Ladies Day is always a highlight at the Cheltenham Festival horse racing meet in England. Fashion and sport synergize at the track located near the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the second of four consecutive days of equine competition in the middle of March.
Getting dressed up to the nines is part of the fun and glamor attached to a day at the races. As Cheltenham is the premier festival of the British and Irish jumps season, there are also going to be some top racehorses in action.
Unlike Royal Ascot, the dress code here is not so strict. Everybody still wants to look their best at Cheltenham, though, and the week builds from Ladies Day on the Wednesday until the climax of the meet on the Friday.
That is when the Gold Cup odds are put to the test on the final day with staying steeplechasers competing in the Festival feature. Before Al Boum Photo seeks a Cheltenham treble, here’s what to look out for on Ladies Day.
The Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle that opens the card looks like being a cracker. Three previous winners at the highest level look set to battle in this race.
Gaillard Du Mesnil put in an impressive performance at the Dublin Racing Festival for trainer Willie Mullins that punched his ticket to Cheltenham. Fellow Irish raider Bob Olinger won at Naas in January, meanwhile, and that race has been a good trial for this one in recent years.
Representing the Brits here is Paul Nicholls runner Bravemansgame, the winner of the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury over Christmas. This competitive opener to Ladies Day is followed by the Festival Novices’ Chase, which this year is all about Monkfish.
Unbeaten over fences, he is back at Cheltenham where he won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle 12 months ago. Monkfish has made a seamless transition to steeplechasing and is thus very much the one to beat.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the feature race of Ladies Day. Previous winners Altior and Politologue are at the veteran stage of their careers on the track now, and this year’s contest promises to be much deeper than the last edition.
Chacun Pour Soi missed the Champion Chase because of a late setback in 2020, but is on course for a first-ever Cheltenham appearance this time. He has won the Dublin Chase at Leopards town in each of the last two years and is favorite here off the back of those impressive performances.
The Cross Country Chase requires racehorses to jump a variety of unique obstacles later on Ladies Day. Easysland and two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll could do battle over a grueling three-and-three-quarter miles again in this race.
In a change to the Ladies Day schedule, the Grand Annual Chase is also being run on the card. A handicap over the Champion Chase course and distance, this is the oldest National Hunt horse race dating back to 1834.
Closing Ladies Day at Cheltenham is the Champion Bumper. A Grade 1 National Hunt Flat race where no obstacles are jumped, Irish raiders Kilcruit and Sir Gerhard look to have this between them this year.
There is such variety in the events happening on Cheltenham Ladies Day that you will find there is something for everyone.