Festival prize money boost

Prize money increases to 23 of the 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival means a total of over £4.3million will be on offer this year.

Crowds flock to the Cheltenham Festival.

The biggest rises are going to the four novice chases with the prize pots for the Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase and the RSA Novices' Chase both boosted by £25,000, with the total prize money for each rising to £175,000.

There are £20,000 increases for the JLT Novices' Chase (to £150,000) and the J T McNamara National Hunt Novices' Chase (to £120,000), while £10,000 extra goes into the OLBG Mares' Hurdle (to £110,000).

Another 18 races gain £5,000 increases, with the only contests missing out being the five most valuable – the £575,000 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, the £400,000 Stan James Champion Hurdle, the £350,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the £300,000 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle and the £300,000 Ryanair Chase.

Ian Renton, Regional Director, Cheltenham & The South West, The Jockey Club, commented: "I am delighted to announce record prize money of over £4.3million for The Festival which represents an increase of more than 10% since 2015.

"For 2017, the major increases have gone to the novice chases, with the Racing Post Arkle and the RSA being run at £175,000 and the JLT Novices' Chase at £150,000.

"We would like to thank all our sponsors who have assisted us in improving prize money for The Festival and look forward to four great days of racing in March."

THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2017 – RUNNING ORDER:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – Champion Day – Old Course

1:30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (G1) 2m 87y £125,000

2:10 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase (G1) 1m 7f 199y £175,000

2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase (G3) 3m 1f £105,000

3:30 Stan James Champion Hurdle (G1) 2m 87y £400,000

4:10 OLBG Mares' Hurdle (G1) 2m 3f 200y £110,000

4:50 J T McNamara National Hunt Novices' Chase (amateurs) (G2) 3m 7f 170y £120,000

5:30 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed) (0-140) 2m 4f 78y £70,000

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017 – Ladies Day – Old Course

1:30 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (G1) 2m 5f 26y £125,000

2:10 RSA Novices' Chase (G1) 3m 80y £175,000

2:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle Race (G3) 2m 5f 26y £95,000

3:30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (G1) 1m 7f 199y £350,000

4:10 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y £65,000

4:50 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (G3) 2m 87y £80,000

5:30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (National Hunt Flat Race) (G1) 2m 87y £75,000

Thursday, March 16, 2017 – St Patrick's Thursday – New Course

1:30 JLT Novices' Chase (G1) 2m 3f 198y £150,000

2:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Listed) 2m 7f 213y £95,000

2:50 Ryanair Chase (G1) 2m 4f 166y £300,000

3:30 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle (G1) 2m 7f 213y £300,000

4:10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (G3) 2m 4f 166y £105,000

4:50 Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle (G2) 2m 179y £80,000

5:30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (amateurs) (0-145) 3m 2f £70,000

Friday, March 17, 2017 – Gold Cup Day – New Course

1:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (G1) 2m 179y £125,000

2:10 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (G3) 2m 179y £95,000

2:50 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (G1) 2m 7f 213y £125,000

3:30 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (G1) 3m 2f 70y £575,000

4:10 St James's Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2f 70y £45,000

4:50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4f 56y £65,000

5:30 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (G3) 2m 62y £105,000

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