Quite rightly billed as The Greatest Show on Turf, Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the National Hunt Horse Racing season. Worth over £4 million-plus of prize money, the festival, the biggest of its kind in horse racing, attracts 250,000 people to the stunning Cotswold Hills for four days of exciting equine action. And, it all starts on Tuesday 14th March 2023. On each day there will be seven races, so that's a total of 28 during the festival. The races will start at 1:30 pm and the last run will be at 5:30 pm.
2023 Cheltenham Festival Betting Odds, Tips & Predictions
- The Cheltenham festival brings the best in the business to the Cotswolds region of England for four days of elite action.
- All owners, trainers and jockey compete for the major honours in the sport, which bring both notoriety and riches to the winning parties. As soon as the previous Cheltenham Festival ends, the top betting sites in the industry create their Cheltenham betting odds for next year’s festival such is the demand horse racing bets.
- The week brings out the gold standard of not only horse racing action, but also best Cheltenham betting offers and predictions. You can learn a lot about Cheltenham Festival by looking at past events.
2023 Cheltenham Betting Schedule & Odds
We are waiting on the best and latest Cheltenham betting odds for this year’s festival. Once they are available they will be added here.
For a full list of all the best horse racing betting odds, head to: Paddy Power
2022 Cheltenham Tips and Predictions
Day two did not disappoint either as Put The Kettle On pulled off one of the surprises of the week to defeat the favoured Chacun Pour Soi in the Champion Chase. Two-time Grand National winner and Tiger Roll rolled back the years with a special display in the Cross Country Chase, hammering the rest of the field to win the event for a third time. The stunner of the week came in the first race on Thursday when the unbeaten favourite for the Golden Miller Novices’ Chase, Envoi Allen, fell in the early stages of the contest to present Chantry House with an unlikely victory. Flooring Porter continued the theme of the day with a fine run to win the Stayers’ Hurdle as a 12/1 shout, beating out Paisley Park among other strong competitors.
All eyes were on Al Boum Photo on Gold Cup Friday as he aimed to join a select group of horses to win three consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups. He was the leading contender in the Cheltenham betting odds for the crown, and although Mullins’ charge put forward a spirited performance, his reign at Cheltenham was ended by Minella Indo to hand Henry de Bromhead his first Gold Cup to cap an excellent week for the Irishman.
Fortunately for De Bromhead, he has another outstanding charge in his yard. A Plus Tard finished narrowly off the pace of his stable-mate in the Gold Cup in 2021, placing second in the event. He has since gone from strength-to-strength, delivering an emphatic victory at the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park. He was beaten by a shorthead by the impressive Galvin in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown. A Plus Tard should be on course to bounce back, and his price of 7/2 highlights the confidence in the French thoroughbred in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting odds. He finished second last year and should be able to go one better to win the race.
Galvin could provide a threat as he proved in the Savills Chase, and he did win at the Festival last year in the National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices Chase. The Gold Cup is another level for Galvin and it will be a test of his abilities to raise to the occasion.
The great Al Boum Photo might have one last effort in so do not discount him for at each-way bet at 10/1. A late riser is Protektorat who impressed with a brilliant performance in the Many Clouds Chase in December.
Appreciate It could provide the threat after remaining over hurdles for the second season in a row. The charge by Willie Mullins does have the quality, but whether it is enough to topple Honeysuckle is another matter. Sharjah finished second behind Honeysuckle and could be in line for an improvement in a second crack at the Champion Hurdle at 8/1. Epatante is also a solid shout at 10/1 having won the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park, and is a former champion from 2020. Both horses will have to be flawless on the day to overcome Honeysuckle or hope for an Envoi Allen like fall in the early stages.
Klassical Dream is the favourite at 11/4 for the event and has a good history at Cheltenham with a win in the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2019. An injury derailed his career for 18 months, but the French thoroughbred has been sensational since his comeback with back-to-back wins, including a victory over Flooring Porter in the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle. Willie Mullins has a good record in the Stayers Hurdle having guided Nichols Crayon and Penhill to victory in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The Irishman may have another winner on his hands with Klassical Dream. Flooring Porter will provide a firm examination of his credentials even if he was off the pace in Leopardstown. A threat could also be offered by the Champ of Nicky Henderson at 9/2 if he does not compete in the Gold Cup again. The old guard of Thyme Hill and Paisley Park are worth consideration for each-way bets, but they are unlikely to challenge for the crown.
He unleashed a special performance in the Desert Orchid Chase to send out a statement to his rivals, beating Greaneteen by 10 lengths at Kempton Park in December 2021. The French thoroughbred is a special competitor, and his Cheltenham betting odds are generous at 11/10, you should snap them up immediately before that price drops. Willie Mullins Energumene could provide the threat given his impressive record, but he has yet to race at Cheltenham or even England for that matter. It will be one of the races of the week, but Hendersons charge should have too much in his locker for his compatriot to cope with on the day.
Mullins will throw Sir Gerhard into action after he won the Champion Bumper at 2021 Cheltenham Festival and he claimed a victory at the Thorntons Recycling Maiden Hurdle in his first race of the 2021/22 National Hunt season. Given Mullins record in the event it is hard to look past Sir Gerhard, but Henderson has proven that when he has elite talent in his yard he tends to succeed. Altior and Shishkin defied the Mullins trend in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, Constitution Hill could well be the next great horse off the Henderson production line.
He won the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle in 2021 at the festival and followed it up with a strong run at the Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle to end his campaign on a high note. The French thoroughbred has been on the mark once more in the 2021/22 season with a dominant display in the Ballymaloe Relish Beginners Chase, winning the race by 22 lengths ahead of his nearest rival. His odds of 7/4 do not scream value, but he is certainly the horse to beat on the contest.
Paul Nicholls Bravemansgame has won all three of his races this term, notably the Kauto Star Novices Chase. If he can produce a similar performance at Cheltenham he could snatch the crown away from the charge of Mullins, and his odds of 4/1 do present value.
Popular Cheltenham Betting Markets
Over the winter months when the UK jump racing season is in full flow, everything builds towards the Cheltenham Festival, the climax of the national hunt campaign and the biggest horse racing betting occasion in the British calendar. Below we have listed some of the ways you can get involved with Cheltenham betting.
Ante-Post Cheltenham Betting
Ante-post betting is, quite simply, a bet on the outcome of an event that can be placed well before it even begins. While it can generate greater value, betting this far ahead of time does bring risks. If your selection doesn’t run, your stake will be deemed a loser, rather than voided. People often take the risk, though, due to the enhanced odds given as a result of the extra risk attached.
Best bookie for Ante-Post Cheltenham betting: Paddy Power
Singles and Each-Way betting
An each-way bet is basically two separate bets in one, made up of equal stakes. One half of the bet is reserved to back the outright winner, while the other half acts as a kind of insurance that rewards a place finish for a fraction of the odds. For example, a £5 each way (e/w) bet will cost £10 in total. The first bet is a bet on the horse to win and will be settled at the full odds given, while the second bet is a bet on the horse to be placed. The latter depends on the race’s length and number of runners, and can be anywhere between the 2nd and 5th places. It's usually ¼ or ⅕ of the odds, unless the bookmaker is running a promotion.
Best bookie for Singles and Each-Way Cheltenham betting: bet365
Forecasts & Reverse Forecasts
A forecastis a bet on the top two finishers of a race, say for example the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in which you have predicted the first and second places accurately. Working in a similar way to each-way bets, reverse forecasts are two-stake bets in which you have successfully predicted the top two finishers but have split your stake on them finishing in either order. This means that, as long as your two selections finish in the top two, you will get paid according to whichever order they finish in.
Best bookie for Forecasts and Reverse Forecasts in Cheltenham betting: betfair
A placepot goes live for every race meeting in the UK (in this case, Cheltenham) and is operated by the Tote, a one-time UK national bookmaker and pools service that was recently saved from administration. A placepot works by punters picking a horse to place in the first – or last – six races of a meeting. So long as your pick places in each race, your bet will pay out according to a figure generated by the Tote, which is divided by how many winners have also won the pot, similar to a lottery.
Best bookie for placepots at Cheltenham betting: bet365
An accumulator, or an ‘acca' as it is often referred to, is another popular bet that goes very well with horse racing. Essentially, it means to bet on the winner of a race in at least four different occasions. Because the rewards can be so large, there is a growing number of horse racing punters using their horse racing knowledge to predict multiple race winners and scoop potentially huge payouts. Beware, though – unless you have selected an each-way acca, a horse racing accumulator will only pay out if all of your selections win.
Best bookie for accumulators at Cheltenham betting: Paddy Power
Other Permutation bets
Betting permutation bets, also known as combination bets, are, like accumulators, multiple selection bets. However, they are broken down into minor bets such as doubles, trebles, four-folds and so on; in addition, if you so wish, you can include singles too.
While all of your picks need to win for a maximum payout, only a number of successful selections, or even one, are required to get a return on your investment. These bets are listed as a Trixie, which is made up of three selections and four bets (3 doubles and 1 treble), and becomes a 7-bet wager named a Patent when the 3 selections are included as singles too.
There are names for the corresponding bets with extra selections as well, such as a Yankee (4 runners), Canadian (5 runners) and a Heinz (6 runners) that, with singles, become a Lucky 15, Lucky 31 and Lucky 63 respectively.
Best betting site for other permutations in Cheltenham betting: Coral
Non-Runner No Bet
The non-runner no bet market is a vital one for Cheltenham betting considering the amount of horses that may be withdrawn by their owners and trainers before the race. Given the fact that you can place a bet on horses to compete and win their respective race at Cheltenham Festival well before the start of the race the insurance of knowing that your stake will be returned if they do not run is reassuring for punters. Horses can be withdrawn right until the start of the race for a litany of reasons, including injury or concerns over the quality of the ground, at the behest of either their owner or trainers. The best betting sites for Cheltenham Festival will provide the non-runner no bet promotion for the majority of the leading races of the week, which is music to the ears of bettors that might be fearful that their bet would fail even without their horse competing.
Best betting site for non-runner no bet for Cheltenham betting: bet365
Cheltenham Festival Tournament Structure
Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday of the second week in March. The festival starts with a bang with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, where the best fledgling hurdlers in the National Hunt compete for the first crown of the week. It is the turn of novice chasers next in the Arkle Chase before the attention turns to the Champion Hurdle, the second most lucrative race of the festival. Legends of the sport have claimed the Champion Hurdle crown, including See You Then, Istabraq and Buveur D’Air. The first day is more commonly known as Champions Day, and true greats of Cheltenham Festival have made their reputations in the opening act of the week.
Day Two is known as Ladies Day, and sees the staging of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase which features the fastest two-mile chasers around. The great Altior is one of the great champions of the past, and has made the Champion Chase one of the top spectacles of the week. The Brown Advisory Novices' Chase provides a test for the stayers of tomorrow is the first race of the day and features outstanding horses. Look out too for the Cross Country Chase, with which two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll announced his arrival as a thoroughbred of note.
Thursday is another huge day of thrilling national hunt racing at its finest, boasting not one but two Grade Ones, the Stayers' Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase, while the three-mile Pertemps Network Final is yet another quality charge.
On Friday, Gold Cup Day, one of racing’s most sought-after titles is put on the line in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. All owners, trainers and jockeys strive to win the prize to etch their place in the history of the festival and the sport itself. It has witnessed truly great races in its prestigious run and it never disappoints for drama given the calibre of competitors involved. Also taking place on the festival’s final day are the JCB Triumph Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, while the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle rounds off the Festival.
The Cheltenham Festival is the beginning of the end of the national hunt season, along with the Grand National, which takes place at Aintree usually on the first Saturday of April and is followed by the Scottish Grand National. As spring begins to take over, horse racing fans and bettors can look forward to the five classics as well as summer festivals, such as Glorious Goodwood and Royal Ascot. And, of course, virtual horse racing events run all year for fans who cannot wait that long.
Cheltenham Betting – Biggest Festival Races to Bet on
The Champion Hurdle is the feature race of Tuesday’s Day One, the first of four key championship races at the event. The race is run over 2 miles and ½ a furlong, and takes place on the old course at Cheltenham. Open to horses aged four or older, this race has in the past been dominated by Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson, two of the most successful trainers at the festival and incidentally worth following when making your picks. Past winners in this championship race include BuveurD'Air, Brave Inca and Faugheen. The Champion Hurdle is a must for Cheltenham betting.
Queen Mother Chase
The feature race of Day Two is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, a Grade 1 championship event run over two miles on the old course. It is the second of four Championship races and has a rich history, making it the highlight of Ladies Day. The race is open to horses five years old and up. Winners in previous years include Master Minded, Altior, Sprinter Sacre and Sizing Europe.
The Stayers' Hurdle
The Stayers’ Hurdle is the headline race of Day Three and, as the name suggests, tests the staying powers of racing’s elite hurdlers. The race is run over 3 miles on the new course and is open to all horses aged four and older. Over the years, this race has been won by some of the best horses in the history of jump racing such as Thistlecrack, Big Buck’s, Inglis Drever and Baracouda.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is arguably the premium jump race in the UK National Hunt season. It is an extremely prestigious Grade 1 race that takes place each year, usually on the second or third Friday in March. This Steeple Chase is run over a distance of 3 miles 2.5 furlongs and features 22 fences. Only horses five years or older that have a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) rating of 130 or more are eligible to enter.
Although classics, such as the St Leger, are reserved for flat races, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is as close as jump racing gets. When compiling Cheltenham betting tips, keep in mind that very much influencing Cheltenham odds is the King George VI Chase, which runs on Boxing Day at Kempton Park. Famous winners from yesteryear include Arkle, Desert Orchid, Best Mate, Kauto Star and Native River, only the last of which never won both.
Cheltenham Festival History
Operated by The Jockey Club, the Cheltenham race course is located on the edge of town, by the famous Cleeve Hill. The modern day Cheltenham Racecourse, complete with recently built grandstand, becomes the centre of the horse racing world for four days each March when it hosts its world-famous festival.
Cheltenham didn’t see its first horse race until 1815, when flat racing was staged on Nottingham Hill. By 1818, this had extended to five races on Cleeve Hill, which inspired the original grandstand to be opened for the following year. Back then, the meeting was based in August, and before long, had been extended to three days with a course officially laid out to match. Soon after, a trophy was added to proceedings, and the first ever Gold Cup was run as a three-mile flat race for three-year-olds.
As the meeting grew in popularity, it attracted the best and the worst of society, the latter of which set the grandstand a blaze in 1829, completely destroying it. In 1831, racing first began at Prestbury Park on the site of the current course before returning briefly to Cleeve Hill. As the turf deteriorated and the popularity of steeplechasing grew, Cleeve Hill gradually fell out of use. Around the same time, racing enthusiast William Baring Bingham purchased the Prestbury Park site, initially with the intention of using the site as a stud farm.
However, by 1902, Baring Bingham had established the modern course and with it, Cheltenham’s first National Hunt Festival, after which it was decided that Cheltenham should be the headquarters for steeplechasing in the UK.
For the first time in its history, Cheltenham Festival was raced behind closed doors to the public in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Only a select group of people were allowed within the venue either connected with the event, the competitors or as part of the media.
Famous Cheltenham Horses
- Istabraq was extremely popular at the Cheltenham Festival because he was a warrior who could display a stunning turn of speed when the vital moment arrived. Winning the Champions Hurdle three times, he might even have won it a fourth in 2001. However, that year’s event was called off due to a national outbreak of foot and mouth disease, probably the only thing that could have stopped this remarkable champion.
- A horse so popular he received fan mail, Arkle was another horse to have won three Gold Cups. He also collected three Leopardstown Chase wins, as well as the King George VI and two Hennessy Gold Cups over his remarkable career. It was a career in which he won 27 out of his 34 major outings, peaking in 1965 when he was seemingly unbeatable. Even more impressive was the fact that he would often be carrying two or three stone more than his rivals in handicaps - not that it could stop him. The second race of Cheltenham’s first day is named in his honour.
- Once labelled ‘the most complete chaser of the modern era’ by AP McCoy, Kauto Star was a legendary National Hunt horse and the first horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, only to lose it the following year when he came in second, then win it back again the following year.In 2009, he won the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park by a record-breaking 36 lengths - such was his overwhelming quality. In truth, Kauto Star had mixed success at Cheltenham, failing to finish in his first run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2006 before scooping the Gold Cup for the first time a year later. His last run in the Cheltenham Festival ended up being his final race, pulling up early in the 2012 Gold Cup to rule out another prestigious win.
- The winner of Gold Cup in 1989, and possibly the most famous thoroughbred racehorse in British history, Desert Orchid was known affectionately as 'Dessie'. He was a gutsy superstar and, with his grey colouring, eye-catching too, standing out from the rest of the field. Away from Cheltenham, he famously won another staple of the National Hunt season, the King George VI Chase at Kempton, four times. He was later buried at the Surrey course, where he is now immortalised in marble.
- The incredible Best Mate won a stunning Cheltenham Gold Cup three times in a row in 2002, 2003, and 2004, ridden by jockey Jim Culloty. Best Mate never fell at a fence and always finished in the top two, but sadly died in tragic circumstances of a heart attack at Exeter in 2005. He was such a well-loved horse that his death was front-page news, and his ashes are buried by the winner’s post at Cheltenham accompanied by a statue.
Al Boum Photo
- Al Boum Photo produced a fine performance to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2019 and then followed up his success to join an elite company of horses to win the event in back-to-back years. In 2021, the French thoroughbred made a fine run to compete for the crown for a third time, he finished third in the race to narrowly miss out on a monumental achievement. However, Al Boum Photo is not done yet and could be one to watch in 2022.
- Tiger Roll returned to prominence at Cheltenham Festival in 2021 after suffering a defeat at the event in 2020. The two-time Grand National winner was going for his third win in a row in the Cross Country Chase, but was beaten out by Easysland. Like all great champions, Tiger Roll responded to defeat and claimed his third crown in the Cross Country Chase with a dominant performance. He is just as much a Cheltenham horse as he is at Aintree.
Cheltenham Festival Betting Key Stats
- In 1934, Golden Miller became the first ever horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and follow it up with the Grand National in the same season.
- On 25 occasions, an Irish-trained horse has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
- In 2016, Ruby Walsh recorded six victories, which is a record amount of wins in one festival.
- The most consecutive victories by a horse record in any Cheltenham Festival is also six, and belongs to Quevega in the Mares’ Hurdle between 2009 and 2014.
- Katie Walsh became the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 race at Cheltenham during the 2018 festival, when she won the Champion Bumper.
- Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win a major championship race at Cheltenham Festival by triumphing in the Champion Hurdle on Honeysuckle in 2021.
Upcoming Sporting Events
Cheltenham Betting FAQs
Punters will be able to watch the Greatest Show on Turf on ITV 1 and ITV 4. ITV will also be showing 6 Cheltenham races live every day for the first time ever.
The 2022 Cheltenham Festival will take place between Tuesday and Friday, from the 15th – 18th March.
The festival takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse in Prestbury Park which is located on the outskirts of Cheltenham, a spa town in the English county of Gloucestershire.
There are four main championship races that headline each of the four days of the Cheltenham festival. These are: the Champions Hurdle, which runs on Tuesday, known as Champion Day; the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which goes on the Wednesday, otherwise referred to as Ladies' Day; the Stayers' Hurdle, which takes place on the Thursday, also known as St Patrick's Thursday whether it lands on March 17 or not; the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday (Gold Cup day). The Cheltenham Gold Cup offers the most prestigious prize in jump racing, and is considered to be the climax of the entire week.
The top two trainers in Cheltenham Festival history are Willie Mullins, who boasts 78 winners, followed closely by Nicky Henderson. In terms of jockeys, Willie Mullins’ favourite Ruby Walsh leads the way, with 58 winners to date at the Festival.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Climaxing in the Gold Cup on the fourth and final day of the meeting, the Cheltenham Festival is an epic week of elite horse racing, boasting the finest display of jump racing in the world. This is a true feast of national hunt racing that can be enjoyed by horse racing obsessives, horse lovers, those that maintain a minor interest in racing and those that simply love to bet. An even greater thing about this festival is that many bookmakers will promote a host of Cheltenham betting offers to take advantage of.
Make no mistake, the Gold Cup, while absolutely glorious, is just one small part of it. It is the fourth of four flagship events that are held over the week of the meet. Among the 28 races taking place, there is also the Champions Hurdle, the Queen Mothers Chase and the Stayers Hurdle to keep an eye on and, if you do your homework, maybe win a little bit on your Cheltenham bets too.