One of the most anticipated horse racing events in the UK, the Cheltenham Festival 2018 will give punters the opportunity to take home some huge winnings this coming spring. For the very best Cheltenham betting 2018 odds and to keep track of all the action via live stream, register today at Ladbrokes and bet365, two of the best online bookmakers on the planet.
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Use the following horse racing bets and tips guide to ensure you make all the right selections to give you the best chance to make the most educated bets possible when the Cheltenham Festival kicks off on Tuesday March 13th 2018.
Cheltenham Betting 2018: Festival Overview
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the premier horse racing events in the UK National Hunt racing calendar. With prize money second only to the Grand National and competitive betting odds on most of the races, the Cheltenham Festival brings in huge interest amongst betting and horse racing enthusiasts. The Cheltenham Festival 2018 is expected to bring in more than 200,000 viewers over the 4 days, with over £500 million being gambled throughout the week, and many punters save up a tank to bet solely on the best racing of the entire year.
The Cheltenham Festival takes place during the month of March, and includes several Grade 1 races such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and World Hurdle. The prizes at the Cheltenham Festival are known for being some of the highest amongst UK racing events with races like the Cheltenham Gold Cup having purses above £500,000.
Hundreds of millions of pounds are bet over the Cheltenham Festival week making it one of the most lucrative and anticipated horse racing events in the world. Due to the overlapping with St Patrick’s day the Festival is especially popular with Irish punters, and every winner is given a heroes reception (especially if it happens to be a well backed favourite).
Cheltenham Festival Venue
The Festival has always taken place at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The racecourse is capable of holding up to 67,500 spectators and consists of two separate courses known as the Old Course and the New Course. A balanced split of both courses is used for the races at the Cheltenham Festival– both courses host 13 races. One race, the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, is run on the Cheltenham Cross Country Course.
The Old Course is used traditionally on the first two days on the Cheltenham Festival. The old course is a 1-mile and 4-furlong oval shaped racecourse which has a 350 yard run-in. The course is left-handed and it features nine fences and six hurdles.
The fences on the Cheltenham Old Course can be particularly challenging for riders, with open ditches on the 4th and 6th fences and a water jump on the 3rd fence. The layout of the Cheltenham Old Course is known for testing the stamina of jockeys while keeping up a brisk pace. Often the jockeys can go for home far too soon given the competitive nature of the racing at this meeting, and a patient hold-ride is usually the best thing to look for when searching for winners.
The second half of the Cheltenham Festival is run on the New Course. The New Course is a 1-mile and 5-furlong oval shaped racecourse with a 220 yard run-in. The course is left-handed and is well-known for having notoriously stiff fences and six hurdles.
The 3rd and 5th fences of the New Course contain open ditches. A water jump is located on the 2nd fence of the course. The new course uses the same surface as the old course, which encourages high paced running. Even with the fast pace of the races on the New Course stamina is still regarded as the most important attribute for a racehorse to possess on this very demanding racecourse.
The Cheltenham Cross Country Course
The Cheltenham Cross Country Course is a relatively new addition to the Cheltenham Racecourse facilities. It was created by using natural obstacles whilst combining features from both the Old Course and New Course.
The Cheltenham Racecourse is also home to a number of horse races other than the Cheltenham Festival such as the Cheltenham International and the Cheltenham Open which take place in the months of November and December. While these meetings may not be as high profile as the Festival they do offer great racing, and watching the races run here can often pinpoint horses who are being aimed at a big prize at the Festival.
Cheltenham Festival Schedule 2018
The Cheltenham Festival generally takes place during the month of March coinciding with St Patrick’s Day. The 2018 Festival will be taking place from the 13th of March to the 16th of March.
The following is the full schedule for the Cheltenham Festival 2018:
Tuesday 13th March – Champion Day (Day 1)
1:30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2:05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
2:40 Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase
3:20 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
4:00 Mares’ Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy)
4:40 National Hunt Chase
5:15 Novices’ Handicap Chase
Wednesday 14th March – Ladies Day (Day 2)
1:30 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle
2:05 RSA Steeple Chase
2:40 Coral Cup
3:20 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase
4:00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
4:40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
5:15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper
Thursday 15th March – St Patrick’s Day (Day 3)
1:30 JLT Novices’ Steeple Chase
2:05 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle)
2:40 Ryanair Chase
3:20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle
4:00 Byrne Group Plate Handicap Steeple Chase
4:40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase
5:15 St. Patrick’s Derby (Charity Race)
Friday 16th March – Cheltenham Gold Cup Day (Day 4)
1:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle
2:05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
2:40 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
3:20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase
4:00 Foxhunter Steeple Chase
4:40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
5:15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Steeple Chase
Cheltenham Betting 2018: Race Tips
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race that takes place during the final day of the Cheltenham Festival. The race is arguably the most anticipated of the Festival and carried with it a purse of £575,000 in 2016.
The race is 3 miles 2½ furlongs (5,331 m) long and consists of 22 fences to be jumped. Only horses which are 5-years-old and up are qualified to run in the race. The surface type used for the Cheltenham Gold Cup is turf on a left-handed New Course, and the clerk of the course usually has the track in superb condition with good, or good to soft ground the norm.
Horse Racing Results – Winner 2017
Horse: Sizing John
Jockey: Robbie Power
Trainer: Jessica Harrington
Owner: The Potts Family
2017 saw an emotional victory for the ever popular Irish trainer Jessica Harrington, with a dramatic finish up the hill where it was impossible to name the winner until the very last strides. The winner comes to this years Festival with loads to prove after a shocking run at a short price over Christmas at Leopardstown.
Winner – 2016
Horse: Don Cossack
Jockey: Bryan Cooper
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Owner: W S Connors
In 2016 nine horses competed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The race was won by the German-bred and Irish Trained Don Cossack ridden by Jockey Bryan Cooper. Don Cossack was the favorite for the race with odds of 9/4, winning the race by four and a half lengths of second place finisher Djakadam who was another front runner.
While the 2016 race had only one horse not to complete the course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup has the potential to unhorse many jockeys with its fierce 22 fences. Make sure you look into a horses past form in jumping events before placing any bets.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup has a history of being won by favourites, with favourites taking the race 4 times in the past 8 races. Keep this in mind when placing a bet on your horse in 2018.
The Champion Hurdle is another Grade 1 contest that takes place during the first day. The race carried a purse of £400,000 in 2017 making it one of the highest paid races of the Festival.
The Champion Hurdle is open to horses 4 years or older and is run on the Old Course over a distance of two miles and 110 yards or 3,319 meters. The race also consists of 8 hurdles at the Old Course and is usually very much a test of speed on decent ground for the crack two-milers of the generation.
Horse: Buveur D’air
Jockey: Noel Fehily
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Owner: JP McManus
A new star emerged in 2017 when this young progressive hurdler landed the spoils under a superbly judged ride from Noel Fehily. He has remained unbeaten in three runs since, not coming off the bridle this winter at Newcastle and Kempton against inferior rivals. He seems sure to be sent off a strong odds-on favourite this time around, with main rival Faugheen looking to be “gone” when pulled-up at 1/6f over Christmas in Eire.
Horse: Annie Power
Cheltenham Odds: 5/2
Jockey: Ruby Walsh
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Owner: Eamon Cleary
In a relatively close race the winner of the Champion Hurdle in 2016 was Annie Power ridden by Ruby Walsh, who was able to take the race by 4 and half lengths. Annie Power was sent off the heavily backed favourite prior to the race down to 5/2, and was never in any serious danger under a bold ride from the front.
Ruby Walsh has been the most successful jockey at the Cheltenham Festival for the past 10 years. The rider was able to win a staggering 7 races during just the 2016 edition of the Festival. Look for Ruby Walsh to be a favorite again in 2018, although he has been out for most of the season to date after suffering a serious injury. The Champion Hurdle is another race where the favourite has had exceptional success. Betting on the favourite or Ruby Walsh has been very profitable in recent years at the Festival, and many punters have blind loyalty to the best rider of his generation.
Queen Mother Champion Chase
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is another Grade 1 horse race which takes place on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival. The race takes place over on the Old Course at the Cheltenham Racecourse and is open to all horses five years or older. The purse which was handed out for the winner of the 2017 was over £400,000.
The course is 2 miles or 3,219 meters in distance and is composed on 12 fences to be jumped by the horses. This race is often run at a terrific gallop from the tape and is a proper test of both speed and stamina up the hill.
Horse Racing Results – Winner 2017
Horse: Special Tiara
Cheltenham Odds: 11/1
Jockey: Noel Fehily
Trainer: Henry de Bromhead
Owner: Mrs S Rowley-Williams
The 2017 renewal was marred by the shocking run of the 2/9f Douvan which let down swathes of ante-post punters on at much bigger prices. His performance means the race was a substandard one, but it still produced a cracking finish as the frontrunning winner dug deep up the hill to see off a series of challengers.
Horse Racing Results – Winner 2016
Horse: Sprinter Sacre
Cheltenham Odds: 5/1
Jockey: Nico de Boinville
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Owner: Caroline Mould
In the 2016 edition of the Queen Mother Champion Chase Sprinter Sacre was able to edge out pre-race favorite Un De Sceaux by three and a half lengths. Of the 10 horses which started the race 8 were able to complete the course.
While favourites have won the Queen Mother Champion Chase a number of years in the recent past the race has been known to crown other champions.
The 2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase will again feature some of the top riders and horses, with the top class Altior expected to start a short-priced favourite despite having suffered from a recurring wind-problem that have limited his appearances so far this winter.
The World Hurdle is run on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival and is another one of the Grade 1 horse races featured at the event. The World Hurdle is considered the leading long distance hurdle event in the National Hunt calendar. The race is open to horses four years and up, and takes place on the New Course over a distance of 3 miles or 4,828 meters. During the race there are 12 hurdles which racers must contend with. The purse for the 2017 World Hurdle was £275,000.
Horse Racing Results – Winner 2017
Horse: Nichols Canyon
Cheltenham Odds: 10/1
Jockey: Ruby Walsh
Trainer: W Mullins
Owner: Mr and Mrs Graham Wylie
Favourite backes suffered another reverse in 2017 when the odds-on Uknowhatimeanharry finished a one placed third, unable to quicken up the hill as the very game Nichols Canyon found extra under an inspired ride from Walsh. Sadly the reigning champion lost his life at the track over Christmas, and the 2018 renewal has a very open look to it.
Horse Racing Results – Winner 2016
Cheltenham Odds: Evens
Jockey: Tom Scudamore
Trainer: Colin Tizzard
Owner: John and Heather Snook
Thistlecrack was able to pull away from the field in 2016 and take home the World hurdle by 7 lengths. The World Hurdle has been won in the past by mainly well backed favorites, with a strong pace from the tape finding out those who do not stay this thorough test.
Cheltenham Betting 2018 Tips and Tricks
A number of factors will contribute to the overall outcome of the horse races. Many of these factors can be researched which can help you come up with the ideal and most profitable bets for each race. The following should be taken into consideration before placing any bet at the Cheltenham Festival 2018.
- The Weather and Ground Conditions- the weather and ground conditions on any given day play a massive part in every race at any horse racing event. While some horses don’t fare well in certain conditions some may thrive. Usually at the Cheltenham Festival the ground will be meticulously prepared (watered if necessary in the build up), to ensure “good” or “good to soft” ground for Day 1 on the Tuesday. During the four days conditions can quicken up as things dry out, but it will never get too fast for safety reasons.
Many horses also favour a certain type of ground type when racing. While most horses are used to decent ground for maximum traction, there are some horses that are also accustomed to softer ground. If it rains on the day of the race, there is the potential for the ground at Cheltenham to become softer than usual. Since the Cheltenham Festival takes place in England, where the weather conditions vary, it is advised that bets are made close to the actual running of the race to avoid bad weather affecting your bets. There is an old saying in racing…”when the ground changes, the form changes” and punters have to always adapt their strategies if things suddenly change on the day of the Festival.
- Top Jockeys and Trainers – This is something to keep in mind when looking at the history of results at the Festival….the best trainers such as Willie Mullins or Nocky Henderson have a fantastic record at laying their horses out to be spot on for the big day, peaking at the right time when it matters most. There are also certain jockeys which have had continued success at the Cheltenham Festival such as Ruby Walsh whose amazing record at the event is legendary. Watch out for Walsh in the 2018 Festival as well as he arrives fresh after an injury forced him to miss the bulk of the season so far. He is always a short-price to be champion rider at the meeting as he has the pick of the Mullins horses, and there are usually plenty at the head of the market over the four days.
- Past Cheltenham form – Focus on those horses with form at Cheltenham and past festivals in particular. The track is unique and the races always fast run, big fields that suits certain types better than others. Finding runners, especially in the fiercely competitive handicaps, that have run well here in the past is very important. Time and again they come back from some poor performances elsewhere to give their best at this course, and it can be something that is overlooked in the market.
- Use the Market – The exchange driven market these days means all the great brains and form judges opinions are there for everyone to see. Those at the front of the market are there on merits because weight of money decides they have the best chance. There are no “false favourites” these days, and paying close attention to market movers can be very profitable at the festival in particular when the liquidity is extremely high.
Make sure you use these tips for beginners when using the Cheltenham offers 2018. Expect many of the same faces in 2018 to come out on top, thus proper research may be the difference between winning and losing…and the bettingexpert previews and selections are well worth checking out every day of the Festival.
Horse Race Betting: Tips for Beginners
There are a number of different bets that can be placed on horse races, ranging all the way from which horse will win the race to whether the race will be a dead heat. Listed below are just some of the types of bets that the Cheltenham will cater to.
To win – the simplest type of bet. Bettors may choose which horse they think will finish the race in first place. Bettors only win if their horse wins the race.
To place – betters choose a horse to finish in the frame.
The terms offered by UK bookmakers are…
- Handicaps of more than 16 runners – 1/4 odds on first four places.
- Handicaps of 12-15 runners – 1/4 odds on first three places.
- All other races of more than 8 runners – 1/5 odds on first three places.
- All races of 5-7 runners – 1/4 odds on first two places.
- All races of less than 5 runners – place money goes on to win.
Show (an American term) – when a bettor bets on show they win if their horse comes in first, second or third. Since, bettors are hedging their bet the chances are much greater, however the odds will be substantially less.
Across the Board (an American term) – when a bettor bets on across the board they are betting that their horse will win, place and show. An across the board bet is what is known as a ‘combo straight wager’ because it’s actually three different bets (win, place, AND show) in one. Across the board bets are more expensive than a normal win, place, or show wager.
Win/place, Place/Show – is another combo straight wager, in a win/place bet, bettors wager on their horse to win and place. If he wins, you collect both the win and place money. If he finishes second, you collect just the place money.
Photo Finish – bettors may wager on whether the result will be so close it is necessary to use a finish-line camera to determine the winner of the race.
Exacta – is betting on the horses to come in first and second in an exact order.
Example, if you placed a £100 exacta on horses 1 and 2, you can only collect if horse 1 comes in first and horse 2 comes in second. The odds of an exacta bet are much higher than those of a straight wager as the odds a multiplied for both horses to place.
Quintella – is betting on two horses to come in first and second in any order. As long as your two horses finish in the top two spots, you are a winner.
Trifecta – bettors must get correct the place of the first, second, and third horse in exact order.
Superfecta – takes the bet one further by making bettors predict the positions of the, first, second, third, and fourth in an exact order.
Parlay – In horse racing bettors may also parlay their bets. A parlay takes place when a better wagers that two or more events will both occur. If one wins and another loses, the better will get absolutely nothing.
The up side to parlaying bets is that the odds of the bets are multiplied together to give bigger odds than if bet separately. Example: if you bet, that 1) that horse A will win the race at 5/1 odds and 2) that the race will have a photo finish which is 10/1 odds, the total odds you’d get on your money will be 50/1.
There is a greater risk in betting parlays but the rewards can be well worth it if you carefully choose your bets. Make sure you take a look at parlaying some of your bets at the Cheltenham Festival for some greater odds.
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