The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest, perhaps even the biggest, horse racing events in in the world. This huge horse racing spectacle attracts more than 250,000 people and is also a huge event for bookies because a lot of money is placed over the course of the four days. In the review below, we are going to provide you with all the information that you need when it comes to betting on this prestigious event.
Best Betting Sites for Cheltenham:
Top 10 Cheltenham Betting Sites:
- William Hill
- Leo Vegas
What you will learn in this guide:
Best Bookmaker Offers for the Racing at Cheltenham
Horse racing is such a popular sport for sports betting fans to bet on that you will find horse racing markets at any bookie that is serious about what they do. However, like with everything in life, some bookmakers just happen to be that much better than their rivals. So, what sportsbooks provide their customers with the best offers for the Cheltenham Festival?
William Hill Cheltenham Offer
When it comes to any type of horse racing event, whether it is the Grand National, the Melbourne Cup, or the Cheltenham Festival then you cannot go wrong with William Hill. They are definitely one of the best bookmakers out there for those who love to bet on horse racing events. So, what is it that makes them so good?
Well, to begin with, they provider their players with odds for hundreds of horse racing events every year. Think of a horse race and we are certain that William Hill will allow you to place a bet on it. Additionally, they have their own racing experts that provide you with previews and betting tips for big race events such as the Cheltenham Festival.
If this was not enough for you, then you will also be glad to find out that they have a number of promotional offers that apply to horse racing. For instance, they have best odds guaranteed, meaning that if you place a bet and the odds increase before the race starts and your horse goes on to win, you will be paid out at the highest odds. They also provide three daily bet boosts to use on horse racing.
But wait, there is more. William Hill is known to have one of the best live streaming services in the sports betting world, streaming thousands and thousands of live sporting events every year. They stream all of the biggest and best horse racing events from around the world, so you do not miss out on a thing. To make it even better, their streaming service is free, so long as you have funds in your account.
To top it all off, they also have a very decent Welcome Bonus that every customer can claim and use to bet on any sporting event that they like. There really is nothing that you will not like about William Hill.
Unibet Cheltenham Offer
Like William Hill, Unibet is another bookmaker that does not leave their customers wanting, especially when it comes to horse racing. They also provide odds for hundreds of horse racing events every year and provide regular horse racing betting tips and in-depth previews of the biggest horse racing events such as the Cheltenham Festival.
Also, they have plenty of promotional offers running that apply specifically for horse racing events. For example, they have a promotion where you can receive a free bet of up to £10 should you bet on a horse and it fails to finish the race for whatever reason. They have a best odds guaranteed promotional offer too, so you will be paid out at the biggest price your selected horse wins the race.
What about live streaming at Unibet? Well, their live streaming options are not as vast as William Hill, but they still have plenty of live horse racing streams that you can watch throughout the year. Some bookmakers will only let you watch the live stream if you have a bet on the event, but that is not the case with Unibet – you just need to have some money in your account.
Just like William Hill, Unibet know the importance of offering each new customer a tasty Welcome Bonus that can be used on any sport. You will find it very hard to find something negative to say about this bookmaker.
Ladbrokes Cheltenham Offer
This is another bookmaker that will provide you with a quality horse racing betting experience as they will provide you with odds for all the biggest horse races in the world as well as those races that not many people outside of the horse racing world have heard of.
Just like William Hill and Coral, Ladbrokes are also happy to offer their customers a wide variety of horse racing promotions. For instance, they will choose some races each day and add an extra place – this means that you horse can finish 4th and you will still make money if you have played a place bet. Additionally, they have best odds guaranteed, so you will always win the most money possible.
If you want to bet on a horse race but are not too sure who you should stick your money on, then you should check out their expert horse racing tips as these can help improve your chances of landing a win. You can also watch the races that you have bet on as Ladbrokes has one of the best live streaming services around, especially when it comes to horse racing. They ensure you do not miss any of the action.
What about the Welcome Bonus at Ladbrokes? Well, it is not the biggest Welcome Bonus that you can claim, but it is certainly nothing to turn your nose up at. There are bookmakers out there with much lower offers, that is for sure.
N.B. When it comes to the Welcome Bonus, we highly recommend that you read all the T&Cs before you deposit money. By reading the terms you will be able to see the restrictions that apply such as:
- The min and max qualifying deposit limit
- The wagering requirements attached
- The payment method restrictions that apply
There will be other T&Cs, but these are the main ones. Read each T&C carefully before you sign up so you know what is expected of you – failure to do so could see you make a mistake that forfeits your Welcome Bonus.
Finding the Best Cheltenham Betting Tips
When it comes to Cheltenham betting tips, you can find plenty at the three sports betting sites that we just spoke about above. However, there are many other sites on the Internet where you can go to get some tips that could help improve your chances of being a winner.
We would not be much of a sports betting advice site if we did not provide our readers with sound Cheltenham betting advice, so this is what we have provided you with below.
Do Not Bet on Every Race
It is difficult not to have an opinion on every race at the Cheltenham Festival, but you have to try and stay focused because it is your own money that you are risking, so you need to make sure that you are not giving it away cheaply. Pick the races you bet on wisely and remember that you do not need to bet on each race to have a fun time.
If you bet on the first couple of races and land a few winners, do not fall into the trap of getting overconfident and continue to place bets. Likewise, if you end up with a few losses on the trot, do not try and chance your losses as this will just lead to more lost money. Every race has to be treated on its merit and not your emotions at the time.
Avoid Getting Overloaded with Information
Above we stated that there are plenty of sites out there that will provide you with betting tips for events such as the Cheltenham Festival, and while this is true it is important that you do not end up trying to take it all in because it could end up bogging you down.
Therefore, you need to find a type of strategy that works for you. For example, you could take a look at Timeform ratings or follow a particular expert that has a proven track record at the Cheltenham festival. If you get into the habit of spending hours upon hours analysing a race at the Cheltenham Festival, you will just get more confused than when you started. Betting when confused will just lead to losses.
Find the Best Odds
Many sports betting fans are guilty of signing up with the first bookmaker they come across, but this is not a wise move to make as you could end up opening an account with a poor bookie that does not meet all of your betting needs. It always pays to take your time before you make your decision so that you register with the best bookmaker for you.
It can be really tricky to find the best bookmakers with the best odds because there are so many great bookmakers out there, but this is where we come into play. Our experts have analysed all of the best bookies for British sports betting fans, so take the time to check out the reviews that we have written for each one, and you will be able to find a bookie that gives you exactly what you are looking for.
Cheltenham Festival History
The Cheltenham racetrack is situated on the edge of the town, right next to the famous Cleeve Hill. For four days in March of each year, this racecourse becomes the centre of attention for the world of horse racing when it hosts the Cheltenham Festival.
The first horse race in Cheltenham took place in 1815, when a flat race was staged at Notting Hill. Three years later, this had been extended to five horse races at Cleeve Hill, which is what was the inspiration behind the original grandstand being opened the following year. Back then, the meeting happened in August and before long it was extended from one to three days. Then a trophy was added and the first Gold Cup took place.
As this horse racing meeting grew in popularity, the worst and best of society were attracted to it, with the former setting the grandstand on fire in 1829 and destroying it completely. Two years later, racing started at Prestbury Park (the site of the current track) before moving briefly back to Cleeve Hill. However, Cleeve Hill eventually stopped being used due to turf deterioration and the increase in popularity of steeple chasing.
At the same time, William Baring Bingham, a horse racing enthusiast, bought Prestbury Park and planned to use it as a stud farm. However, in 1902 Bingham developed the modern racetrack and this paved the way for Cheltenham’s premiere National Hunt Festival. It was then decided that Cheltenham will be the United Kingdom’s headquarters for steeple chasing.
There have been some famous horses that have raced at the Cheltenham Festival, and we shall take a look at some of these right now.
Istrabraq – He was a very popular horse at the Cheltenham Festival as he had the ability to put on a stunning burst of speed when it was needed. He won the Champions Hurdle on three occasions and could have added a fourth but the 2001 event was called off due to the foot and mouth outbreak.
Arkle – This horse was so popular he got mail from his fans. Over his stunning career he picked up three Gold Cups, three Leopardstown Chase victories, two Hennessy Gold Cups, and the King George VI trophy. He took part in 34 major races and won 27 of them. What made his wins more impressive is that he would usually be two or three stones heavier than his rivals.
Desert Orchid – Even those who do not like horse racing have heard of this horse. He won the Gold Cup back in 1989 and won the King George VI Chase four times. He always stood out from the rest of the field due to his colouring. His ashes were buried in a private ceremony at the Surrey course and a marble statue was erected in his honour.
Best Mate – He won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2002, 2003, and 2004 while being ridden by Jim Culloty. During his career, he never fell at a hurdle and always came in the top two. However, he unfortunately had a heart attack and died at Exeter in 2005. He was cremated and his ashes were buried at Cheltenham’s winner’s post and a statue was put up to remember him.
Kauto Star: The famous jockey AP McCoy called him the most complete chaser that the modern world has ever seen, and he has the honour of being the first horse to be victorious in the Gold Cup. He then finished second the following year, and then won it again the year after. He once won the King George VI Chase by a staggering 36 lengths, to give you an idea of his quality.
Cheltenham Festival Racecards
Let us take a look at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival and see what is in store for us horse racing fans.
To start with, we should tell you that the Cheltenham Festival is scheduled to start on the 16th of March and end on the 19th of March. Over the course of the four days there will be 28 races that you enjoy and bet on. Each day at Cheltenham is full of excitement, and below we have provided you with a detailed description of what will be happening on each of the four days.
Day 1 – Tuesday 16th March
There is plenty for punters to get excited for on the opening day, known as Champions Day, with the most popular races on the day being the Mares Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle. As the title suggests, the winner of the latter race is crowned the king of hurdlers. In the table below you can see the full race schedule for Day 1 of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Arkle Challenge Trophy
Ultima Handicap Chase
Unibet Champion Hurdle
OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
National Hunt Challenge Cup
Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
Day 2 – Wednesday 17th March
The Ballymore Novices Hurdle is the tasty appetiser that kicks off Day 2, also known as Ladies Day. The main course of this day is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which has provided horse racing fans with many great moments throughout the years such as Sprinter Sacre’s return in 2016. There is also the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle that is one of the most popular races for people to bet on. Below is the full schedule for Day 2.
Ballymore Novices Hurdle
RSA Steeple Chase
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
Queen Mother Champion Chase
Cross Country Chase
Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Weatherby’s Champion Bumper
Day 3 – Thursday 18th March
This might be the second last day of the Festival and punters might be looking forward to the Gold Cup, but there are some decent races on Day 3 that test the stamina of the horses involved. For instance, there is the 3-mile-long Stayers Hurdle race, while the Ryanair Chase is considered to be the best race of the day. Below is the full schedule for Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival.
JLT Novices Chases
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle
The Stayers’ Hurdle
Brown Advisory Plate
Mares Novices Hurdle
Kim Muir Chase Cup
Day 4 – Friday 19th March
A sad day because the festival is coming to an end, but there are plenty of big races to help the festival finish in style. In fact, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the biggest race of the whole festival at Prestbury Park, takes place on this day, which is known as Gold Cup Day. This 3m2f race is watched by millions all over the world and is the race that every jockey wants to win. Below is the full racecard for the day.
JCB Triumph Hurdle
County Handicap Hurdle
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
Cheltenham Gold Cup
Foxhunter Challengers Cup
Grand Annual Chase
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle
All the races are entertaining to watch, but as you have probably gathered from what we mentioned above, there are some that are more anticipated than others. We shall take a closer look at these right now.
Champion Hurdle: This is the first Grade 1 race of the Cheltenham Festival – it is a 2 mile and half a furlong race and is run on Cheltenham’s old course. Only horses that are older than four can compete in it and it is one that has been dominated by trainers Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins over the years. Previous winners include Brave Inca, BuveurD’Air, and Faugheen.
Queen Mother Chase: This is the Grade 1 race of Day 2 and it is 2 miles long. Only horses that are five years or older can claim a place in it. Previous winners of this prestigious race include the likes of Sprinter Sacre, Altior, Master Minded, and Sizing Europe.
The Stayer’s Hurdle: This is the headliner of Day 3 and as you can guess from the name it tests the skills of the racing world’s elite hurdlers. The race is 3 miles long, open to horse above the age of four, and takes part on the new course. This race has been won by some great horses such as Inglis Drever, Big Buck’s, Thistlecrack, and Baracouda.
Cheltenham’s Gold Cup: This is the biggest jump race in Britain’s National Hunt season. It is a 3 mile and 2 1/2-furlong long race that has 22 fences. Only horses that are above 5 years old and have a rating above 130 in the British Horseracing Authority can claim a spot. Famous winners include Desert Orchid, Arkle, Native River, Best Mate, and Kauto Star.
Our Top Cheltenham Free Bet Offers
When we are ranking a bookie, our experts will take all the above in consideration. However, there are plenty of other things that we need to analyse if we are to give a fair ranking. At the end of the day, our aim is to provide as fair a ranking as possible. We are now going to take the time to look at these other criteria now.
Betting Online at Cheltenham – Where to Find the Top Jockeys and Top Trainer Odds
So, where is it that you can find the best odds for the Top Jockey and Top Trainer market? Well, the majority of the bookmakers that we recommend on this site of ours will give you the option of placing bets on these markets. We have listed some of the best ones below for you:
- William Hill
Whenever you are betting, whether that is on races at Cheltenham or some other sport such as football or cricket, you will always want to bet with the best odds possible as this means you will make a higher profit if you happen to pick a winner. You work hard for your money, so why would you not want to be able to take advantage of the best odds that you can?
If you are new to horse racing, then you might think that you can only bet on the horses, but this is not the case. You also have the option of betting on who you think will be the top jockey and trainer. With this type of bet, you are simply betting on the jockey and trainer that will win the most number of races over the course of the event.
This type of bet is very popular nowadays among those who bet on the Cheltenham Festival due to the fact that the odds are usually pretty high. This means that it can be quite a hard type of bet to get right, but when you end up predicting correctly you will land a nice profit.
When you are gambling there is nothing wrong with taking a bit of a risk every now and then, so long as you have taken the time to read up and do a bit of research beforehand. You always need to weigh up the risk versus the reward.
Who has been the most successful jockey at Cheltenham since the turn of the century? Well, it is safe to say that this accolade goes to Ruby Walsh as in the last twenty years he has been the Top Jockey on no fewer than eleven occasions.
He won it four years in a row from 2008 until 2011 and then five times in a row from 2013 until 2017. The winner at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival was Nico de Boinville, while Paul Townend and Barry Geraghty shared it in 2020.
When it comes to the Top Trainer betting market, you will usually find that the best jockeys will often ride the best horses that have been trained by the best trainers. Therefore, this means that winners from both markets will be a regular jockey and trainer combination such as Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins – although that cannot happen now since Walsh retired from the sport in 2019.
Read the review
William Hill is a betting company that has been around for close to 90 years, making it one of oldest bookie in the world. The fact they have been in business for nearly 9 decades is a testament to just how good they are. So, what has enabled them to become so popular? Well, their live streaming service is one of the best around – they stream around 60,000 events each year and even have a live streaming schedule, so you pencil in future events to watch. To add to this, they have very good odds and offer a variety of markets. They also have very good customer support and offer their customers plenty of banking options. The table below shows how we rank William Hill.
- They provide live streams for some of the biggest horse races in the world
- They have very good horse racing odds, which means you will get a tidy profit if your horse has a good run and finishes where you predicted
- They provide regular horse racing betting tips
- There are none
Read the review
William Hill is an old betting company, but Ladbrokes is even older as they have been in existence since 1886. There are still extremely popular, but why is this so? Well, like with William Hill, they have a very good live streaming platform and stream thousands and thousands of events every year. To add to this, they have plenty of different markets and they always provide their players with competitive odds. Their banking options and customer support will not let you down either. How do we rank Ladbrokes? The table below will answer that question for you.
- They have plenty of free horse racing streams that their customers can watch
- They always offer their customers very good odds
- They provide valuable horse racing tips
- None that we can see
Unibet has been in existence for just over 20 years, which makes it a baby when compared to the two betting sites that we just mentioned above. However, they can more than hold their own against the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes. When this review was written, they had close to 10 million customers, which is very impressive if you ask us. The main reasons why they have they have become so popular is the fact that they have an enticing Welcome Bonus, offer a wide variety of markets for the sports that they offer, provide customers with good odds, and have a very good live streaming platform (they show over 40,000 live events each year). Below you can see how we have ranked the different aspects of Unibet.
- They have a lot of horse racing live streams that their customers can enjoy
- They have plenty of horse racing markets that you can place your bets on
- They provide their customers with odds that are more than reasonable
- William Hill and Ladbrokes offer betting tips, but Unibet do not
More Top Cheltenham Betting Specials
Where To Bet On Accumulators For Cheltenham
The accumulator, or “accy” as punters like to call it, is now one of the most popular bets in the sports world. The opportunity for an average Joe to get lucky and bag themselves a huge payout from a small stake is what has made this type of bet so popular.
The great thing about accumulators is that you can increase your potential winnings and significantly decrease your risk. However, the flip side to an accumulator bet is that they can be difficult to win due to the fact that you need to get all of your selections correct in order to be a winner – if you get three out of four, you will still lose.
Accumulators, whether for horse racing or any other sport, have become so popular that any bookmaker worth their salt will allow their customers to make accumulator bets. With accumulators, the final odds for the bet are calculated by multiplying all the individual odds together.
So, if you make a 4-fold horse racing accumulator and all four horses have odds of 7.00, then the total odds for your bet will stand at 2,401. Your potential winnings will then depend on the stake that you have placed. For instance, if you decide to place a fiver on this accumulator and you predict all four horses correctly, you will win £12,005. If one of your horses is a non-runner, then your accumulator will be adjusted accordingly.
When it comes to horse racing, there is such a thing as an each-way accumulator. With such a bet, there are two parts, so you have a chance to win some money if your horses fail to win the race but manage to place. The first bit of an each-way accumulator for your horses to win, while the second bit is for your horses to finish in the top three or four.
The number of places will depend on the bookmaker you placed a bet with, while the odds for each-way are usually 1/4 of the horse’s odds of winning the race. This type of accumulator strategy is great as it means that even if one of your horses lets you down by not winning, you can still walk away with a tidy profit.
As we said, all great bookies will allow you to place accumulator bets on a range of sports, but if you are looking to place an accumulator on the Cheltenham Festival, then the best bookmakers, in our opinion, are the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Coral.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting
As we mentioned above, the Gold Cup race that takes place on Day 4 of the Festival is the biggest race. This is the race that most punters bet on and there are plenty who only tune in to the Cheltenham Festival to watch this race. Below we take a look at the different bets that you can place on the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Ante-Post: When you place an ante-post bet, you are betting on the outcome of the race a long time before the race is due to start. Doing this can lead to greater value, but betting so far ahead of schedule does has its risks as if your horse does not take part, your stake will be lost, rather than voided.
Outright bet: With this type of bet you are simply betting on the horse that you think will win the race and enter themselves into the history books. If your horse does not finish first, you lose your stake – it is that simple.
Each way bet: These are two different bets combined into one bet of equal stakes. One part of the stake is for your backed horse to win, while the other part is for your backed horse to place anywhere between second and fifth place, depending on your bookmaker. You can think of it as a type of insurance bet.
Forecast bet: With this kind of bet you try to predict the two horses that will finish first and second. In order for you to win your bet, the two horses you select have to finish the race in the position that you predicted.
Reverse forecast: This is similar to the forecast bet, with the only difference being that you will be paid out no matter what order your horses finish in, so long as they have finished in first and second place.
Placepots: With a placepot you have to select a horse to place in the first six or last six races of an event. As long as your chosen horses place in their race, you will receive a payout according to a number that has been generated by a tote. The figure will be divided by the number of winners – this is pretty similar to the lottery.
Accumulators: You have to select a horse to win in at least four separate races, and you need to get all your predictions right in order to win your bet. These are popular because the rewards can be very high, and you do not need to stake a lot of money.
Heinz bet: This is a kind of bet that is named after the fact that there are 57 single bets merged into one bet. It is made up of 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds, and 1 six-fold. You will usually need to get at least two picks correct to see any type of return. Since they are individual bets, your stake will be multiplied by 57.
Sheldon’s Favourite Cheltenham Betting Site
When I have the urge to bet on some horse racing, I find myself signing into my Ladbrokes account. The reason I like them so much is that they have a great live streaming feature and show all of the biggest races. Furthermore, they always provide their customers will very good odds”.
Sheldon has a passion for writing and for sports. He is a huge fan of football (Aston Villa), rugby and cricket. As well as watching these sports, he also loves to bet on them. He hopes that the knowledge that he has gained over the years will help you to improve your sports betting experience.