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.
Offers, Offers, Everywhere
As you might expect for what is undoubtedly the betting highlight of the horse racing year, the bookmakers aren’t slow in coming forward when it comes to special offers and incentives, and things are unlikely to be any different when it comes to Cheltenham betting in 2019.
These offers tend to become more and more innovative year upon year and it’s always worth shopping around the Cheltenham betting sites to see what is available. Expect the likes of “money back if second”, “money back if beaten by the favourite”, massively enhanced odds, free bet boosts on every race and much much more; you are spoilt for choice when it comes to offers concerning Cheltenham races betting.
It is in the new customer offers where the Cheltenham Festival has really come into its own in recent years.
Two of the standouts – amongst many – from the 2018 festival were Ladbrokes “Stake £10, get five free £10 bets”, and Coral’s “Bet £5, Get £20”. Cracking value all round, so whatever you do in the build up to the 2019 Festival, be sure not to miss out on the excellent offers available.
Betting for Cheltenham Festival 2019
Looking ahead to that 2019 Festival, lets see exactly what we have in store.
Firstly, when is the Cheltenham festival? The action kicks off on Tuesday 12th March 2019 and runs through until Friday 15th March. Be sure to get those Cheltenham festival 2019 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 12th March 2019
Hear the famous Cheltenham roar as the flag goes up for the festival opening, Supreme Novices Hurdle, which sees the best of the best amongst the inexperienced jumpers lock horns over a fast and furious two miles. 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.
Day 2: Wednesday 13th March 2019
There are again 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.
Day 3 - Thursday 14th March 2019
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.
Day 4: Friday 15th March 2019
The closing Friday is all about the big one, the crown jewel of this fixture that is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 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. 2018 Grand National winner, Tiger Roll first came to prominence in this race.
How to Bet on Cheltenham Festival?
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 2019 betting.
Choose Your Bookie
As mentioned sign up bonuses and Cheltenham betting offers throughout the festival will be in plentiful supply. Take a look around and pick out those which most appeal. Our site comes in handy in this regard – and remember you don’t have to stick to just the one bookmaker.
Consider Your Betting Options
Any type of horseracing bet you can think of will be available when betting at Cheltenham, so be sure to weigh up the options. We would recommend each way bets for the handicaps, whilst for the Championship level contests a straight win bet may be the way to go. With markets such as “winning margins” and “betting without the favourite” also available, we really are spoilt for choice. And don’t forget the potentially lucrative returns on offer from those Lucky 15’s and Placepots.
Choose Horses To Bet On
There are many angles into the Cheltenham Festival, but one of the best is previous form at the track. That Cheltenham Hill has broken the hearts of many over the years, and a proven ability to conquer it can count for plenty. Also note those trainers and jockeys who are regularly amongst the winners here and ignore the Irish trained runners at your peril!
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.
2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners
Scene of one of the most titanic head to head tussles you are ever likely to witness, the 2018 renewal of this contest was a true classic. 15 went to post, but this race concerned just the two from a long way out as Colin Tizzard’s Native River and Nicky Henderson’s, Might Bite did battle on the front end.
In the end it was Native River who claimed gold as Might Bite finally, finally relented on the run in.
Tony Martin’s Anibale Fly fared best of the Irish raiders, coming with a late rattle for third.
2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners
Jessica Harrington enjoyed quite a year in 2017, but undoubtedly her crowning moment came here in the Gold Cup.
Winning the race at the first attempt with converted two miler, Sizing John was a career defining moment for the Irish handler.
Tough stayer Minella Rocco, finished best of all to fill second spot, with future winner of this race Native River in third.
2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners
Long touted as a superstar the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup was the race in which Gordon Elliott’s Don Cossack delivered on the biggest stage of all, coming home comfortably clear of fellow Irish raider, Djakadam.
With Don Poli filling third spot, this was a famous 1-2-3 for our friends from the Emerald Isle. Quite what would have happened had Cue Card not fallen in the closing stages, we will sadly never know.
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
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
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 2019 betting!
Questions & Answers
Q: What is tote betting?
A: 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.
Q: What does non runner no bet mean?
A: 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.
Q: How does each way betting work in horse racing?
A: 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.