TUESDAY 14 – FRIDAY 17 MARCH 2023
Not only is the Cheltenham Festival one of the biggest – if not the biggest – event of the season for racing fans, it’s also a big time of year for the bookmakers. With so much interest in the sport of horse racing, those friendly betting sites really excel themselves when it comes to excellent value Cheltenham betting offers and Cheltenham festival free bets.
Countdown to the Cheltenham Festival 2023
Bet £10 on The13:30 Cheltenham Get £10 for Each Remaining Race on Cheltenham Day 1
Bet £10 on The13:30 Cheltenham Get £10 for Each Remaining Race on Cheltenham Day 1New customer offer. Bet £10 on SBK on Race 1 at Cheltenham, Tuesday 15th March. Get a £10 free bet for each of the remaining races on the card (£60 in total). Only deposits with Cards apply (Apple Pay deposits excluded). T&C apply.
When it comes to horse racing, and particularly jumps racing, there is one event which stands head and shoulders above the rest. That event is the betting giant that is the magnificent Cheltenham Festival. Held over four days in March each year and featuring championship contests such as the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and of course the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself, there’s quite simply nothing else quite like it when it comes to excitement and drama.
The best of the best from both sides of the Irish Sea – in addition to legions of racing fans – descend on Prestbury Park to see dreams realised and hero’s made in what is effectively the Olympics of the sport. If you like racing and you like a flutter, a bet on Cheltenham is tough to beat. We have come up with this Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide as a quick introduction to this festival thriller.
The real thrill in the Cheltenham Festival comes in placing a bet on the outcome of the races, but how to go about it? Here are a few things to bear in mind when taking a look at the Cheltenham festival 2022 betting.
Looking ahead to that 2022 Festival, lets see exactly what we have in store.
Firstly, when is the Cheltenham festival? The action kicks off on Tuesday 16th March 2022 and runs through until Friday 19th March. Be sure to get those Cheltenham festival 2022 dates in your diary.
You may be wondering how many races there are at the Cheltenham Festival? The answer is 28 in all. Every day at Cheltenham is absolutely top notch, but each of the cards has its own standout Cheltenham Festival races.
In 2022, Cheltenham Day 1 races start Tuesday 15th March, and, what a day of racing it should be on Champions Day.
Cheltenham Ladies Day 2020 falls on Wednesday 11 March and it’s a day of racing that is not to be missed.
Cheltenham 2022’s Thursday (March, 12) will be no different to that of its predecessors, expect plenty of craic.
It’s Cheltenham Friday so that can only mean one thing, it’s time for Cheltenham 2022’s Day Four.
Day 1 takes place on Tuesday 16 March 2022 and we’ll hear the famous Cheltenham roar from the packed stands as the tape goes up for the first race. Plenty for punters to get excited about here, including the Mares Hurdle which has provided us with some memorable renewals over the years. It is also the hurdlers who take centre stage on the opening day as the field line up for the Champion Hurdle itself. As the title would suggest, this is the race which crowns the current king over the smaller obstacles. Who will prove to be queen of Prestbury Park this time?
he Supreme Novices Hurdle will be run on Tuesday 15 March at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival. A Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race, it is contested over the two miles trip at the Prestbury Park course with eight hurdles to be jumped by the field.
The Arkle Challenge Trophy 2022 is run on Tuesday March 16th at 1.10PM, just the second race of the Cheltenham Festival’s day 1, and will be worth a huge £182,000 in total.
This is a really competitive handicap chase but what recent history has taught us is that the top trainers get it right year after year, knowing how to prep their main contenders and leading to winners coming from the first five or so in the betting.
The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 horse race that takes place on the Cheltenham Day One, open to runners aged four or older. Taking place on the Old Course at Cheltenham, the Champion Hurdle is run over a distance of just over 2 miles, with a total of eight hurdles to be jumped also.
It’s a gruelling test that separates the gutsy mares from the divas and drama queens. Run on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival 2022, all eyes will be on the Mares Hurdle when the field line-up on Tuesday 15 March.
The race is run on day one of the Cheltenham festival, taking place this time around on Tuesday March 15th at 4.50PM, the penultimate race of the day. The Close Brothers Handicap Chase is one of the top novice handicaps of the season.
The 2022 version will be worth a cool £125,000 and will be the last race of a fascinating first day of the festival, going off on Tuesday March 15th at 5.30PM.
When choosing an online bookmaker to bet on the Cheltenham Festival with, there are some key considerations you can make that help you narrow down the search from the many sportsbooks out there on the internet:
Betting offers and promotions for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival are yet to be released. Meanwhile, with the Cheltenham ante post market open and thriving, we have best odds guaranteed and non runner no bet offers – check them out below.
Besides that, while the Festival is several months ahead, the Cheltenham Trials season is underway! Take advantage of betting offers below to make your trials betting even more fun.
Betfred are paying 7 places on Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Wednesday, 14:50).
+4 places on Brown Advisory Novices' Chase (Wednesday, 14:10)
+5 places on Glenfarclas Chase (Wednesday, 16:10)
+6 places on Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Wednesday, 16:50)
+4 places on Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Wednesday, 17:30)
Odds 1/5, Full t&c apply.
Ultima Handicap Chase - 6 places
Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - 5 places
Coral Cup - 6 places
Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase - 4 places
Grand Annual Challenge Cup - 5 places
Champion Bumper - 5 places
Pertemps Network Final - 6 places
Plate Handicap Chase - 5 places
Mares' Novices' Hurdle - 5 places
Kim Muir Handicap Chase - 5 places
Back a horse in a race with Each Way+ and get enhanced place terms or an extra place. Earn yourself a bigger EW payout or gain some extra insurance on your EW bets. 888Sport will pay out an extra place on selected Cheltenham 2022 Races. 18+, T&Cs apply.
14:10, The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase - 4 places at 1/5
14:50, The Coral Cup - 6 places at 1/5
16:10, The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase - 4 places at 1/5
16:50, Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase - 5 places at 1/5
17:30, The Weatherbys Champion Bumper - 4 places at 1/5
The simplest bet to place on the Cheltenham Festival and it can be applied to any race on any of the four days of Prestbury Park action. This a single bet on your selection to finish 1st in the specified race. If it does you will bank a return. If it ends 2nd or below you lose your stake.
Each-way is a bet on your pick to finish in the major places. This is usually the first three, but each-way terms depend on the number of runners. An example of each-way could be ¼ the odds a place 1-2-3.
This bet is a little more complicated than the one above. Again, you are predicting which horse will win the race but a forecast challenges you to also pick the runner that will finish 2nd. The two on your bet slip must finish in the right order, 1st and 2nd.
With a tricast you must call the first three in the race, 1st, 2nd and 3rd in that order. Tricast bets aren’t available in all races, so check before attempting to make this type of wager. Forecast and Tricast bets are notorious for large pay-outs at the Cheltenham Festival.
When betting at the Cheltenham Festival 2022 you can choose between a fixed-odds bet or the Tote Pool returns. The Tote also run several special bets, such as a Placepot and Jackpot. The Placepot is a wager which challenges backers to pick a horse to place in the first six races of the meeting. It doesn’t matter if your pick wins or ends in the major places, the bet continues to the next race. Get through all six and you’ll land a return. The amount due depends on how many winners have a claim on the pot, similar to a lottery. Try out a Cheltenham placepot this March.
This bet is very interesting as you are picking one horse to beat another. It could be in a two-runner field or a 22-runner field. When placing a match bet you are calling Horse A to beat Horse B and it doesn’t matter in which order they finish the race. It could be 1st and 2nd or second last and last. As long as your pick ends higher up the final order than its rival you will be paid out a profit. The match bets may be decided by the trading team or you can take two horses of your choosing.
Value for money bet that gives players an interest for the duration of the Cheltenham Festival, lasting from Tuesday to Friday. Here you are placing your stake on which trainer will have the most winners or which jockey will ride the most champions.
The odds are determined by traders and are calculated by how many horses a trainer or jockey has with a genuine chance of winning the race. This could be favourites or those near the head of the market. This will give you an interest in every race as you tally the winners of your trainer or jockey against that of their rivals.
Not all of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival ante post markets are open as bookmakers have no idea what entries will be made for the handicaps until nearer the meeting. There are already some special bets to consider, however. These include horses to win any race which has become a popular bet placed in recent years. The Cheltenham Festival top trainer betting is already available with usual suspects such as Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson and Gordon Elliott prominent in the market. Make sure you check back closer to the meeting for a full list of Cheltenham Festival ante post betting tips.
Kemboy is antepost favourite to win this year’s Gold Cup with every major bookmaker but it appears traders have been a little too quick to put a line through the chances of defending champion Al Boum Photo. If he’s sent back in for more and makes the final field, he has every chance of out running his odds, which currently sit at 8/1. Sure to be popular on Cheltenham race week.
Beveur D’Air has been chalked up as the early favourite by traders but it remains to be seen which race at the festival he’ll be entered into. If Klassical Dream makes the grade here, then he’ll surely take all the beating. Ridden by Ruby Walsh for Willie Mullins, Klassical Dream was a champion at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, winning the Supreme Novices Hurdle by more than four lengths. One for your early Cheltenham tips.
The antepost list for this race makes for interesting reading and suggests we’re set for a competitive renewal. Some top class horses are quoted in the list but it’s difficult to make a strong case against backing Defi Du Seuil at 6/1. Philip Hobbs’ gelding won the JLT Novices Chase last year, proving head and shoulders above a strong field.
Altior looks the one to trust in the antepost market and the 5/1 being offered at the time of writing looks to be on the generous side. Nicky Henderson’s striking gelding is a real fans’ favourite and his CV already shows some impressive wins. He banked the Grade 1 Champion Chase in 2019 when sent off as an odds-on favourite. Will feature in a fair share of Cheltenham betting tips again.
Learn about risks and perks of putting a wager on the Cheltenham antepost markets.
Before you start betting on Cheltenham, it is good to know which trainers and jockeys are worth following. The tables below show the top four riders and handlers over the last five National Hunt seasons (as of before The November Meeting 2020). Note that following some stables and jockeys doesn’t pay from a level stakes profit perspective:
From the last five Cheltenham Festivals, Nicky Henderson has sent out 15 winners from his Seven Barrows stables in the horse racing hub of Lambourn. If recent trends are anything to go by, you are better off following his horses during the first two days of the meeting. All but one of Henderson’s Festival winners between 2016 and 2020 inclusive came on Champion Hurdle day or Ladies Day (seven apiece). He has started the 2020-21 National Hunt season in typically strong fashion. The Henderson yard has the early ante post favourites for the Arkle in Shishkin and reigning Champion Hurdle heroine Epatante among his leading Cheltenham contenders this time around.
County Meath trainer Gordon Elliott saddled 27 Cheltenham Festival winners over the last five years. He has traditionally peaked on the middle two days of the meeting. Of his many victories between 2016 and 2020 inclusive, two-thirds of his successes came on Ladies Day or the Thursday of the Festival. At this very early stage, Elliott has the ante post favourites for the National Hunt Chase and Champion Bumper in Galvin and Sir Gerhard respectively. The undefeated Envoi Allen, who is 2-2 at Cheltenham, heads the market for both the RSA and Marsh Novices’ Chase, meanwhile. Elliott is already enjoying a typically fine jumps season in his native Ireland with more to come.
As the winningmost trainer in Cheltenham Festival history, anything saddled by County Carlow handler Willie Mullins always merits consideration. Over the last five years at the prestigious National Hunt meeting, he has sent out 31 winners from his stables at Closutton in the Emerald Isle. Mullins has a strong recent record in the Arkle and Ryanair Chase, and has dominated the races for mares at Cheltenham. One of the few big events he hasn’t won is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but he finally put his Gold Cup hoodoo to rest with Al Boum Photo scoring back-to-back successes in the blue riband steeplechase. The Mullins yard is never not in form and there are many horses of interest trained in it with one eye on the Festival. Chacun Pour Soi is Champion Chase favourite having missed the race in 2020 due to a late injury, while novice mare Shewearsitwell keeps progressing. Mullins will want to win the inaugural Mares’ Chase and should have a strong hand for it.
Fergal O’Brien is one of a few local trainers to Cheltenham, alongside former mentor Nigel Twiston-Davies, Tom George and Kim Bailey who have stables in Gloucestershire. These handlers find it difficult to get in amongst the winners at the Festival, but are well worth looking at for other meetings at the course earlier in the season. Paul Nicholls is also having a fine campaign with his runners. He enjoyed eight winners at Cheltenham Festivals over the last five years and has won many of the top races held there in his training career. Nicholls’ Ditcheat stables are home to Politologue, the winner of the 2020 Champion Chase, and Stayers’ Hurdle hopeful McFabulous.
Horse racing is a sport that so many terms in it, but we can help beginners to bust the jargon with this brief glossary that explains and defines phrases and words you may hear during the Cheltenham Festival:
Tthe colloquial name for National Hunt Flat Races. Most bumpers are run over a distance of about two miles. Cheltenham is home to the Champion Bumper, traditionally the final race on Ladies Day. Unlike other events at the Festival, no obstacles of any kind are jumped by the horses competing in it. They just run on the hurdles course with those removed from their path. Bumpers are an introduction for horses who haven’t raced on the Flat before and need racecourse experience before tackling jumps. You may find plenty of Point to Point winners competing in the Champion Bumper.
A shortened form of steeplechases, these races see horses jump fences. The obstacles are taller than hurdles. There are a variety of jumps taken on a circuit of Cheltenham Racecourse. Besides regulation fences, there is a water jump in the back straight and open ditches which are more difficult than a standard obstacle. These are common to most National Hunt tracks. Newbury, where many Cheltenham Festival trials take place, has a water jump and open ditches on their chase course, for example. If a horse falls or unseats their rider at a fence, they cannot remount and continue the race.
These are smaller obstacles than fences made of panels sticking out of the ground at an angle and horse can flick through the top of them rather than needing a full jump. Before tackling a steeplechase, it is customary for trainers to give their horses experience of hurdling as it aids their development. Cheltenham is home to the Champion Hurdle where the best horses with the most accurate technique compete to be crowned the best over about two miles. There is also the Stayers’ Hurdle which tests racehorse stamina over the smaller obstacles with a distance of three miles.
Class 1 races are the highest level of competition that take place in National Hunt horse racing, but they are split up into different grades. Starting with Listed, any horse who finishes in the first three gets black type next to their name – indicating their performance in a top-class race. Above that is Grade 3, then Grade 2 and Grade 1 being the highest. Here are the graded races at the Cheltenham Festival in order:
The majority of horse races that take place are called handicaps. This is how they work. The highest rated horse entered is allotted topweight and frames the handicap. Horses with lower ratings have the difference between that and top rated horse reflected in the weight they carry. Handicaps can have graded status, but only up to Grade 2 and these are limited by a set bottom weight. The 2022 Cheltenham Festival will have nine handicaps during the meeting and these are as follows:
A novice is a horse with no or limited winning experience of the type of race, chases or hurdles, that it is running in. Horses retain novice status until they win a race or a certain date after winning one. It is an indicator that they either haven’t been successful in the sphere or are inexperienced in the discipline. It is possible for a horse to be considered a novice over hurdles, but race in open company over fences. The following races at the Cheltenham Festival are open to novices only:
The Cross Country course at Cheltenham lies in the middle of the racecourse. This is only used sparingly, about three times per year. One of those occasions is the Cross Country Chase at the Festival. The track is in a figure of eight shape and sees horses jump a variety of natural and manmade obstacles. Unlike a standard steeplechase, a Cross Country race sees horses jump banks, ditches, hedges and even a Grand National style spruce-covered fence which is the tallest on the course. They then run onto the racecourse proper and go over the final two hurdles.
If you are placing a bet on the Cheltenham Festival, then no doubt you would like to watch the action unfold. Thankfully when it comes to online betting for Cheltenham, many online bookmakers are perfectly happy to cater to this desire through their live streaming services.
William Hill, Bet365, Ladbrokes and BetVictor are just a few of the firms to provide this facility. These days though it would be quicker to list the firms who don’t offer live streaming for UK horse racing than those who do. The usual caveat is that you must have placed a bet on the event in question in order to access the live stream.
The Cheltenham Festival in 2020 was as compelling as ever with the best jumps horses in the British Isles on show. It was packed full of memorable moments across all four days of action at Prestbury Park. Here, we recap the best of the action from the Cheltenham Festival in 2020:
Nicky Henderson enjoyed a good opening day as, after Shishkin overcame drifting in the betting and all sorts of trouble in-running in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Epatante ran out a classy winner of the Champion Hurdle. She enhanced her connections’ fabulous record in the Festival feature hurdles contest with a three-length victory, giving owner JP McManus a ninth success.
Irish trainer Henry De Bromhead also enjoyed a double on the card courtesy of Put The Kettle On in the Arkle Challenge Trophy for novice chasers and Honeysuckle in the Mares’ Hurdle. She beat previous winners Roksana and Benie Des Dieux. Ladbrokes Trophy second The Conditional went one better in the Ultima Handicap Chase, while there was Listed success for Imperial Aura and veteran Ravenhill added his name to the illustrious roll of honour attached to the National Hunt Chase.
Ladies Day at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival was supposed to be all about Altior and Tiger Roll, but the former didn’t run and the latter was beaten on the Cross Country course he had excelled over. Henderson enjoyed another double with Champ showing speed and stamina to take the RSA Novices’ Chase before Dame De Compagnie bolted up in the Coral Cup
Gordon Elliott also got in on the act with meeting banker Envoi Allen justifying all faith in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and Aramax taking the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Winners for McManus just kept on coming as French runner Easysland scalped Tiger Roll in the Cross Country Chase. Despite a decimated field for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Politologue turned up and gave Paul Nicholls a record-equalling sixth victory in the feature two-mile event over fences. Willie Mullins won a tenth Champion Bumper with Ferny Hollow too.
After bumping into Altior in previous years, it was time for Min to shine at long last as he recorded a famous win in the Ryanair Chase. When Concertista went one better in the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle later on the Thursday, that brought up a double for Mullins. He was eclipsed by Emerald Isle rival Elliott, however, taking a treble courtesy of Samcro just prevailing in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, Sire Du Berlais retaining his Pertemps Final crown and Milan Native landing the Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
There was a major upset in the Stayers’ Hurdle, meanwhile, with 50/1 chance Lisnagar Oscar leading home three outsiders. The fancied runners including previous winner Paisley Park just didn’t deliver over three miles. Harry Whittington enjoyed a first-ever Cheltenham Festival winner in the Stable Plate Handicap Chase with Simply The Betts beating BetVictor Gold Cup heroine Happy Diva.
In the blue riband event, the Cheltenham Gold Cup day, Al Boum Photo make a successful defence of his crown, holding off late challenges from Cotswold Chase scorer Santini and Betfair Chase hero Lostintranslation. There was plenty of drama and excitement on the supporting card too with Goshen unlucky to unseat in the Triumph Hurdle, handing the win to Burning Victory as Mullins enjoyed the first four winners.
Saint Roi looked miles ahead of the handicapper in landing the County Hurdle on what was Barry Geraghty’s last Cheltenham Festival winner. Monkfish led home three Irish horses who kept home favourite Thyme Hill out of the frame in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Chosen Mate delivered in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase, while outsiders It Came To Pass and Indefatigable recorded memorable victories in the Foxhunter Chase and Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
Cheltenham Festival 2019 was a memorable week of action which brought followers the best horses, jockeys, trainer and owners, all doing battle over huge sums of money and a place in the history books. The festival threw up more than a few surprises with favourites finding it difficult to live up to expectations. As is often the case at Prestbury Park it was a meeting that favoured the brave, those taking on the shortest price runners with plucky outsiders.
Below is a list of winners and prices from some of the most famous Cheltenham races from 2019:
Favourites didn’t fare too well at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, as can be seen from the above results in some of the week’s biggest races. We also witnessed a losing favourite in the standout race of the festival, Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. Winner of that Grade 1 contest was Al Boum Photo who upset the odds to delight backers at a chunky 12/1. Paul Townend sat in the saddle and the pair finished as deserved champions in one of Europe’s premier National Hunt horse races. Al Boum Photo beat off competition from runner up Anibale Fly and Barry Geraghty at 22/1 with Bristol De Mai back in third, rounding off the major places at 18/1.
The Cheltenham betting guide shows 2019 provided star trainer Willie Mullins with his first win in the Cheltenham Gold Cup but there’s expected to be many more in the years to come. That was also the first and only time jockey Paul Townend has featured in the Gold Cup winner’s enclosure.
With origins harking back all the way to 1860, the Cheltenham Festival has now provided enough unforgettable moments to fill a book, but here are a few of our own personal favourites.
A handful of horses have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on more than one occasion over the years – Golden Miller won it five times – but only one horse has ever regained the crown having lost it. Victorious in 2007 but mastered by stablemate Denman in 2008, the Paul Nicholls runner Kauto Star showed the fire stilled burned bright at nine years of age when bringing the house down with victory in 2009.
In his pomp the Nicky Henderson runner, Sprinter Sacre was the most talented performer seen over fences since the legendary Arkle. Reaching the pinnacle of the two mile chase division with victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2013, it all started to go wrong thereafter. Pulled up at Kempton suffering from an irregular heartbeat, there were many calls for his retirement as he looked a shadow of his former self in subsequent starts.
Henderson kept the faith though and in 2016 there were signs of some of that old sparkle returning. Seeing him return to the scene of his finest hour to master the hot favourite Un De Sceaux at the 2016 Festival was one of the most truly spine-tingling moments witnessed in this great sport.
Returning to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, surely the greatest ever Cheltenham training performance came in that race in 1983.
To saddle the winner is a feat in itself, to send out the 1-2-3-4-5 is therefore truly remarkable. Remarkable but not impossible as that is exactly what trainer Michael Dickinson achieved. Bregawn being the horse to lead the quintet home.
Hopefully this Cheltenham betting guide will have served to whet your appetite for what is in our opinion one of the greatest sporting spectacles in the world . A perfect introduction to those new to the sport of horse racing, and for existing fans, this is the most eagerly anticipated festival of the year. Good luck with your Cheltenham 2022 betting!
As opposed to the set return of fixed odds betting, tote pool betting is also available at the Cheltenham festival. In tote betting all stakes are placed in a “pool” and then shared equally amongst the winners, minus a deduction for the pool operator. Pool bets can take the form of win bets, place bets, Placepots (picking a horse to be placed in the first six races on a card), forecasts and more. Most firms offer tote betting as an option, including Ladbrokes and Coral.
One of the main down sides of placing an ante-post bet is that should your selection not take part on the day, you will lose your stake. Thankfully this pitfall can be avoided at the Cheltenham Festival as many firms – including Ladbrokes, Coral, BetVictor and others – offer the non-runner no bet concession on their ante post Cheltenham Festival betting. As the name implies your stake will be returned should your selection not take part. Be sure to bear this in mind when checking out the betting for Cheltenham 2022.
An each way bet is effectively two separate bets of equal stakes. So for example a £1ew bet will cost £2 in total.
The first bet is a bet on the horse to win; this will be settled at the full odds taken.
The second bet is a bet on the horse to be placed. The term “placed” refers to finishing in the defined placed positions – this can be anything from the first two to the first four, depending upon the type of race and size of field. This portion of the bet will be settled at a fraction – either 1/4 or 1/5 – of the odds listed, again depending upon the type of race and size of field.