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Cheltenham Festival Betting

The Cheltenham Festival is the first big racing event of the calendar year. Its traditional place sits the horse racing event in mid-March to coincide with Saint Patrick’s Day. That naturally makes the whole event a popular one with Irish visitors.

The big race of the Cheltenham Festival is the blue riband running of the Gold Cup, but across four days of action, there are a whole host of Grade 1 National Hunt races that are run. Those include the Stayers Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

It has long held an important place in racing has the Cheltenham Festival. Its roots go back to 1860. The new course at Prestbury Park was unveiled in 1902 and when it became the permanent home of the National Hunt Chase in 1911, the Festival established ground.

The oldest race at the Cheltenham Festival that is now a championship race is the famous Stayers’ Hurdle. As for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, it was established in 1924 but it didn’t carry the same prestige or importance back then in its early editions.

Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide

Cheltenham Odds & Bookmakers

Famous Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners

There have been so many famous winners who have gone into the history books at the Cheltenham Festival for having won the Gold Cup. It’s a tremendously difficult race to get right but some have stood out.

Golden Miller was the first real star of the Cheltenham Gold Cup as he won it five consecutive years between 1932 and 1936 inclusive. One of the superstars and most well-remembered of the great Cheltenham Gold Cup winners is Arkle who landed it for the first of three times in 1974.

Famous grey Desert Orchid landed the win up the hill in 1989 and then on the Festival’s return in 2002 (following cancellation in 2001 because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease), Best Mate became the new star of the race, matching Arkle’s feat of winning it three times in a row.

Other massively popular winners followed with Kauto Star winning it twice, with Denman sandwiching Kauta Star’s 2007 and 2009 successes.

Day By Day Races

The format of the Cheltenham Festival changed in 2005 when an extra day was added, making it a four-day Festival. Races were spread out, with at least one Championship race booked for each day and since then new races have been added to make each day’s race card full with seven races.

Day 1 – Champion Day

The big start of the Festival is the Supreme Novices’ triggering the famous Cheltenham Roar when the tape goes up. There are four Grade 1 races on the opening day. The Arkle is a two-mile novice chase, while the big feature race of the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is the Champion Hurdle.

Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y
Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y
Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f
Unibet Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y
Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y
Northern Trust Company Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) 2m 4f 44y
National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase) (Grade 2) 3m 7f 147y

Day 2 – Ladies Day

Ladies Day at the Cheltenham Festival also has four Grade 1 races and it all kicks off with the Ballymore Novices Hurdle. The big race of Wednesday’s action is the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The Grade 1 two-mile test produces one of the most thrilling races of the entire festival as that blend of sporting pace and staying power is put to the test.

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f
RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 5f
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 99y
Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 87y
Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y

Day 3 – St Patrick’s Day

The atmosphere at Prestbury Park gets ramped up a few notches with the St Patrick’s Day action at Cheltenham. Standing out as the feature race of Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival is the Stayers Hurdle. At almost 3 miles it is a grind that pushes the stayers to their limits in this quality race. The Stayers’ Hurdle is one of three Grade 1 races of the third day of Festival action.

MARSH Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m 3f 166y
Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 7f 213y
Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 127y
Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y
Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 4f 166y
Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 179y
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase 3m 2f

Day 4 – Gold Cup Day

Well, this is the pinnacle of the Festival. The Cheltenham Gold Cup takes centre stage on the final day of the Festival from Prestbury Park. It is one of the most coveted race titles in the sport for jockeys, trainers and owners alike. It is a race which has provided so many historic moments in its long history.

The elite of the racing world are drawn to the famous Championship race.

Is there a better sight in racing than seeing the closing stages of the Cheltenham Gold Cup as the contenders give everything they have left up the famous hill?

The Gold Cup puts 22 fences to be jumped in front of the runners over a 3 mile 2 and a half furlong test.

JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y
Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y
Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y
St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2f 70y
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4f 56y

Cheltenham Odds 2020 – Is 8/11 odds-on favourite Paisley Park untouchable in Stayers’ Hurdle?

Cheltenham Festival 2020 Betting

2019 Review

The 91st Gold Cup was run in 2019 and trainer Willie Mullins finally broke his duck. The Irish trainer saw Al Boum Photo take the win from an SP of 12/1. It was another wonderfully competitive race but he stayed on strongly to take a win by two and a half lengths over Anibale Fly.

Anibale Fly moved up to third at the last jump and in the chase up the hill moved into second. But there just wasn’t enough in the tank to close down Al Boun Photo.

The much-fancied Bristol De Mai put in an expected solid performance to take third place and looked in great shape with two jumps to go. He was passed in the final 120 yards by Anibale Fly.

10 of the 16 starters finished the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The 2019 Festival had opened with a win for KlassicalDream in the Supreme Novices. Altior kept his remarkable career winning streak going as he swept his way to victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase ahead of Politologue and Sceau Royal.

The promising Defi Du Seuil delivered as a favourite on Day Three in the JLT Novices before Frodon nailed the Ryanair. Then the massive impressive Paisley Park did the business in the Stayers’ Hurdle as the 11/8 favourite.

Willie Mullins finished as the leading trainer at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival with four winners. The leading jockey across the Festival was Nico de Boinville with three winners.

2020 Preview

There is, of course, plenty to look forward to at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Altior will be back for another title at the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Having suffered the first loss of his long, successful career last year to Cyrname will it be winning business as usual for him at Prestbury Park? There’s a tough challenge with threats from Defi Du Seuil und Chacun Pour Soi as well.

Another of the big Cheltenham 2020 attractions will be Paisley Park in the Stayers’ Hurdle. With such massively impressive national hunt form this season, he could end being one of the most well-supported runners of the entire Festival.

It is likely that given the form of Paisley Park, Benie Des Dieux will skip challenging him in the Stayers’ Hurdle and line up in the Mares’ Hurdle the day before. If that’s her Festival race then she is going to stacks of backing to roar to success there. She has unfinished business at the race having fallen over the last twelve months ago in the race, with a win in sight for a second time.

2019 Gold Cup Winner Al Boum Photo has been entered for a title defence in the blue riband feature race. However, he may not be lining up as the favourite. It is Santini who has been very well supported in ante-post Cheltenham Gold Cup betting and who could be in that position come the start.

  • Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide

    The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest betting event in horse racing. Held annually every March, it’s championship races are the culmination of National Hunt owners, trainers and jockeys’ hopes and dreams and the countdown invites much anticipation and expectation among punters.