The 10 Best Cheltenham Betting Sites – Odds, Tips & Predictions

Best Betting Sites We Recommend for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival

#1
bet365
  • Brilliant Cheltenham betting odds
  • Exciting horse racing offers
  • Up to £100 for new customers
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. #ad

#2
Betfair
  • NRNB on ALL Cheltenham 2021 races
  • Fantastic horse racing odds
  • £100 in free bets
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

New customer offer. Place 5 x £10or more bets to receive £20in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. #ad

#3
Paddy Power
  • Fantastic range of Cheltenham markets
  • NRNB on all races
  • £20 risk free bet
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply. #ad

#4
Colossus_Logo
Colossus Bets
  • Pool based betting site
  • Market variety worthy of their name
  • Horse racing a top priority
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Colossus Bets will match the value of your first 72 hours of play in bonus funds up to £100 (or currency equivalent). The time starts counting from the point when you make your first real money (not FreePlay) bet and the maximum amount of bonus funds that can be awarded to each new player is £100. You can use your bonus funds to fund any bet into a Colossus pool. Colossus Bets will automatically use bonus funds ahead of cash to fund your bets. You can use a combination of bonus funds and cash to fund a bet. Bonus funds may take up to 3 working days to be credited to your account after the completion of the 72-hour period and you have 12 months to use them. T&Cs apply. 18+ #ad

#5
Marathon Bet logo
Marathonbet
  • Fantastic for statistical details
  • No nonsense design
  • Deposit £20 get £20 welcome offer
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

New Customer Offer - Open to new accounts only. Deposit £20 and turnover your deposit five (5) times on the Sportsbook - trebles and accumulators (with three or more selections only), minimum odds each selection 1/2 (1.50) - and you’ll receive a £20 Free Bet. Additional deposits may be required in order to fulfil the turnover conditions, which must be met within 90 days of depositing. Bets placed using Free Bets or Bonus funds, or bets that have been Cashed Out, do not count towards turnover requirements. The Free Bet will expire seven days after being credited and can only be placed as a win only single bet on the Sportsbook. Free Bet stake not included in returns. #ad

#6
William Hill
  • Huge Ante-Post Market
  • Bet Boost Your Own Odds
  • Price Boosting Available
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

T&Cs: New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full terms below. #ad

#7
Coral
  • Fail To Finish Insurance
  • Horse Racing Specialists
  • Enhanced Accas
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £5 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 2 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply. #ad

#8
BetVictor
BetVictor
  • Best UK/Ireland horse racing odds
  • Very good Cheltenham Offers
  • Bet £5 Get £30
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly #ad

#9
Sportingbet
Sportingbet
  • Horse racing a key focus
  • Markets backed by NRNB promotion
  • Form and track details available
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+ | New players only | Min deposit req. £10 ; excludes deposits via PayPal | Max stake £10 | Min Odds 1/1 (2.0) | Max FreeBet £10 | Excl Horse Racing | T&Cs apply #ad

#10
MansionBet
  • Cheltenham promotions offered
  • Sections dedicated to statistics, and results
  • Bet £10 Get £20
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

• Stake £10+ on any of our wide range of sports • Get a £20 Free Bet bonus, made up of 2x £10 Free Bets • Get your first £10 Free Bet upon qualifying bet settlement • After your first £10 Free Bet has been settled, the remaining £10 Free Bet will then be credited to your account #ad

Cheltenham Betting Offers

SBK – Deposit £20 Get £20 Risk Free
MansionBet – Bet £10 get £20
Bet365 – Up to £100 Bet Credits
Coral – Bet £5 Get £20
Ladbrokes – Bet £5 Get £20

Cheltenham NRNB Offers

Full List of 2021 Cheltenham NRNB Bookies

#1
bet365
  • NRNB on all races
#2
Paddy Power
  • NRNB on all races
#3
Betfair
  • NRNB on all races
#4
Betfred
  • NRNB on the below races:
  • Champion Hurdle
  • Champion Chase
  • Stayers Hurdle
  • Gold Cup
#5
BetVictor
BetVictor
  • NRNB on all races
#6
Coral
  • NRNB on all races
#7
bwin
  • NRNB on all races
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+ | New UK players only | Min deposit req. £10 | Certain deposit methods excluded | Place 1 sport bet (3+ selections) | Excl Horse Racing | Min stake £10 | Max stake £20 | Min Odds 1/5 (1.5) for each selection | Max FreeBet £20 for football only | FreeBet valid for 7 days| FreeBet stake not returned | T&Cs apply #ad

#8
Ladbrokes
  • NRNB on all races
#9
SportNation
  • NRNB on all races
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Valid for new UK customers who have registered from 15/02/2021. Qualifying stake must be on Horse Racing, Premier League, Championship or Champions League home or away selections. Free Bets have minimum odds of 1.2. Minimum odds of 1.8 on qualifying bet. Bets on the draw will not qualify for a free bet. Valid once per customer. Free Bet valid for 7 days. Free Bet max winnings is 20x Free Bet stake

#10
Sportingbet
Sportingbet
  • NRNB on all races
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+ | New players only | Min deposit req. £10 ; excludes deposits via PayPal | Max stake £10 | Min Odds 1/1 (2.0) | Max FreeBet £10 | Excl Horse Racing | T&Cs apply #ad

#11
MansionBet
  • NRNB on all races
#12
BoyleSports
  • NRNB on the below races:
  • Champion Hurdle
  • Champion Chase
  • Ryanair Chase
  • Stayers Hurdle
  • Gold Cup
#13
Unibet
  • NRNB on all races
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 35x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

#14
888sport
  • Awaiting Confirmation...
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Deposit methods, Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. #ad

#15
Marathon Bet logo
Marathonbet
  • Awaiting Confirmation...
#16
William Hill
  • Awaiting confirmation…

 

2021 Cheltenham Betting Odds, Tips & Predictions

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival is due to begin on Tuesday 16th March and end the same week on Friday 19thQuite rightly billed as The Greatest Show on Turf, the Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the British National Hunt Horse Racing season. Offering over £4 million in prize money, the festival itself is the biggest of its kind in horse racing, attracting some 250,000 people to the stunning Cotswold Hills for four days of exciting equine action. Of course, this makes for some incredible Cheltenham betting opportunities!

 

2021 Cheltenham Betting Odds

Below are the latest Cheltenham betting odds for this year’s festival.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Al Boum Photo5/2Bet365
A Plus Tard10/3BetFair
Champ11/2Paddy Power
Minella Indo15/2BetFair
Santini11/1Paddy Power
Native River14/1Paddy Power
Royale Pagaille16/1Bet365
Kemboy18/1BetFair
Frodon16/1Bet365
Lostintranslation28/1Bet365

Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Paisley Park15/8Betfair
Sire Du Berlais9/2Betfair
Roksana7/1Bet365
Flooring Porter7/1Paddy Power
Vinndication8/1Bet365
The Storyteller10/1Bet365
Lisnagar Osscar8/1Betfair
Fury Road7/1Paddy Power
Beacon Edge20/1Betfair
If The Cap Fits16/1Bet365

Cheltenham Ryanair Chase Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Min4/1Paddy Power
Allaho9/2Bet365
Fakir Doudairies9/2BetFair
Melon7/1Bet365
Samcro8/1Bet365
Mister Fisher17/2Paddy Power
Imperial Aura17/2BetFair
Tornado Flyer28/1BetFair
Chriss Dream 33/1Paddy Power
Kalashnikov28/1Paddy Power

 

2021 Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips & Predictions

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner Tips

Two times Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo looks set to go off as favourite but, over recent weeks, the movement has been on Champ who is seemingly favoured over A Plus Tard to take down the biggest race in National Hunt racing. Champ, named in honour of the record breaking champion jockey, AP McCoy, comes from Nicky Henderson’s yard and the gelding now a best price of 5/1 which is thinning all of the time. A Plus Tard’s odds are slimming too, just at a slower rate. What we can use as a guide is that A Plus Tard won the Savills Gold Cup at Leopardstown while Champ took down the RSA Novices Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. Caution is advised however as neither of these two contested a race over fences over more than three miles and half a furlong unlike Al Boum Photo who has two wins here and is aiming for legendary status. He did extremely well last year when it didn’t look like going his way but the field this year could be more favourable, especially accounting for the inclusion of Native River and Frodon.

Cheltenham Champion Chase Winner Tips

Day two’s highlight sees Chacun Pour Soi the heavy favourite with a 10/11 price that might be a little too skinny for some bearing in mind that we still have a few weeks to go for they go off and this is a horse that has no previous Cheltenham experience. We turn our attention instead then to Nube Negra. Dan Skelton’s young chaser caught the eye at Kempton over the Christmas period when he landed the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase. That day he lined up alongside former Champion Chase winner Altior, who is also worthy of your consideration here once again should he participate. A winner of the 2018 Neptune Novices Hurdle, Samcro rediscovered his top form when he won the last year’s Marsh Novices Chase last season and, if entered here rather than the Ryanair Chase, could be a recommended runner. He has, after all, won five out of seven jump races and is another who enjoyed the festive season, winning a Grade 1 at Leopardstown.

Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle Winner Tips

Day three’s biggie pits Paisley Park against Thyme Hill once again, with us favouring the latter. This season’s trilogy between the pair currently stands at 1-1 with one left to play. Last year at Newbury it was Thyme Hill who came out on top only for the pair to switch positions in an Ascot based follow-up three weeks later. Going by the bookies, Paisley Park is just a cut-in in the markets but then he was odds-on this time lasty year and blew it entirely, leaving Lisnagar Oscar to nick a surprise victory. It looks very much like becoming a battle between the favoured two. Elsewhere other names to ponder include Sire Du Berlais and Fury Road.

Cheltenham Champion Hurdle Winner Tips

Honeysuckle is the current Champion Hurdle favourite, but it is returning hero Epatante who is looking to make it back to victories. He will need to improve upon his disappointing Boxing Day display where he lost to Silver Streak in the Christmas Hurdle if he is to achieve his Cheltenham goals. Like us, there will be many put off of Epatante over that yuletide run, meaning Honeysuckle takes precedence. 2017 and 2018 winner, Buveur D’Air, will also be back in the hunt following a 14-month injury break. Concertista is another worth investigating further as is Aspire Tower, while Silver Streak offers running consistency.

Cheltenham Ryanair Chase Winner Tips

The money line is closing in on Min as he in turn closes in on Allaho, the fancied favourite as the point of writing. Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old Allaho might be the favourite right now but last year’s second placer in this race, Saint Calvados, is where our experts are leaning right now. He was unlucky not to win a year ago, messing up on the final hurdle. Had he have cleared it properly, it’s not unlikely he would have gone on to win and he has two years on Min. In the King George too, he jumped well and stayed in touch to Frodon. As for the claims of Min, he is certainly proving popular and his backers are ensuring his price is dropping by the day for a repeat success.

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.

Ant-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: Ladbrokes

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: Betfair

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

Placepots

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

Accumulators

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: Betsafe

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 sites for other permutations in Cheltenham betting: NetBet

 

Best Cheltenham Betting Sites – Top 10 Ranked

#1 – bet365

#2 – betfair

#3 – Paddy Power

#4 – Colossus Bets

#5 – Marathonbet

#6 – William Hill

#7 – Coral

#8 – BetVictor

#9 – Sportingbet

#10 – MansionBet

 

Cheltenham Festival Tournament Structure

As ever, Tuesday is opening day of Cheltenham, although it is more commonly referred to as Champions Day. The opening event is the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, which features the best young hurdlers around. The Arkle also runs on Day One, as does the Unibet Champion Hurdle, which has in turn been won by some true legends over the years, including Brave Inca, Persian War and Istabraq.

Day Two is known as Ladies Day, and sees the staging of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase which features the fastest two-milers around. This is swiftly followed by the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase, which provides a test for the stayers of tomorrow. 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. 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 – Schedule

Keep your Cheltenham betting up-to-date with our detailed schedule of events for duration of the Cheltenham Festival.

Tuesday, March 16: Cheltenham Day 1

Time (GMT)EventDistancePrize Money
13.30Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 87y£125,000
14.10Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase (Grade 1)1m 7f 199y£175,000
14.50Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3)3m 1f £110,000
15.30Unibet Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 87y £450,000
16.10David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 3f 200y£120,000
16.50Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed)2m 4f 44y£70,000
17.30National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders' Novices' Chase) (Grade 2)3m 7f 147y£125,000

Wednesday, March 17: Cheltenham Day 2

Time (GMT)EventDistancePrize Money
13.30Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 5f£125,000
14.10RSA Insurance Novices' Chase (Grade 1)3m 80y£175,000
14.50Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)2m 5f£100,000
15.30Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)1m 7f 99y£400,000
16.10Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase3m 6f 37y£65,000
16.50Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)2m 87y£80,000
17.30Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1)2m 87y£75,000

Thursday, March 18: Cheltenham Day 3

Time (GMT)EventDistancePrize Money
13.30MARSH Novices' Chase (Grade 1)2m 3f 166y £150,000
14.10Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3)2m 7f 213y£100,000
14.50Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)2m 4f 127y £350,000
15.30Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 7f 213y £325,000
16.10Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3)2m 4f 166y£110,000
16.50Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2)2m 179y£90,000
17.30Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase (Grade 2)3m 2f£70,000

Friday, March 19: Cheltenham Day 4

Time (GMT)EventDistancePrize Money
13.30JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 179y £125,000
14.10Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)2m 179y £100,000
14.50Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)2m 7f 213y£125,000
15.30Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1)3m 2f 70y £625,000
16.10St James's Place Foxhunter Chase (Grade 2)3m 2f 70y £45,000
16.50Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3)2m 62y£110,000
17.30Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (0-145)2m 4f 56y £70,000

 

Cheltenham Betting – Biggest Festival Races to Bet on

Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle is the feature race of Tuesday’s Day One, making it the first Grade 1 of the festival and 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’s 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 2½ 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.

Famous Cheltenham Horses

Istabraq

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.

Arkle

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.

Kauto Star

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.

New customers only, bet up to €/£20 on the Exchange and if your first bet loses, we’ll refund you €20 in Cash. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. T&Cs apply.

Desert Orchid

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.

Best Mate

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.

 

Cheltenham 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.

 

Upcoming Sporting Events

 

Cheltenham Betting FAQs

⚖️ What are the best Cheltenham betting sites?

We're happy to say that the best betting sites for any and all Cheltenham betting are William Hill, Coral and BetVictor.

🛡️ Where can I watch the Cheltenham Festival?

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.

✅ When is the Cheltenham Festival?

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival will take place between Tuesday and Friday, from the 16th - 19th March.

🏆 Where is the Cheltenham Festival held?

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.

🛡️ What are the big Cheltenham races?

There are four main championship races that headline each of the four days of the Cheltenham festival. These are:

  1. the Champions Hurdle, which runs on Tuesday, known as Champion Day;
  2. the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which goes on the Wednesday, otherwise referred to as Ladies' Day;
  3. the Stayers' Hurdle, which takes place on the Thursday, also known as St Patrick's Thursday whether it lands on March 17 or not;
  4. 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.

⚖️ Who has the most winners at Cheltenham?

The top two trainers in Cheltenham Festival history are Willie Mullins, who boasts 65 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.