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 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. Some of the top Cheltenham offers for the 2023 Festival are highlighted and explained below.
Get a free bet to use on Cheltenham races when you deposit with an online bookmaker for the first time. The terms and conditions on these types of offers usually restrict what you can bet on and your potential profit, but they are often enhanced for the week of the Cheltenham Festival, so the value of these free bets increases.
All of the best betting sites have these types of sign-up offers available, so we recommend signing up to numerous top bookies when Cheltenham rolls around. That way you can avail of multiple welcome bonuses and get full value for money. The list at the top of this page will point you in the direction of the best Cheltenham betting sites, complete with the most generous welcome bonus terms. Simply click 'Visit Site' to sign up and claim your bonus.
Bookies offer enhanced odds on certain horses to incentivise punters to bet – and they ramp up these price boosts for the Cheltenham Festival. These boosts are commonly offered on favourites in the Championship races.
Sometimes enhanced odds are restricted to new customers only, but price boosts are often made available to existing customers as well. Some of the favourites to look out for in this year's Championship races are A Plus Tard in the Gold Cup, Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle and Flooring Porter in the Stayers' Hurdle. Keep an eye out as these favourites and more could be subject to enhanced odds offers.
Some of the best Cheltenham offers are those which give you your stake back if your horse is a faller or, say, if your horse finishes second to the favourite. Your losing stake will usually then be made available as a free bet.
In addition to money-back specials, some betting sites even offer risk-free bets especially for the Cheltenham Festival. With this game-changing special offer, you can wager up to a certain amount and your stake will be refunded in full if your horse doesn't win (regardless of how they lose).
Many online bookmakers offer extra each-way places for races at the Cheltenham Festival. The place terms will vary from one bookie to the next, but keep an eye out for those sites that reward extra places, particularly if you have a long-odds each-way fancy lined up for Cheltenham.
Check back here on the week of the week of the Festival to find out which betting sites are offering extra each-way places.
Best odds guaranteed is another promotion offered by a number of bookies when Cheltenham rolls around. It means that If you have taken an early price and the starting price (SP) turns out to be higher than the price you've backed, you are still paid out at the SP odds.
For example, if best odds guaranteed is in play and you back a horse at 8/1 on the morning of a race, and they drift out to a starting price of 10/1, you'll still get paid 10 times your stake.
Many bookies will offer 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 for any reason, 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.
Many football punters will be familiar with the concept of acca insurance, which gives bettors their money back if one leg of an accumulator bet lets them down. In this case, the stake is usually returned to you as a free bet.
The accumulator usually needs to include a minimum amount of legs to qualify for acca insurance and this number varies from one bookmaker to the next. For example, if you have a four-leg acca and three of the four selections win, with one letting you down, acca insurance will kick in and soften the blow by returning your stake to your account balance.
Competition between bookmakers is fierce when Cheltenham rolls around and some even offer free bets for existing customers.
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.
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 bookmakers, with some claiming the results at the Festival can make or break their entire year.
Three of the most popular bets at Cheltenham include:
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 like FansBet offering innovative horse racing betting features, so punters are spoiled for choice once Cheltenham gets underway.
FansBet Sports specialises in horse racing and football, but covers a huge array of sports. Established in 2017, this bookmaker's mission is to revolutionise the sports betting industry, hence why they are Gambling.com’s Festival partner for 2023. Newcomers simply have to sign up and bet £10 to qualify for £30 in free Cheltenham bets.
FansBet are proud to be giving back to charities and good causes by sending a share of profits to nominated causes you can select when you sign up. They also have outstanding customer support and there is also a slick new betting app available to download.
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.
As mentioned, 'non-runner no bet' provides even more incentive to take advantage of ante-post prices.
Here's what to expect at the 2023 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 Tips|
|14:10||Arkle Chase Tips|
|14:50||Ultima Handicap Chase Tips|
|15:30||Champion Hurdle Tips|
|16:10||Mares' Hurdle Tips|
|16:50||Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Tips|
|17:30||National Hunt Chase Tips|
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 Tips|
|14:10||Brown Advisory Novices' Chase Tips|
|14:50||Coral Cup Tips|
|15:30||Queen Mother Champion Chase Tips|
|16:10||Cross Country Chase Tips|
|16:50||Grand Annual Tips|
|17:30||Champion Bumper Tips|
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 Tips|
|14:!0||Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle Tips|
|14:50||Ryanair Chase Tips|
|15:30||Stayers' Hurdle Tips|
|16:10||Paddy Power Plate Tips|
|16:50||Mares' Hurdle Tips|
|17:30||Kim Muir Chase Tips|
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|
|13:30||Triumph Hurdle Tips|
|14:10||County Hurdle Tips|
|14:50||Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Tips|
|15:30||Gold Cup Tips|
|16:10||Hunters' Chase Tips|
|16:50||Mares' Chase Tips|
|17:30||Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle Tips|
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 2023 Festival takes place from Tuesday 14th-Friday 17th.
ITV broadcast Cheltenham live on the ITV hub website and app, so you can can watch the action unfold on desktop, tablet and mobile as well as traditional television sets and smart TVs. Similarly, Racing TV offers a streaming service online for their subscribers at no additional cost, while the best betting sites with live streaming show Cheltenham races live on their websites and apps.
FansBet 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, Betfred are good for Lucky 15s and multiple bets, 888sport offer great rewards if you back winners and Unibet are a top option for daily odds boosts.
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.
Tickets to Cheltenham during festival week start from £50, in the ‘Best Mate Enclosure’ with the biggest crowds. The ‘Tattersalls Enclosure’ starts from £65, with ‘Club Enclosure’ from £90, while hospitality packages are well over £500 each. A car parking spot costs £20.
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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