The November Meeting at Cheltenham is one of the most popular events in the racing calendar. But, since the meeting inauguration in 2000, the event has been referred to as the Cheltenham Open, only changing its name to the November Meeting in time for the start of 2017 event.
The change that’s been made has been for a pretty simple reason in that it clashed with The Open that’ hosted within golf each year. It was reported that the head guys at Cheltenham and representatives with the R and A (Royal and Ancient), golfs governing body, agreed that a name change would be better for all parties involved and so, the November Meeting was born.
Cheltenham November Meeting Major Races
The summer months undoubtedly have their benefits: sunshine, the start of the new football season, and more quality flat racing action than you shake a stick at. For fans of the jumping game though, those summer months can seem the longest of all. For many, the end of that long wait for top class jumping action is signalled by the first big festival of the season at the home of National Hunt Racing, Cheltenham racecourse.
It is across these three days in November – always held over a fan friendly Friday to Sunday – that the season really begins to take shape. Many of the potential stars of the year will make their reappearance here, with the meeting featuring a number of early trials for the biggest festival of them all back here in March.
|Day||Race||Grade / Length||Last Winner|
|Friday||Hyde Novices' Hurdle||Grade 2 / 2m 5f||Minella Missile (2023)|
|Friday||Arkle Trial Novices' Chase||Grade 2 / 2m||Homme Public (2023)|
|Saturday||Paddy Power Gold Cup||Premier Handicap / 2m 4f||Stage Star (2023)|
|Saturday||Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle||Grade 2 / 2m ½f||Burdett Road (2023)|
|Sunday||Greatwood Hurdle||Premier Handicap / 2m ½f||Iberico Lord (2023)|
|Sunday||Jewson (November) Handicap Chase||Premier Handicap / 3m 3½f||Malina Girl (2023)|
|Sunday||Shloer Chase||Grade 2 / 2m||Jonbon (2023)|
About the November Meeting (aka The Cheltenham Open)
The November meeting takes place at Cheltenham racecourse and is run over three days, from Friday to Sunday. Each of the days have a slightly different feel to them. On the opening Friday, Countryside day, huge amounts of money are raised for the Countryside Alliance and the Injured Jockey Fund. The Saturday is Paddy Power Gold Cup Day and is one of the finest days racing of the year. The Sunday is often thought of as the family day, with plenty of entertainment outside of the racing on offer.
The meeting differs from the March Festival, which is much more focussed around the racing, whereas this has some great racing, but also is an attempt to entice families and younger generations into the jumps racing world.
The meeting isn’t all that old in the grand scheme of horse racing, especially when you consider its higher profile brother, the Cheltenham Festival. But, the November Meeting does hold a huge amount of significance, given that it’s often regarded as the first major event of the jump season.
For those of you who are new to horse racing or even those who are familiar with the sport, you may be thinking that jump racing takes place pretty much all year round, and you’d be right. But, the November meet coincides with the end of the summer flat season so this is where the proper jump season really kicks-off.
The fixture is pretty much sold out for the three days. Even though the Friday still has a strong line up of racing, it’s the Saturday and the Sunday that are the two most popular days, with over 60,000 spectators coming through the doors on each.
Day 1 (Friday) Racecard in 2022
|13:10||Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle||2m 5f||Old||£16,100|
|13:45||Paddy Power Handicap Chase||2m||Old||£50,000|
|14:20||SSS Alloys Novices’ Handicap Chase||2m 4f||Old||£30,700|
|14:55||Glenfarclas Veterans’ Handicap Chase||2m 4f||Old||£35,000|
|15:30||Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle||2m 5f||Old||£50,000|
|16:00||Valda Novices’ Handicap Hurdle||2m ½f||Old||£16,100|
The Friday is the opening day of the meeting and with it is a rather relaxed feel to it. Whilst the racing is important, the day is set out to raise much needed funds for a several charities that are involved with the sport, including the Countryside Alliance and the Injured Jockey’s Fund.
There are six races that are run throughout the days racing kicking off with a handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys. The standout contest for the day is probably the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, also known as the Hyde Novices Hurdle, which is the fifth race of day. This often brings out some of the top novice hurdlers in the sport and is raced at a furious pace over a demanding two miles and five furlongs. Some of the previous winners have included Coneygree, Fingal Bay and Shantou Village.
The other races are the Paddy Power Handicap Chase, SSS Super Alloys Novices’ Chase, Valda Novices’ Handicap and the Veterans Handicap Chase.
Away from the track is usually a number of attractions, including live music within the Guinness Village and The Centaur. On top of that, you are able to soak up the Shopping Village which encourages local business to pitch up and allows punters to dive in to some of the best local produce.
Day 2 (Saturday) Racecard in 2022
|12:35||JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle||2m ½f||Old||£50,000|
|13:10||Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase||3m 1f||Old||£26,400|
|13:45||Arkle Trial Novices’ Chase||2m||Old||£52,000|
|14:20||Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase||2m 4f||Old||£160,000|
|14:55||Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle||3m||Old||£30,000|
|15:30||Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle||2m 5f||Old||£25,100|
|16:05||Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race||2m ½f||Old||£25,000|
The second day of the Meeting on Saturday is the day of the Paddy Gold Cup. It normally offers up seven races throughout, one more than both the Friday and the Sunday and often demands a premium in terms of tickets as a result.
The highlight of the day comes in the form of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, previously known as the BetVictor Gold Cup. The race is often seen as a warm up to the Gold Cup that is run in March at The Festival, offering a great opportunity for younger horses to make the step up in class needed to compete at the highest level. Some of the more notable names to have won the race recently include Our Vic, Imperial Commander, Exotic Dancer and Johns Spirit.
Other races that are held on the Saturday are the, JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial, November Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase, Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial, Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle, Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap hurdle and the Mares’ National Hunt Flat Race.
Saturday’s entertainment comes in the form of more live music in The Centaur and in some of the course’s other enclosures. On top of that the Shopping Village would usually be open with a number of local and national stores.
Day 3 (Sunday) Racecard in 2022
|13:10||mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase||3m ½f||Old||£25,000|
|14:20||Jewson Handicap Chase||3m 3½f||Old||£75,000|
|14:55||Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle||2m ½f||Old||£100,000|
|15:30||Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle||2m ½f||Old||£50,000|
|16:00||Open National Hunt Flat Race||2m ½f||Old||£25,000|
Sunday is widely regarded as family day at the meeting and its one that is very popular for that exact reason. But, the racing is some of the best of the whole meeting and even though usually just six races are on, we think they are the strongest of the weekend across the board.
It’s tough to really pick one race that’s the standout for Sunday, but the top four are undoubtedly the November Handicap Chase, the Shloer Chase, Greatwood Handicap Hurdle and the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Trial. If we had to pick, we would say the Novices’ Hurdle was the strongest, simply because previous winners have included the likes of Altior, Cue Card and Moon Over Miami, to name just a few.
The other two races that day are the Novices’ Chase and the Open National Hunt flat Race.
The Sunday is normally the busiest day outside of the track, with a huge number of events and things to do. The family fun zone is usually set up for the day which includes things such as balloons, face painting, balloon artists, pony plaiting, horse hoppers, colouring in and so much more. Celebrities such as Greg James and Chris Smith from Radio 1 have also been on hand in the past and there’s often live music across the venue.
The Course at Cheltenham
Cheltenham is one of the finest racecourses in the UK. It’s probably best known for hosting the Cheltenham Festival, along with iconic races such as the Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Queen Mother Champion Chase, amongst others.
Racing has occurred at Cheltenham since 1815, but the first reports were that of races at Notting Hill and on Cleeve Hill in 1818, both areas in and around Cheltenham. As the popularity of horse racing continued to rise, so did the number of people watching the sport. It was reported that crowds in excess of 30,000 would turn up, much to the dismay of the Parish, brining huge disruption to the area. In fact, it got so bad that the grandstand from the original site was burnt down in 1830.
A new home was needed and the course was eventually moved to Prestbury Park in 1831, where it still resides today. As the course continued to develop, so did the amount of spectators it was able to attract. Today, this number sits at over 67,000, making it one of the largest in the UK.
The racecourse is actually owned by the Jockey club, who took over ownership in 1964 to secure to future of the course. In that time they were able to own or part-own a number of other tracks throughout the UK, with the money generated getting redirected back into the sport.
Over the last 50 years the course and the facilities have seen quite a change in terms of development. Expansions throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s saw main grand stands extended several times and also hospitality for more corporate offerings and even royal guests, should they have them.
In 1990 a new stable complex was open, the parade ring extended and improved, but also that the inclusion of the cross-country course as well, now offering up 3 different courses to choose from. The late 90’s saw the complete removal of the original Tattersalls Grandstand, with a new, panoramic offering replacing it instead.
Investment into meeting facilities, accommodation and even The Centaur, allows the racecourse to hold meetings such as the November Meeting, offering up more of a festival feel to it. The turn of the Millennium saw another £20 million spent and in 2015 they unveiled their all-new Princess Royal Stand, coming in at the costly sum of £45 million.
The latest edition of Cheltenham’s November Meeting in 2022 got underway on Friday 11th November and ran for the traditional three days, concluding on Sunday 13th November. The results for each of the 19 races are shown below.
Friday 11th November 2022 Results (Day 1)
The going was good for the opening day of the meeting in 2022. The six-race card opened with the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and closed with a Handicap Hurdle for Novices. Due to low levels rainfall throughout the year, the Cross Country Chase was not held this November due to unsuitable ground. This will now be run at the end of January during the Festival Trials meeting. It was replaced by the Veterans’ Handicap Chase over two and a half miles.
The Grade 2 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle generally throws up a pretty smart performer, with the best recent example being 2012 scorer, Coneygree, who later went on to grab Cheltenham Gold Cup glory. The Paul Nicholls runner Hermes Allen was second in the betting at 9/4 under Harry Cobden and made all, winning well to score by 9 lengths.
Markel Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle: 13:10 (18 Ran)
|1st||Sweet Will||8/1||Gavin Cromwell||Kieren Buckley|
|2nd||Fine Casting||4/1||Ban Pauling||Luca Morgan|
|3rd||Oscar Thyne||16/1||Fergal O’Brien||Liam Harrison|
|4th||Hector Javilex||13/2||Charlie Longsdon||Lilly Pinchin|
Paddy Power Handicap Chase: 13:45 (8 Ran)
|1st||Amarillo Sky||7/2||Joe Tizzard||Brendan Powell|
|2nd||Fugitif||11/2||Richard Hobson||Kielan Woods|
|3rd||Grey Diamond||5/1||Sam Thomas||Sam Twiston-Davies|
SSS Super Alloys Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase: 14:20 (8 Ran)
|1st||Unanswered Prayers||9/4||Chris Gordon||Tom Cannon|
|2nd||Railway Hurricane||10/1||Gavin Cromwell||Keith Donoghue|
|3rd||Hereditary Rule||4/1||John C McConnell||Daryl Jacob|
Glenfarclas Veterans’ Handicap Chase: 14:55 (9 Ran)
|1st||Magic Dancer||7/2||Kerry Lee||Richard Patrick|
|2nd||Broken Quest||14/1||David Dennis||Stan Sheppard|
|3rd||Ballyandy||5/2||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Sam Twiston-Davies|
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle: 15:30 (7 Ran)
|1st||Hermes Allen||9/4||Paul Nicholls||Harry Cobden|
|2nd||Music Drive||17/2||Gordon Elliott||Jack Kennedy|
Valda Energy Novices’ Handicap Hurdle: 16:00 (19 Ran)
|1st||Contrapposto||28/1||Richard Donohoe||Michael O’Sullivan|
|2nd||Explosive Boy||20/1||Tony Martin||Peter Carberry|
|3rd||Master Dancer||7/2||Richard Bandey||Brendan Powell|
|4th||Mothill||10/1||Neil Mullholland||Sam Twiston-Davies|
Saturday 12th November 2022 Results (Day 2)
The youngsters opened proceedings on day 2 in the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle. Connections here have high hopes for their three-year-olds lining up, so this is a race where the market has often proven to be a useful guide. This year the race went to the 4/1 second favourite, Scriptwriter for Wiltshire trainer Milton Harris.
In the third race of the day, Joseph Patrick O’Brien’s Banbridge fired himself into Arkle contention with a resounding six length victory in the Grade 2 trial for the March Novices’ Chase.
The big betting race of the week, the Paddy Power Gold Cup, formed the centrepiece of the Saturday card. With £160,000 up for grabs this was to be as fiendishly competitive as ever, with the majority of the big yards represented. Victory went to one of the smaller stables this year with trainer Jamie Snowden securing one of his biggest victories to date with Ga Law, guided home by jockey Jonathan Burke.
JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle: 12:25 (8 Ran)
|1st||Scriptwriter||4/1||Milton Harris||Paddy Brennan|
|2nd||Perseus Way||25/1||Gary Moore||Jamie Moore|
|3rd||War Correspondent||11/2||Ray Cody||Sam Twiston-Davies|
Celotex Thermaclass Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase: 13:10 (10 Ran)
|1st||Anightinlambourn||5/1||Ben Pauling||Jack Andrews|
|2nd||Punitive||14/1||Gordon Elliott||Rob James|
|3rd||Malina Girl||11/2||Gavin Cromwell||Joey Dunne|
Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase: 13:45 (6 Ran)
|1st||Banbridge||11/8||Joseph Patrick O’Brien||James Joseph Slevin|
|2nd||Tommy’s Oscar||5/2||Ann Hamilton||Danny McMenamin|
Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase: 14:20 (14 Ran)
|1st||Ga Law||5/1||Jamie Snowden||Jonathan Burke|
|2nd||French Dynamite||5/1||Michael Morris||Darragh O’Keeffe|
|3rd||Midnight River||15/2||Dan Skelton||Harry Skelton|
Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle: 14:55 (12 Ran)
|1st||Annual Invictus||12/1||Chris Gordon||Tom Cannon|
|2nd||Fontana Ellissi||6/1||Samuel Drinkwater||Robert Dunne|
|3rd||Sidi Ismael||11/1||David Pipe||Tom Scudamore|
Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle: 15:30 (10 Ran)
|1st||Unanswered||2/1||Tony Martin||Peter Carberry|
|2nd||Wiseguy||5/2||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville|
|3rd||Bourbali||16/1||Joe Tizzard||Brendan Powell|
Stirrups Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race: 16:05 (16 Ran)
|1st||Queens Gamble||9/4||Oliver Sherwood||Jonathan Burke|
|2nd||Bonttay||10/3||Fergal O’Brien||Paddy Brennan|
|3rd||Fortuna Ligna||40/1||Anthony Honeyball||Harry Cobden|
Sunday 13th November 2022 Results (Day 3)
There aren’t too many racing festivals over the course of the year which run on into the Sunday, but this one does and it regularly serves up one of the best Sundays of racing action of the entire jumps season.
The novice stayers began the final day of the meeting in the 3m ½f Mallard Jewellers Novices’ Chase, won in this year by The Real Whacker for Yorkshire based trainer Patrick Neville.
The classiest chase of the meeting came in race two as the Grade 2 performers tackled the 2m trip of the Shloer Chase. There are plenty of famous names on the list of previous winners here, including Sir Anthony McCoy’s final Cheltenham Festival winner, Uxizandre and the majestic, magnificent, Sprinter Sacre. This year’s renewal was won for the second year in succession by Nube Negra. The Dan Skelton runner faced just two rivals in 2022 following the withdrawal of Edwardstone due to the unsuitably quick ground.
The day’s feature handicap was the Unibet Greatwood Hurdle. Due to a reorganisation of the grading system, this is now known as a Premier Handicap, with the Grade 3 class no longer used. Last year’s winner of the Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle, I Like To Move It, carried top weight to victory here for the father and son duo of trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.
The penultimate contest of the day saw again saw the hurdling hopefuls line up in the Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle. Dodging Bullets, Cue Card and Altior all feature on the list of winners in the past 15 years, suggesting that this is a race well worth keeping an eye on. It was John McConnell’s Fennor Cross who won, staying on strongly for the win ridden by Simon Torrens.
Last of the meeting’s races was a bumper for runners aged between four and six years of age which this year was sponsored by Autism in Racing. Even this event has pointed the way to big things in the future, with the talented Definitly Red and Champion Hurdler, Rock On Ruby amongst the previous winners. Milton Harris won his second race of the meeting with Gentle Slopes here in 2022.
mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase: 13:10 (5 Ran)
|1st||The Real Whacker||10/1||Patrick Neville||Gavin Sheehan|
|2nd||Indigo Breeze||5/2||Gordon Elliott||Sean Bowen|
Shloer Chase: 13:45 (3 Ran)
|1st||Nube Negra||1/10||Dan Skelton||Harry Skelton|
Jewson Handicap Chase: 14:20 (11 Ran)
|1st||Does He Know||6/1||Kim Bailey||David Bass|
|2nd||Eva’s Oskar||8/1||Tim Vaughan||Alan Johns|
|3rd||Back On The Lash||9/2||Martin Keighley||Sean Bowen|
Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle: 14:55 (13 Ran)
|1st||I Like To Move It||17/2||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Sam Twiston-Davies|
|2nd||Gin Coco||4/1||Harry Fry||Jonathan Burke|
|3rd||Harbour Lake||10/1||Alan King||Tom Cannon|
Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle: 15:30 (8 Ran)
|1st||Fennor Cross||3/1||John C McConnell||Simon Torrens|
|2nd||Ukantango||12/1||Olly Murphy||Sean Bowen|
|3rd||Springwell Bay||2/1||Jonjo O’Neill||Jonjo O’Neill Jnr|
Open National Hunt Flat Race: 16:00 (13 Ran)
|1st||Gentle Slopes||12/1||Milton Harris||Harry Cobden|
|2nd||School Days Over||14/1||Fergal O’Brien||Paddy Brennan|
|3rd||Cape Vidal||7/1||Anthony Honeyball||Aidan Coleman|
The November Meeting has been running since 2000, but it’s only been known in the current form for the 2017 onwards, previously being called the Cheltenham Open. As mentioned earlier in the article, the name was changed due to confusion between this and The Open golf tournament, as agreed by both the organisers and the R and A.
The Gold Cup has actually been running since 1960, but was added to the November Meeting upon it’s inauguration in 2000. The Premier Handicap (Grade 3) National Hunt Chase has often been a great stepping stone to the more prestigious Gold Cup that’s run at the Cheltenham Festival.
The race has the highest purse of the November Meeting with £160,000 in 2022 and is open to horses aged four and up. It’s run over the Old Course at Prestbury Park and with 2m 4½f in total distance covered and 15 fences for the horses to navigate.
The race has had numerous names over the last 50+ years, mainly through its sponsors. The original sponsor was that of Mackeson and they had pride of place right up until 1995. Since then it’s been backed by Murphy’s, Thomas Pink, Paddy Power, BetVictor and now it’s current sponsors who are once again Paddy Power.
There are two standout names associated with the race, they are Tony McCoy and Martin Pipe. The former is the most successful jockey with four wins to his name, coming on Cyfor Malta in 1998, Lady Cricket in 2000, Shooting Light in 2001 and Exotic Dancer in 2006. Martin Pipe has trained eight winners in total, more than any other trainer, ranging from his first win with Beau Ranger in 1987, right up to 2005 with the legendary, Our Vic.
Triumph Hurdle Trial
The Triumph Trial Hurdle is another of the standout races at the meeting and again seen as a stepping stone for the more prestigious Triumph Hurdle held at The Festival in March. The race has been running since 1987 and there have been some big links between winner of this race and the Triumph Hurdle ‘proper’.
The race is held on the Old Course at Cheltenham and is 2 miles 1/2 furlong in length. There are eight hurdles in total that the horses need to navigate over and is targeted towards three-year-old horses.
The link between the two races is pretty staggering, and was highlighted in when 2016 winner Defi Du Seuil went on to win the 2017 Triumph Hurdle some 6 months later. The legendary Katchit was another to complete the same feat, winning the Trial in 2006 before going on to win the big one In 2007.
November Novices Chase (Arkle Trophy Trail)
The November Novices’ Chase is another that is hotly contested and has been able to produce some massive names within racing. The two mile race was upgraded to Grade 2 status in 1994 and has been running since 1987. Its entrants are 4 year olds and up and seen as important race in the calendar.
Its importance is outlined by the calibre of past winners, with the most notable being that of Best Mate. The horse won the event in 2000 before then going on to win the Gold Cup three times in 2002, 2003, and 2004, taking his career earnings past the £1 million mark. On top of that the horse has also secured victory in the King George VI Chase, Leopardstown Christmas Chase and the Peterborough Chase.
Sharp Novices Hurdle (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Trial)
The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle is run on the Sunday of the November Meeting and with it has been able to provide a great hunting ground for novice hurdlers, aged four and above. The 2 mile 110 yard race is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham and has seen a number of different sponsors, such as Opus energy and more recently, Sky Bet.
This is another race that has allowed some of the best horses to flourish, with probably the most notable winner in recent times being Cue Card in 2010. Cue Card has been able to earn over £1.4 million in career earnings, with success coming from the Ascot Chase, Ryanair Chase, King George VI Chase and Betfred Bowl, to name just a few. What’s been amazing to see from Cue Card is how long his career has been, earning his first major win in 2010 at the Champion Bumper to his last coming in the Ascot Chase in 2017.
Altior is another notable name from this race, winning in 2015 before moving on to win the following Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2016. He followed this with further Cheltenham Festival wins in the Arkle in 2017 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in both 2018 and 2019. In winning the 2019 Celebration Chase at Sandown, Altior made it a record 18 victories in a row, equalling the wins set by Paul Nicholl’s Big Buck’s.