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Cheltenham Festival Betting Sites
The Cheltenham Festival is a four-day bonanza of jumps racing, taking place each March at Cheltenham Racecourse. With the best horses meeting perhaps for the only time here, Cheltenham Festival betting is popular throughout the season.
More than £138million is bet on Cheltenham odds during the meeting itself, as 250,000 horse racing fans flock to Prestbury Park.
Such is its value to bookmakers, that Cheltenham betting sites always have odds available, particular on the Festival’s star attraction, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and betting offers are plentiful, making it a feast of value for punters - if they learn how to bet on Cheltenham smartly.
Our guide to Cheltenham Festival betting sites below provides all you need to know about betting on Cheltenham, including how to pick a winner.
How to Bet on Cheltenham
There are 28 races to bet on at Cheltenham, and odds are available on plenty of them, especially the four biggest - the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle, and Gold Cup - throughout the year
During the Cheltenham Festival, there are unlimited combinations of bets to be placed, the most popular being win, each-way, exacta and trifecta. The best betting sites for Cheltenham will offer these bets:
- Win Bet - to place a win bet, pick a horse you think will win, and place a stake on it. If it wins, you win a multiple of your stake, based on the odds you were given - your stake is the second number in the odds, so if they were 2/1, your stake is 1 and your winnings are 2 x 1.
- Each-Way Bet - When you place an each-way bet on a horse, you place half your stake on the horse to win, and the other half on the horse to be placed. Generally a ‘place’ is either the first three or four to finish
- Exacta - Betting the Exacta is a great way to win big for small stakes. You pick two horses you think will finish first and second in the right order, and if that comes in, you win. If you’re not sure which order they will finish, you can box the Exacta to cover all bases.
- Trifecta - The difference between an Exacta and a Trifecta is numbers. In a Trifecta you pick three horses to finish first, second and third, if they finish in that order, you win. Like an Exacta, you can box the Trifecta to limit risk.
For those betting on Cheltenham at ante-post odds, there are opportunities to bet on Cheltenham at big odds, before horses have been confirmed for races - or even proven themselves.
How to Pick a Winner at Cheltenham
Picking a winner at Cheltenham can seem impossible, but our Cheltenham Festival betting tips should help you pick winners in the Graded races and in the handicaps.
- Follow Favorites In Grade 1s - Favorites have a strong win record of 44% in Grade 1s, that increasing to 73% when considering placed favorites. Take caution with favorites in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting though, and in the Champion Bumper, and longer hurdle races.
- Monitor Weather - Cheltenham is a turf course, so weather can move the Cheltenham Festival betting markets - not all horses run well on rain-softened ground. In fact, some Festival betting sites have odds on what the weather will be on Day One, and what the description of the going will be on Day One.
- Leading Players - Cheltenham is a unique occassion that some jockeys, and trainers never fail to live up to. The best betting sites for Cheltenham will have odds on who will be top trainer and jockey, and the best players to follow are trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, and jockeys Davy Russell and Ruby Walsh. They have dominated the title races for the last decade, and show few signs of slowing.
- Course Form - Cheltenham is also a unique racecourse, with it’s tricky undulations not to every horse’s liking. Some take to it immediately and become course specialists - these horses tend to defy the odds regularly, as even if the race does not appear to suit, their affinity with the course wins out. Look out for horses with course form in the Cheltenham odds.
As we said, there are 28 races and four days of racing all priced up in the Cheltenham Festival betting, so it pays to formulate some kind of strategy in the build-up to ‘the Greatest Show on Turf’.
Take heed of the above betting tips, and look for value in the Cheltenham odds by pairing favorites with long shots in exactas and trifectas, and consider other multiple bet options to keep your bets interested throughout the week.
Cheltenham Festival Schedule
The Cheltenham Festival begins on a Tuesday in March with each day featuring a range of Grade 1s and handicaps to bet on, and one Championship event.
Tuesday’s highlight is the Champion Hurdle, on Wednesday it’s the Champion Chase, and on Thursday is the Stayers’ Hurdle, Friday peaking with the £625,000 Cheltenham Gold Cup. It’s the most prestigious chase in the British or Irish jumps racing calendar, dating back to 1924 and run over the testing distance of 3 1/4 miles.
Winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup is akin to winning an Olympic Gold Medal for National Hunt racing’s best, and the feeling of backing a winner in the Gold Cup odds is quite similar too.