Main | Odds
The highlight of the National Hunt season in the UK is undoubtedly the Cheltenham Festival, which is a four-day event traditionally held during the second week of March.
Situated in the heart of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham racecourse is considered the home of jumps racing and stages some of the most valuable chase and hurdle contests across the course of the winter season. Many of the horses are prepared for their race months in advance and ante-post betting markets are available all-year round with the majority of online bookmakers.
Here at BettingTop10, we love the thrill of the National Hunt season and always look forward to the four-day extravaganza. We’ll provide details on the various markets, best prices, a breakdown of each of the days and have information on how to get the best odds from bookmakers which will be the key to ensuring a profitable and successful Cheltenham Festival.
Champion Day – Tuesday, 12th March
Ladies Day – Wednesday, 13th March
St Patrick’s Day – Thursday, 14th March
Gold Cup Day – Friday, 15th March
Punters who attend the Festival can place their bets at the track with many bookmakers setting up stalls across the four days, but for those who will be enjoying the spectacle from their TV screens every online bookmaker will provide odds accompanied by a range of offers throughout the event.
Ante-Post betting is extremely popular with horse racing aficionados, with many placing bets on their chosen runners months in advance. Races such as the King George, which takes place at Kempton on Boxing Day, usually offer plenty of clues ahead of the Festival and many punters aim to get ahead of the pack and secure the value.
Many online bookmakers as recommended by BettingTop10 including William Hill operate a ‘Non-Runner Insurance’ policy, as some horses will be entered into multiple races with trainers hedging their bets. For example, if you back a horse in the Ryanair Chase and it pulls out on the day and features in the Queen Mother Champion Chase instead, your stake will be returned.
Accumulator betting is extremely popular throughout the Festival, with racing enthusiasts selecting their best bets for each day of the event. Doubles and trebles are another popular way of keeping across the action. In order for these bets to pay out, all of the selections must win their respective races.
Other multiple bets such as Lucky 15, Lucky 31 and Canadians are also an option – these are permutations of a number of selections and will return some profit even if you miss out on a full house by one or two selections.
Each Way Betting
Cheltenham betting markets are extremely wide-open and large fields are a regular occurrence at the Festival. This makes it ideal for each-way backers. Each-way betting allows your selection to finish 2nd, 3rd, 4th and occasionally 5th in order to secure a return. The bigger the price of the horse, the greater the returns and more of an attractive each-way prospect it becomes.
There are many betting offers throughout the four days although one of the most popular is bookmakers paying five or six places on a range of key races (even if there are only 14 runners) and this is ideal for each-way bets.
Cheltenham Festival betting is a great way to find big price winners. Favourites do succeed in a number of the races, although big-priced outsiders triumph as well. Some of the more competitive races will start at 7/1 the field and often allows bigger priced winners to succeed.
There are very few odds-on favourites at the Festival and this enables punters to potentially land big priced multiple bets throughout the four days.
All online bookmakers have their markets priced up months in advance and these odds will shift once a number of preparation races have been completed or a key participant at the top of the market is withdrawn by its trainer.
Here at BettingTop10, we always advise UK bettors to shop around as, during the build up to the Cheltenham Festival 2019, many of the top bookmakers are looking to attract new customers. As a result, some horses which may ordinarily be priced at 3/1, could be boosted to 10/1 for all new sign-ups. There are also a range of free bets available across the four days.
For the full odds click here.
Day One – Champion Day
Day one gets underway on the afternoon of Tuesday, 12th March, 2019, with the standout event the Champion Hurdle. BettingTop10 have a list of the top bookmakers who have already priced up this race which is Grade 1 event and is run over two miles. It is staged on the Old Course at Cheltenham and previous winners include the imperious Hurricane Fly and reigning champion Buveur d’Air.
There are always plenty of betting tips available for this contest. With five of the last eight renewals having been won by the favourite, it is often a race which favours the Cheltenham Festival betting public. Other races taking place on Champion Day include the Arkle, Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase and the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle which kicks it all off.
Day Two – Ladies Day
Wednesday, 13th March, sees Ladies Day of the Cheltenham Festival get underway and there are a number of key races including the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Coral Cup. The former is a Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase and is also run over two miles. Prior to his retirement Sprinter Sacre dominated this race, landing the huge prize pot on a couple of occasions.
This is always one of the more popular Cheltenham betting races with selections often included in accumulator or multiple bets. Other races on the second day include the RSA Steeplechase and Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race. The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase is the fifth race on the day and provides a real test of stamina for both horse and riders.
Day Three – St.Patrick’s Day
Day three of the Cheltenham Festival is otherwise known as St.Patrick’s Day and it gets underway on Thursday, 14th March, with the Ryanair Chase attracting the most interest in the Cheltenham betting markets. This race is run on the new course over two miles and five furlongs and is one of the newest races to feature at the Festival, having only been in existence since 2005. Jockey Ruby Walsh has had a huge amount of success in this contest. In 2017 he became the first rider to win the race on four different occasions.
Thursday is generally considered to be one of the more competitive days with a number of open looking betting markets available. Other races include the Stayers Hurdle, the JLT Novices’ Chase and the Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeplechase.
Day Four – Gold Cup Day
The final action from the Cheltenham Festival comes on day four, otherwise known as Gold Cup Day, which falls on Friday, 15th March. A superb day of racing and a huge afternoon of betting brings the curtain down on the event. The Gold Cup is without doubt the standout race and one of the most competitive. It’s one of the most sought-after prizes in horse racing and there are numerous top stables represented.
Cheltenham Festival betting markets are available for this particular race all year round and, here at BettingTop10, we recommend looking for a horse with plenty of stamina as the event is staged over three miles and two furlongs. No horse has managed back-to-back wins in this event since 2003/2004. Other races on the day include the JCB Triumph Hurdle, Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle and the Grand Annual which is the final race of the Cheltenham Festival.
There are plenty of UK races which will provide clues for those who are looking to place a Festival bet, but few are as significant as Cheltenham Trials Day which takes place on 26th January. Not only do racegoers and viewers get to see some top class contests, but many Festival runners will also take to the left-handed track ahead of the March extravaganza.
As momentum builds ahead of March, it’s a great way of building the excitement and helping finalise Cheltenham Festival betting markets. Very few of the key competitors will race again between here and the Festival and many the top online bookmakers, as detailed by BettingTop10, will have the most important races priced up at least a week in advance of the January showdown in Gloucestershire.
Day 1: Champion Day
Day 2: Ladies Day
Day 3: St Patrick’s Day
Day 4: Gold Cup Day