Cheltenham Festival Betting Offers 2018
For most people the Grand National represents the pinnacle of horse jump racing, it is however the Cheltenham Festival that is the best meeting for punters. The bookmakers agree and this is why you will see far more exceptional betting offers for Cheltenham than for any other horse race and and possibly any other event in the British sporting calendar.
The Cheltenham festival is held over 4 days and sees some very famous races in the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and the Gold Cup. Prior to the festival you will find some top ante-post early promotions with regular promotions released in the week running up to the event. Latest offers are released on a daily and even hourly basis. You will find the very latest short term deals listed at the top with more detailed descriptions of long running details below. Further down this page you can find information about the races including history and features to look out for.
Best Betting Sites for Cheltenham 2018
|Bookmaker||New Customers||Other Offers / Features||Visit|
|£120 Free & £200 Bonus||
|Bet £10 Get £30 + £10||
|Bet £10, £30 Free||
|Bet £10 Get £40 Free||
|Matche Bet up to £30||
|Bet £5 Get £20 Free||
|Bet £10 Get £10 Free||
|100% Bonus, £10-£200||
|Bet £10 Get £60||
|Bet £10 Get £30 Free||
Cheltenham New Customer Sign Up Specials
Deposit £20+ and get two £20 free bets valid 7 days, 4/5+ odds, code CHEL40
Latest Cheltenham Promotions
Full stake back, £25 max, if non runner, free bet if horse runs in different race
Ante Post Promotions
The table below details bookmakers offering non-runner money back on ante-post bets for this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
|Ladbrokes||ALL||Massive daily price boost & money back specials||Claim|
|Betfred||ALL||Lucky Bonuses and Money Back 2nd Offers||Claim|
|Boylesports||ALL||Fair Play & Free Fall Moneyback, 1st/last fence faller||Claim|
|William Hill||All||If your horse runs in different race get a free bet||Claim|
|Betfair||ALL||Live in-race betting and free bets for 3/1+ winners, all live races||Claim|
KEY: Champion Hurdle (CH), Queen Mother Champion Chase (CC), Stayers Hurdle (SH), Ryanair Chase (RC), Cheltenham Gold Cup (GC)
Best Odds Guaranteed
The following bookmakers are giving Best Price Guarantees on Cheltenham festival races this year. This means if you back a horse and the industry starting price is higher than the price you were given you will automatically be paid out at the higher odds price.
Ladbrokes offer Best Odds Guaranteed Plus, this means if your horse SP is better than your price they will not only match it but will boost it even further. See our feature page for more about BOG Plus.
|Ladbrokes||ALL RACES||YES, £1 Min Bet||1/5||Yes, £200 Max Stake||Claim|
|Coral||ALL RACES||YES, £1 Min Bet||1/4||No||Claim|
|Betfred||ALL RACES||YES, £1 Min Bet||1/5||No||Claim|
|Betway||ALL RACES||YES, £1 Min Bet||1/5||No||Claim|
|Betfair||ALL RACES||YES, £0.5 Min Bet||1/5||No||Claim|
Cheltenham Free Bets
Back a 3/1+ winner in any live ITV or ITV4 race at this years Cheltenham festival (or any live ITV race all year round) and Betfair will match your stake up to £25 with a free bet the next day.
This offer can be claimed in every single live race, there is no minimum bet and all winnings from free bets are paid in cash. When awarded the free token is valid for any horse racing for that day.
Bet £25, cumulatively, at even+ odds (can be one or several wagers) on any sports, bets or markets before Tuesday 14th March and get a £10 free bet for the first race, the Supreme Novices hurdle.
High 5 – If the horse you back, in any festival race this week and it wins by 5 lengths or more then William Hill will enhance your winnings by 25% up to a maximum of £100 per race.
It gets better. Should your horse come in second place to any horse that wins by five or more length you will get your stake back as a free bet token up to £25. Whether your horse romps home or you lose by miles you will get something extra back with this offer.
Higher 5 – Wait, it gets even better, for the first race each day (13:30) if any horse wins by 5+ lengths all losing bets will be refunded, not just second place losers.
Money Back Specials
Great Cheltenham deal. Get your whole win stake back up to £10 (£2 minimum) in the first and last race each day of the festival if your horse loses. Basically this means you are getting a risk free bet for eight different races, this could be worth £80 alone. The free bet refunds are valid for one week and are not resticted to specific markets.
Paddy Power are the king of the money back second offer and for every race at this years Cheltenham Festival they will be giving you a stake refund (as a free bet token) up to £25 if your horse finishes 2nd in the first five races every day of the festival. Applies to win singles, and the win part of E/W.
Coral are the best bookie we know of for faller insurance on National Hunt jump racing and for Cheltenham you can guarantee to get money back if your horse falls, is brought down or unseats it’s jockey. Refunds are applied on win singles (and win part of each way bets) on stakes up to £25. Money back as a free token valid for 24 hours and can be used on any horse racing.
Winner have faller insurance for the whole of the festival up to £25 (£5 minimum bet), the faller-insurance applies to all national hunt races all year round if your horse falls. Refund as a freebet valid for one week but open to any sports market with odds between evens and 10/1 (2.0 to 11.0).
Lucky 15/31/63 Promotions
If you are looking to place a Lucky or any full cover bet on the Championship this year then look no further than totesport. Get up to five times the regular odds if you back a only one winner (3 x Lucky 15, 4 x Luck 31 and 5x Lucky 63). Secondly pick an all correct luck and get a bonus on your winnings 10% for a Yankee or Lucky 15s, 20% for a Canadian or Lucky 31s and 25% for a Heinz or Lucky 63.
If you place a Lucky 15, Lucky 31 or a Lucky 63 and only have one winner this bookmaker will double the odds on that line. If however you get all your selections correct you will get a 10% bonus on a Lucky 15, 20% on a Lucky 31 and 25% on a Lucky 63.
Cheltenham Race Card
Cheltenham is by far the most prestigious jump race meeting in the world with no less than 14 Grade 1 races and several other grade and feature races. Over the four historic days there will be over £4.3M paid in prize money and over 250,000 people will attend the course.
Day 1 – Champion Day – Tuesday 13th March 2018
|1:30||Supreme Novices Hurdle||Grade 1||2m 87y||£70,000|
|2:10||Arkle Challenge Trophy||Novices’ Grade 1||1m 7f 199y||£100,000|
|2:50||Handicap Chase||Grade 3||3m 1f||£57,000|
||Grade 1||2m 87y||£230,000|
|4:10||Mares’ Hurdle||Grade 1||2m 3f 200y||£62,000|
|4:50||National Hunt Chase||Grade 2||3m 7f 170y||£72,000|
|5:30||Novices’ Handicap Chase||Listed||2m 4f 78yy||£38,000|
KEY: m – Miles, f – furlong(s), y – yards
Day 2 – Ladies Day – Wednesday 14th March 2018
|1:30||Novices Hurdle||Grade 1||2m 5f 26y||£70,000|
|2:10||RSA Steeple Chase||Novices’ Grade 1||3m 80y||£100,000|
|2:50||Coral Cup||Grade 3||2m 5f 26y||£52,000|
|3:30||Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase||Grade 1||1m 7f 199y||£200,000|
|4:10||Cross Country Chase||Class 2 Chase||3m 6f 37y||£38,000|
|4:50||Juvenile Handicap Hurdle||Grade 3||2m 87y||£43,000|
|5:30||Weatherbys Champion Bumper||Grade 1 – Open Flat Race||2m 87y||£40,000|
Day 3 – St Patrick’s – Thursday 15th March 2018
|1:30||JLT Novices Chase||Grade 1||2m 3f 198y||£85,000|
|2:10||Pertemps Final Handicap||Listed||2m 7f 213y||£52,000|
|2:50||Ryanair Chase||Grade 1||2m 4f 166y||£171,000|
|3:30||Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle||Grade 1||2m 7f 213y||£171,000|
|4:10||Stable Plate Handicap||Grade 3||2m 4f 166y||£57,000|
|4:50||Mares’ Novices Hurdle||Grade 2||2m 179y||£70,000|
|5:30||Challenge Cup Handicap||Amateur||3m 2f||£40,000|
Day 4 – Gold Cup Day – Friday 15th March 2018
|1:30||JCB Triumph Hurdle||Grade 1||2m 179y||£70,000|
|2:10||County Handicap Hurdle||Grade 3||2m 179y||£52,000|
|2:50||Novices Hurdle||Grade 1||2m 7f 213y||£70,000|
|3:30||Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup||Grade 1||3m 2f 70y||£330,000|
|4:10||Foxhunter Challenge Cup||Class 2 Chase||3m 2f 70y||£24,000|
|4:50||Conditional Jockeys Handicap||Class 2 Hurdle||2m 4f 56y||£38,000|
|5:30||Grand Annual Handicap||Grade 3||2m 62y||£57,000|
Cheltenham Festival Feature Races
Champion Hurdle – Day One
Usually the first of the feature races at the festival scheduled to take place on the opening day. This grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race is run on the left handed old course covering a distance of 2 miles and 110 yards (3.319km). The race is open to horses of four years or older and has 8 hurdles to jump. The purse for this race is over £400k with the winner pocketing around £250k.
The first Champion Huddle race was held in 1927, won by Blaris who was awarded the decent sum (for the time) of £365. Apart from a cancellation for frost in 1932 and two stoppages during the second world war (1942 and 1943) the race has been run every year since. In 2001 the race was not run due the foot and mouth crisis although a substitute race was run at Sandown.
Several horses have won the race three times:
- Hatton’s Grace – 1949 / 1950 / 1951
- Sir Ken – 1952 / 1953 / 1954
- Persian War – 1968 / 1969 / 1970
- See You Then – 1985 / 1986 / 1987
- Istabraq – 1998 / 1999 / 2000
The most successful jockey to win the race was Tim Molony who rode the Sir Ken on all three winning occasions as well as Hatton’s Grace in 1951. The leading trainers are Perter Easerby and Nicky Henderson with 5 wins each and the leading owner is J P McManus who’s horses have won the race five times.
Queen Mother Champion Chase – Day Two
The Champion Chase is another National Hunt grade 1 race but this time it’s a steeplechase not a hurdle with 12 fences to jump. This race is also run left handed on the old course over a distance of around 2 miles (3.219km). The race is open to horses of 5 years and older. The prize pot is over £350k with over £200k for the winner. The chase is the feature race of the second day at the festival.
The chase was first held in 1959, originally named the National Hunt Two Mile Champion Chase. The race was renamed in 1980 in celebration of the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday, she was avid lover and owner of horses with a passion of jump racing in particular. The Queen Mother in fact was the owner of Game Spirit that finished second in 1976.
The most successful horse in the race with three wins in a row is Badsworth Boy (1983, 84 and 85) and the most successful jockeys, with 5 wins each, are Pat Taaffe and Barry Geraghty. The leading trainer with 6 wins is Tom Dreaper who last won the race in 1970 and the two leading owners with three victories each are George Ansley and Doug Armitage.
The race has only been moved once, in 2001, due to foot and mouth disease and was held at Sandown instead.
Stayers’ Hurdle – Day Three
The Stayers’ Hurdle is the feature race of day 3 at Cheltenham and is another grade 1 jump race. The race is open to horses of 4 years and older and is again left handed but this time is run on the new course at the track. Run over a distance of 3 miles (4.828km) it represents the leading long distance hurdle race at the festival. The prize pot is around £300k with over £160k to the winner.
First contested in 1912 this is one of the oldest races at the meeting and pre-dates the Queen Mother’s chase by nearly half a century. The initial incarnation was held at Prestnury Park with £100 of prize money for the winner (doubled to £200 in 1913). It was termed ‘Stayers Selling Hurdle’ at the time to reflect the type of race as a ‘Weight for Age Selling’ type event with the winner sold for £50 after the race.
The hurdle race was cancelled twice in 1928 and during WWII (1939-45) and in 1946 it was replaced by the Spa Hurdle. The Spa Hurdle race was run in 1923 and 1942 over a distance of 2 miles. Between 1946 and 1967 the Spa Hurdle was contested over 3 miles and returned in 1972 renamed the Stayers’ Hurdle. The race was usually held on day one or day two but was moved permanently in 1993 to become the feature race of day three. The title World Hurdle was brought in in 2005 when Ladbrokes began sponsoring the race, in 2017 Sun Bets took over sponsorhip and the race name has since reverted back to the Stayers’ Hurdle.
In its modern form (since 1972) the most successful winner is Big Bucks who won the race on four consecutive occasions (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). The leading jockey is Ruby Walsh who also won the race 4 times on Big Bucks. Paul Nicholls is the leading trainer and the Stewart family are the leading owners, again with 4 wins each, on, you guessed it, Big Bucks.
Cheltenham Gold Cup – Day Four
The Gold Cup is pinnacle race at the Cheltenham festival held on the fourth and final day. The grade 1 national hunt steeplechase is run over 3 miles 2 ½ furlongs (5.331km) with 22 fences to jump. This is again left handed and run on the new course at Cheltenham. The race is open to 5 year olds and older and commands a prize fund of over £575k with around £330k to the winner. As the most valuable non-handicap chase in Great Britain the Gold Cup has seem some prestigious winners including the likes of Arkle and Kauto Star. In 2015 the race was won by the first ever novice, Coneygree.
The Gold Cup in the form we know it was first run in 1924 however there was a flat race named the Cheltenham Gold Cup that took place from 1819. This was held over 3 miles on Cleeve Hill that now looks over the current course. The first prize was 100 guineas to the winner.
The first jump race Gold Cup in 1924 was run on the old course and offered £865 to the winner. At this time two other races overshadowed the Cup with National Hunt Chase and the County Handicap Hurdle both giving prize funds in excess of £1000.
Despite being abandoned in 1931 for frost and 1937 for flooding it was actually the intervening years (1932-36) that saw the record race winner emerge in Golden Miller who won the race in all five years, the record still stands today. The horse also won the Grand National in 1934. The Gold Cup did not run on two occasions during the second world war (1943 and 1944).
In 1959, the same year the Champion Chase began, the Gold Cup was moved to the new course at Cheltenham racecourse where it has stayed ever since. The 1960’s saw the race dominated by Arkle, winning three times, in his final victory the horse was priced at 1/10!
In 1983 trainer, Michael Dickinson, made history becoming the first trainer to be responsible for the top 5 finishers in the race. In 1986 Dawn Run became the only horse to have won the Gold Cup after also winning the Champion Hurdle but perhaps the most popular horse to win the race was Desert Orchid who won in 1989. In 1990 Norton’s Coin won the Gold Cup at odds of 100/1.
The only time the race has been cancelled in the modern era was in 2001 due to the foot and mouth outbreak. The Gold Trophy Chase replaced the race that year at Sandown. Kauto Star won the race in 2007 and became the first horse to regain the title in 2009, ridden on both occasions by Ruby Walsh. Kuato Star was seen as the greatest horse to win the race since Arkle in the 60’s.
Golden Miller as we have said is the record winner with 5 victories. The top jockey is Pat Taaffe with 4 wins (1964, 1965 and 1966 on Arkle and 1968 on Fort Leney) and the leading trainer Tom Dreaper with 5 wins including the 3 wins for Arkle. Dorothy Paget is the leading owner with 7 wins including the 5 cups won by Golden Miller.
Fourth favourite Sizing John, trained by Jessica Harrington, romped home for victory taking the final two fences expertly to win the 2017 Gold Cup as Cue Card fell and both Native River and Djakadam faltered at the end. Who will win in 2018 is anyone’s guess.