Cheltenham Festival is one of the key events on the horse racing calendar. Taking place in March each year at Prestbury Park, it is held over a four-day period and features 12 Grade One horse races.
There are four that are the most prestigious though, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Stayers Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Champion Hurdle. These attract the top trainers, jockeys and horses as well as the 250,000-plus people who go to Cheltenham to watch and to bet.
Here we will be looking at how to bet to maximize your chances.
Pick a reputable betting site
People sometimes underestimate how important the actual gaming site is to sensible sports betting. The fact is though; these sites vary wildly when it comes to everything from the odds to security and speed of payouts.
The most reliable online sports vendors tend to be ones that have been around for quite a while and it is at these sites that the best Cheltenham odds are to be found. Sites like 888 Sport have also stayed the course in a highly competitive field because they guarantee the security of customer data and pay out quickly and efficiently in the event of a win.
Make the right sort of bet
There are several different types of bet available with horse racing. These are the main ones and their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Single win bet
This is the kind of bet most commonly placed. It involves the bettor selecting one horse to win a race and wagering on it. If it comes in first, the bettor wins their bet multiplied by whatever the odds were. If it does not, they lose their money.
- It is very simple to understand if you are new to horse racing
- Offers a reasonable chance of a win
- Actual wins can be quite small depending on the odds
- Does not offer much of a challenge to experienced bettors
2. Each-way bet
This kind of wager sees the bettor choose two horses in the same race. The first bet is for the winning horse and the second is to finish in one of the other top four spots. The odds-to-payout percentage for the placed horse varies depending on the bookmaker and the number of horses running
- Can bring a win even if the bettor has not picked the winning horse
- Reduced risk of losing compared with single win bets
- If payout percentage for placed horses is too low, the bettor can actually lose the bettor money
3. Ante post bet
An ante post bet in horse racing is where the wager is made well ahead of the actual race – usually a minimum of one day before it.
- Usually gives the bettor the best possible odds, potentially maximizing winnings
- If the chosen horse does not run, the stake will not be returned to the bettor.
4. Double and treble bets
Double bets are when one wager is placed on two horses in different races, while treble bets are the same but for three horses. All must win or finish placed for the bet to payout.
- Can win the bettor high sums if the odds for both parts of the bet are favorable
- Can be challenging and exciting for knowledgeable bettors
- Multiple nature of the bets increases the odds of a loss
- Harder to calculate odds for less experienced bettors
Know the field
Every year, there are favorites among the field at the Cheltenham Festival. There are also underdogs that can be worth considering for a bet. Being aware of these will help you to make a sensible choice.
The top trainer is still Willie Mullins, who has trained an astonishing 78 previous winners at Cheltenham. His horse Sharjah is among the contenders for the Champion Hurdle this year, although last year’s winner Honeysuckle is the favorite for this race.
When it comes to the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Shiskin and Chacun Pour Soi are among the hot tips, although 2021 winner Put The Kettle On will also race again.
Stayers’ Hurdle top picks include Paisley Park, Champ and Flooring Porter – the horse that won in 2021. For the Gold Cup, many will view last year’s winner Minella Indo as well worth a bet to retain the cup, but Galvin and Protektorat are also attracting attention and bets and are being highlighted by form guides as promising alternative wagers for this year.
Horse racing fans will be delighted to welcome back a full Cheltenham Festival this spring, so why not celebrate with a bet.