Cheltenham Festival sees punters old and new pitting their knowledge of national horse racing against the bookies, and now this is possible online! Whether you’re an experienced Cheltenham bettor, or a complete horse racing newbie, there are plenty of betting options to choose from. Let us run through some of the must-know information on Cheltenham Festival betting before you pick where to place your wager from our list of top-rated betting sites. All our featured bookmakers are regulated by governing bodies, such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), so you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands, whichever provider you choose.
Cheltenham in a nutshell
The Cheltenham Festival is the UK’s pinnacle jump racing event of the year. The event takes place in March, though betting opens much earlier! Cheltenham comprises of four days of top-class horse racing, with 27 fantastic races, including the Gold Cup, the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and the World Hurdle, to name a few. It’s now recognised as one of the UK’s top sporting events, attracting over 260,000 attendees each year, and is considered in the same realm as events including Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and even the FA Cup Final.
Who to back?
There’s no simple answer to this and, with such evenly matched horses in each Cheltenham race, the question of which horses to back at the Festival often divides opinion. While it would be easy to ride with the bookies’ favourite, there are a number of factors that might influence your choice. Form, pedigree and jockey can affect a horse’s success, but weather conditions leading up to the event can alter the ground firmness, which can also impact a horse’s performance. It’s always useful to do a little research before you place your bet, as this can help you understand your chances of landing a win.
Cheltenham betting options
With so many races across the weekend, there are plenty of different betting options. Here are some of the most popular:
Betting on a horse to win a race means you’ll only receive a payout if the horse comes first.
With a place bet, you’re betting that a horse will come in the top three. Your payout will depend on the final position. The number of horses in a race will affect which places receive payouts.
This a bet on the first two places in a race, which can offer much better odds than a first place bet. A bet on the first three places can offer better odds still, and is known as a tricast. You’ll need to predict the correct finishing order to receive the payout for these bets.
An each way bet sees punters place two bets, effectively: one win and one place. Each bet is even, and if the horse wins, both stakes will be paid. If the horse only places, the place stake is paid out, but the win stake is lost.
Accumulator bets are bets on multiple different races. These can help you rack up the big bucks, but do rely on multiple selections winning for the next bet to be paid out. Accumulators come in doubles ( two selections), trebles (three selections), four-fold (four selections) and so on.
Ante Post bets are bets placed at least one day in advance of the event. While the odds for these bets tend to be better, they are riskier as they don’t take on-the-day factors, such as weather or injury, into consideration.
Some online bookmakers allow punter to place bet while the race is in full swing, which can be truly exhilarating.This is especially exciting if your chosen sportsbook offers live streaming on Cheltenham races, as you can make your wager based on any sudden changes that might not be reflected fast enough in written commentary.
Horse racing bonuses
Online bookies roll out a range of bonuses and promotions in the run up to Cheltenham Festival, which can help punters get the most bang for their buck. You’ll have access to your standard welcome rewards, such as deposit match bonuses, free bets and bet insurance, as well as other promotions, including guaranteed odds, price boosts and #nameyourodds, to name a few.
Compare and bet
Now that we’ve covered the key elements of betting on Cheltenham festival, you’re probably ready to try it yourself. Simply use our list of top online sportsbooks to compare, find your favourite and start betting today!