Cheltenham November Meeting
As of 2017 the November Meeting was the new name for what was formerly Cheltenham’s Open Meeting. New name, same great racing and betting extravaganza.
For many racing fans the November Meeting is when the National Hunt season really kicks off. Whilst we’ve already had a few decent jumps races, this is when the National Hunt calendar really gets started.
And, of course, that means that the countdown to the Cheltenham Festival itself has most certainly begun in earnest. If you were looking for the Cheltenham Festival, as opposed to the Open/November Meeting, check out our main Cheltenham offers post. Otherwise read on for more info on the upcoming November Meeting.
November Meeting History and Information
The Open Meeting had been a Cheltenham fixture for 17 years before changing its name to the November Meeting. This followed ongoing consultation with golf’s governing body the R & A.
It was felt that having two flagship events – Cheltenham’s “The Open” meeting and golf’s major championship “The Open”, with the same name wasn’t beneficial to either party. As such the racing festival was known as the November Meeting for the first time in 2017.
The November Meeting takes place in – you won’t believe this – November every year. It is scheduled around the middle of the month and always takes place over a weekend, but the exact dates change each year.
Day One is Countryside Day, with the main day on Saturday known as the Paddy Power Day. The November Meeting closes with the originally titled November Meeting Sunday.
Unlike the main Cheltenham Festival in March, the November Meeting takes place on the Old Course at Cheltenham.
What are the biggest races at the November Meeting?
Races come and go and the exact make-up of this three-day extravaganza will change over the years. However, the key races to look out for, mainly run on Saturday (but some on the Sunday) are listed below:
- Paddy Power Gold Cup – this Grade 3 chase is run over two and a half miles
- Murphy Group Handicap Chase – another Grade 3 chase this one isn’t far short of three and a half miles
- Hyde Novices’ Hurdle – Grade 2 hurdle
- Prestbury Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle – another Grade 2 hurdle but for three year olds only
- November Novices’ Chase – Sunday chase won by Al Ferof and Dodging Bullets in recent years
- Sharp Novices’ Hurdle – Grade 2 hurdle won by Cue Card in 2010 and Altior in 2015
- Greatwood Hurdle – one of the top races of the meeting, this is a Grade 3 hurdle