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Yes it’s nearly that time again. On the 10th March 2009, thousands of people will flock to the Cotswolds in order to soak up the atmosphere that is associated with this prestigious horse racing event. It may only last for four days until the 13th, but during that time well over two hundred thousand people will flock to Cheltenham to grab a taste of horse racing up close.

Of course, some people make the trip every single year. It’s been over a century since the Cheltenham Races first began, so there is a wealth of history tied up with the annual event. But every year some people make the trip to see what goes on for the very first time. And perhaps this year, you might be among them.

There is no better time to come and explore the Cotswolds if you are a fan of horse racing. For example, if you come and stay in one of our delightful cottages in the picturesque village of Bourton on the Water, you will be about sixteen miles or so from the racecourse itself. That equates to a nice half hour drive on some pleasant A roads which take you in virtually a straight line for most of the way.

But let’s go back to the races themselves to find out a bit more about what goes on each year. Each day sees a number of different races being run at Cheltenham. For example, on the first day at about half past one in the afternoon, the crowd will send up an excited roar as the first race gets underway. This is the Supreme Novices Hurdle, and there are five more races in total before the first day is over.

There are seven races on day two, including the National Hunt Chase. Those who know a bit about the history of the Cheltenham Festival will know that this is the original race that started the whole event. For that reason – as well as the fact that both the riders and the horses are new to horse racing – it tends to be a very popular event.

The third day sees a further half a dozen races, and day four winds up the whole event with another seven. All eyes will be on the final race this year, which is the JH Grand Annual Chase.

As you can see there is plenty to enjoy (and indeed place a bet on!) no matter whether you come for a single day or return for the whole event. And if you are planning on staying for the whole thing, why not book a cottage with us now from Saturday to Saturday? If you do you can enjoy a few days exploring all the delights of the Cotswolds before the Cheltenham Festival itself gets underway.

Millions of pounds are placed in bets every year, and inevitably there will be losers as well as winners. Although if you have booked your accommodation here in the Cotswolds, we reckon you’ll definitely be a winner regardless of whether your horse comes in or not!