Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide, Odds, Offers and TV Schedule
The Cheltenham Festival kicks off next week on Tuesday, with four days of top quality horse racing action coming from the track. This is the big week of the year for national hunt punters, and with 28 fantastic races to look forward to over a number of different distances there is plenty to get excited about.
Cheltenham Festival TV Schedule
The festival begins on Tuesday 12th March and runs until Friday 15th March, with seven races on each day. The times are kept the same throughout the week, with the first race taking place at 1:30 pm and the final race going off at 5:30 pm. Right in the middle of the day at 3:30 pm, you will find the feature race of that particular day, where the very best horses come together.
Those watching at home on TV will have to tune in to ITV to catch the action on terrestrial television. They have five races on live each day, which are the first five on the card. To catch the last two, you will need a Racing TV subscription or place a bet with a bookmaker that offers a streaming service that you can take advantage of.
Cheltenham Big Race Previews
Tuesday – Champion Hurdle
A fascinating match between the two-time champion Buveur D’Air and the well-liked Irish mare Apple’s Jade. The bookmakers can’t split them right now, priced up at 9/4, and neither can the punters but one thing I do know is that if either one of these two wins the race then you will hear the roof come off Cheltenham.
Apple’s Jade has shown she is as good as ever this season, and more importantly, she has shown that over two miles. She gets a hugely valuable seven pounds allowance for being a mare, and that could swing it in her favour on the day.
Buveur D’Air deserves a lot of respect for winning the past two Champion Hurdle’s, but he has never faced a horse as talented as Apple’s Jade, and my feeling is that she will just be too strong for him.
Wednesday – Queen Mother Champion Chase
This race is simply all about one horse, and that is Altior. He comes here 16 races unbeaten and looking to make history with his 17th win. He has shown that he is far too good for anything else in the race, and will go down as one of the bankers of the meeting for many punters who are placing accumulators across the week.
Opposition is thin on the ground, with many horses swerving the race and running in the Ryanair instead, which looks wide open. Min is a horse that has the potential to pick up the pieces if for some reason Altior doesn’t fire, but this really should be a procession.
Thursday – Stayers Hurdle
This is a wide open division that some have called weak in the past and they are probably not too far wrong. We have two possible stories here, one is that a young horse comes forward and dominates the division for years to come, and the other is that a loveable 11-year-old comes and steals the show at Cheltenham one last time.
The first horse is Paisley Park, who is the favourite for the race and comes here on the back of four wins out of four this season. He is very much an up and coming young horse, and if he can land the stayers this season, you certainly wouldn’t bet against him doing it again in the future. He had many of his rivals behind him when winning at this course in January, and they are going to have to do something out of the ordinary to turn around that form.
The older statesman is Faugheen, who has won a Champion Hurdle before in his career but after injuries and old age, he now needs further to be seen to better effect. He is reportedly working very well at home, and fancied by many in Ireland to run a big race here. He is another winner that would lift the roof off Cheltenham, given how popular he is with punters.
Having said that, while we would all love to see the Faugheen fairy tale come to life, I think Paisley Park is well ahead of anything else in this race. He is emerging as a genuine staying star, and I fancy him to shine on the biggest stage of them all and is currently available at 7/4.
Friday – Gold Cup
The feature race of the entire meeting, and probably the most wide open of the four feature races across the festival. This really could go to anyone, and we have a number of different angles to look at. The weather is turning and the rain is falling, so expect soft ground by the time we get to this race on Friday.
That will suit Native River, who won the Gold Cup last year under similar conditions. The tougher the battle, the better for him as he looks to land back to back titles. However, he has not been as impressive this season, although the races he has run in have not fully suited his style of running.
Might Bite was second behind him last year, and he has been very poor this season. He has had a minor operation to correct something, but he needs to really bounce back massively to have any chance based on this season’s form.
There are two young pretenders here, with Clan Des Obeaux and Presenting Percy. The first mentioned won the King George on Boxing Day, having many of his rivals behind him on that day, while Presenting Percy has had a bizarre build-up and hasn’t been seen over fences this season at all.
With the race being so open, and question marks hanging over many runners, it may be best to look at some each way alternatives to the front runners in the betting. Anibale Fly ran a fantastic trial last time out over a trip that was far too short. I really like him and he offers good value right now, while the other horse I like is Elegant Escape. He will love a slog and the more rain the better for him. He will need every inch of this trip, but he will be staying on past beaten horses when they are struggling, and that could be enough for him to run into a place. Both horses are available at 25/1 and offer value against the field in a wide-open Gold Cup.
Cheltenham Festival Betting Offers
BetVictor – Free Bet for Every Race of the Cheltenham Festival
This BetVictor offer is open to new customers only, who opt-in when they sign up and it is a great way to give yourself a free bet for every single race at the Cheltenham Festival this year. Simply open an account with them and place a bet of £5 or more at odds of evens or greater. This will unlock your bonus, which is £10 in casino bonus funds and the 7 x £1 free bet tokens, credited to your account for each day of the festival.
This means the total offer here is £10 in casino funds, and £28 in free bets for the Cheltenham Festival, an ideal offer for those betting at the festival to take advantage of.
Coral – First Race Everyday Double Winnings in Cash up to £25
This offer is open to new and existing Coral customers, and a great way to get additional winnings if you are lucky enough to back the winner of the first race on any day of the festival. This offer will double your winnings on the first race, excluding your stake, up to a maximum of £25. This means, even more, being returned and allowing you to use those funds to place further bets with Coral at the festival as the day goes on.
If you are looking for an offer that gives you a boost to your winnings at the festival then this is certainly it.
Paddy Power – Money Back as a Free Bet if Your Horse Finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th on Day One
Paddy Power has a consolation offer for the first day of the festival which is available to new and existing customers. If you place a bet with them on any race during the first day of the festival, if your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th then they will refund your stake as a free bet, up to a maximum value of £10 per race. If you have plenty of fancies on day one then this offer is a great way to cover yourself and earn some free bets if you just miss out on winners.
NetBet – First Race Refund Every Day at Cheltenham up to £10
This is another offer on the first race of each day that is open to new and existing customers of NetBet. They are offering their customers a refund up to a maximum of £10 as a free bet if their horse places in the first race of the day, but does not win. The minimum odds you need to bet at for this offer to apply are 2/1, but this is a great way to get your money back as cover if your horse places but doesn’t quite win.