Cheltenham Racecourse is a racecourse for horse racing events, located at Prestbury Park, in the suburban village of Prestbury on the outskirts of the English town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Cheltenham is called the "home of National Hunt racing", largely because it hosts the four-day Cheltenham Festival, held in March of each year and featuring the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The racecourse has a scenic location in a natural amphitheatre just below the escarpment of the Cotswold Hills, at Cleeve Hill, with a capacity of 67,500 spectators. The racecourse also has its own steam railway station, although this no longer connects to the national rail network but is rather the southern terminus of the preserved Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
The main racecourse has two separate courses alongside each other, the Old Course and the New Course. The New Course has a tricky downhill fence and a longer run-in for steeplechases than the Old Course. Hurdle races over two miles on the New Course also have a slight peculiarity in that most of the hurdles are jumped early on in the race with only two hurdles being jumped in the last seven furlongs.
There is also a cross-country course which is laid out inside the main racecourse and is used for cross-country steeplechases.
The racecourse is the home of The Centaur, one of the largest auditoria in the South West of England. This multiple-use complex seats over 2,000 people for conferences and around 4,000 standing for concerts. It is also home to the Steeplechasing Hall of Fame. The racecourse is the venue for the annual Greenbelt festival and Wychwood Music Festival. The University of Gloucestershire holds its graduation ceremony and summer ball at the racecourse.
From 2008, the racecourse and "The Jockey Club" were in talks with Cheltenham Town F.C. about a possible move to the racecourse. This would have meant the building of a new stadium witha double sided stand, one side in the stadium and the other for watching the races. Talks went on for a while but in December 2011, Cheltenham decidede against the move due to the financial gap, which the football club's chairman Paul Baker described as "In the millions".
Read more about Cheltenham Racecourse: Notable Races
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