Cheltenham Festival 2017 live on ITV


The home of jump racing plays host to the self-styled ‘greatest show on turf’ in March as ITV presents live free-to-air coverage of all four days from the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.

Featuring a cast of the best horses, jockeys and trainers playing to an audience in excess of 200,000 spectators, the Cheltenham Festival provides four days of magic, madness and magnificence, all played out on a stage framed by the breathtaking vista of the Cotswold Hills.

For all the star names in National Hunt racing, victory at the Cheltenham Festival is how greatness is measured and how careers are defined, and this year’s edition marks ITV’s debut in covering this showpiece event, having taken over the rights from Channel 4 to all live horse racing on terrestrial television in January.

ITV will screen 20 hours of live coverage taking in five races per day, going behind the scenes at the course, featuring interviews with key jockeys, trainers and racing legends, sampling the atmosphere in the grandstands, all leading up to the Gold Cup on Friday afternoon.

On the opening day, the feature race is the Stan James Champion Hurdle. With recent winners Annie Power and Faugheen missing the race through injury, this year’s renewal is wide open.

Wednesday’s feature race is the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, in which Douvan is the main Irish hope for the week, and will be a red-hot favourite to win.

On Thursday, viewers will be treated to a brace of Grade One Features. The Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle is the ultimate prize over the smaller obstacles for those horses in need of a longer trip, while the Ryanair Chase is the newest of the major championship races at the festival having been introduced in 2005 when the Festival was expanded from three days to four.

Then on Friday, the highlight of the festival goes to post with all eyes on the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at 3.30pm, with Thistlecrack trainer Colin Tizzard still hoping to land the blue riband prize despite his star chaser being ruled out by injury.

Joining presenter Ed Chamberlin for expert analysis are Sir AP McCoy, Luke Harvey and Mick Fitzgerald, with on-course reporting from Oli Bell and in the paddock with Alice Plunkett.

Calling all live ITV races will be lead commentator Richard Hoiles, while Matt Chapman will have the latest betting news, with Brian Gleeson alongside to provide an Irish angle on the action from the betting ring.

Lucy Verasamy will have the latest weather forecasts, Victoria Pendleton will report from behind the scenes, and expert Eva O’Donoghue will give her views from a veterinary perspective. 

Additionally, legendary ITV racing presenter Brough Scott returns to bring his analysis and unique perspective to the festival.

Alongside ITV’s coverage, extended 90-minute editions of The Opening Show, presented by Oli Bell, will air on ITV4 every morning throughout the festival at 10am with a preview of each day’s action.

ITV’s live festival coverage will also be simulcast on the ITV Hub, on web and app, for viewers to watch online and on the ITV Racing website – – helping bring the festival to life, while viewers can also download the free ITV Racing app, which features a new version of the iconic ITV7 competition as well as the latest news and videos.

The ITV Racing Twitter account will feature clips during each of the channel’s broadcasts and the ITV Racing Facebook page will feature daily Facebook Live broadcasts with Oli Bell and guests at 7.00pm.

Unique footage from 360-degree cameras in key positions around the course will give social media users a new dimension with highlights of the major action from the festival.

The footage, made available at the end of each day via ITV’s YouTube and Facebook accounts, is designed to allow viewers to immerse themselves in the top moments on and off the course.

This year racing returned to ITV for the first time in 32 years, in a new four-year deal to show UK horse racing on terrestrial television encompassing live broadcasts of almost 100 days of racing each year – including 42 days on the main channel.

Cheltenham is the first major festival in ITV’s calendar, which includes the Grand National, the Epsom Derby, and all the other major festivals including Royal Ascot, the Five Classics, plus other highlights such as Future Champions Day at Newmarket and Champions Day at Ascot.

Full TV schedule and race cards can be found below, while further Cheltenham Festival information can be found via

All 28 races from the 2017 Cheltenham Festival will be broadcast live on dedicated horse channel Racing UK.


The Opening Show
PREVIEW  9.30am-11.00am
ITV Racing: Cheltenham Festival
LIVE  1.00pm-4.30pm

1.30   Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2.10   Racing Post Arkle
2.50   Ultima Handicap
3.30   Stan James Champion Hurdle
4.10   OLBG Mares’ Hurdle


The Opening Show
PREVIEW  9.30am-11.00am
ITV Racing: Cheltenham Festival
LIVE  1.00pm-4.30pm

1.30   Neptune Novices’ Hurdle
2.10   RSA Chase
2.50   Coral Cup Hurdle
3.30   Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
4.10   Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase


The Opening Show
PREVIEW  9.30am-11.00am
ITV Racing: Cheltenham Festival
LIVE  1.00pm-4.30pm

1.30   JLT Novices’ Chase
2.10   Pertemps Network Final
2.50   Ryanair Chase
3.30   Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle
4.10   Brown Advisory Merriebelle Stable


The Opening Show
PREVIEW  9.30am-11.00am
ITV Racing: Cheltenham Festival
LIVE  1.00pm-4.30pm

1.30   JCB Triumph Hurdle
2.10   Randox Health County Handicap
2.50   Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
3.30   Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup
4.10   St. James’s Place Foxhunter Chase

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