The Cheltenham festival is a horse-racing event held every year in Prestbury Park on the outskirts of Gloucestershire spa town. The preparation for this year’s event began immediately the 2017 meeting was closed. The event attracts people from all over the world and this is the reason why several online platforms are working off their hands to ensure that their audience is up to date with all the information concerning the horses, trainers, and riders.
First of all, if you were expecting to place a bet on Cue Card in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, you may be in for a rude shock. At his opening day, Collin Tizzard warned that the twelve-year-old might not make it to the Gold Cup as he is already a candidate for the Ryanair. Although the decision has not been finalized (until Monday next week), unless you are betting the non-runner money back you should not risk your money.
The entries for the 2018 Cheltenham festival were released on Thursday this week. In the 10 handicap races scheduled to begin on 13th March, there are a total of 844 entries. Ultimate Handicap Chase is the first of those ten and Singlefarmpayment is one of the 83 horses entered. The Coral Cup has 119 entries including Diamond King who comes from the stable of Gordon Elliott. As for the Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, there are 42 entries. The complete list is already out and can be found on various online platforms.
A number of last year’s champions have already been forwarded as participants in this year’s event. Buveur D’Air is looking to mount a tough defense of his title in the Championship Hurdle. Sizing John is also a candidate in the Gold Cup and he is not a bad one given his performance during last year’s meeting. Other huge names that are expected to make an appearance in this year’s event include Special Tiara, last year’s Champion Chase winner and Altior who emerged the winner in the Racing Post Arkle.
If you are an amateur punter, you are probably wondering how to bet on the Cheltenham Festival. This year, bookmarkers are really trying their best to ensure that you get the best value for your money. Some of the bookmarkers with the best welcome offers include; Paddy Power who are offering £20 for every first deposit of £20. Betway has a free bet amount of up to £20 for every £10 placed. Coral has a free bet amount of up to £30 as well as Bwin. Free bets come in many forms including refunds, imaginative specials, enhanced odds and insurance bonus bets if you happen to lose.
How should you go about the betting part? It is not as complicated as most people perceive it to be. You are just required to create an account, log in and pick your runner. Whether you are betting online or on the bookmarkers’ stand, the process is almost the same. For instance, if you want to bet £5 each way on Native River and it is horse number 3, you are supposed to say ‘5 each way on number 3’. This type of bet doubles your money and it pays if your horse makes it to 1st, 2nd, 3rd or in big fields, 4th. Another ante-post betting market you should consider is the non-runner money back where you get your money back if your horse doesn’t race.
Each of the 4 days is headlined by one major race. On Tuesday, also known as Champion’s day, is the Champion Hurdle. Queen Mother Champion Chase is held on Wednesday, also known as Ladies’ day. Thursday is known as St. Patrick Thursday and it is headlined by Stayers’ Hurdle. Friday is the Gold Cup Day and it features the Cheltenham Gold Cup.