The King George VI Chase is one of the most thrilling events in the racing calendar. The Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase is regarded as the second most prestigious race in English racing, surpassed only by the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and is open to horses four years and over.
The Cheltenham festival dates back to 1911. Since then, the event has continued to acquire fame, alongside massive horse racing events Ascot and the Grand National.
Every year, the numbers of individuals attending the horse racing betting festival continues to grow tremendously, attracting over 200,000 people at a time. It is the biggest betting event in the UK, and one of the most anticipated racing spectacles - even going as far to draw huge audiences from all around the UK and other parts of the world.
It's a good idea to start by reading all about the Cheltenham festival, to give yourself a good starting background before making any bets. The next step would be to do some further reading, on strategy and tips. After that, and once you're ready, make sure top open an account at each of the best bookies for Cheltenham (we have them all listen on our chart) and make a deposit to trigger the offered welcome bonus. Another of many great Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips: Cheltenham favourites to win attract the best odds and offers, but it's a good idea, if you want to make your money go further, to do research before siding with any favourites.
The Cheltenham festival has on many occasions seen the majority of horses listed as favourites win races, but again, this is not a given, or proven money-maker.
Cheltenham Past Winners
Before making your bets, it important that you study the form for the Cheltenham festival and go through the list of Cheltenham festival winners from past events (it's also a great idea to check out our Cheltenham Festival Guide before this) . This is because there could be certain trends for particular races, which favour certain horses according (for example) to how old they are, or some trainers may have spectacular records in individual races. This information will help you make an informed decision when placing your bets.
The only results you won't be able to find are those from the year 2001. This is because the Cheltenham festival was called off, following a plague of foot and mouth disease across Britain.
There is only one place to start when it comes to jockeys at the Cheltenham Festival, and that is Ruby Walsh. The Irishman has been the Top Jockey an amazing 11 times, including in 9 of the last 10 years, and his success here is completely unparalleled. His current tally of 56 wins at the Festival is miles ahead of the nearest challenger, and he will once again be the leading choice for the week’s top jockey at the Festival in 2018. Those wins include 14 wins in the four championship races held across the week, which is more than most jockeys have at the Festival overall.
Barry Geraghty is the only jockey that comes close to Ruby, with 34 wins at the Festival, and that with having missed all of last year’s festival because of injury. He’s also won an impressive 11 of the championship races, so isn’t too far behind Walsh in that respect. He will be desperate to make up for lost time and lost opportunities at this year’s Festival while wearing the famous McManus colours.
Other than those two, there are only a few current jockeys who have even made it to double figures with their Cheltenham winners, with Richard Johnson (20) and Davy Russell (15) at the front of the list behind Walsh and Geraghty.
Other notable Cheltenham jockeys throughout history include AP McCoy, the leading jockey in the 1997 and 1998 races, who won 31 times at the famous course, including two Gold Cups.
Another current jockey who is worth looking out for is Nina Carberry, part of the famous horse racing family, who has won an impressive 9 races at the Festival, despite only generally competing in races such as the Foxhunters Chase and Cross Country Chase. She is certainly a name worth looking out for if choosing your bets based on the jockey on board.
Read more exciting facts in our Cheltenham controversies and memorable moments article.
Cheltenham Festival Leading Riders Prize
The Leading Rider Award is a significant prize to receive - and arguable the most important of a jockey's career. It helps in bringing out the competitive side of each jockey, taking its pool of prize winners from Cheltenham festival riders over and above the 27 top-class races.
Notable jockeys winning the prize in the past have been Barry Geraghty, AP McCoy, Mick FitzGerald, Richard Johnson, Graham Lee and Robert Thornton. Recently, however, Ruby Walsh has dominated the prize - and it would be a good idea to watch him for the 2018 festival too.
Get Ready for Cheltenham 2018
The Cheltenham Festival is made up of 27 races, 500 horses and an over £3.4 million prize. It's the greatest event of the Grand National’s jump racing calendar and with a little help and information you could win big.
Check out our site and get all the information regarding the upcoming four-day festival in March 2018. The entire racing community will be meeting up on Prestbury Park for the biggest event in National Hunt racing.
Get ready - Cheltenham is almost here.