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The Ultimate Betting Guide For Cheltenham Festival 2023

Cheltenham Festival 2023 Betting Guide Featured Image

The Cheltenham Festival is widely regarded as the pinnacle of jumps racing, with the event featuring championship contests such as the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle, and the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup. The festival lasts for four days each March, and takes place between Tuesday 14th March and Friday 17th March this year. The event attracts the best horses from both sides of the Irish Sea, as well as legions of racing enthusiasts.

It is an unparalleled showcase of skill, athleticism, and excitement. For those who enjoy horse racing and betting, Cheltenham is an unmissable opportunity. To help navigate the meet, I have created this Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide, which provides a quick overview of the event.

Cheltenham Festival 2023 Schedule

First and foremost, it is important to explore the events taking place over the four days of the festival. In 2023, the festival runs from Tuesday, March 14th through Friday, March 19th, and there will be a total of 28 races. Each day features a unique selection of races, and although all of them are excellent, some stand out as particularly noteworthy.

Day 1 – Tuesday 14th March 2023

Day one of the Cheltenham Festival, known as Champions Day, takes place on the Old Course, which is known for its speed over stamina. The first race of the day is the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, which famously receives the “Cheltenham Roar” from the crowd as it commences. It’s then followed by the Arkle Challenge Trophy and the Champion Hurdle. The Mares’ Hurdle and the Fred Winter, a handicap hurdle for juveniles, also take place on this day.

Day 2 – Wednesday 15th March 2023

On day two, known as Festival Wednesday, the Old Course is once again the stage for the Cheltenham Festival. The championship race on this day is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, while the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase also take place. Additionally, the unique Cross-Country race and the Coral Cup, a tough handicap hurdle, are part of this day’s schedule, before it ends with the Champion Bumper for National Hunt flat horses.

Day 3 – Thursday 16th March 2023

Moving onto the New Course, day three of the Cheltenham Festival is known as St Patrick’s Thursday. The official championship race of the day is the Stayers’ Hurdle, with the Ryanair Chase also taking place. The day begins with the Turner Novices’ Chase and the Pertemps Final. At the end of the day, all eyes are on the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.

Day 4 – Friday 17th March 2023

Day four of the Cheltenham Festival remains on the New Course and is known as Gold Cup Day. It starts with the Triumph Hurdle, followed by the County Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. The feature race of the day and the entire meeting is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with the day ending with three more races and the Prestbury Cup settled between Ireland and Great Britain.

Choosing the Best Bookmaker for horse racing

You will need to select an online or in-person bookmaker for betting on the Cheltenham Festival. To help you narrow down your search, there are several key factors to consider.

The first step is signing up, and given the Cheltenham Festival is an incredibly important event for bookies, betting sites strive to offer the best value possible for free bets. You can find some of the best sign up offers here.

Good odds are essential for the highly competitive races at Cheltenham, so it is important to choose a bookmaker that offers industry-leading prices.

Another important consideration is whether the bookmaker pays out on extra places for each-way bets, particularly for the highly competitive Cheltenham Festival handicaps. It is also crucial to choose a bookmaker with a user-friendly website and mobile app that offers a streamlined gambling experience.

There are many reliable bookies that tick most of those boxes, including Paddy Power, Betfair, Bet365, and SkyBet.

Cheltenham 2023 Offers for New and Existing Customers

If you’re signing up to a new bookie, or you’ve got an account already, you want the best betting offers possible. Cheltenham is a great chance to get the best value, and here’s just a couple of the featured offers for Cheltenham Festival that I’ve found.

£00
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Horse Racing
Horse Racing
40/1 for Constitution Hill to Win for new customers
New customers only. Min/max stake £1. Free bets credited on top of winnings within 72 hours. 4 x £10 bet token. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets cannot be used on virtuals. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply.

£00
paddypower logo
Horse Racing
Horse Racing
One Free Bet Per Day for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of Cheltenham
Online Exclusive. Max three free bets per customer. Max one free bet per day. Free bets can be used on any race on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at Cheltenham. Applies to singles and multiples. Free bets expire each day. Must have previously deposited with a debit card, Apple Pay or Paysafe to avail of the offer. T&Cs apply.

There’s so many more offers and free bets for the event that you can find on my page here.

How to Place A horse racing Bet

If you’re invested in the buzz of Cheltenham, you’re probably looking to place a bet. I’ll be posting my latest expert tips and best bets, previews and predictions, research and paddock packs on my website

You can also subscribe to my horse racing Mailing List to get more exclusive horse racing content and bets.

Different Types of horse racing bets

Let me break down some common horse racing bets for you.

Win bet

First up, we have the “win” bet. This one’s pretty simple and as it says on the tin – you’re betting on a horse to win the race.

Each way

Then there’s the “each way” bet. With this one, you’re betting on a horse to either win or be placed (usually in the top three). If your horse does place, you’ll get a payout at a fraction of the main odds.

Multiple bets

Next, we have “multiple bets” like doubles and trebles. These involve backing multiple horses to win or place at different races. To win, all of your bets must come in.

Straight forecast

If you want to get really specific, there’s the “straight forecast” where you pick the top two horses in the correct finishing order. Alternatively, there’s the “reverse forecast” where the horses can finish in any order. For example you might back Constitution Hill to finish first and State Man to finish second.

Reverse forecast

Similar to a straight forecast, the “reverse forecast” allows the horses to finish in any order. So if you’re backing the bet I mentioned in the straight forecast, if State Man just edges Constitution Hill you’ll still win.

Tricast

The “tricast” takes it one step further – you’re picking the top three horses in the correct order. The more specific your bet, the higher the potential payout.

Match Betting

“Match betting” is a simple one and pretty fun one to watch in action – you’re betting on one horse to beat another. As long as the horse you back finishes ahead of the other, you’ll win.

Lucky 15

You’ll probably have seen this type of bet in the horse racing world. For those who want to bet on multiple outcomes at once, there’s the “Lucky 15” bet. This combines four selections into a single wager, with 15 separate bets. Even if only one of your selections wins, you can still receive a return on your bet.

To break it down further, the bet consists of 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and a four-fold accumulator.

To place a Lucky 15 bet, you select four different outcomes e.g. four horses to win and then place 15 bets on them. If only one horse wins, you will receive returns on one of the four singles. If two horses win, you pay out on one of the doubles as well as the two singles. If three horses win, you return four singles, six doubles, and four trebles. And of course if all four win you get the full shebang.

NAP

You’ll often see a “NAP” amongst tipsters like me, which is a betting selection that’s considered the strongest or most confident choice of the day. I’ll have my experts pick one for each day.

Top Trainer/Top Jockey

And if you want to back a trainer or jockey for the whole festival, you can do that too! You can bet on the trainer or jockey with the most winning horses, or even the nationality of the most winning trainers.

Remember though, no bet is a guaranteed winner and there’s always a level of risk involved. But if you’re feeling lucky, why not place a bet and see where it takes you.

How to pick the best Cheltenham Bets

When backing a bet for the Cheltenham Festival, there are several factors to consider.

Form

Firstly, examine the horse’s recent form leading up to the festival. A horse that has consistently performed well in the past is more likely to perform well at the festival.

Trainer/Jockey

Secondly, take into account the jockey and trainer of the horse. A horse with a successful jockey and trainer is more likely to perform well.

Weight

Thirdly, the weight of the horse can impact its performance, with a horse carrying a heavy weight more likely to struggle than one carrying a light weight.

Experience

Additionally, consider the horse’s experience, as a horse that has previously run in the Cheltenham Festival is more likely to perform well.

Weather and Ground

Finally, check the weather forecast and the condition of the ground, as they can play a significant role in the outcome of the race. Doing your own research and reading expert analysis can also help you better understand the horses and their chances at the festival.

How to Watch Cheltenham Festival Races

If you intend to bet on the Cheltenham Festival, you probably want to see the horse races live. Fortunately, numerous online bookmakers offer live streaming services to accommodate this request. Among the bookies that provide this feature are William Hill, Bet365, Ladbrokes, and BetVictor.

How to Get to Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is held at Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Road, Cheltenham, Gloucester GL50 4SH.

To purchase tickets for the festival, visit the Official Cheltenham Festival Ticketing Website.

If you are using public transport, Stagecoach buses run during the festival, with stops at the station and town centre. It is recommended that you check the schedule beforehand, and the cost for a return trip is £6.00. Additionally, Cheltenham can be reached by rail, with the nearest station being Cheltenham Spa. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to get to the racecourse.

If you are driving, enter the postcode above into your navigation, and follow the AA signs directing you to the major approach routes to the racecourse. Be sure to book your car parking ahead of time.

Top Cheltenham Festival Trainers And Jockeys

Willie Mullins

The most dominant trainer at Cheltenham Festival – Willie Mullins is favourite to win the top top trainer accolade having won the title nine times. Last year, he didn’t just win the title, but trained a huge 10 winning horses. He’s also managed 7 winners three times and 8 winners once.

Henry De Bromhead

Another masterful Irish trainer, Henry de Bromhead, has been performing well, especially in 2021, winning four major races.

Rachael Blackmore rode a de Bromhead-trained horse in A Plus Tard to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory last year.

Paul Nicholls

A six-time leading trainer, Paul Nicholls, has also won many top races but it’s worth noting he doesn’t always prioritise Cheltenham.

Nicky Henderson

A British trainer, Nicky Henderson, has sent out 15 winners in the last five years from his Seven Barrows stables, with most of his wins coming on Champion Hurdle day or Ladies Day.

Gordon Elliott

Another Irish representative, Gordon Elliott has had 27 Cheltenham Festival winners over the last five years, and has traditionally peaked on the middle two days of the festival with several leading contenders this year. Of his many victories between 2016 and 2020 inclusive, two-thirds of his successes came on Ladies Day or the Thursday of the Festival.

The Locals

Fergal O’Brien is among a handful of trainers who are based in Gloucestershire near Cheltenham, including Nigel Twiston-Davies, Tom George, and Kim Bailey. Although they struggle to secure wins at the Festival, they are worth considering for other races at the venue earlier in the season.

Horse Racing Terminology

Bumpers

National Hunt Flat Races are commonly referred to as bumpers, and they are usually run over a distance of approximately two miles. At Cheltenham, the Champion Bumper is held, which typically serves as the last race on Ladies Day. Unlike other races at the Festival, horses competing in this race do not jump any obstacles, but instead run on the hurdles course with them removed. Bumpers offer an opportunity for horses that haven’t raced on the Flat to gain racecourse experience before transitioning to jumps racing.

Chases

Short for steeplechases, these are races where horses jump taller fences compared to hurdles. Cheltenham Racecourse has a variety of jumps, including a water jump and open ditches. If a horse falls or unseats its rider at a fence, they are not allowed to continue the race.

Hurdles

Hurdles on the other hand, are smaller obstacles made of angled panels that horses can flick through instead of jumping over. Cheltenham hosts the Champion Hurdle and the Stayers’ Hurdle, both testing different aspects of horse racing.

Graded Races

These are the highest level of competition in National Hunt horse racing and are divided into different grades, with Grade 1 being the highest.

Handicaps

These are the most common type of horse races, with the top-rated horse being allotted top weight and other horses carrying weight relative to their rating.

Novice horses

As you’d expect, these horses are those with no or limited winning experience in a particular type of race, such as chases or hurdles. They can retain novice status until they win a race or reach a certain date after winning one.

Cross Country

Races at Cheltenham that involve horses jumping various natural and man-made obstacles are called cross-country races. The course at Cheltenham is only used sparingly – about three times per year, but one of those occasions is the Cross Country Chase at the Festival. The horses jump banks, ditches, hedges and even a Grand National style spruce-covered fence which is the tallest on the course, before running onto the racecourse proper and going over the final two hurdles.

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