The November Meeting Betting Offers 2018 (Formerly Cheltenham Open)
Cheltenham Racecourse is best known for the Cheltenham Festival, the culmination of the National Hunt season, but it is also integral to the start of the jump season when it hosts the November Meeting (formerly known as the Cheltenham Open) each year. This event, featuring the Gold Cup, goes back to 1960’s and having moved around a few times over the years it has settled at home of jump racing in Cheltenham.
Seen as the meeting that marks the beginning of jump racing proper in the UK the Open offers punters a good opportunity to get a first look at some of the seasons fancied hurdlers. The November Meeting is also a great time for bookies to test out their new national hunt horse racing promotions.
On this page you can find details of all the latest and best deals that could save you save you a few quid or even enhance your winnings. Further down you can find details on scheduling, race cards and more.
November Meeting New Customer Offers
Latest Cheltenham Open All Customer Offers
November Meeting Schedule and Racecard
The November Meeting takes place over three days from Friday to Sunday, Saturday being the biggest day for spectators, prize money, offers and TV coverage. The meeting has a family festival like atmosphere with a big focus on fun, games and informality.
This strikes a contrast with the majority of the flat racing season which tends to be more about high class and tradition (posh basically). Jump racing is loved by all and the meeting starts the road for race lovers that culminates in the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National next year.
Countryside Day – Friday 16th November 2018
|12:40||Amateur Riders Handicap Chase||Class 2 – Handicap||3m 1f 67y|
|1:15||Novices Handicap Hurdle||Class 3 – Handicap||2m 87y|
|1:50||BetVictor Handicap Chase||Class 2||1m 7f 199y|
|2:25||Steel Plate Novices Chase||Class 2||2m 4f 78y|
|3:00||Cross Country Handicap Chase||Class 2 – Handicap||3m 6f 37y|
|3:35||Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle||Grade 2||2m 5f 26y
KEY: m – Miles, f – furlong(s), y – yards
There is no better day in racing to demonstrate how different top level National Hunt racing is from the typical flat race meetings that we get used to through the summer. The Countryside Day at Cheltenham has been going for over 20 years now and supports the Countryside Alliance and Injured Jockeys Fund.
The day is partly about the animals with various shows and features, most people bring their dogs along, it’s a true family day for locals and visitors alike. It is also about the racing however and there are some top races to get you going for the weekend. All races on this day are run on the old course.
There is no waiting for the action as the day begins with two class 2 back to back handicap chases to get the card going. The first is a race for amateur riders only on 4yo+ horses, it goes just over 3 miles and is the second longest race on the card. This is followed by a faster more conventional handicap for 4yo+ horses just over 2 miles long.
The third race of the day is a fast handicap chase for 3 year old novices held over just under 2m before a slightly longer handicap chase for older 4yo+ horses.
The fifth and longest race of Countryside Day is a cross country steeplechase over 3 miles and around 6 furlongs. This is a big field stayers race that is a great one to watch.
The biggest race of day one comes up last for a change allowing a nice bit of build up. The Grade 2 Ballymore Novice’s Hurdle is actually a useful trial for the Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival next March and gives spectators the chance to see some early potentials. The 10 huddle race is run over 2 miles and just over five furlongs for 4 year olds and over with a purse over £30k.
Gold Cup Day – Saturday 17th November 2018
|12:40||Triumph Trial Hurdle
||Grade 2||2m 87y|
|1:15||Novices’ Steeple Chase||Class 2||3m 80y|
|1:50||BetVictor Handicap Chase||Grade 3||3m 3f 71y|
|2:25||BetVictor Gold Cup||Grade 3
||2m 4f 78y|
|3:00||Finance Solutions Handicap Hurdle||Listed||2m 7f 208y|
|3:30||Intermediate Handicap Hurdle||Class 3 – Handicap||2m 5f 26y|
|4:00||Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race||Listed||2m 87y|
KEY: m – Miles, f – furlong(s), y – yards
Gold Cup day, also called November meeting Saturday, is this year sponsored by BetVictor, is, as the name would suggest, the premier day of the whole meeting. The grade 3 Gold Cup itself is the feature race of the day but it’s not up there on its own as there are a further two grade races and two listed races to look forward to in this seven race card.
There is no waiting again on day 2 as we are straight into the action with a Grade 2 novices Trail Hurdle for 3yo juveniles. The race is the biggest of the weekend for younger horses. This is followed up by two steeple chases. The first open to horses 5 years and older over 3 miles before the more prestigious grade 3 Handicap Chase over 3 ½ miles for 4yo+ horses. This race has been going since 1987 and carries a decent purse in excess of £50,000.
The much anticipated handicap Grade 3 Gold Cup is up fourth. The two and half mile race on the Cheltenham old course dates back to 1960 and comes with a tasty prize fund of over £160,000, with over £90k to the winner. There are no less than 15 jumps to navigate and previous winners include Tony McCoy who holds the title of leading jockey winning the race on four occasions. Expect a field of around 20 in this 4yo+ feature.
Races five and six of the day are both handicaps. The first is the more prestigious listed race over 3, the November Handicap for 4-year-old or more horses, followed by an intermediate handicap for younger three-year-olds over 2 ½ miles.
The Saturday is capped off with a listed bumper, a national hunt flat race, run just over 2 miles for 4-6 year old mares. As with the first day all races are run on the old course on Gold Cup Day.
The November Meeting Sunday – 18th November 2018
|1:15||Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle||Class 3 – Handicap||2m 5f 26y|
|1:20||Arkle Trophy Trial Novices Chase||Grade 2||1m 7f 199y|
|2:25||Schloer Cheltenham Chase||Grade 2||1m 7f 199y|
|3:00||Unibet Greatwood Hurdle||Grade 3
|3:30||Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle||Grade 2||2m 87y|
|4:00||Open National Hunt Flat Race||Listed||2m 87y|
KEY: m – Miles, f – furlong(s), y – yards
Gold Cup day may carry the prestigious feature race but don’t make the mistake of thinking the Sunday is just a support day. The November Meeting Sunday (formerly Open Sunday) hosts no less than four grade races out of a six race card, this is also the only day of the year on which Cheltenham hosts Sunday racing.
The first race of the day is also the longest race of the day, a 2 mile 5 furlong handicap hurdle with a big field. This race is a nice way to ease into the day and a good race to pick up an each-way place, it is also a qualifier for The Challenger Staying Hurdle series final.
Day 3 gets going properly with the second race, the grade 2 Arkle Trophy Novices Hurdle, run over the Cheltenham old course with a distance just under 2 miles. The race is for 4yo+ horses who are required to jump 12 fences on the run. This race is a trail for the Arke Trophy at next years festival.
The Schloer Cheltenham Chase is up next, run on the same course and distance as the previous race. This race was first run in 2009 and has become a highlight of the final day of the meeting commanding a prize fund in excess of £80,000.
Sunday’s feature race, the Greatwood Hurdle, is up fourth. This grade 3 handicap race of just over 2 miles is also open to 4yo+ nags and with a purse of over £100,000, it is the race to win. It has a decent field of up to 20 runners. The Greatwood hurdle acts as a trial race for the Champion Hurdle next year and is often used by keen bettors looking to spot a surprise for an ante-post bet.
The Supreme Trail Novices Chase is another grade 2 affair this race with 8 jumps is a trail race for the Supreme Novices Hurdle during the Cheltenham Festival. Open to 4 years olds and up this is a fancied race for punters looking for horses to back for the season.
The November Meeting draws to a close with a standard open national hunt flat race over 2m to get the heart pumping one last time.
About the Cheltenham Open / November Meeting
The Cheltenham Open, now called the November meeting, is a long anticipated first major jumps meeting following a long summer of flat racing. Although the jump season is already well underway by this point the Open has become the unofficial start of the jump season proper for many race rans.
The event draws in crowds of over 70,000 people over the three days making it one of the biggest race meeting of the winter season. The meeting is a big event for fans of racing who dislike the pomp and ceremony that comes with the flat season.
Racing at Cheltenham goes back to the early 1800’s when it opened as a flat racing course. By the end of the century steeplechasing was established at Cheltenham begging a love affair that has resulted in Cheltenham now being seen as the home of jump racing in Britain.
The Gold Cup was established in 1960 and has always been run at Cheltenham. The rest of the races were assembled around the Gold Cup over the years to create the modern three-day meeting that marks the opening of the high class National Hunt racing season.
The event was initially named the Cheltenham Open in 2003 but in 2017 was renamed the November Meeting. It is said this name change was done to prevent a name clash with the golf Open, however why this became an issue after so many years is unknown. In all likelihood the rebranding was simply a PR stunt to drum up more coverage.
Over three days the mini-festival now pays out in the region of £800,000 in prize money . The event has more about it than just racing too. Over the three days there are fetes, stalls, crafts, animal shows, live music and acts and village sports to play. The Cheltenham shopping village is a particular draw for those on all budgets. All kids under 18 are allowed in free to all days of the three-day meeting too.