The Cheltenham Festival is the flagship horse racing event of the year, opening in March with the famous ‘Cheltenham roar’ and featuring 28 races over four days. Read on to learn everything there is to know about The Festival and the best horse racing betting sites at which to claim Cheltenham offers and place your free bets.
The best Cheltenham Festival offers can be found on bookies’ websites or apps and every year punters get access to money back specials, price guarantees and boosted price offers for Festival races:
Expanded from three to four days in 2005, Cheltenham is now the richest jumps racing meeting in the world. Check out our breakdown of each day below and click through to a race preview for tips, trends and betting odds:
The Cheltenham Festival is what every punter, owner, breeder, trainer and jockey dreams about; it's where everyone wants to have a winner.
The best horse racing betting sites have odds available for Cheltenham almost all year round, meaning you can catch a long-shot months ahead of the competition if you’re clued up.
All good bookmakers will provide enticing Cheltenham sign-up offers, so as an online bettor it's all about picking the best Cheltenham Festival offers for you. You also have relatively new betting sites offering innovative horse racing betting features, so punters are spoiled for choice once Cheltenham gets underway.
888sport is one of the most well-known names in online sports betting and is one of the top online bookmakers for horse racing markets and odds.
The welcome bonus gives new customers a chance to enjoy a casino bonus along with $30 in free bets which can be used on Cheltenham.
888sport has best odds guaranteed for horse racing, meaning if the starting price of a horse you backed is larger than the odds you initially took and the horse goes on to win, 888sport will pay out at the higher SP price.
You can watch live streams of Cheltenham races as long as you have a $1 stake on the race and there is also in-depth racing data provided by Sportradar - so you can check out key statistics before placing a bet on the racing.
When it comes to betting on Cheltenham, 888sport is hard to beat!
There are thousands of different bet types when it comes to Cheltenham and probably hundreds of betting strategies to employ when attempting to figure out how to pick a winning horse, ranging from the simple to the incredibly complex.
The week is massive for bookies, with some claiming the results at the Festival can make or break their entire year.
Three of the most popular bets at Cheltenham include:
Competition between bookmakers is fierce when Cheltenham rolls around and most offer free bets to new customers as an incentive to sign-up.
From a punter's perspective, the lead-up to the Cheltenham Festival is the perfect time of the year to search for the best free bet offers, as many betting sites will have their juiciest deals available just in time for Cheltenham. All of the betting sites featured on this page have free bets that can be used on Cheltenham races and these usually hit your account as free bet credits once you deposit and place your first bet with your new bookmaker.
Some sites also offer free bets when you place a multi bet and one of your selections lets you down. In this case, you will have either your full stake or a percentage of your stake refunded. The acca usually needs to include a minimum number of selections as well - generally three to four - to qualify for a free bet refund.
Ante-post betting is the racing equivalent of an 'outright' or 'futures' bet in other sports and is available before horses have been confirmed in the field for a given race. A market for a race is considered ante-post until the final declarations and the line-up is revealed.
The Cheltenham Festival lends itself perfectly to ante-post betting. It is such a big event in the horse racing calendar that speculative bets are often placed a year in advance.
One of the main benefits of betting on Cheltenham ante-post is the potential to find bigger odds, particularly on horses who have many race options. There will be odds available on all the Cheltenham races long before the entries are revealed, and just by being entered, a horse's odds could contract.
Many bookies will go 'non-runner no bet' a month or so in advance of the Festival. This means that should your horse not turn up on the day you’ll get your stake back. This type of bet is pretty much bespoke to Cheltenham and some other key horse racing events and is important to be aware of if you want to place early Festival bets.
Here's what to expect at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival day-by-day. Click on any of the races listed below for tips, betting previews and trends for each race:
The feature race on Day One of the Cheltenham Festival is the Champion Hurdle over two miles. Legendary owner JP McManus has a fantastic record in this race, having won it with the likes of Epatante, Espoir d'Allen and Buveur d'Air in recent years.
The supporting card is a stellar one, with the curtain raised by the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. The 'Cheltenham Roar' is infamous among racing fans and this race regularly produces future stars, as does the Arkle Challenge Trophy.
|Time||Cheltenham Day 1 Races|
|13:30||Supreme Novices' Hurdle|
|14:10||Arkle Challenge Trophy|
|14:50||Ultima Handicap Chase|
|16:50||Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle|
|17:30||National Hunt Novices' Chase|
The feature event on Day Two of the Festival - also known as Ladies Day - is the Grade One Queen Mother Champion Chase, which looks set to be yet another thrilling renewal. The race has been won in the past by National Hunt legends such as Altior, Sprinter Sacre, Sizing Europe and Master Minded.
The supporting card features two novice events with a fine record for producing stars of the future in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, while the Cross Country Chase is a unique spectacle not to be missed.
|Time||Cheltenham Day 2 Races|
|13:30||Ballymore Novices' Hurdle|
|14:10||Brown Advisory Novices' Chase|
|15:30||Queen Mother Champion Chase|
|16:10||Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase|
|16:50||Grand Annual Chase|
There are two main events on Cheltenham's Paddy’s Day Thursday: the Ryanair Chase and Stayers' Hurdle.
Punters may have their preference between these two championship races, but they both produce top-class winners. For example, Imperial Commander won the Ryanair in 2019 before returning to win the Gold Cup the following year.
Meanwhile superstars Big Buck’s, Inglis Drever and Baracouda have all won the Stayers more than once.
|Time||Cheltenham Day 3 Races|
|13:30||Turners Novices' Chase|
|14:!0||Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle|
|17:30||Kim Muir Chase|
The pinnacle of the Jumps season is on Day Four with the highly anticipated Cheltenham Gold Cup. This blue riband race has an impressive roll of honour and has been won by jumping greats such as Kauto Star, Denman, Best Mate and Al Boum Photo.
The supporting races like the Triumph Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle always produce some future greats.
|Time||Cheltenham Day 4 Races|
|14:10||County Handicap Hurdle|
|14:50||Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle|
|17:30||Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle|
A phenomenon created by the Cheltenham Races is Cheltenham Festival Preview Nights, events involving a gathering of horse racing experts to talk to a room about Cheltenham, including giving betting tips and information on runners.
There are so many betting conundrums at Cheltenham that punters welcome such events with glee, especially Cheltenham Preview Nights that are attended by popular trainers, jockeys and owners, as well as well-known racing pundits.
There is a Festival Preview Night in almost every town in Britain and Ireland, and one scheduled for virtually every day from the end of January to the Monday night before the Cheltenham Festival itself - the racecourse hosting one that evening in The Centaur.
Ticket prices for admission to the Cheltenham Festival start at £37, with Cheltenham Gold Cup day starting at £57. There are three enclosures - Club, Tattersalls, and Best Mate - and a host of extra hospitality options. For admission only ticket prices, see below:
You can buy tickets to any Cheltenham Festival day and see prices for restaurants and other facilities at thejockeyclub.co.uk.
The Cheltenham Festival is run at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham town in England. It's also known as Prestbury Park, because the nearest village to the track is called Prestbury.
Cheltenham is the main town and transport hub for the racecourse though, with most Festival racegoers staying, or travelling through, there to get to the races.
We've listed the betting sites with the best Cheltenham offers right here at Gambling.com, which can be claimed when you click the 'visit site' links on this page.
Some of the best Cheltenham offers come in the form of price boosts or money-back specials, while Cheltenham free bets are a staple of all the online bookmakers listed on this page.
You'll find that many of the top Cheltenham betting sites we've listed here offer unique promotions for the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of the Festival.
Cheltenham free bets can be claimed when you sign up one of the best horse racing betting sites. It's simply a case of registering, making a secure deposit and then claiming your Cheltenham free bet.
The Cheltenham Festival is held in March every year and the 2022 Festival takes place from Tuesday 15th-Friday 18th.
888sport offers a great Cheltenham betting site, with an enticing welcome offer and solid deals for existing players. However, the open market dictates that the best odds can be found at a variety of sites. bet365 have reliably strong odds and 888sport offer great rewards.
The Festival is a Mecca for horse racing betting and the four days offer so many great races and opportunities to back a winner. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to make money, but the spectacle is brilliant even if you just watch the action.
Every year it changes, with some sources suggesting 2023’s event will be worth as much as £6million in total prize money. The Cheltenham Gold Cup has a prize fund of £625,000 - the most lucrative non-handicap chase run in Britain - with the winner bagging over £350,000.
The Festival attracts around 250,000 fans every year over the four days of racing, with the record standing at 266,557 in 2019. Day to day the crowd is around 70,000-strong, with the 2020 Festival causing controversy for going ahead despite the outbreak of coronavirus.
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