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Controversial Change To Cheltenham Festival Could Be On The Horizon

Controversial Change To Cheltenham Festival Could Be On The Horizon

When the Cheltenham Festival was extended to a four-day festival from a three-day festival it didn't prove to be a universally popular decision. And it remains that way to this very day, many believing the extra day dilutes the standard of racing.

However, speaking at today's racing from Prestbury Park, the new Cheltenham racecourse chairman, Martin St Quinton, revealed that he was open to the idea of extending the meeting to a five-day event.

St Quinton made the comments while speaking to ITV Racing during coverage at the venue's New Years Day meeting.


We’re very happy with our four-day Festival at the moment, but we’re always keen to look at ways of innovating and improving things and widening the appeal of racing.

I wouldn’t rule anything in, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. It would get a lot of opposition, but people don’t like change. People complained when it went from three days to four, but now everybody loves the four-day Festival.

Royal Ascot was very similar with the Heath meeting on the Saturday and now that is their most popular day, so you’ve got to be open-minded about these things.

Meanwhile, back in August it was announced that a new mares' chase would be introduced at the Festival in 2021, though that means another race must be dropped from the programme. During the same interview, the new chairman explained that a decision regarding which race would be dropped wouldn't be made until after this year's Festival.

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