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Everything You Need to Know for Betting on the Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is the highlight on the calendar in national hunt horse racing. The annual meeting takes place in the middle of March where fans of the sport flock to the Gloucestershire track from the UK and Ireland to see the best horses race against each other in their respective divisions.

Here is everything you need to know about betting at the meeting.

Multiple Bet
It is possible to combine a number of the Cheltenham Festival races in a multiple bet to try and increase your winnings. For example, if you want to select the winner of the four Championship races (Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup) you can do this in an accumulator.

The odds will depend on the four prices and you can do so by backing all four horses to win or as an each-way bet where they only need to finish in the frame for you to collect. 888sport has an extensive guide about accumulators and other multiple bets if you want to learn more about your options.

For instance, the guide explains that an accumulator is the simplest form of a multiple bet that exists as the unit stake you choose is exactly how much you pay for the bet.

Some punters prefer to stick to the same trainer or jockey in these bets. In 2015 Irish Trainer Willie Mullins set the Cheltenham Festival record with eight winners at the meeting and will prove very popular again at the 2017 meeting.

Ante Post
You can place a bet on any one of the 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival from as early as the opening month of the new national hunt season which takes place in October. This is known as an ante-post bet and often you will get much bigger odds than you would on the day of the race.

The reason why the bookmakers give you greater odds is because if the horse does not run in your selected race, you will lose your money. It is therefore important to do your research on your runner to make sure its target for the season is the race you are betting on.

Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the feature race of the meeting and is arguably the biggest race of the season in national hunt racing. The favourite for the 2017 running of the 3m2f chase is Thistlecrack who is odds-on at 4-6.

The market leader for the Gold Cup is usually determined by how the results of the Betfair Chase, King George VI Chase and Lexus Chase go earlier in the season. Thistlecrack was the very impressive winner of the 2016 King George therefore has earned his place at the top of the betting for the Blue Riband event at the Festival.

Champion Hurdle
Finally, the Champion Hurdle is the most prestigious hurdle contest during the meeting. If placing a bet on this race, always look for the form of the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown as the winners of these races have an excellent record in this 2m contest at the Festival.

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Cheltenham Ante-Post Enhancements

It's that time of year again. The Cheltenham Festival is only days away and the bookmakers are really digging deep with their promotional offers. First up is Betfair.

They have just released some limited time only ante post enhancements in preparation for the upcoming four days of epic racing which are for both new and existing customers.

There is a definite theme developing with the offers which is the assumption that Irish Champion trainer Willie Mullins is going to win nearly every race over the four day festival.

The chances are he's going to give everybody else a huge run for their money in his attempt to sweep the boards and yes he has some of the finest chasers in training which is why many of his runners are already odds but the favourites don't always win at Cheltenham.

That said, it's hard to bet against the likes of Annie Power, Douvan and Un De Sceaux.




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9/1 Min to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle:
The favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle is ordinarily 7/4 so this 9/1 in enhancement is quite incredible.

Irish champion trainer has won this race for the last three years with Douvan in 2015, Vautour in 2014 and Champagne Fever in 2013.

All three winners have been ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh and owned by Susannah Ricci. If Min should win, it would be the fourth consecutive victory in the Supreme Novices for all three connections.

4/1 Douvan to win the Arkle:
Currently has odds of 4/11 ON so an offer of 4/1 is massive. Douvan was last year's Supreme Novices Winner and is the current ante-post favourite which is unsurprising given his unbroken winning streak which extends as far back as June 2014.

Again, Douvan comes courtesy of trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh who were winners in 2015 with un De Sceaux.

10/1 Annie Power to win the Champion Hurdle:
With a near perfect career record, it's difficult to see how Annie Power could be beaten in the Champion Hurdle. Having said that, she did fall in the Mare's Hurdle last year at the festival so nothing is impossible.

Identity Thief could have the measure of her on the day but with a Betfair enhancement to 10/1 from the normal odds of 7/4 it's well worth the bet.

The offers above are open to new customers only. The most you can bet is £10 and your winnings will be paid out as bonus bets which should see you nicely through the rest of the festival.


For exiting customers, Betfair is giving you a double promotion. The first is Bet £10, Get £30 in Bonus Bets and that is bumped up with ‘3 Bonus Bets when you back a winner'. So all you have to do is get one bet right to get three more free.

It's a solid offer for those of you who plan to back runners in more than one race and as EVERY Cheltenham Festival race is no Non Runner No Bet at Betfair, there is absolutely no risk of losing your money should your chosen horse not run.

Cheltenham Festival Free Bet

Top Events At The Cheltenham Races

If you fancy a day or two out at the races, you won’t go far wrong with a trip to the Cheltenham Racecourse, set at the beautiful Prestbury Park in the Cotswolds. The Racecourse hosts many popular horse racing events throughout the year, and is well located close to transport links and lots of hotels in Cheltenham if you need to stay close by.

A Full Racing Calendar

The horse racing season at Cheltenham kicks off in October with The Showcase: one of Cheltenham’s most well attended events. Here you’ll get the chance to see some of the world’s leading trainers and jockeys, and dig deeper into how the thrilling world of racing really works. If you’re planning on making your way to The Showcase, make sure you come prepared to dust off the tweed and study the form at this this excellent Jump racing event. There are seven intensely competitive races held each day and both the weighing room and the parade ring are open to the public before all the racing, so just make sure you’ve got a hotel booked in Cheltenham for afterwards, as it won’t just be the horses who are tired out by the end of it!

Another event at the Cheltenham Racecourse which is well-worth attending is The Open, which takes place in November. This offers horse racing fans three superb days of racing thrills, set amongst an atmosphere of festival fun with open trade stands and plenty of opportunities to grab some delicious food and drink at one of the racecourse’s excellent bars and restaurants.

And for the family minded, the Cheltenham New Year’s Day event really shouldn’t be missed: this is a firm family favourite, and attracts huge crowds of racing fans and festive celebrants alike. There is a real festival atmosphere at this racing meet, with plenty to keep the young ones busy whilst you study the form!

Before You Go

There are lots more racing events on at Cheltenham throughout the year. If that’s whetted your appetite and you fancy going along to see the horses, there are a few things to bear in mind before you go:

Don’t Forget Your Race Card

A race card is definitely worth buying before the races, as this gives you a really detailed guide on all the events that are going on each day. It will also have some all-important tips on horses and other fascinating information about each event: don’t leave your hotel without one before you make your way to the races!

Take Along Some Cash

If you’re planning on having a flutter, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got some cash to place your bets. Most bookmakers have a minimum bet of £5.00, so bear this in mind if you’re planning on attending one of these Cheltenham Events.

Book A Hotel Before You Go

The popularity of the horse racing in Cheltenham means that many of the local hotels can get very booked up when an event is on, so make sure you book your hotel in Cheltenham well in advance. The Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham is a good option if you’re looking around for a hotel: it’s just 1.3 miles away from the Racecourse, and is set in the middle of the town near to lots of other amenities.

Chris Mayhew is a keen horse racing fan and attends some of the regular events at Cheltenham race course. He would recommend The Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham to anyone looking for somewhere to stay whilst they enjoy the races.

The Sports For The Kings – Horse Racing Events in UK

No sport personifies Britain’s unique sporting heritage and history more than horse racing. Renowned as the sport of kings, horse racing has been a spectator sport in England since the Roman Emperor Hadrian erected a wall between Scotland and England, which probably meant that the poor Scots had to wait until the Romans had packed up and left before being able to enjoy the illustrious horse-racing spectacle.

Today’s British punters are fortunate since they have a year-long feast of equine festivals to attend with major races and meetings continually cropping up in the racing calendar. In no particular order of importance, the most popular courses are at York, Ascot, Aintree, Goodwood and of course Cheltenham. There are heaps of smaller tracks that attract large local crowds and are just as much part and parcel of the provincial social scene as Royal Ascot is for the metropolitan elite.

Broadly the Flat season takes place between the spring equinox and autumn equinox. The William Hill Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster, first run in 1853, is the traditional curtain-raiser to the Flat season. Thereafter the Flat season really takes off with the five major Classics, which are: the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas Stakes staged at Newmarket; the Epsom Oaks and the Epsom Derby and the St. Leger Stakes, which is also run at Doncaster. Sandwiched in between the Classics are the major Flat festivals at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.

The National Hunt season, which is the name given to jump racing, tends to be concentrated between November and April. Just as Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood define high summer, the Cheltenham Festival and the three-day Grand National meeting stand at the pinnacle of a long winter’s jump season. While the Grand National race itself is the most internationally recognised British horse racing brand, Cheltenham’s four-day festival, and the world famous Gold Cup, outshines all others. For the sheer quality of the field and the buzz and enthusiasm of the crowd, there is nothing quite like Cheltenham anywhere in the world.

If you can’t attend this annual equestrian extravaganza in person then the next best thing is to follow it all on William Hill TV, which streams all Irish and UK race meetings live for a minimum stake of just £1! If you haven’t done so before, this is the best chance to enjoy the very best of British horse racing betting online – start now!

Grand National

Henderson Unfazed By Maigue Ascot Defeat

Nicky Henderson made no bones about drawing a line under the defeat of his very useful River Maigue, who finished runner-up to Far West at Ascot recently in the Ironspine Charity Challenge National Hunt Novices Hurdle, writes Elliot Slater.

There was certainly no disgrace in being beaten by Paul Nicholls’ smart performer, who was receiving 9lbs from the runner-up, and eventually prevailed by two-and-a-half lengths in an inconclusive contest that turned into a three-furlong sprint that certainly would not have played to the strengths of Henderson’s confirmed stayer.

The best part about the outing is that River Maigue will have blown away any cobwebs and should now be pretty much spot on to take his chance at the Cheltenham Festival on March 12.

He will likely accompany his stablemate and hot favourite, My Tent Or Yours (2/1 in the betting on Cheltenham , to the post for the Grade 1 William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle, the opening race on the first day of the four-day showcase meeting.

Never out of the first three in his life, the gelded son of Zagreb won a three-mile point-to-point on his first career start last October, before joining the Seven Barrows team and shaping well to finish third in an Ascot bumper on his first outing for new connections.

He followed up with a victory in an Ayr bumper last April, then began this campaign as a novice hurdler this season running a fine race to push the smart Dodging Bullets all the way when runner-up in the Grade 2 Opus Energy Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham’s November fixture.

An impressive 10-length winner at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, where he slammed the decent New Year’s Eve with the minimum of fuss, his second place at Ascot served its purpose and the current 12/1 horseracing bet (http://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/) looks a solid each-way bet for the Supreme Novices Hurdle, a race that is sure to produce his preferred strong gallop.

Bold Sir Brian

Lucinda Keeping A Weather Eye Out For Bold Sir Brian

Britain’s most northerly-based racehorse trainer, Lucinda Russell, is set to keep a very close eye on weather reports in the coming week as she bids to find a suitable opportunity for her exciting young chaser, Bold Sir Brian, whose recent intended outing in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock was abandoned.

The highly progressive seven-year-old has been beaten only once in his last seven chases and is still a possible runner in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 15, a contest for which he is currently a top-priced 50/1 in the Gold Cup betting odds.

He also holds an entry in the five furlong shorter Grade 1 Ryanair Chase the previous day and can still be backed at best odds of 33/1.

Before either of those races, Russell, who is based in central Scotland at Perth & Kinross, will look to get at least one more outing into the gelded son of Brian Boru and may have a crack at the listed Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on January 26.

He could also make an appearance in the Murphy Group Chase or Grade 2 Argento Chase at Cheltenham in February, an event that would raise the possibility of the northern chaser locking horns for the very first time with former Gold Cup winner and recent King George VI chase hero, Long Run.

Russell reports that her star prospect to be in fine form following his two victories from two outings this term, beginning with a nonchalant dismissal of Rival d’Estruval over two-and-a-half miles at Carlisle in November on his seasonal bow.

He then slammed Pacha Du Polder by 16 lengths in the Sportingbet Future Stars Intermediate Chase at Sandown on December 7.
Wherever he goes next, Peter Buchanan, who has been on board Bold Sir Brian in every one of his 13 career starts (that have yielded seven victories), will once again be in the plate.

In addition to the Gold Cup, fans of racing should also check out the Champion Hurdle odds to make the most of their winter betting.

Cheltenham Festival Free Bet
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Non Runner Cheltenham Festival Bonus Bet

VC Bet have a great deal that that has not been seen before as it is a Non Runner Cheltenham Festival Bonus Bet. When you bet ante post on any horse race there is a slight risk that the horse will not run when it comes to the race day. With this deal you get to place a bet a full four months early and make use of the best odds without running the risk of your horse becoming a non-runner as VC Bet will refund your stake if this happens. The Cheltenham Festival is next held in March 2013 and placing a bet now could mean that you get better odds than you would closer to the event.

This type of cash back deal has never been offered before so it really is a unique offer with the outcome of effectively insuring your ante post bet for the 2013 Cheltenham Festival, one of the most prestigious annual events occurring in the racing calendar. Amongst the fantastic races at the festival are the World Hurdle, the Arkle, the Champion Hurdle and of course the most famous of Cheltenham Festivals races the Gold Cup.

Claiming Your Bonus Bet

All you need to do is follow the above button link to VC Bet and place an ante post outright bet on any of the available races an if your horse is a non-runner then VC Bet will refund your stake up to the value of £50. Your account will be credited with the Bonus bet automatically so you don’t have to worry, it really is simple. There is more though because if you are a new customer to VC Bet then you can also claim up to £25 in Bonus bets with their excellent sign up bonus, so get over to VC Bet now and take advantage of this fantastic deal!

Cheltenham Open Free Bet
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Paddy Power Cheltenham Open Bonus Bet

It’s the Cheltenham Open Meeting at the weekend with three days of racing magic its a major highlight in the British Racing Calendar and Paddy Power are adding that little bit of extra magic with a great bonus bet deal!

Day two of the Cheltenham Open sees the Paddy Power Gold Cup and there was sure to be a great bonus bet deal from the Irish bookies to coincide with the race! So make your outright winner selection on any of the races taking place over the three day event and if your horse finishes second to a horse ridden by Ruby Walsh then Paddy Power will refund your stake as a bonus bet!

Paddy Power Bonus Bet Deal

Paddy Power are well known for the amount of bonus bet offers they create every week, along with other deals and promotions. What’s more new clients to Paddy Power can also to claim a £20 bonus bet on their first deposit of £10 or more so if you haven’t already wagered with them then why not try out the Cheltenham Open and see if you can win big or claim the bonus bet!

Many other online bookmakers other than Paddy Power create great deals, offers and promotions in fact nearly every sportsbook site will produce a whole range of deals across many markets and to save you time and effort we regularly search the web to find the best, so save yourself some time and money and check out our bonus bets page now!

Paddy Power Gold Cup Odds

Luck Of The Irish Stable Lad

Stable Lad Wins A MillionCork-born 31-year-old Conor Murphy is a hand in Nicky Henderson’s stable. Nicky Henderson is a champion-caliber horse trainer, and the winningest trainer in Cheltenham history.

As 2011 drew to a close, the focus in Henderson’s stable was on the Festival, which would to take place at Cheltenham in March. On a whim, Murphy placed a five-horse parlay bet, which involved all of the horses that would be racing at the Festival out of Henderson’s stable.

To hear Conor tell it, he placed the bet and forgot it. Even when the races started at Cheltenham that March day, the accumulator bet hadn’t even crossed his mind. But after the third win, Conor realized that he had a legitimate chance at the big win, and then the excitement set it.

It all started with Sprint Scare, who won in Tuesday’s Arkle. On Wednesday, Simonsig won in the Novices’ hurdle, Bobs worth in the RSA Chase, and Finian’s Rainbow in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Finian’s Rainbow is the horse that Murphy personally looks after, and Henderson would later muse that Simonsig was the key to Murphy’s magic win.

On Thursday, Riverside Theatre won the Ryanair Chase, sealing the deal for Murphy. The winning parlay, which had odds of 163,350:1, paid out more than £1m.

Henderson, who now has 45 wins, was happy for Conor. He had experience with this sort of thing: Last year, another hand, Kathleen Young, won £1m in the National Lottery. Henderson did jokingly add that he wished he had known about the bet; he could have used a cool million quid too.

Some wondered if Conor would leave his job now that he had won all that money, but he wouldn’t hear it. Murphy’s role at the stable comes second only to his family, and he couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Henderson referred to Murphy as a crucial component of his operation.

A spokesperson for Bet365, where Conor placed the bet, griped that it had been an awful event for all sportsbooks. A spokesperson for Paddy Power did not seem please either, although he did perk up when talking about how glad he was that it was not his book that had taken Murphy’s bet.

Murphy’s bet wasn’t the only big win at the Cheltenham Festival. Phil Williams, the owner of Son of Flicka, placed a bet on his own horse, and when Son of Flicka won the Coral Cup, Williams took home £900,000.

Aintree Bounce Back For Oscar Whisky

Oscar Whisky Bounce BackThe World Hurdle saw defeat to Big Buck’s for Nicky Henderson trained Oscar Whisky and it is expected that he may well try a bounce back at Aintree next month. After failing to keep up the pace over 3 miles, the shorter run at the John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle may see him win again.

It seemed Oscar Whisky was set at two out to challenge Big Buck’s but simply ran out of stamina.

“The horse is fine and we'll think about the race he won last year at Liverpool but I've yet to discuss a plan with Nicky.” Said Owner Dai Walters.

“On previous form with Overturn one has to think he'd have gone quite close in the Champion Hurdle, but we had to try the longer trip.”

Although disappointed at the World Hurdle, Henderson still had seven sins at Cheltenham and is now favourite to take the Jump Trainers Championship with Ladbrokes giving him odds of 8-15. Paul Nicholls dropped to 11-8 although he added the Champions and World Hurdle to his tally.

Going For Gold

Cheltenham Festival 2012This week sees the arrival of the 2012 Cheltenham Festival bringing with it a week of top quality jump racing that culminates with the highlight of the British and Irish Jump Season, ‘The Gold Cup’.

With close to 90 years of Gold Cup history you can be assured of a line up of the best Jockeys, Horses and Trainers this year, all hoping to get their names in the record books alongside of the greats of yesterday. Like the Irish duo of racehorse Cottage Rake and trainer Vincent O’Brien who claimed their first of three consecutive victories in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It was perhaps this string of victories more than any other factor that led to the Cheltenham Festival developing into the unofficial national hunt championships contested by the English and Irish racing fraternities.

But for those of you who enjoy betting on the big race it is the recent history that is interesting, particularly as Kauto Star has now been confirmed for the Gold Cup after a nasty fall in training almost ruled the previous champion out of this years race.

Ladbrokes Bookmaker's favourite is Long Run at 6/4 with Kauto Star and Burton Port close on its heels at 7/2 and 7/1 respectively. Weird Al looks a good prospect at 10/1 after an impressive win in the Charlie Hall Chase last year.

Balgarry Leaps Into Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival ContenderDavid Pipe well and truly set the cat amongst the pigeons when he sent out the unknown ex-French hurdler Balgarry to make a stunning British debut at Newbury on Saturday and emerge as a leading contender for both the Coral Cup and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle at next week’s Cheltenham Festival, writes Elliot Slater.

Few people had even heard of Balgarry before he took his place in the line-up for the Ladbrokes Supporting Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, but jockey Conor O’Farrell obviously knew he was aboard a horse of some potential and had clear instructions to set out and make it a true test. Leading from flag-fall the gelded son of Ballingarry set off at a strong gallop and having not been in racecourse action since the second run of his brief career when winning at Clairefontaine in France in August 2010, most people could be forgiven for thinking the five-year-old would surely fade and come back to the pack. Those following the 2012 Cheltenham Festival odds online wouldn't have been expecting him to make an impact.

Still maintaining a strong gallop going to the second from home, it was clear that Balgarry had his rivals in big trouble and as he jumped the final flight with a clear lead it was obvious that Pipe’s charge was not going to be caught. Nampour stayed on well in the closing stages to bridge the gap as Balagrry began to tire a little on his first outing for 18 months, but he still crossed the line with a healthy three-and-a-half-lengths to spare, with the pair 14-lengths clear of third-placed Ebanour.

Slashed from 25/1 to 10/1 with some firms for the Coral Cup following his brilliant British debut, Balgarry has been installed 10/1 joint-favourite (from 20/s) for the ‘Martin Pipe’, a race that for obvious reasons David Pipe would very much like to win.