Today is the day one of the biggest horse racing events of the year kicks off.

The Cheltenham Festival features some of the most prestigious Grade 1 races in horse racing including the renowned Cheltenham Gold Cup which will run on Friday 16th March.

Every year the Cheltenham Gold Cup dominates the festival and is a race not to be missed!

Ruby Walsh holds the title of ‘Top Jockey’ for the eleventh time in his career. The award is given to the jockey who wins the most races over the course of the week – can he do it again this year or will newcomer Bryony Frost take his place?

Cheltenham Racecourse expects to receive more than 200,000 racegoers over the next coming days, and bookers are expecting to take an astonishing £500million!

The Cheltenham Festival Schedule:

Day One: Champion Day kicks of the festival today, this year featuring the most important hurdle race of the season; The Champion Hurdle. The current favourite to win and retain the trophy is 2017 winner Buveur D’air – keep an eye out to see if he can keep his title!

Day Two: Ladies’ Day is the perfect opportunity for women to dress to impress in their most elegant outfits and compete in a bit of friendly competition to be crowned best dressed lady, best accessories and not to forget, best hat! The Queen Mother Champion Chase will be the pick of the day’s races. So, ladies dust off your favourite outfit and purchase the most extravagant hat you can find to be in a chance of winning some great prizes!

Day Three: St Patrick’s Day; an early celebration! and there is sure to be plenty of Guinness flowing in the Guinness Village! To celebrate the occasion, Irish dancing displays will be taking place throughout the day and Irish dining will be on offer. The main race of the day will be the Stayer’s Hurdle, which features twelve hurdles over a three-mile course. The Irish are said to be lucky – therefore it’s definitely the day to place your bets…

Day Four: The final day hosts the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which includes twenty-two fences and is considered to be the most prestigious National Hunt event. The festival then comes to a close with the final race, The Grand Annual Steeple Chase, setting off at 5.15pm.

If you are not able to make the Cheltenham Festival, remember there is always the Grand National at Aintree in April and later in the year, Royal Ascot.

Those who are considering booking tickets to races later in the year – as well as accommodation – should bear in mind that if their UK break is a minimum of two night, three days it will be covered by travel insurance. There are also some travel insurance policies that will offer to cover the cost of pre-paid tickets so with costs mounting up, you could be left out of pocket if you are unable to make your trip – by purchasing travel insurance you will be able to claim back any costs should an unforeseen circumstance lead you to cancel your short holiday…