If you've never been to the Cheltenham races before, making your debut at the Gold Cup Festival will be an experience you won't forget in a hurry. Away from the incredible headwear and free flowing champagne, there's over £600 million spent in Gold Cup betting each year and you can be part of it, either in person or through online betting.
The Structure of the Festival
As the event has grown over the last century, it's become essential to stretch the races over four days to make each one unique. This year, the format looks like this:
- Champion Day - Tuesday marks the first day of the festival, and one of the quieter days for bookmakers at the racecourse. However, a lot of money gets spent on the first race, mainly for prestige, and this year look out for Jezki returning to defend his Stan James Champion Hurdle title. You can also expect to see champion jockeys from previous years returning to the scene of their formal glories.
- Ladies Day - possibly one of the most popular days, Ladies Day is all about people watching and hat spotting. The main event is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but unless you're taking a female friend, you may want to watch the day from Cheltenham betting sites instead.
- St Patrick's Thursday - a flavour of Ireland comes a few days early to the festival this year, and whilst many punters will be attracted to Guinness Village, serious gamblers will find their way to Bookmakers' Jungle where there are always rumours of million pound bets to be had.
- Gold Cup Day the Festival’s climax and its showpiece event. This sees many of the top staying chasers compete, although current champion Coneygree will miss the race due to injury. Mullins has a strong hand with Vautour and Don Poli the standouts, while English hopes rest on the popular Cue Card, unbeaten in 3 starts over 3m this season.
Cheltenham Races Betting
The biggest part of the fun at the Gold Cup is betting on the outcomes on the races, and you'll find bookmakers for Cheltenham eager to take your predictions, and your money. You'll find the best Cheltenham betting offers online with plenty of sites offering bonuses for multiple correct predictions and money back if your horse fails to finish the race. The main differences will be the value of the odds, so don't be afraid to compare a few betting sites before putting your money where your mouth is.