The Cheltenham Festival has long been one of the biggest and most prestigious events in UK National Hunt horse racing, generating more than £4 million in prize money over its four days
Cheltenham Betting Tips
The Cheltenham Festival is the apex of the National Hunt Season and is famous worldwide. More importantly, it's a festival for all lovers of horse racing. It's also a big one - there will be around 500 horses in the race and over £3.4 million in winnings. The best horses in Britain will be at the show to compete.
Top Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips
As has always been the case, the races at Cheltenham run faster than many midweek racing games. As such, it can be more difficult to choose a clear winner of the race beforehand. Your best bet is to read a lot of information about the horses and jockeys taking part int he races beforehand and only then placing your bet.
Start by Looking at Cheltenham Trials Day
The Cheltenham trials take place in January, and the horses and jockeys who win these have often gone on to perform well at the festival. For example, 2015's winners were the 1st and third runners in the Timeforn Novices Handicap. During their trials, they went on to reverse their positions in the Novices Handicap and ended up winning in the real festival. A similar result was seen also in the 2009 and 2013 trials and competition.
Look at the Trainers and Their Stats
Each year Cheltenham Racecourse releases a document with everything you need to know about trainer and jockey stats. The document features a plethora of the best trainers, along with the numbers of festival winners they have produced in the recent past. Obviously, the best trainers succeed with their jockeys, so looking at their stats will give you a better indication of who is likely to do well. This is a useful pointer to teams that may battle for the top positions in various races at the festival.
Another good way of using this is by listing trainers that have had a top five wins in the race for the past five years. Then put another list of the trainers that have been between the fifth and the tenth position. The trainers that have had many wins are likely to have a win in the forthcoming festival. You may also get a few of between position five and ten putting on a great show at the festival. Keep an eye on them when choosing your Cheltenham horse racing betting odds.
Look at the Navan Form
There are few racecourses which match up to the Cheltenham Festival regarding their toughness. However, the Irish Navan Racecourse is similarly tricky, on the same level as the Cheltenham racecourse. Most of the jockeys and horses who have made it through the Navan stand a great chance at the Cheltenham festival. Look at a list of winners in the last five Navan matches, and note them down - they are the most likely to perform well.
Don't Get Carried Away on Day One
Don't put all your eggs in one basket - or make all your bets in one race. When bettors get overexcited about the races, is when mistakes are likely to happen, and their cash doesn't last very long. Keep an eye on your stake money, and avoid draining cash for the rest of the races. Keep in mind the race is a marathon and not a one-day sprint.
'No Runner No Bet' Betting Tips
So many horses are entered in very many races at the festival - and not all of them are going to run. This means you could stand to lose your stake if your horse does not run in the race you thought it would. However, you can get refunded if the place your bet with the 'no runner no bet' option, which cancels your bet and returns your money if your horse ends up not running in the race. Unfortunately, this option is not available in all the races and at all bookmakers. Check for it before betting on the Cheltenham Festival.
Make Bets in the Morning
You can always get better odds on the selection by betting earlier in the day with the bookmaker offering the best odds. Most bookmakers offer the best value for money in the morning, as this is the most competitive time for bettors looking to make a stake. Typical morning offers might be money-back specials and the best price guaranteed. If you get the best price guaranteed, you could win bigger if the bet drifts on track.
Betting in the Without Markets
The Without Markets means bookmakers create a group market of several horses in the race, often minus the likely winner. It's a more general type of bet, with the favourite to win's actions ignored by the bookmaker. If you look at a horse and think it might do well but there is also a favourite for the race, you can ignore the favourite and bet on the good horse in any of the markets under the Without Markets bracket.
Take Advantage of Early Price Cheltenham Betting
The bet prices start at a given range and get a shortened as the day progresses. In addition to using the bookie with the best odds guaranteed, shop for the best odds early in advance before they get cut. Making Cheltenham races betting stakes a few minutes before the actual race starts is probably the worst time to get good odds.
Have Accounts with All the Major Bookmakers
You cannot shop for the best odds in the market or go with the bookmaker that has the best prices guaranteed without comparing the market. To be on the safe side, have accounts with all the major bookmakers. The week before the Cheltenham Festival is the best time to open these new accounts, as bookmakers gear up for the races and are more generous with their bonuses. Most of them have Cheltenham Festival betting offers that include free bets and bonuses for new bookies. Take advantage of those.
Stay Focused on Each Race
There will be over 29 races during the festival. You are more likely to lose your step if you juggle between the races. A good thing to do when planning Cheltenham races betting is to identify the races that you have good chances of winning and focusing on each race at a time. Don't feel obligated to bet on all the races, especially if you feel unprepared for some.
Be wary of the tipsters promising wins if you buy odds from them, or ones which ask you to make upfront payments. You are more likely to lose your stake by buying odds rather than improving your betting skills. Few tipsters are actually legit, and most of them are looking only to take your hard-earned cash away.