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.
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 2023 betting.
Looking ahead to that 2023 Festival, lets see exactly what we have in store.
Firstly, when is the Cheltenham festival? The action kicks off on Tuesday 14th March 2023 and runs through until Friday 19th March. Be sure to get those Cheltenham festival 2023 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 2023, Cheltenham Day 1 races start Tuesday 14th March, and, what a day of racing it should be on Champions Day.
Cheltenham Ladies Day 2023 falls on Wednesday 15 March and it’s a day of racing that is not to be missed.
Cheltenham 2023’s Thursday (March, 16) 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 2023’s Day Four.
Day one at the Cheltenham Festival is many people’s idea of the best day. This is when the year-long anticipation ends and the action truly gets going.
Tuesday is known as Champions Day. It is staged entirely on the Old Course which is noted for speed rather than stamina, which is a good thing as the top races are run over two miles.
The beginning of the first race of the day is met by the famous ‘Cheltenham Roar’, as the crowd yell at the top of their voices to herald the beginning of the action. The first event is the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, a race which crowns the top two-mile novice hurdler of the season.
Also run over that trip is the Arkle Challenge Trophy, another two-mile novices’ race but this time for the best young chasers around. Back over hurdles, the best of all of the two-mile events on Tuesday is the Champion Hurdle, the feature race of the day.
Day one also sees the Mares’ Hurdle take place over 2½ miles, a Grade One race like those mentioned before, while the Fred Winter is a handicap hurdle for juveniles which is a competitive Cheltenham betting race.
he Supreme Novices Hurdle will be run on Tuesday 15 March at the 2023 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 2023 is run on Tuesday March 14th 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 2023, all eyes will be on the Mares Hurdle when the field line-up on Tuesday 14 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 2023 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 14th at 5.30PM.
We remain on the Old Course for day two of the Cheltenham Festival, a day known as Festival Wednesday.
A few scores are settled on day two as there will have been a lot of talk overnight regarding who is ahead after seven races in the battles between punters and bookmakers, as well as between Britain and Ireland on the track.
The championship race on Wednesday is the Grade 1 Queen Mother Champion Chase. This is the world’s best race for two-mile chasers and really does favour those who can handle the speed of the Old Course while jumping Cheltenham’s fences.
The day begins with the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, also a Grade 1 over two miles and five furlongs, while we also see the three-mile Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.
That race features future Gold Cup hopes of course, while we also feature the unique Cross-Country race in which Tiger Roll did so well over the years.
The big betting race is the Coral Cup, another tough handicap hurdle, while we finish what is another fantastic day with the Grade 1 Champion Bumper for the National Hunt flat horses.
Every year when day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival comes around, it seems as though the time is simply flying by. We move onto the New Course at the half-way stage, a track on which stamina is more important than speed.
Day three is known as St Patrick’s Thursday and unofficially has two feature races. The official championship race of the day is the Stayers’ Hurdle, a Grade 1 and the top race around for three-mile hurdlers.
Also run however is the 2½-mile Ryanair Chase, another Grade 1 worth just as much money and seen by many as just as important as the Stayers’ Hurdle.
The day begins however with the Turner Novices’ Chase. We’ve already seen the top novice chases this week for two and three-mile horses, with this one being run at the intermediate distance of 2½ miles. The Pertemps Final comes after that, another frightfully competitive handicap hurdle.
Winners of the Stayers’ Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase pretty much share equal billing on Thursday, and at the end of the day we reach the three-quarter mark and it’s all eyes on the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Remaining on the New Course for the Cheltenham day 4, stamina remains the focus and understandable so as this is Gold Cup Day. This is also the busiest day of the week.
We are made to wait for the Blue Riband event however, as we begin with the Triumph Hurdle, a 2m1f race for juvenile hurdlers.
The County Hurdle provides us with yet another competitive handicap hurdle race, before we move on to the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle which is for the young staying types.
All of that provides a wonderful build-up and by this stage the tension is palpable. The feature race not just of day four but of the whole meeting is the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Grade 1 status, a prize fund of over £600,000 plus 3¼ miles and 22 fences of the New Course means this is the best and toughest race around. Only the best can win the Gold Cup and the screaming punters will be fully involved.
We finish with three more races before the Prestbury Cup is settled between those training winners from Ireland and Great Britain to end a stunning festival of racing.
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:
One of the better-known brands for Cheltenham races betting and many other things besides is Betfred.
Now Betfred isn’t always known for having as deep a market selection on major sports as some of its rivals, however for horse racing they are reliable and especially when Cheltenham rolls around.
Betfred is known to offer many promotions so always keep an eye on their offers page, though it’s something you may need as their odds on the championship races aren’t always the most competitive.
You will be able to live stream races with Betfred which we always like to see. As long as you’re having a bet on your chosen Cheltenham Festival race, then you can access the live feed and do so on your mobile if you like.
Naturally, Betfred is fully licenced and can be trusted. They have a fair reputation with online backers and always pay out on winning bets without too much fuss, meaning we trust them heading into the Festival.
Traditionally, one of the best high street bookmakers and now one of the best Cheltenham betting sites has always been Ladbrokes. That remains the case to this day.
With Ladbrokes, you pretty much get the lot. There will always be a new customer offer and extra deals for the Cheltenham Festival, while the markets you can choose from on horse racing are also very comprehensive.
You can choose to get extra places on any race, taking lower odds if you like to increase each-way places, while ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ is still offered on every horse race in the UK and Ireland.
We appreciate that still being offered, as more and more online sports betting sites are partially removing ‘BOG’ from their online offering.
In terms of their odds, Ladbrokes has always had a reputation for being a little mean. The truth is however that they have expert traders and will usually be a little shorter on very well fancied horses, so if nothing else you can always use the brand as a guide to what is truly fancied to win.
While the high street titans such as Ladbrokes and William Hill are still going strong, the undoubted kings of the online sports betting world these days are bet365.
The same ‘BOG’ offer is available, you can get extra places and money back offers, and new customer deal is there and so too is high quality live streaming of every race, every day. The real kicker here though are the odds offered.
This is a fundamental thing in horse racing betting – you have to get value for money.
bet365 offers this as they are so often top-price on more than one fancied horse in a race. Forget all the promos; if you are getting better odds with a specific brand then you’d have to take it and that’s something bet365 does more often than most in our experience.
Like with Ladbrokes which it’s fair to mention, you can access the same odds, promos, live streaming and everything else via mobile website or app meaning you can bet on the Cheltenham Festival while you’re on the move.
Betting offers and promotions for the 2023 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.
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 2023 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 2023 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.
Cheltenham 2023 betting is bound to be fierce, especially regarding four races in particular. To help you get ahead, use our early ante-post tips as a Cheltenham betting guide for these major events.
It’s always wise at such an early point to look for more than one value selection in the 2023 Gold Cup.
Protektorat is maturing all the time and while he was well beaten last year in this race, he returned with a stunning victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock. Crucially, he loves soft ground so use that angle in case the rain comes.
A bunch of horses from last year’s Brown Advisory are well fancied, but the one who may well have beaten them all had he ran is Bravemansgame. He looked good in the Charlie Hall Chase too.
Given his standing after his Supreme Novices’ Hurdle win, ante-post favourite Constitution Hill is understandably a short-priced favourite, but perhaps too short for us. There are some each-way options elsewhere in the market.
Henry De Bromhead’s Bob Olinger is one of those good each-way options. He won the Turner Novices’ last year, but was rather handed the race in truth and wasn’t quite himself.
He returned this season with a second-place finish in a Grade 2 hurdle, but he’s only just on the comeback trail and is 33/1 at the time of writing. He has the class to go close.
Allaho has won this race twice, easily, and is a short price once again. He may or may not go for the Gold Cup after the King George however, while Galopin Des Champs is also a Gold Cup horse and Shishkin may stay at two miles.
Those horses take plenty out of the market, leaving some nice early prices lower down the list.
Two of them are Fakir D’Oudairies and Conflated. Those two are the top-rated horses in the division with the others mentioned taken out, so backing them both may not be a silly move at all.
Last year’s running of this race was supposed to be round two of Shishkin v Energumene, but the former didn’t turn up with the latter running away with the race.
That has meant that Energumene has remained the long-term favourite to win this race again, however that only serves to give us better odds on Shishkin and we should take them.
He has won at Cheltenham before so last year’s reverse doesn’t bother us, he’s beaten Energumene before as well, he is overall the best horse in the race and also has more improvement to come.
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 2022). Note that following some stables and jockeys doesn’t pay from a level stakes profit perspective:
One betting angle many punters like to take is the quality of certain trainers. This is always subjective, as some trainers are simply sent more top horses than others.
In any event, with all things considered, these trainers are most certainly three to keep on the right side of going into the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
The Irish master hasn’t just been top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival in recent times, he has simply dominated it.
Willie Mullins has been the champion trainer at this festival in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. That is incredible.
Furthermore, right up to Mullins’ first victory, 3 or 4 wins during the week would probably hand you the title. When Paul Nicholls got five in 2009 that looked extraordinary. Mullins however has netted 7 winners three times, 8 winners once and in 2022, he landed an incredible 10 Cheltenham Festival victories.
Whatever this mans sends has to be given the fullest of respect.
Henry De Bromhead
Another masterful trainer from Ireland is Henry De Bromhead. Although training for a long time now, he is only just reaching his peak in terms of results and in 2021 he so nearly wrestled the title of leading Cheltenham Festival trainer away from Willie Mullins.
More to the point, this isn’t just about numbers, it’s about quality. In 2021, De Bromhead landed the Champion Hurdle with Honeysuckle, the Ballymore with Bob Olinger, the Champion Chase with Put The Kettle On and the Triumph with Quilixios.
To top that off, he then scored a 1-2 in the Gold Cup with Minella Indo and A Plus Tard, returning in 2022 with the same result reversed, this time A Plus Tard scoring. Wonderful stuff.
In terms of the ‘home’ challenge, many would think Nicky Henderson should make this list, or perhaps even Dan Skelton.
Class is permanent though and Paul Nicholls, it mustn’t be forgotten, won the leading trainers’ title here in 1999, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
He used to dominate, but he doesn’t always prioritise the Festival now, something other tracks may be very grateful for.
He still gets terrific horses and it must be remembered that he may target Bravemansgame at the Gold Cup, while he also has the likes of McFabulous, Greaneteen and others who can do some damage.
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.
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 2023 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.
Cheltenham 2022 Recap
After the worldwide pandemic almost put paid to the 2020 Festival and the 2021 meeting was run behind closed doors, there was huge expectation on the 2022 renewal to provide the racing world with a huge boost. It did not disappoint.
The meeting got going with the first Cheltenham Roar heard for two years and it just might have been the loudest ever!
That communal shout greeted the tapes going up on the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, a race in which Nicky Henderson held a strong hand with both Constitution Hill and Jonbon well fancied. Constitution Hill shared favouritism with Willie Mullins’ Dysart Dynamo but in truth, he never looked in danger.
The well-backed five-year-old stayed up with the pace from the offset, grabbing the lead and then going clear before the turn and then stretching right away for a brilliant 22-length victory.
That was some way to get going, then Edwardstone put in another strong performance to take the Arkle but day one for many was all about the Champion Hurdle.
This was the chance for the brilliant Honeysuckle to win it again and stay unbeaten, something she did by 3½ lengths from fellow mare Epatante.
Sir Gerhard got day two off to a winning start for punters, before L’Homme Presse jumped well and was yet another winning favourite in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.
There was a shock in the Coral Cup, but by then the focus had turned to the Queen Mother Champion Chase and what was to be round 2 of Shishkin v Energumene.
After winning in their first clash Shishkin went off favourite but he was never going this time and, in the end, Energumene got his revenge in stunning fashion with an 8½-length win.
There was joy and pain in the Cross Country race too. Delta Work went off favourite just head of Tiger Roll for the same owner and trainer. With the crowd willing the Tiger to win, he failed against his team mate by only three quarters of a length.
Galopin Des Champs looked to have the opening race in safe keeping when falling at the last, handing the race to Bob Olinger.
That was some relief for the bookmakers as was the second race, however 4/7 shot Allaho routed the Ryanair Chase for the second year in a row with a great performance.
In the Stayers’ Hurdle, 2021 winner Flooring Porter was somehow allowed to go off at 4/1 but he was successful once again under a hugely enterprising ride.
The final day at Cheltenham 2022 was all about the Gold Cup. Though there were some good performances to start the day, the majority of betting money was punted in this race with A Plus Tard well backed into favouritism to go one better than in 2021.
He and the ever-popular Rachael Blackmore did just that and in stunning fashion too. The pair pulled some 15 lengths clear after a great round of jumping to land National Hunt racing’s biggest prize.
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 2023 betting!
The most important questions answered about the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
The Cheltenham Festival is in March, running from Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th inclusive.
On Tuesday, March 14th 2023, most likely at 1.30pm. Traditionally, the Festival starts with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
The meeting runs for four days – Tuesday – Friday.
There will be 28 races at the Festival in total, seven on each day of the meeting.
The first Cheltenham Festival was in 1860, run as the Grand National Hunt Meeting at Market Harborough. It moved to a few racecourses, but went to Prestbury Park in 1911 where it has remained ever since.
ITV Racing has full terrestrial television rights for the Cheltenham Festival. Every race is also shown on subscription channel Racing TV, while many top bookmakers also stream the races.
Cheltenham Racecourse can accommodate 67,500 people on race days. Over four days, the Festival therefore may be attended by anything up to 270,000 people, though it does not always sell out all four days.
On days 1-3, the Best Mate Enclosure costs £45-£50. Racegoers can also enter the Tattersalls Enclosure for £67-72 or the Club Enclosure for £123.
For Gold Cup Day (Friday), this changes to £60-£70 for the Best Mate, £87-£92 for Tattersalls and £123 for the Club Enclosure. Various packages are also available for all four days.
There is no single sponsor of the Festival as a whole. The Jockey Club Racecourses has official partners, while the championship races at this meeting are sponsored by Unibet, Betway, Paddy Power and Boodles.
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 2023.
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.
Harvey Mayson has worked as a horseracing writer, blogger and tipster for several of the UK’s leading bookmakers and numerous other specialist racing sites. Harvey has great knowledge of horse racing history and was the author of the Paddy Power Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National blog for three years. Harvey’s blog at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 included a 100,000-1 ante-post four-timer while he correctly forecast the first four winners on Grand National day in 2015. He also tipped three Grand National winners in a row and eleven consecutive winning nap selections.