The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest Horse Racing events in the world. Hosted at Gloucestershire’s Cheltenham Racecourse, it often coincides with St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s also one of the largest prizes in the yearly National Hunt racing calendar in the UK. This meeting’s voluminous cash prize is second only to the Grand National’s.
Numerous Grade I races take place at the Cheltenham Festival. They include Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and others. Races take place over a span of four days.
Gambling sees a massive surge in activity during the festival. Cheltenham betting odds crowd the homepage of online sportsbooks across the horse racing world. Many gamblers visit England during the Cheltenham Festival to see the races and feel the famous Cheltenham roar.
On this page, you’ll find more information about the Cheltenham Festival. We’ll go over its history and its impact on sportsbooks and gamblers. We’ll also review some of the best Cheltenham betting offers available.
Cheltenham Festival: Origin and History
The First Cheltenham Festivals
The modern Cheltenham Festival dates all the way back to 1860. Back then, the event was called the Grand National Hunt Chase Meeting. It also wasn’t yet located in Cheltenham.
The first event was held at Market Harborough, but locations were rotated since. Cheltenham hosted the 1861 meeting, but wouldn’t get another chance until much later.
By the turn of the century, Warwick Racecourse was the preferred location for the event. Cheltenham had big plans, though, and a new track at Prestbury Park hosted it in 1902.
The event went right back to Warwick for the next several years. In 1907, it was dubbed the “festival” for the first time in print advertising. Cheltenham would soon get another chance, though.
Extensive renovations to Prestbury Park took the track to the next level. Messrs. Pratt and Company supervised major renovations to the draining, enclosures, and more.
The new Prestbury Park was so improved that the National Hunt Committee reconsidered. The Grand National Hunt Festival would again be hosted at Prestbury Park in 1911.
It was a resounding success, and the Committee decided to host the event at Cheltenham every year since.
Recent History of the Cheltenham Festival
More recently, the Cheltenham Festival has had an eventful history. In 1987, the track saw its very first female jockey. Her name was Gee Armytage, and she was 21 years old at the time. She would go on to win the Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
Over a decade later, in 2001, the Cheltenham Festival had to be cancelled due to a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, although it wasn’t cancelled outright at first.
Originally, it was postponed until April, but further information about the spread of the outbreak placed the track in the exclusion zone, and it was cancelled altogether.
Four years later, the festival saw the first change in format in a very long time. Up until then, it was a three-day event. That year, a fourth day was introduced, with one championship race per day. Five new races were also introduced to keep the seven-races-per-day standard.
In 2008, the festival was affected by another cancellation. It was only partial, though, The second day of the festival was cancelled after heavy rainfall affected the track.
The current incarnation of the festival has 28 races in total, with almost a dozen grade 1 events, and the biggest race at the event, the Gold Cup, is held on Fridays. The Cheltenham Festival continues to draw hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Cheltenham Festival 2020: What to Expect
The 2020 edition of the Cheltenham Festival is scheduled to start on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Gates will open at 10:30. Day 1 will feature the Unibet Championship Hurdle. Day 2 will feature the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Day 3 will feature the Ryanair Chase and the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle. Day Four will feature the coveted Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. Each day will feature a total of seven races, for a grand total of 28 spread through the four days.
2020 will also see the first edition of The Park, located in the Club and Tattersalls enclosure. At The Park, visitors will be able to enjoy electronic music during and after the races. The Park will include live DJ sets, including notable DJs from BBC Radio 1 and Capital Radio.
What are the Best Betting Promotions & Offers for Cheltenham?
The Cheltenham Festival attracts a considerable amount of betting action. Online gambling operators do all they can to entice players to choose them. Cheltenham predictions and betting promotions are common surrounding the event.
Regular Cheltenham promotions include free bets, guaranteed odds, deposit bonuses, and more.
Cheltenham Free Bets
Bookmakers engage in fierce competition around the Cheltenham Festival. One of the most common methods of attracting horse racing fans is offering free bets.
Free bets are often valid for any single event or for specific races. They range anywhere from £5 to £30 in value, approximately. Different bookmakers offer different kinds of free bets.
They’re the easiest way to get your feet wet in the festival. Online sportsbooks offer free bet promotions throughout the year. They ramp up their efforts around the festival, though. You’ll find many such promotions on the week of the event, so keep an eye out.
Cheltenham Odds Guaranteed
Many sportsbooks will offer the best odds guaranteed promotions for selected horse racing bets. The Cheltenham Festival is a prime time for such offers. Knowing how to take advantage of Cheltenham odds guaranteed promos is a fantastic way to cash in.
In case you don’t know, here’s how best odds guaranteed bets work. Say you placed a bet on a horse at 5/1 odds. Before the race, the odds shift to 8/1. Most of the time, you’d be locked in at worse odds.
With best odds guaranteed, bookmakers will pay out your bet at the more favourable 8/1 odds. It’s a fantastic insurance when the odds fluctuate against you.
Accumulators, also known as parlay bets, are extremely popular in Cheltenham horse racing. With accumulator bets, you combine different betting markets into a single bet. This means you can pick several horses to place, show, or win on a single slip.
Accumulators are an excellent way to get very high odds out of small stakes. Big horse racing events like the Cheltenham Festival never fail to draw vast amounts of accumulator bets.
Bookmakers know this, and they offer a slew of accumulator promotions in time for the festival. Accumulator offers include insurance against specific legs losing, and bonuses on qualifying bets.
Horse racing and accumulators go hand in hand. Perfectas, trifectas, and superfectas are traditional accumulator bets in the sport.
Cheltenham New Customer Offers
The Cheltenham Festival draws many new players to sportsbooks, particularly online.
Each bookmaker competes for its share of the new business offering attractive welcome offers.
Offers include free cash welcome bonuses, free bets, and matching deposit bonuses. Every operator has different promotions available to new players.
Many require players to make their first deposit before receiving their bonuses. A few don’t have any such requirements.
Most sportsbook operators offer such promotions throughout the year. However, during the Cheltenham Festival, operators double down on promotions, seeking new business.
Are you thinking of joining in on the action during the Cheltenham Festival? Make sure you shop around for the best new player offers. It can be a very competitive market – much to your advantage.
Online Bookmakers Offering the Best Odds for Cheltenham According to BettingOnline
The following is a list of online bookies offering the best Cheltenham odds according to BettingOnline:
Bwin is one of the world’s largest online gambling websites. With millions of players across dozens of core markets, it’s a major operator. Events like the Cheltenham Festival draw out some of the best of bwin’s promotions and offers.
Bwin deals in many sports beyond horse racing. A major annual event like the festival is a spike in action bookmakers can’t miss out on, though. Bwin permanently offers new player promotions and matching deposit bonuses. That means during the festival you can expect even more offers.
Bwin often has special promotions for specific races and events. It includes bonuses on winnings, insurance against losses, free bets, and more. Keep an eye on bwin’s Promotions page for new Cheltenham Festival offers.
Founded in 2008, 888sport is a prominent Gibraltar-based online sportsbook operator. It’s the sports betting arm of the larger 999 Holdings, which includes online casinos and poker rooms. 888sport has a predominantly European player base.
888sport has been intimately tied to the ponies since its inception. Back in 2010, the company began sponsoring a stand at the Fontwell Park Racecourse.
888sport rolls out exciting promotions for the Cheltenham Festival each year. They range from free bets to accumulator insurance and beyond. There are offers both for new and returning players, so you should have no trouble finding your best option.
It also offers permanent signup bonuses year-round, including up to £30 in free bets. This offer requires an initial deposit, though, so bear that in mind.
10bet is an online gambling operator with almost two decades of experience. It’s licensed to operate in Ireland, the UK, and Malta. 10bet is among the fastest-growing sportsbooks in the market, with extensive international operations.
10bet has an aggressive growth strategy, involving frequent, generous free bonuses and promotions. Most of the promotions are available for new customers only, but a few apply to existing players.
The company tends to roll out very attractive sportsbook offers during the Cheltenham Festival. These include the best odds guaranteed, free matching bets, and more. Check back during the festival to see what 10bet brings to the table in 2020.
10bet also offers a permanent accumulator promotion that could come in handy during the festival. It’s a 50% winnings boost applied to all 3+ accumulator bets.
William Hill is the most prestigious bookmaker in the UK, with almost 90 decades of history. William Hill has been based in London since its founder went into business. It’s one of the most popular and well-established operators in the industry.
On its website, the company offers a broad selection of permanent sportsbook offers. It also offers deposit bonuses, loyalty rewards, and free bets. The Cheltenham Festival should see a surge in horse racing promotions at William Hill.
Many offers are only available to new players. If you aren’t registered at William Hill yet, holding off until the festival may be smart. That’ll allow you to cash in on a range of promotions during the big races.
Unibet is a massive international bookmaker. It has headquarters in Malta and offices in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Gibraltar, Italy, the UK, and the US. It’s the sportsbook arm of a group, including online casinos and gaming operators.
The company was founded in London by Anders Ström in 1997. They sponsor sports ranging from Premier League football to chess grandmasters. This applies to horse racing events as well. In fact, Unibet sponsors Day 1’s Championship Hurdle in the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
Unibet has many excellent promotions and bonuses for sportsbook players. They’re often thematically linked to major sporting events.
You can rest assured Unibet will be featuring the Cheltenham races prominently. Expect juicy bet promotions and deposit bonuses to match.
Bet365 is one of the biggest names in online gambling. This British sportsbook was founded in 2000 by Denise Coates, in Stoke-on-Trent. From humble origins, it’s grown to a massive business with over 35 million customers.
It offers a sportsbook, poker, and casino gaming services. It’s licensed by the governments of the UK, Gibraltar, and Australia. In 2005, bet365 decided to concentrate its sportsbook operations online.
The company sold off all its betting shops and shifted its business model to the internet. Since then, it’s had some of the most attractive bonuses and promotions around.
An event of the calibre of the Cheltenham Festival is sure to inspire special sportsbook offers. Check Bet365’s Promotions page often for the latest free bets, bonuses, and promos.
Ladbrokes is one of the most storied gambling operators in the UK. With a history that dates back to 1886, Ladbrokes is a staple of British bookmakers. Operations have been based in London since 1902.
The company is currently owned by GVC Holdings, after decades of mergers and acquisitions. Until its purchase, it was listed in the FTSE 250 stock index. It remains one of the most respected names in bookmaking in the UK, with millions of customers.
Ladbrokes is an active sponsor of UK horse racing. The company will definitely have dedicated offers for the Cheltenham Festival. Check its promotions page during the festival for more details. Probable offers include accumulator bonuses, matching deposit bonuses and free bets.
When Does Cheltenham Take Place in 2020?
Like every year, the 2020 Cheltenham Festival will take place in the second week of March. Tradition dictates that the festival is timed to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, but this year, that won’t be the case.
The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Its fourth and final day will be Friday, March 13, 2020. The event will include 96 hours of thrilling National Hunt racing action, with 28 races total.
Other events during the festival include the exciting Cotswold Chase and the Cleeve Hurdle. The event takes place in Cheltenham Racecourse at Prestbury Park since 1911.
What Is the Race Schedule for 2020?
The following tables showcase the race schedule for each day of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
|13:30||The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race||2m abt ½f||Hurdle||£125,000|
|14:10||The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase||abt 2m||Chase||£175,000|
|14:50||The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase||3m abt 1f||Chase||£110,000|
|15:30||The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy||2m abt ½f||Hurdle(feature)||£450,000|
|16:10||The Mares’ Hurdle Race||2m abt 4f||Hurdle||£120,000|
|16:50||The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase||2m abt 4½f||Chase||£70,000|
|17:30||The National Hunt Steeplechase Challenge Cup (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Steeple Chase)||abt 4m||Chase (Grade2)||£125,000|
|13:30||The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race||2m abt 5f||Hurdle||£125,000|
|14:10||The RSA Insurance Novices’ Steeple Chase||3m abt ½ f||Chase||£175,000|
|14:50||The Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race)||2m abt 5f||Hurdle (Grade 3)||£100,000|
|15:30||The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase||abt 2||Chase (Grade 1)(feature)||£400,000|
|16:10||The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase||3m 6f||Chase||£65,000|
|16:50||The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race||2m abt ½f||Hurdle (Grade 3)||£80,000|
|The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race)||2m abt ½f||Bumper (Grade 1)||£75,000|
|13:30||The Marsh Novices’ Chase||2m abt 4f||Chase (Grade1)||£150,000|
|14:10||The Pertemps Network Final (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (Listed)||abt 3m||Hurdle||£100,000|
|14:50||The Ryanair Steeplechase||2m abt 5f||Chase (Grade1)(feature)||£350,000|
|15:30||The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle||abt 3m||Hurdle (Grade 1)||£325,000|
|16:10||The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (A Handicap Steeple Chase)||2m abt 5f||Chase (Grade 3)||£110,000|
|16:50||The National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Mares Novices’ Hurdle||2m 1f||Hurdle (Grade 2)||£90,000|
|17:30||The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase (0-145)||3m abt 2f||Chase||£70,000|
|13:30||The JCB Triumph Hurdle||2m 139y||Hurdle||£125,000|
|14:10||The Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle Race||2m 179y||Hurdle||£100,000|
|14:50||The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race||2m 7f 213y||Hurdle||£125,000|
|15:30||The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeplechase||3m 2f 70y||Chase (feature)||£625,000|
|16:10||The St. James’s Place Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup||3m 2f 70y||Chase||£45,000|
|16:50||Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase||2m 62y||Chase||£111,000|
|17:30||Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle||2m 4f 56y||Hurdle||£70,000|
What Are the Favourite Horses and Jockeys?
The festival brings together the finest horses, jockeys, and trainers in the UK. Here are some of the favourite horses for the various races this year.
On Day One, Elixir De Nutz is the favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Handle. In the Arkle Steeplechase, Glen Forsa is the favourite. For the Champion Hurdle, look to Buveur D’air. In the Novices’ Handicap Chase, Discorama is the favourite to win.
On Day Two, the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle has Champ and Brewin’Upastorm as favourite. The RSA Chase has Santini as favourite. For the Champion Chase, the favourite is Altior. Tiger Roll is the favourite for the Cross Country Chase.
Day Three will see LostInTranslation’s as favourite for the JLT Novices’ Chase. The Ryanair Chase has Monalee as favourite, and Penhill is the favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle. Benatar is the favourite for the Festival Plate Chase and Salsaretta for the Mares Novices’ Hurdle. In the Kim Muir Challenge Cup, the favourite is The Young Master.
On Day Four, watch out for Wonder Laish in the County Hurdle. For the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Native River is the favourite this year. Dallas Des Pictons is the favourite for the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle. For the Grand Annual Chase, Bun Doran is the favourite.
Not much information is available on Cheltenham 2020 jockeys. Some trainers to keep an eye on are Nicky Henderson, Kayley Woollacott, Paul Nicholls, and Patrick Neville.
Where Can I Watch Cheltenham in Live Streaming?
If you want to catch the 2020 Cheltenham Festival races online, you’re in luck. Live streaming technologies have advanced significantly as of late. Many sports and gambling websites offer live streaming for events like the festival.
All you have to do is tune into your favourite sportsbook operator. The majority of sportsbooks offering live betting also offer live streams of races. However, many of these live streams are only available to existing customers.
If you need to catch the races and don’t have an account with any streaming operator, don’t despair. There are several options available beyond online betting websites. In the UK, the event is broadcasted by Channel 4, both over the airwaves and online.
Online options are also abundant. You can catch free live streams of the races on ITV and ITV4. Depending on your location, it’s likely that local sports networks will stream the races as well. Check your local sports network websites for more information.
Excited by our Cheltenham preview yet? Want to know more about the Cheltenham Festival? We’ve got you covered.
We’ve put together a compilation of the most Frequently Asked Questions from customers, players, and enthusiasts. We hope you’ll find them helpful and informative.
How Can I Bet on Cheltenham?
The Cheltenham Festival is a thrilling time for National Hunt racing enthusiasts. However, for horse racing gamblers, it’s an outright paradise. If the festival has piqued your gambling curiosity, there are many ways to satisfy it.
If you want to experience the festival in its full glory, visit Cheltenham personally. Dozens of thousands of people flock to the racetrack every year. You can join in on the action, placing bets in person at the track.
Trekking your way to Gloucestershire may be impossible for many gamblers, though. Fortunately, there are countless online bookmakers happy to take your Cheltenham wagers. They feature many generous promotions and offers to entice new and returning business.
In modern times, there’s more than one way to place a bet online. You can visit the website of your favourite sportsbook. You can also use a number of dedicated sports betting mobile apps. If you’re more old-school, you can place bets over the telephone as well.
What Are the Best Free Bets for Cheltenham 2020?
The Cheltenham Festival is a huge time for online sportsbooks to capture new customers. That’s why so many operators roll out free bet offers and bonuses during the festival.
Some of the offers are only available for new players, but a few apply to returning players as well. The majority require a minimum first deposit of varying sizes. Many of the best online bookies offering Cheltenham free bets are listed above.
Bookmakers where you’ll be able to find free bets for Cheltenham Festival are abundant. They include bet365, Unibet, BetVictor, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Novibet, and Betfred.
Make sure to compare the different offers carefully. Read the fine print, as some of the terms and conditions can be more restrictive than others. Also, make sure to examine the minimum and maximum limits for any free bet offers.
What Does “Non-Runner No Bet” Mean?
Ever had a bet at the track come up “non runner no bet”?
If so, you might’ve been confused by this somewhat unusual term. Here’s what it means. When you place your bet on a specific horse, that horse has to race for the bet to be valid. If for any reason, your horse doesn’t run that race, the bet becomes invalid.
What that means is that your stake will be voided, and your bet will be refunded. Definitely not as exciting as winning, but decidedly better than outright losing.
How Does “Best Odds Guaranteed” Work?
“Best Odds Guaranteed” is a very common offer from horse racing sportsbooks. You’ll likely see a lot of Cheltenham Best Odds Guaranteed promotions during the festival.
Normally, odds for a race fluctuate a lot over time, as information becomes available. Bookmakers refine their calculations constantly, and they’re affected by player betting trends. Sometimes, you’ll place a bet at specific odds, only for the odds to become more favourable later on.
What “Best Odds Guaranteed” means is that the bookmaker will pay out bets at the most favourable odds. If the odds improve after you placed your bet, your payout will reflect the higher odds. Conversely, if the odds worsen, your better odds will remain locked in.
What Is the Most Important Race During the Cheltenham Festival?
The Cheltenham Festival hosts 28 National Hunt racing events and other minor events. Each day has a featured Grade 1 race. They draw the largest prizes and the most attention and betting action.
Featured races include the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy and the Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase. They also include the Ryanair Steeple Chase and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeplechase.
However, the most important race in the event is definitely the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. It takes place on the final day, Friday, and draws the largest crowds and prizes.