day 2 LIVE – Channel 4 – 12.30pm-4.15pm | Racing UK – 1pm-5.30pm Highlights – Channel 4 – 12am-12.30am Race Card 1330 – National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup 1405 – Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle 1440 – RSA Chase 1520 – Sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase 1600 – Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) 1640 – Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Live on Racing UK) 1715 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Live on Racing UK) .
St Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday 15th March
Big Buck’s will be bidding to win an unprecedented fourth Ladbrokes World Hurdle and equal the world record number of consecutive hurdle wins. Will the luck of the Irish be with Albertas Run as he attempts to win his third Ryanair Chase and a race at his fourth successive Festival?TV Festival Morning Line – Channel 4 – 7.55am-8.55am Day 3 LIVE – Channel 4 – 12.30pm-4.15pm | Racing UK – 1pm-6pm Highlights – Channel 4 – 12.10am-12.40am Race Card 1330 – Jewson Novices’ Steeple Chase 1405 – Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) 1440 – Ryanair Chase 1520 – Ladbrokes World Hurdle 1600 – Byrne Group Plate Handicap Chase 1640 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup H’cap (Live on Racing UK) 1715 – St. Patrick’s Derby Charity Race (Live on Racing UK) .
Cheltenham Gold Cup Day – Friday 16th March
It could be one of those ‘where were you’ moments. Can Kauto Star really regain the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup for the second time and a third win overall?
He must overcome last year’s winner Long Run, a rejuvenated Burton Port, Weird Al and the front-running Midnight Chase. It will be a race to savour on a day to remember, so ready yourself for a roof-raising, spine-tingling dramatic seven minutes.TV Festival Morning Line – Channel 4 – 7.55am-8.55am Day 3 LIVE – Channel 4 – 12.30pm-4.15pm | Racing UK – 1pm-6pm Gold Cup Re-Run – Channel 4 – 7.25pm-7.30pm Highlights – Channel 4 – 1.05am-1.35am Race Card 1330 – JCB Triumph Hurdle 1405 – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle 1440 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle 1520 – Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase 1600 – Christie’s Foxhunter Chase 1640 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ H’cap Hurdle (Live on Racing UK) 1715 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (Live on Racing UK) Racing UK is available via subscription on Sky 432, Virgin 536 – MORE DETAILS BBC Radio 5 Live will have two hours of live coverage each day during the festival from 2pm, presented by John Inverdale. .