Rightly billed as The Greatest Show on Turf, the Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the National Hunt Horse Racing season. Our detailed 2023 Cheltenham betting guide has everything you need to know, from the latest odds to our expert tips and predictions!

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It’s finally here; the biggest and best horseracing event in the UK is back! This year Cheltenham Festival will host 28 races, over 500 horses and millions of viewers and punters. As always, it's going to be huge. 

Day 4: Gold Cup Day

It all leads up to this! The final day of the biggest horseracing event of the year, the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, will come to a close at the end of the day. But we still have some excellent races coming up, including the coveted Gold Cup – the biggest race of the event. Follow along for live updates of each race as it happens.

13:30: The JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • Kicking off the last day, the first race had plenty of action. Jupiter Du Gite had a particularly strong start to the race creating a five-length lead at one point; Blood Destiny quickly caught up; however, Lossiemouth and Jipcot overtook both. Lossiemouth – the favourite at odds 11/8 – held the lead for the rest of the race.
  • Paul Townend has won again at Cheltenham – it's another Irish winner to start us off.
  • The top four finishers in the race were all trained by Willie Mullins – talk about domination.

The favourite at odds of 11/8 – Lossiemouth wins the JCB Triumph Hurdle

14:10: The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race (Premier Handicap)

  • This year's County Hurdle featuring 26 horses was a closely contested affair. A surprisingly strong start from Highway One O Two, priced at 80/1, set the tone for how tight the event truly was. First place exchanged hands frequently, and it all came to a head coming up towards the last – eight horses were lined up coming over the last hurdle; Pied Piper and Faivoir landed the best jumps and lead the pack up to the finish.
  • Faivoir pipped Pied Piper by a head to come out on top – another win for trainer Dan Skelton.

It's another huge shock as Faivoir and Bridget Andrews win the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race priced at 33/1

14:50: The Albert Bartlett  Novices’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1)

  • The third race of the day did not disappoint. Most of the race was contested between Rock My Way (33/1) and Embassy Gardens (8/1) but Stay Away Fay picked up some speed and caught up to the leaders. The favourite, Corbetts Cross, mounted a comeback – putting the pressure on Stay Away Fay until tragedy struck – Corbets Cross ran outside on the last, throwing Mark Walsh off in the process.
  • Stay Away fay kept the lead – this is Harry Cabdon's second 2023 Cheltenham festival win.

Stay Away Fay – priced at 18/1 – held onto the lead, winning the Albert Bartlett  Novices’ Hurdle Race. The second time Harry Cabdon's second win of the event

15:30: The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

  • This is it. The biggest event of the festival – the Gold Cup! Ahoy Senor made a strong start, holding off the competition for a long stretch of the race. A huge blow! Ahoy Senor falls and hits A Plus Tard – A Plus Tard just holds on, but it's a big setback. Hewick takes the lead but also suffers a fall soon after –  Bravemansgame takes pole position until the final straight where Galopin Des Champs overtook – winning the Gold Cup
  • This is Paul Townend and Willie Mullins' third gold cup – their first with Galopin Des Champs
  • This is the 5th successive year that an Irish rider and Jockey have won the Gold Cup; it's the eighth in ten years.

Galopin Des Champs, Paul Townend and Willie Mullins have won the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase, priced at 7/5 favourites

16:10: The St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Steeple Chase

  • After a brilliant Gold Cup display – the Challenge Cup offered some great moments with strong starts from Rocky's Howya and Go Go Geronimo. Neither could hold on, and Premier Magic took the lead. Unbelievably, a loose horse (Secret Investor) out in front stopped running, holding up five other horses and giving Premier Magic a clear path to victory.
  • Bradley Gibbs is Premier Magic's jockey and trainer

The highest priced winner of the Cheltenham Festival at 66/1 – Premier Magic and Bradley Gibbs win the St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Steeple Chase

16:50: The Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Steeple Chase (Grade 2)

  • The Mares' Steeple chase kicked off with a false start – not the best way to get things going. What looked to be a two-horse race between Pink Legend and Zambella quickly shifted, with Allegorie De Vassy and Impervious taking the front foot at the last fence. Nothing could stop Impervious and her fierce gallop.
  • Impervious has four wins out of four on fences – she's proving to be a real talent.
  • sss

Impervious has won the Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Steeple Chase priced at 15/8

17:30: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145)

  • The final race of the Cheltenham Festival 2023 did not disappoint! An intensely fought battle with a brilliant climax – seven horses were in contention to win before the final fence. The distance between the top three and the following four grew, meaning it all came down to Iroko, No Ordinary Joe and Buddy One.
  • Iroko took the lead and finished first, giving his trainers, Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero their first Cheltenham victory.

Iroko and Aidan Kelly win the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, the final event of the festival

  • All owners, trainers and jockey compete for the major honours in the sport, which bring both notoriety and riches to the winning parties. Such is the demand among punters that, as soon as the ongoing Cheltenham Festival ends, leading bookmakers compile and release the odds for the following year’s festival.

2023 Cheltenham Betting Tips & Odds

Looking for the best bets for Cheltenham? Of course, you are. Let’s have a look at the odds below to see how runners and riders are faring ahead of some of the biggest races of this festival.

Champions Hurdle 2023 Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Constitution Hill2/7bet365
State Man5/2Coral
Vauban8/1Betway
Epatante16/1888sport
Echoes in Rain16/1Paddy Power
Honeysuckle20/1William Hill
Love Envoi25/1Coral
First Street40/1BoyleSports
Sharjah40/1888sport
I Live To Move It50/1BetVictor
Pied Piper50/1BoyleSports
Zanahiyr66/1Betway
Jason The Militant66/1Ladbrokes
Not So Sleepy66/1Parimatch

2023 Cheltenham Champions Hurdle Winner Tips

With the madness that is set to descend with the commencement of the festival, we have divulged our expert Cheltenham tips and handpicked a few races for you to mull over.

Starting with the Champion Hurdle, Constitution Hill is trading as the short-priced favourite at around 2/7, and last year produced one of the most impressive performances of the entire event. The gelding also compares favourably to Honeysuckle in the same race. Meanwhile, Epatante will be looking to run Constitution Hill close but is priced at around the 33/1 mark.

Meanwhile, the Champions Chase on the Wednesday will be worth keeping an eye on. Energumene provided Willie Mullins with success for the first time in this race 12 months ago, and it’s indeed hard to look past him when he’s available at 6/4. Having said that, the nine-year-old gelding flopped at the rescheduled Clarence House Chase in January, which was won by Editeur Du Gite instead. However, we are expecting Energumene to come back strong, so we wouldn't count him out just yet.

Champion Chase 2023 Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Energumene6/4William Hill
Edwardstone13/8bet365
Editeur Du Gite5/1Coral
Gentleman de Mete7/1Paddy Power
Blue Lord9/1Ladbrokes
Nube Negra16/1Unibet
Greaneteen20/1Coral
Funambule Sivola25/1Betfair
Captain Guinness40/110bet
Chacun Pour Soi33/1Betfred
Couer Sublime50/1Ladbrokes

Champion Chase 2023 Winner Tips

Heading up the betting in this prestigious race is once again Energumene, who appears to be the star act and will be looking to retain the crown he won 12 months ago. Available at 6/4, he finished third behind Editeur Du Gite and Edwardstone during his last outing at Cheltenham in the Clarence House Chase, so the conditions will suit him well.

If you are looking for value elsewhere, then Funambule Sivola, who is priced at 25/1, could be a good each-way selection, having enjoyed back-to-back wins in the Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase at Newbury. The eight-year-old also finished ahead of Greaneteen, who had to settle for third place.

Gold Cup 2023 Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Galopin Des Champs5/4bet365
Noble Yeats7/1Unibet
A Plus Tard8/1Betfair
Bravemansgame8/1BetVictor
Stattler8/1Coral
Conflated10/1Paddy Power
Ahoy Senor12/1William Hill
Protektorat14/1888sport
Minella Indo16/1Ladbrokes
Hewick18/110bet
Sounds Russian20/1Coral
Shishkin25/1BetVictor
Fury Road25/1bet365
Royal Pagaille33/1Betfair
The Real Whacker33/1BoyleSports

2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner Tips

Wrapping up the whole festival, The Gold Cup is set to present an impressive field with plenty of strong contenders. A Plus Tard galloped to victory here 12 months ago, but Galopin Des Champs is garnering the most attention from bookmakers. He’s had a superb season, having enjoyed victory in the Irish Gold Cup in Dublin, and it’s no surprise to see him head the betting market at around 5/4. He could take some stopping.

Elsewhere, Minella Indo could turn some heads, and is available at 16/1. Having been on the circuit for some time, big things are usually expected for Minella Indo, but perhaps a top-three finish is more likely.

Stayers’ Hurdle 2023 Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Blazing Khal9/4William Hill
Teahupoo3/1Paddy Power
Home By The Lee4/1BetVictor
Maries Rock5/1888sport
Flooring Porter6/1Betfred
Gold Tweet7/1BetVictor
Klassical Dream8/1Betfair
Ashdale Bob12/110bet
Paisley Park14/1bet365
Buzz14/1Ladbrokes
Haut En Couleurs14/1BoyleSports
Asterion Forlonge16/1William Hill
Dashel Drasher16/1Betfair
Sir Gerhard25/1Unibet
Sharjah33/1Unibet

Stayers’ Hurdle 2023 Winner Tips

At a short 9/4 to triumph, Blazing Khal will be hoping to set things alight in the Stayers’ Hurdle, despite suffering a slight setback with his preparations. Trainer Charles Byrnes has put the seven-year-old on antibiotics after injuring a fetlock in his winning run at Navan. He also claimed a victory of three lengths in the Boyne Hurdle, though, so he will garner plenty of interest.

However, we ought not to rule out Teahupoo, the 3/1 second-favourite with the bookies, as he boasts a superb record of eight wins from 11 starts over hurdles. After beating Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December, he then went on to win the Galmoy Hurdle last month.

In terms of the value choice, Flooring Porter is priced at around 6/1, even though he’s facing a race against time to be fit for Cheltenham.

Arkle Chase 2023 Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
El FabioloEVENSbet365
Jonbon6/4Paddy Power
Dysart Dynamo9/2888sport
Appreciate It7/1BetVictor
Haddex des Obeaux14/1William Hill
Final Orders16/1Coral
Saint Roi20/1Betfred
Banbridge25/1Unibet
Sir Gerhard25/1Unibet
Boothill33/1Betfair
Flame Bearer40/110bet
Fil Dor40/1bet365
Hollow Games50/1Paddy Power
Ha DOr50/1Unibet
Bass Rock50/1Coral

Arkle Chase 2023 Winner Tips

Featuring racehorses that are five years or older and with 13 fences to negotiate, the Arkle Chase will be keenly contested. Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer in this race's history, and he will be hoping Jonbon, who finished second 12 months ago, will provide him with an eighth winner. Jonbon is priced at 6/4 with most bookmakers, although he did suffer a scare when he was nearly pipped to the post by Calico in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase.

Meanwhile, Willie Mullins’ Dysart Dynamo could provide stiff competition when he stormed to a 28-length victory in a Paddy Power-sponsored race, laying out the field for what is sure to be a fascinating contest.

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2023 Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Facile Vega3/1William Hill
Marine Nationale3/1bet365
Il Etait Temps4/1BetVictor
Impaire Et Passe4/1Betfair
Luccia6/1Betfred
Tahmuras8/1888sport
Gaelic Warrior8/1Paddy Power
High Definition11/1BoyleSports
Diverge12/1Ladbrokes
Hunters Yarn14/1William Hill
Chasing Fire16/110bet
Inthepocket16/1Betway
Rare Edition20/1BoyleSports
Strong Leader20/1Parimatch

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2023 Winner Tips

The traditional curtain-raiser of the Cheltenham Festival, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle will be one to tune in for, with the name being talked up the most Facile Vega, the 3/1 favourite with most bookmakers. The six-year-old gelding has taken to hurdles like a duck to water, cruising to a debut win at Fairyhouse in December. Although he slumped to a surprise defeat at the Dublin Festival surrounded by elevated company, he will fancy the two-mile event.

One horse that could spring out of the pack and mount a challenge is Barry Connell's Marine Nationale, who is also trading at the 3/1 mark. The latter made a winning debut in the hurdles race at Punchestown, and he looks like a good stayer, so he should cope with the pace.

Brown Advisory Novices' Chase 2023 Winner Odds

HorseOddsBookmaker
Gerri Colombe2/1bet365
The Real Whacker4/1888sport
Thyme Hill5/1William Hill
Sir Gerhard6/1Unibet
Gaillard Du Mesnil6/1Betfred
Ramillies8/1Paddy Power
Thedevilscoachman10/1BetVictor
Mighty Potter16/1Unibet
James Du Berlais20/1Unibet
Galia Des Liteaux20/1Unibet
Thunder Rock20/1Ladbrokes
Stage Star20/1Unibet
Telmesomethinggirl33/1Betway
Kilcruit33/1Ladbrokes
I Am Maximus33/1Parimatch

Brown Advisory Novices' Chase 2023 Winner Tips

Going into this race, Gerri Colombe looks to be a class apart, and trainer Gordon Elliot could well have a future Gold Cup contender on his hands. Although he’s at a very short 2/1 with most bookmakers, arguably, there’s a lack of quality behind him in the field, so he could well justify that price. His last win at Sandown saw him rocket to the top of the betting markets for the Brown Advisory, and it’s not hard to see why.

Perhaps The Real Whacker, who is available at 4/1, might defy popular opinion. An undoubted star for Pat Neville, he could certainly make an impression, and if he can play his cards right, then the pace of the race could suit him nicely.

One of the best 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.

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 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.

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.

Forecasts & Reverse Forecasts

  • A forecast is 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.

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.

Accumulators

  • An accumulator, or ’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 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.

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 (three doubles and one treble), and becomes a 7-bet wager named a Patent when the three 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.

Non-Runner No Bet

  • The Non-Runner No Bet market is highly sought after by those who enjoy 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 well before the start of the contest, 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 the 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 who might be fearful of their bet failing even without their horse competing.

The Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday of the second week in March with a bang and takes place over the course of four days. While there are multiple races run daily over this period of time, we've highlighted the standouts for each day below.

Day 1: Tuesday, March 14Champions Day

The first day of the event is already upon us and we can't wait to see what will happen, Below you can find the program of the day, with details of what happened throughout the races: 

13:30: The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1)

  • It's all over! The first race of the Cheltenham Festival has concluded, and what a race it has been! The favourite, Falice Vega, was in the lead until the final hurdle which he struggled to get passed. This gave Marine Nationale a chance to swoop the lead and finish the race on top.
  • The top three jockeys of the race turned out to be Irish – not great news for the Brits
  • This is Michael O'Sullivan's first win at the Cheltenham Festival.

Ranked 3rd at odds of 9/2 ‘Marine National' and Michael O’Sullivan win The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race

14:10: The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

  • The second race of the day, and it was another classic. Dysart Dynamo spent most of the race out in front with El Fabiolo and Jonbon. Catastrophe struck as Dysart Dynamo fell on the final hurdle, giving El Fabiolo a chance to exact revenge over Jonbon.
  • This is the 24th win for jockey Paul Townend and his second in the Arkle.
  • So far it's Ireland two England nill as both winning jockeys are Irish.

The favourite at odds of 6/5 ‘El Fabiolo' and jockey Paul Townend have won the Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase

14:50: The Ultimate Handicap Steeple Chase (Premier Handicap)

  • Simply brilliant racing so far at the festival – in what seemed to be a massive upset, Harper's brook at 40/1 odds to the lead and managed to hold to it for a good while. That was until last year's champion Corach Rambler came out of nowhere to take and ultimately hold on to the lead.
  • The UK are finally on the scoreboard with a Scottish winner in Derek Fox although there is still yet to be an English winner.

The favourite at odds of 15/2 ‘Corach Rambler' and jockey Derek Fox have won the Ultimate Handicap Steeple Chase for the second time in a row

15:30: The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)

  • In one of the least shocking finishes so far Constitution Hill took the lead from ‘I Like To Move It' and never looked back, looking comfortably out in front with some distance behind him.
  • At 4/11 Constitution Hill is the shortest-priced winner of the Champion Hurdle
  • Nico de Boinville has etched his name on the history books winning the Gold Cup, The Champion Chase and finally the Champion Hurdle.

The heavy favourite ‘Constitution Hill' and jockey Nico De Boinville have won the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

16:10: The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1)

  • It was a special day indeed for the Mares' Hurdle Race, especially for Honeysuckle who would be competing at her last Cheltenham festival. The odds on favourite started strong but was overtaken by Love Envoi until the last hurdle – Honeysuckle showed her class and clinched victory for the final time. Emotional stuff!
  • This is Honeysuckle's fourth Cheltenham win and she'll go down as one of the great mares of a generation

It's a fairytale ending for Honeysuckle and Rachael Blackmore who win the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race as joint-favourites

16:50: The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race (Premier Handicap)

  • The penultimate showdown for day one of the Cheltenham Festival was yet another thrilling race with a climactic ending as three horses – Risk Belle, Byker and Jazzy Matty – remained neck and neck with Jazzy Matty coming out on top by a foot.
  • Yet another 1-2-3 finish for the Irish making it Ireland 4 – England 2 so far today
  • This is Michael O'Sullivan's second win of the day and his second win at Cheltenham.

Priced at 18/1 Jazzy Matty and Michael O'Sullivan come out on top at the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race

17:30: The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Steeple Chase) (Grade 2)

  • In what could be described as one of the most eventful races of the day, the Favourite Gaillard Du Mesnil had a terrible start to the race trailing at the very back of the pack. On the other end, Mahler Mission gains a strong – eight-length – lead with Chemical Energy behind.
  • Disaster struck before the last as Mahler Mission miss timed the jump and fell. Chemical Energy to the lead while Gaillard Du Mesnil quickly made his way to the front of the pack. Gaillard Du Mesnil was too strong and took the lead at the last winning the Challenge Cup.
  • Tragedy as Malinello, set at 125/1 odds, was in third place until he fell on the 16th hurdle and sadly suffered a fatal injury

The favourite at odds of 10/11 'Gaillard Du Mesnil' and jockey Patrick Mullins have won the National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

Day Two: Wednesday, March 15

Day 2: Festival Wednesday – Ladies Day

…And we’re back for day two of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, the first day threw up some brilliant performances, upsets and exciting matches all round. So far Michael O’Sullivan is the star on the saddle with two race wins – let's see who can best him today. 

The grass looks green for the Irish with five wins to the UK’s two, hopefully, we’ll see a closer contest today. Speaking of today’s matches, here's the full list of races with live updates on all that's happening.

13:30: The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Race (Grade 1)

  • The first race comes to a close; Champ Kiel held the lead from the off and looked confident in holding onto his victory. However, the resilience of Impaire Et Passe and jockey Paul Townend, meant that it wasn't to be. Impaire Et Passe came out on top with a fabulous display near the end.
  • This is Paul Towned's second win in this year's Cheltenham Festival and Impaire Et Passe has the potential to be a superstar.
  • The top three horses are all trained by the brilliant Irish trainer Willie Mullins.

The favourite at odds of 5/2 Impaire Et Passe and jockey Paul Townend have won the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Race

14:10: The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

  • A great race which saw an unbelievably close finish. The Real Whacker led throughout much of the second half of the race, and Bronn who was priced at 40/1 tailed behind until Gerri Colombe swooped in, catching up to The Real Whacker in the final few yards of the course.
  • Once officials reviewed the photos, The Real Whacker and jockey Sam Twiston-Davies came out on top.
  • It's England one, Ireland one – so far an evenly matched contest.

Priced at 13/2 The Real Whacker and Sam Twiston-Davies won the Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase

14:50: The Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (Premier Handicap)

  • The largest race of the day certainly did not disappoint! Watch House Cross spent much of the race in front until he was overtaken by Camprond near the end of the race. A terrible hurdle by Camprond gave An Epic Song an opportunity to overtake meanwhile from 6th place, Langer Dan mounted a superb march forward and overtook both Camprond and An Epic Song after the last.
  • Langer Dan ended the race in front by a head! The first Cheltenham win for the horse.

Langer Dan and jockey Harry Skelton have won the Coral Cup Hurdle – priced at odd of 10/1

15:30: The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

  • Editeur Du Gite started the race out front and held a decent lead for much of the race with last year's champion, and this year's favourite – Energumene – close behind. Editeur Du Gite looked to drop off allowing both Energumene and Captain Guinness to overtake.
  • In the end, there was no match for Energumene who flew passed ending the race about eight lengths in front.
  • Paul Townend has won his second race of the day and retained his Queen Mother Champion status – A brilliant display so far this year.

Favourites, Energumene with jockey Paul Townend have emerged victorious at the Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase, a repeat of last year

16:10: The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase

  • With the rain firmly pouring down, the racers set up for what proved to be a tight matchup. The lead exchanged hands almost a dozen times with seven different horses taking the lead at some point. the top two spots in fact had only taken the lead just before the last These were Delta Work (6/4) and Galvin (3/1). In the end, Delta Work edged out in front – winning the event.
  • Delta Work wins back-to-back Cross Country Chases – this year round with a different jockey, Keith Donoghue. This is Keith Donoghue's fourth victory, winning three times with Tiger Roll.
  • Trainer Gordon Elliott has now won the event five times in the last seven years!

The odds on favourite Delta Work has defended the title winning the Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase for the second year running

16:50: The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (Premier Handicap)

  • A huge upset for a huge event! with a closely contested battle from a number of great horses, odds on favourite Dinoblue (7/2) took the lead and held on to it for much of the race, falling into second a few times – but looking strong throughout. It wasn't until the penultimate hurdle, that momentum began to shift – rank outsider Maskada (22/1) held strong ploughing through the final hill and lading a great jump on the last.
  • Maskada is the highest-priced winner at this year's Cheltenham Festival so far at 22/1

In brilliant fashion, rank outsider Maskala wins the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup priced at 22/1

17.30: The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1)

  • The final race of day 2 – the Champion Bumper is preserved for young horses just starting out their racing careers. with 24 horses in the running and some great jockeys in the mix, the competition was fierce in the end the odds on favourite A Dream to Share took home the gold.
  • The finals standings were put into doubt as the first steward's enquiry was made. The final standings remained unaltered after the enquiry
  • 10 of the 24 horses were trained by prolific trainer Willie Mullins.

A Dream to Share has won the Weatherbys Champion Bumper with teenage jockey John Gleeson

Day 3: St. Patrick’s Thursday

Day 2 saw some great fan favourites and e couple of surprise underdogs taking home wins for their stables. Willie Mullins will be most pleased so far with four victories and the Irish should be feeling confident, with nine wins to the UK’s four.

Already halfway through the festival, Day 3 brings some of the most exciting races so far, most notably, the featured event, The Ryanair Steeple Chase and the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle. All the action of the third day will be brought to you live here, so keep your eyes peeled. 

13:30: The Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

  • An interesting race to start us off, with a very competitive bunch all keeping within 5 lengths from first to last throughout much of the race. In the end, it was still a one-horse race – Stage Star taking the lead from the off and holding on to it until the finish line. Notlongtillmay gave the fiercest competition finishing in second.
  • This is trainer Paul Nicholls‘ first Cheltenham Festival victory since 2020.

Priced at 15/2 Stage Star and Harry Cobden have won the Turners Novices’ Chase

14:10: The Pertemps Network Final (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (Listed)

  • What a race ladies and gentlemen! A great crop of racers with little to split them for much of the race – although Burrows Park took an eight lengths lead for a short while. Coming up to the last it was all to play for until, from second to last place, Good Time Jonny mounted a comeback. And what a comeback it was, by the last hurdle he made it to the middle of the pack, and kept pushing until he came out on top by a couple of lengths.
  • Liam McKenna has won his first event at the Cheltenham Festival 2023

With the comeback of dreams Good Time Jonny and Liam McKenna have won the Pertemps Network Final, priced at 10/1

14:50: The Ryanair Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

  • This is the feature event for the afternoon
  • Exciting stuff as expected, what wasn't expected was the terrible display by favourite Shishkin who remained back marker for the duration of the race. At the opposite end, Chacun Pour Soi rolled back the years and kept a mighty lead up front, but his tired legs couldn't hold him, finishing last.
  • In the end, Envoi Allen took the lead just after the last, securing his third Cheltenham festival win.
  • Rachael Blackmore has won her second event of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival

Envoi Allen has won the Ryanair Steeple Chase with Rachael Blackmore at odds of 10/1

15:30: The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • The other big event of the day was one to watch, Flooring Porter quickly established a lead over the rest of the pack, at some points even maintaining a four-length gap from second-placed Dashel Drasher. It all came down to the final stages, Dashel Drasher closed the gap and looked to be in front before the last, Sire Du Berlais had also caught up and in the last 1/2 furlong took the lead and won the stayers!
  • A stewards enquiry has led to an amendment of the result Dashel Drasher has been demoted to third and Teahupoo is placed in second.
  • This is Sire Du Berlais' third festival victory at the age of 11 and Mark Walsh's eighth festival victory as well.

Sire Du Berlais wins the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle priced at a massive 33/1

16:10: The Magners Plate (A Handicap Steeple Chase) (Premier Handicap)

  • The Magnars Plate was essentially a two-horse race, neither of which you would expect. Coole Cody (28/1) took the lead over the first jump and held onto it for a while until Seddon overtook him, Coole Cody couldn't keep up and ended the race in 7th. Seddon could and despite some pressure, held on the pole position.
  • Yet another Irish trainer and Irish jockey have won at the Cheltenham Festival.

Priced at 20/1 Seddon has won the Magners Plate with jockey Ben Harvey

16:50: The Jack de Bromhead Mares Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

  • Named after the late son of trainer Henry De Bromhead, another unlikely winner took charge of this event. You Wear It Well took the lead after some brilliant jumping. There were a couple of close battles but it looked more like a race for second place – which Magical Zoe secured.
  • It's an English winner! Jamie Snowden the trainer, and Gavin Sheehan as the jockey.

The event served as a great tribute to Jack De Bromhead and a sweet victory for You Wear it Well

17:30: Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup (sponsored by the JRL Group) Handicap Steeple Chase (0-145)

  • Last but not least, 26 horses took to the starting line in one of the closest races of the day. With some tough competition, over half a dozen racers took the lead at some point in the race, it came down to the wire with an almost photo finish between Angels Dawn and Stumptown

Angels Dawn claimed victory, priced out at 10/1 in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase

Day Four: Friday, March 17

On Friday, Gold Cup Day, one of racing’s most sought-after titles is put on the line with 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 entire Festival and brings it to a close.

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 are interested in placing a few bets in between real-life events.

With so many high-profile races taking place over the course of four days, it can be overwhelming to decide which races to bet on. In this section, we will take a closer look at the biggest festival races and some background information on each.

Champion Hurdle (Day One)

A must for Cheltenham betting, 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.

Queen Mother Chase (Day Two)

The feature race of Day Two is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, a Grade 1 championship event run over 2 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 Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle (Day Three)

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.

The Ryanair Chase (Day Three)

A relatively new addition to the Cheltenham Festival schedule, having only been introduced in 2005, the Ryanair Chase has established itself as one of the highlights of the four-day meeting.

Spanning 2 miles and 4 furlongs, as well as 17 fences, this is the ideal intermediate race for those horses that won’t contend in the Gold Cup. The Jonjo-O’Neill-trained Albertas Run is the only two-time winner here.

Cheltenham Gold Cup (Day Four)

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. Run over a distance of 3 miles 2.5 furlongs, it also 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.

Operated by The Jockey Club, the Cheltenham race course is located on the edge of town by the famous Cleeve Hill. Complete with recently built grandstand, it 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 steeple chasing 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, and those had to be connected with the event either as competitors or as part of the media.

In 2022, 3/1 favourite A Plus Tard took home the spoils in the Gold Cup, causing Rachel Blackmore to become the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle and Grand National as well.

Famous Cheltenham Horses

Istabraq

  • Well-beloved at the Cheltenham Festival, Istabraq 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. Throughout the latter, 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.

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.

Al Boum Photo

  • Al Boum Photo produced a fine performance to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2019, following up his success in 2020. In 2021, the French thoroughbred made a fine run to compete for the crown, finishing third in the race to narrowly miss out on a monumental achievement. In 2022, he retired to embark on an eventing career, but will always be remembered for his back-to-back wins as a Dual Gold Cup Hero.

Tiger Roll

  • 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. However, in 2022, he gave his farewell performance in the festival's Cross Country Chase, and has now been retrained for the show ring.
  • 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 Gold Cup is the richest non-handicap race in Britain, with a prize fund totalling £625,000.
  • 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.

Our top three picks for the best Cheltenham betting sites are Paddy Power, William Hill, and Betway.

William Hill has one of the best betting apps, along with bet365, as both offer a wide selection of markets and livestreaming options for all races.

Punters will be able to watch the Greatest Show on Turf on ITV 1 and ITV 4.

The 2023 Cheltenham Festival will start on Tuesday 14th March and finish on Friday 17th 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.

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 lovers, those that maintain a minor interest in the sport, 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.

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Sant Fournier
View all posts by Jeremy Sant Fournier

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s sports. A football fanatic at heart, Jeremy can always been found watching, playing or talking about sports. It’s in his blood, and with a keen interest in sports betting, sports writing is a match made in heaven.

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