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Virgin Media & ITV to show six Cheltenham Festival races live each day for the first time

cheltenham itv

In the past, five races had been shown live each day on the TV channels.

ITV and Virgin Media have agreed on a deal to show six Cheltenham Festival races live on TV each day for the first time.

ITV’s initial deal was to show five races live, with Racing TV screening the last two on the card each day.

However, this year’s Cheltenham Festival is likely to go ahead without spectators in attendances. As such, a deal has been reached that allows an extra race to be shown on terrestrial television each day.

cheltenham schedule

ITV & Virgin Media to show six Cheltenham races.

Due to the change – and in order to allow ITV to fit six races within a programme that runs from 1 pm to 4.30 pm – the gap between Cheltenham Festival races is to be reduced from 40 minutes to 35 minutes.

The opening race each afternoon is also being brought forward to a new provisional time of 1.20 pm, meaning each card’s main event will be at 3.05 pm.

The Jockey Club regional managing director Ian Renton announced he was pleased with the deal reached between RMG [Racing TV] and ITV which allowed an extra race to be shown on the terrestrial channel.

“We’re really grateful to RMG and ITV for enabling all those who will be enjoying the festival from home to enjoy a sixth race in this one year,” Renton said.

cheltenham schedule

Race name changes.

As well as alterations to the times, there have been many name changes to races at the Cheltenham Festival.

Sporting Life have taken over from the Racing Post as sponsors of the Arkle Novices’ Chase.

Paddy Power, sponsors of the Mares’ Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle, have also been named as backers of the Festival Plate Handicap Chase, now known as the Paddy Power Plate.

Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable – who were the last sponsors of the Plate – have been upgraded to what was previously the RSA Novices’ Chase.

There have also been a few schedule changes due to the Novices Handicap Chase being dropped from the four days.

The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle will now take place on Day One of the festival, Tuesday, with the Grand Annual moving to Wednesday.

The new Mares Chase will be the penultimate race on Gold Cup day.

2021 Cheltenham Festival provisional schedule.

Tuesday.

1.20 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

1.55  Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

2.30 Ultima Handicap Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

3.05 Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

3.40 Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

4.15 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

4.50 National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Chase – Racing TV

Wednesday.

1.20 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

1.55 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

2.30 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

3.05 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

3.40 Glenfarclas Cross country Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

4.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Handicap Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

4.50 Weatherbys Champion Bumper – Racing TV

cheltenham itv

Thursday.

1.20 Marsh Novices’ Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

1.55 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

2.30 Ryanair Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

3.05 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

3.40 Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

4.15 Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

4.50 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase – Racing TV

Friday.

1.20 JCB Triumph Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

1.55  Randox County Handicap Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

2.30 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

3.05 WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

3.40 St. James Place Festival Open Hunters’ Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

4.15 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase – ITV/Virgin Media/Racing TV

4.50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle – Racing TV

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