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 bookies really excel themselves when it comes to excellent value Cheltenham betting offers and Cheltenham festival free bets.

Cheltenham 2021 Countdown








TOP Horse Racing Betting Sites (December 2020)

Betfred Logo
Betfred - Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
Only available to new customers from UK & Northern Ireland. You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.
SBK Logo
SBK - Deposit £20. Get £20 Risk-Free
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit card, bank transfer or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply.
888Sport - Bet £10 Get £40 In Free Bets
888Sport - Bet £10 Get £40 In Free Bets
New Customers only – £10 minimum deposit using promo code “Football” – First bet must be placed on any market – Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Schedule

Day 1 (Tuesday) March, 16

13:30 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 – Arkle Challenge Trophy

14:50 – Ultima Handicap Chase

15:30 – Unibet Champion Hurdle

16:10 – The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle

16:50 – Northern Trust Company Novices’ Handicap Chase

17:30 – The National Hunt Challenge Cup

Day 2 (Wednesday) March, 17

13:30 – Ballymore Novices Hurdle

14:10 – RSA Steeple Chase

14:50 – The Coral Cup Hurdle

15:30 – Queen Mother Champion Chase

16:10 – The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase

16:50 – Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle Race

17:30 – Weatherby’s Champion Bumper

Day 3 (Thursday) March, 18

13:30 – JLT Novices Chase

14:10 – Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle

14:50 – The Ryanair Chase

15:30 – The Stayers’ Hurdle

16:10 – Brown Advisory Plate

16:50 – The Festival Mares Novices Hurdle

17:30 – Kim Muir Chase Cup

Day 4 (Thursday) March, 19

13:30 – The JCB Triumph Hurdle

14:10 – County Handicap Hurdle

14:50 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

15:30 – Cheltenham Gold Cup 

16:10 – Foxhunter Challenge Cup

16:50 – Grand Annual Handicap Chase

17:30 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle

Page Contents

Best Betting Sites

Days 1-4 Of the Festival

Betting Offers (To Be Updated)


Cheltenham Betting Markets

Ante-Post Tips

Top Cheltenham Trainers & Jockeys


Cheltenham Glossary

2020 recap & Past Cheltenham Winners

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.

New customers only • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.5) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time • Withdrawal restrictions & Full T&C’s apply

New online customers only, min £10/€10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 X £10/€10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply.

18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply,

18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.

18+. UK&IRE only. Online & Phone. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets, valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions apply. Double Winnings applies to the first real money single bet of £1+ win or each-way from 8am 27/02 on the 1.30 Cheltenham each day. Max £25. Stake restrictions may apply. T&Cs Apply.

18+. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. **18+. Opt in. UK/IRE customers only. Max Stake £/€20. Max free bet £/€500. 1st pre live single on selected markets. 90 mins only. Free/cashed out/combined Odds bets won’t qualify. Free bet expires after 7 days. T&Cs apply

New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.


New customers only. Min deposit £20 (UK debit cards only). Bet £10 at odds of evens (2.0) or greater. Multiple bets with cumulative odds of evens (2.0) count, each leg must have odds of 1/5 (1.2) to be eligible. Each way bets are not eligible for this promotion. Upon qualifying bet settlement receive 4x £5.00 Free Bets. Valid for 7 days, each free bet must be used in its entirety. Payment method restrictions & T&Cs apply.


Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.

#ad. New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min odds of 1.40 (2/5), 25x for Casino. £10 casino bonus credited next working day; 35x wagering on casino. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.

New customer only, max one £10 free bet, qualifying bets must be placed at odds of 2.0(1/1) or greater, paid as bonus token with min odds reg, T&C Apply.

Key Terms: Valid for new UK customers who have registered from 31/03/2020. Deposit using code SNWEL125. Valid once per customer. Bonus expires after 90 days. 6x turnover at 1.7 minimum odds before withdrawal. Max contribution to turnover requirements per bet is £100. Multiple bets on the same market do not qualify.

How to Bet on Cheltenham Festival – Betting Guide

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 2021 betting.

Step 1 – Explore Days 1-2 Of the Cheltenham Festival

Looking ahead to that 2021 Festival, lets see exactly what we have in store.

Firstly, when is the Cheltenham festival? The action kicks off on Tuesday 16th March 2021 and runs through until Friday 19th March. Be sure to get those Cheltenham festival 2021 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.

Day 1 – Tuesday 16th March 2021

Day 1 takes place on Tuesday 16 March 2021 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?

Cheltenham Day 1 Race Schedule

Day 1 (Tuesday) March, 16

13:30 - Supreme Novices' Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

14:10 - Arkle Challenge Trophy - Read Race Coverage

14:50 - Ultima Handicap Chase - Read Race Coverage

15:30 - Unibet Champion Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

16:10 - OLBG Mares’ Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

16:50 - National Hunt Challenge Cup - Read Race Coverage

17:30 - Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase - Read Race Coverage

Day 2: Wednesday 17th March 2021

Day 2 takes place on Wednesday 17 March 2021 and the Ballymore Novices Hurdle serves as a delicious appetiser for the feast that lies ahead. All eyes will be on the Champion Chase and predicting the winner of this contest will keep backers guessing right up until the finish line.

There are many highlights on Day 2, including the Queen Mother Champion Chase which has been the scene of some truly memorable moments over the years, including the incredible return of Sprinter Sacre in 2016; barely a dry eye in the house that day. Also on the card are the festivals only flat race of the Champion Bumper and the biggest, most fiercely competitive handicap of the week in the Coral Cup which is always one of the most popular Cheltenham horse racing betting events.

Cheltenham Day 2 Race Schedule

Day 2 (Wednesday) March, 17

13:30 - Ballymore Novices Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

14:10 - RSA Steeple Chase - Read Race Coverage

14:50 - Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

15:30 - Queen Mother Champion Chase - Read Race Coverage

16:10 - Cross Country Chase - Read Race Coverage

16:50 - Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

17:30 - Weatherby’s Champion Bumper - Read Race Coverage

Day 3 – Thursday 18th March 2021

Day 3 takes place on Thursday 18 March 2021. It may be the penultimate day of racing and punters will begin to look ahead to the Gold Cup but there’s a few Grade 1 races that deserve our attention first. Paisley Park has been quoted in the antepost Cheltenham Festival betting for the Stayers Hurdle and traders fancy him to book another visit to the Gloucestershire winners enclosure.

Stamina is to the fore in the Day 3 feature of the Stayers Hurdle. Three miles is the trip for this often grueling affair; who will stay on the best up that unforgiving Cheltenham Hill? Such has been the quality of the Ryanair Chase in recent years that it has legitimate claims to being the best race on the Thursday card, with recent winners including the likes of the brilliant Vautour and Un De Sceaux, and one of the most popular jumpers in recent memory, Cue Card.

Cheltenham Day 3 Race Schedule

Day 3 (Thursday) March, 18

13:30 - JLT Novices Chase - Read Race Coverage

14:10 - Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

14:50 - Ryanair Chase - Read Race Coverage

15:30 - The Stayers' Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

16:10 - Brown Advisory Plate - Read Race Coverage

16:50 - Mares Novices Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

17:30 - Kim Muir Chase Cup - Read Race Coverage

Day 4: Friday 19th March 2021

Day 4 takes place on Friday 19 March 2020. An unlucky day for the superstitious but it will be a bag of treats for those following the racing at Prestbury Park, especially the 2021 renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. One of the biggest races on the UK schedule, it will be watched by packed crowds with millions more around the world glued to the live TV coverage.

The crème de la crème of the chasing division do battle over a trip of 3m2f which will expose any chinks in the armour of even the most talented performer. For connections of the top chasers, this is the race they all want to win.

Topping the bill on the undercard is the opening 2m1f Triumph Hurdle. The only contest of the week restricted solely to four year olds, it’s the perfect race to view the potential superstars of the future.

Cheltenham Day 4 Race Schedule

Day 4 (Thursday) March, 19

13:30 - JCB Triumph Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

14:10 - County Handicap Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

14:50 - Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

15:30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup - Read Race Coverage

16:10 - Foxhunter Challenge Cup - Read Race Coverage

16:50 - Grand Annual Chase - Read Race Coverage

17:30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle - Read Race Coverage

Step 2 – Choose Your Bookie

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:

  1. Good odds – When betting on the hugely competitive races at Cheltenham, it’s only fair that you get prices which reflect that. A top online bookie should offer you industry leading odds so that you feel the bets you are placing are value.
  2. Large selection of markets and offers – Standard betting doesn’t go anywhere near far enough at the Festival. You want active ante post markets and, nearer to Cheltenham, non-runner no bet terms which return your stake if your fancied horse doesn’t run. As well as place, match, without the favourite and distance betting, lookout for the best odds guaranteed from when Festival races declare.
  3. Cheltenham Promotions – Bookmakers know how special this meeting this. They will want to drum up as much business as possible during the Festival, so keep your eyes peeled for Cheltenham specific promotions. These may be money back or free bet tokens if your horse places instead of wins or finishes second to the SP favourite.
  4. Extra place races – With reference to the Cheltenham Festival handicaps in particular, having the bookies pay out on fourth, fifth and even sixth place with each-way bet is also a massive plus. These events are so competitive that it can incentivise you to take a punt if extra places are covered.
  5. User friendly site and app– It almost goes without saying that the sportsbook you bet on should make betting on the Cheltenham Festival quick and easy. The same goes for a mobile app for your smartphone or tablet. A streamlined gambling experience is what you’re after here.
  6. Convenient payment options – When funding your bets, you should also have a choice of methods. Whether it’s bank transfers via your debit card, or using one of the modern eWallet services like PayPal, you chosen bookie should provide a variety of safe and secure payment options for you.

TOP UK Bookmakers Reviews:

Step 3 – Explore Cheltenham 2021 Offers For New & Existing Customers

Betting offers and promotions for the 2021 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.

Best Odds Guarantedd Bookies

BoyleSports Bets Odds Guaranteed Horses
BoyleSports Best Odds Guaranteed
Take an early or board price on any UK or Irish Horse Racing and if the SP is bigger...Show More
Take an early or board price on any UK or Irish Horse Racing and if the SP is bigger, BoyleSports pays out the best price. Win or EW bets only. Bets placed after the off do not qualify for this promotion, nor do bets placed in-running. 18+ full T&Cs apply. Show Less
888Sport Best Odds Guaranteed
888Sport Best Odds Guaranteed
888Sport offers Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK & Irish races, including the Cheltenham...Show More
888Sport offers Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK & Irish races, including the Cheltenham Festival 2020 Show Less
Ladbrokes Horse Racing Best Odds Guaranteed
Ladbrokes Best Odds Guaranteed
Take the price on any UK or Irish Horse races, including early price, board price, singles...Show More
Take the price on any UK or Irish Horse races, including early price, board price, singles and multiples. If the SP returns greater, you'll be paid out at the bigger price. Best odds guaranteed is attached to every domestic race on the site, and you’ll also notice this promo added to a collection of the best international races. Never again will you get less of a price on your winner. Ladbrokes offer best odds guaranteed on the Cheltenham Festival as well as the Cheltenham November Meeting. Bet type restrictions apply. Bets placed after the off don't qualify. Offer capped at £50k per customer, per day. 18+, T&Cs apply. Show Less
Betway Best Odds Guaranteed
Betway Best Odds Guaranteed
Betway serve up best odds guaranteed on domestic horse racing from all major UK tracks and...Show More
Betway serve up best odds guaranteed on domestic horse racing from all major UK tracks and that is also extended to some of the most popular events in Ireland. It takes away the risk of backing your horse and seeing the odds grow after your money is down. Not all betting firms offer best odds guaranteed but you’ll get it at Betway. Available on all UK & IRE races after 9 AM. Ante post bets and system bets do not apply. Show Less
Betfred Best Odds Guaranteed
Betfred Best Odds Guaranteed
Take an early price on a horse in any UK or Irish race after 8am on the day of the race...Show More
Take an early price on a horse in any UK or Irish race after 8am on the day of the race. If the starting price returned is bigger, you’ll get paid the bigger price. Some exceptions apply. 18+ full T&Cs apply.

T&Cs: UK & Irish and selected International horse racing only. Doesn’t apply to bets placed with free bets, ante-post bets, Tote bets or Lucky 15s, 31s and 63s bets. Available on bets placed after 08:00 on the day of the race. Full T&Cs Apply.

Show Less

Bookies Paying Extra Places on Selected Races

Ladbrokes Extra Place Races
Ladbrokes Extra Place Races
Get Extra Place Races from around the world, including top domestic races. Promotion...Show More
Get Extra Place Races from around the world, including top domestic races. Promotion available on selected horse racing meetings daily. Promotion applies to bets placed on selected races from 15:00 the day before the race. Minimum runner stipulations apply. 18+, T&Cs apply. Show Less
888sort Each Way Plus
888sport Each Way Plus
Back a horse in selected horse races with Each Way+ to land enhanced place terms or an...Show More
Back a horse in selected horse races with Each Way+ to land enhanced place terms or an extra place. You can earn yourself a higher EW payout or gain some extra insurance on your EW bets. This promotion applies to selected horse and greyhound races. 18+, T&Cs apply. Show Less
BoyleSports Extra Places
BoyleSports is paying 4 and 5 places at 1/5 odds in selected races. 12 or 16 must run...Show More
BoyleSports is paying 4 and 5 places at 1/5 odds in selected races. 12 or 16 must run. Full T&Cs apply. Show Less
Paddy Power Extra Places On Cheltenham Races (12/03 - Day 3)
Paddy Power Extra Places On Cheltenham Races (12/03 - Day 3)



  • Paying 4 places @ 1/5 odds in the 13:30 (JLT NOVICES CHASE) Cheltenham.
  • Paying 7 places @ 1/5 odds in the 14:10 ( PERTEMPS FINAL HANDICAP HURDLE) Cheltenham. For PP Online Only.
  • Paying 5 places @ 1/5 odds in the 16:10 (BROWN ADVICSORY PLATE) Cheltenham.
  • Paying 4 places @ 1/5 odds in the 16:50 (DAWN RUN MARES’ NOVICES’ HURDLE)Cheltenham.
  • Paying 5 places @ 1/5 odds in the 17:30 (KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP) Cheltenham.
  • If there are less than 16 starters, Paddy Power will pay 4 places.
  • If there are less than 8 starters, Paddy Power will pay 3 places.
  • If there are less than 6 starters, Paddy Power will pay 2 places
Show Less

Available on selected races. ‘Winner or E/W’ market only. Applies to single and...Show More

Available on selected races. ‘Winner or E/W’ market only. Applies to single and multiple bets. Depends on minimum runner stipulations. Doesn’t apply to ante-post bets. Full T&Cs Apply.

Show Less

Horse Racing Money Back Specials

BoyleSports Cheltenham & Wolverhampton Money Back As A Free Bet If 2nd to the SP Fav
BoyleSports Cheltenham & Wolverhampton Money Back As A Free Bet If 2nd to the SP Fav
Place a bet on any horse race at Cheltenham, Wolverhampton & Gulfstream, on Saturday...Show More
Place a bet on any horse race at Cheltenham, Wolverhampton & Gulfstream, on Saturday 14th November. If the horse you back finishes 2nd to the SP favourite, BoyleSports will refund your stake up to £/€20 as a Free Bet. Win or win part of e/w outright singles only. 5 or more runners. 1st bet on each race. Bet type restrictions apply. Free bet expires after 7 days. 18+, full T&Cs apply. Show Less
Betfred Money Back if 2nd

PLUS BET £10 GET £30 FOR NEW...Show More


T&Cs: Selection must finish 2nd in the selected race(s). Win singles & win part of e/w bets only. Free bets paid within 24 hours, max £10 and removed after 7 days. 5 or more runners must start the race. Full T&Cs Apply.

Show Less
BoyleSport Money Back If 2nd

Get up to £20 free bet in selected races if your selection finishes 2nd to SP...Show More

Get up to £20 free bet in selected races if your selection finishes 2nd to SP favourite.

18+. UK/IRE customers only. Max refund £/€20. Win or win part of e/w outright singles only. Min field size required. 1st bet on each race. Free bet expires after 7 days. Applies to Ante Post bets placed from 3/3/2020. Free/void/ante post bets don't qualify. T&Cs apply.

Show Less
BoyleSport Money Back Special
BoyleSport Free Bet If Your Horse Fails to Start
BoyleSport will refund your single or EW bet If your horse fails to race after coming...Show More
BoyleSport will refund your single or EW bet If your horse fails to race after coming under starting orders. Refund up to up to £/€100 as a free bet. Full T&Cs apply. Show Less
Betway ITV Racing: Money Back Second
Betway ITV Racing: Money Back Second
Place a bet a race winner on any race broadcast live on ITV with six or more runners and...Show More
Place a bet a race winner on any race broadcast live on ITV with six or more runners and if your horse comes second, you'll get up to £10 in form of free bet. T&Cs apply. Show Less

Step 4 – Learn About Cheltenham Betting Markets

Horse to Win or Each-way

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.

Forecast / Tricast

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.

Placepot & Pool

When betting at the Cheltenham Festival 2021 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.

Match Betting

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.

Top Trainer/Top Jockey

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.

Step 5 – Place an Ante-Post Bet

2021 Cheltenham Ante-Post Tips

Not all of the 2021 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.

Visit Our Ante Post Betting Page

Learn about risks and perks of putting a wager on the Cheltenham antepost markets.

Step 6 – Find Out Who TOP Cheltenham Trainers and Jockeys Are

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:

Top Cheltenham Trainers

Top Cheltenham Jockeys

Nicky Henderson

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.

Gordon Elliott

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.

Willie Mullins

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.  

Other trainers

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.

Step 7 – Learn A You Might Hear at the Cheltenham Festival

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.

Graded races 

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:

  • Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
  • Arkle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)
  • Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
  • Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
  • Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
  • National Hunt Chase (Grade 2)
  • Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
  • Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
  • RSA Chase (Grade 1)
  • Coral Cup (Grade 3)
  • Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)
  • Champion Bumper (Grade 1)
  • Grand Annual Chase (Grade 3)
  • Marsh Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
  • Pertemps Final (Grade 3)
  • Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)
  • Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
  • Stable Plate (Grade 3)
  • Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)
  • Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)
  • County Hurdle (Grade 3)
  • Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
  • Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1)
  • Mares’ Chase (Grade 2)


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 2021 Cheltenham Festival will have nine handicaps during the meeting and these are as follows:

  • Ultima Handicap Chase
  • Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
  • Coral Cup
  • Grand Annual Chase
  • Pertemps Final
  • Stable Plate
  • Kim Muir Challenge Cup
  • County Hurdle
  • Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Novice horses 

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:

  • Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
  • Arkle Challenge Trophy
  • National Hunt Chase
  • Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
  • Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
  • RSA Chase
  • Marsh Novices’ Chase
  • Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
  • Triumph Hurdle
  • Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Cross Country

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.

Step 8 – Place a Bet and Enjoy Cheltenham Live Streaming

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 Festival 2020 Recap

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:

Epatante the Champion Hurdle Heroine

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.

Politologue prevails in Champion 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.

Min finally wins Ryanair Chase

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.

Al Boum Photo defends Gold Cup

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 2019 Recap

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:

  • Festival Handicap Chase – Beware The Bear @ 10/1
  • Champion Hurdle – Espoir D’Allen @ 18/1
  • Coral Cup – William Henry @ 28/1
  • Mares Novices Hurdle – Eglantine Du Seuil @ 50/1
  • Gold Cup – Al Boum Photo @ 12/1
  • Albert Bartlett – Minella Indo @ 50/1
  • Grand Annual – Croco Bay @ 66/1


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.

 Cheltenham Festival History Highlights

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.

Kauto Star Regains His Crown (2009)

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.

Sprinter Sacre Back From The Brink (2016)

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.

Dickinson Dominance (1983)

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.

Bottom Line

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 2021 betting!

Questions & Answers 

What is tote 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.

What does non runner no bet mean?

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 2019.

How does each way betting work in horse racing?

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.