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Best Cheltenham 2023 Betting Offers & Festival Guide

From free bets and enhanced odds to faller insurance and non-runner no bet promises, we bring you the best Cheltenham Festival betting offers.

Bookmakers always celebrate the biggest week of the National Hunt season in style. As a new customer, you can take advantage of generous offers throughout the four-day festival.

Where to Bet on the 2023 Cheltenham Festival

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Claim Free Bets for Cheltenham Festival 2023

First, let’s discuss Cheltenham free bets. We know it’s what many of you are looking for. After searching for Cheltenham Festival free bets and reviewing the terms and conditions of each offer, we have compiled a list of the top offers for new customers.

Below we have more information on the best Cheltenham free bets. We encourage you to take advantage of each offer, if you don’t already have an account with the bookmaker in question.

bet365 Cheltenham Free Bets

There has never been a better time to join bet365! Sign up, deposit and bet at least £5 or £10, and you will receive five times that value in free bets. This means a qualifying deposit of £5 equals £25 in free bets, while a qualifying deposit of £10 equals £50 in free bets.

Once you meet the qualifying conditions, you can use your free bets by selecting ‘use bet credits’ in the bet slip. Although returns exclude your bet credits, these bet365 Cheltenham free bets will give you even more betting opportunities throughout the four-day festival.

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SportNation Cheltenham Free Bets

Founded in 2017, SportNation has emerged as one of the best horse racing betting sites in recent years. If you don’t already have an account, they’re giving you 25 reasons to get one. As a new customer who signs up and bets £25+ on any sport at minimum odds of Evens, you will receive five £5 free bets.

Your bets are split as follows: two £5 free bets are valid to use on horse racing, one £5 free bet is valid to use on enhanced odds/specials, one £5 free bet is valid to use on a bet builder, and one £5 free bet is valid to use on an accumulator.

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Cheltenham Festival Free Bet Offers Explained

It isn’t hard to find Cheltenham free bet offers, but the key is identifying those which offer the most value. That means bets which don’t require a deposit, those with low wagering requirements, and so on. To get maximum value when betting on Cheltenham Festival races, you need to know the difference between the various types of Cheltenham free bets.

Here are six types of free bets available for Cheltenham Festival 2023:

Risk-Free Bet

Risk-Free Bet

When it’s done right, a risk-free bet is the best option. A risk-free bet is one whereby you can place a bet without having to use any of your own money. In the best-case scenario, this means you win real money with no withdrawal restrictions.

However, some bookmakers may instead award bonus credits, which you must wager a certain number of times before being eligible to withdraw.

Matched Free Bet

Matched Free Bet

A popular incentive for new customers, you can expect to see lots of matched free bet offers during Cheltenham. This offer means the bookmaker matches your bet to a certain amount. For instance, a £50 bet on Sharjah to win the Champion Hurdle may mean you qualify for a £50 free bet.

Make sure you read the small print when claiming matched free bets, as some offers have strict terms and conditions.

Bet Refunds

Bet Refunds

Bet refunds are like a moneyback guarantee, where certain events mean you get your stake back either as cash or, more commonly, as a free bet.

For Cheltenham betting offers, you may see a bet refund such as ‘money back if your horse falls’. If you bet £10 on a horse that falls, you will receive a £10 free bet.

Qualifying Free Bet

Qualifying Free Bet

Qualifying bets are like matched free bets, except not necessarily on a 1:1 ratio. Instead, you must place a qualifying bet to unlock a free bet.

For Cheltenham betting offers specifically, you may see something like ‘Bet £10 on the Cheltenham Gold Cup and get a £5 free bet’. Once you place a £10 bet on the biggest race of the week, you qualify for a £5 free bet.

Stake Returned as Free Bet

Stake Returned as Free Bet

This is an increasingly common promotion, working in a similar way to bet refunds. However, with this type of free bet, bookmakers return your stake as a free bet. Again, this is usually based on an event.

For instance, you may receive an offer such as ‘Stake returned as a free bet if your horse finishes second’. These offers are often available for the biggest Cheltenham races.

Stake Not Returned

Stake Not Returned

Most free bets follow the ‘stake not returned’ model but are known asother terms such as ‘bet credit’ or ‘free betting token’. With these types of free bets, you only receive the profit on your winning bet, but not the stake itself.

It’s a popular offer at UK horse racing betting sites, as it sways customers away from backing hot favourites and instead encourages them to take a punt on longshots.

Cheltenham Festival Betting Offers for Existing Customers

Now that you’re familiar with Cheltenham Festival free bet offers, you’re in prime position to get started. However, you may also be interested in learning about other types of Cheltenham betting offers you can take advantage of after creating an account and claiming a free bet.

Here’s an overview of six Cheltenham betting offers for existing customers:

Best Odds Guaranteed

Best Odds Guaranteed

When you make a Cheltenham bet with best odds guaranteed, you don’t need to worry as much about timing the market. Instead, you can place your bets and the bookmaker compares your price with the starting price. Whichever pays more is the price the bookmaker uses to calculate your return.

This is great if you bet on a favourite whose odds drift as it edges closer to the start time.

Faller & Fail to Finish Insurance

Faller & Fail to Finish Insurance

When a bookmaker offers faller insurance or fail to finish insurance, it means they return your stake if your horse fails to make it across the finish line. For instance, if the horse pulls up or falls at a fence.

This is a good backup, particularly if you’re betting a large amount on a favourite. But check the terms and conditions, as these insurance bets often have a maximum bet in place. And you may receive the insurance back as a free bet, instead of cash.

Enhanced Offers

Enhanced Offers

Bookmakers use enhanced offers, or odds boosts, to encourage customers to bet on the biggest Cheltenham races. For instance, you may see an offer for a hot favourite like Tiger Roll to win at 20/1 instead of 2/1.

These offers can seem too good to be true, so check the terms and conditions to review the strict betting limits and confirm whether your return will be cash or a free bet.

Extra Places

Extra Places

If you know when to bet each way, one of the most lucrative betting offers for Cheltenham and other major racing festivals is the ‘extra places’ offer.

Depending on the bookmaker you choose and the number of runners, you may win when your selection places fifth, sixth, seventh and beyond. This increases your odds of betting on an outsider to place and winning some cash.

Through the Card

Through the Card

If you’re looking to stretch your balance and find something to keep you interested throughout Cheltenham, this betting offer is for you. Place a bet on the first qualifying race and the bookmaker will give you free bets on subsequent days throughout the festival.

If you’re just starting out and have concerns about investing too much but still want to be involved each day, this is the perfect promotion for you.

Non-Runner No Bet

Non-Runner No Bet

It might not sound like the most exciting prospect, but a non-runner no bet offer at Cheltenham could save you a lot of money. If you bet on a horse that fails to race, the bookmaker returns your stake – which is only fair, if you ask us.

Horses racing during Cheltenham Ferestival

Cheltenham Festival 2023: Day-by-Day Betting Guide

There are few festivals more highly anticipated than Cheltenham. From the famous Cheltenham roar to the Gold Cup, there’s so much to get excited about during one of the biggest horse racing events in the world.

This year’s festival runs Tuesday through Friday in the third week of March. That’s four days of elite-level horse racing in what is certainly the highlight of the jumps racing calendar – and we have expert betting tips for every race.

Day One Races – Champions Day (Tuesday 14th March)

The first day of the festival, also known as Champions Day, is always packed with plenty of excitement and entertainment on and off the racecourse. The highlight of the day is the Champion Hurdle, which has previously been won by history-making superstars like Hurricane Fly and Istabraq.

Time (GMT)RaceGradeDistance
13:30Supreme Novices’ HurdleGrade 12m½f
14:10Arkle Challenge TrophyGrade 12m
14:50Ultima Handicap ChaseGrade 33m1f
15:30Champion HurdleGrade 12m½f
16:10Mares’ HurdleGrade 12m4f
16:50Juvenile Handicap HurdleListed2m4f
17:30National Hunt Challenge CupGrade 23m6f

Day Two Races – Ladies’ Day (Wednesday 15th March)

Known as Ladies’ Day, the feature race on day two of Cheltenham has a fitting name: the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Just shy of two miles in length and open to horses of five years or over, the race always features National Hunt superstars and presents ample betting opportunities.

Time (GMT)RaceGradeDistance
13:30Ballymore Novices’ HurdleGrade 12m½f
14:10Brown Advisory Novices’ ChaseGrade 13m½f
14:50Coral Cup Handicap HurdleGrade 32m5f
15:30Queen Mother Champion ChaseGrade 12m
16:10Cross Country ChaseClass 23m6f
16:50Johnny Henderson Grand Annual ChaseGrade 32m½f
17:30Champion BumperGrade 12m½f

Day Three Races – St Patrick’s Day (Thursday 16th March)

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style, why not take advantage of one of the many Cheltenham betting offers available from the best UK betting sites? The Ryanair Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle are the highlights on day three of the festival. As if the quality of racing wasn’t reason enough to tune in, the crowd is always in good spirits and many Irish-inspired visitors dress from head to toe in green.

Time (GMT)RaceGradeDistance
13:30Marsh Novices’ ChaseGrade 12m4f
14:10Pertemps Network Final Handicap HurdleGrade 33m
14:50Ryanair ChaseGrade 12m4½f
15:30Paddy Power Stayers’ HurdleGrade 13m
16:10Paddy Power Plate Handicap ChaseGrade 32m4½f
16:50Mares’ Novices’ HurdleGrade 22m1f
17:30Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge CupGrade 23m2f

Day Four Races – Gold Cup Day (Friday 17th March)

Day four of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival features the race you’ve all been waiting for: the Cheltenham Gold Cup. First run in 1924, the Gold Cup is one of the most anticipated races in the UK horse racing calendar, often referred to as the Blue Riband of jumps racing. Bookmakers always offer generous Cheltenham betting offers on day four of the festival, so keep your eyes peeled for a great offer.

Time (GMT)RaceGradeDistance
13:30Triumph HurdleGrade 12m1f
14:10County Handicap HurdleGrade 32m1f
14:50Albert Bartlett Novices’ HurdleGrade 13m
15:30Cheltenham Gold CupGrade 13m2½f
16:10St James’s Place Festival Hunters’ ChaseClass 23m2½f
16:50Liberthine Mares’ ChaseGrade 22m4½f
17:30Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap HurdleClass 22m4½f

Our Top Tips for Cheltenham Festival Betting

Sports betting sites are booming because there are so many great sports to bet on. Also, thanks to online betting there are more odds, markets

If you’re looking for individual tips for each day of Cheltenham festival, you can follow the links to our daily betting guides above. But we know many of you will want to pick your own winners. So, here are four Cheltenham betting tips to help you profit from the four-day festival.

Cheltenham Course Form

Cheltenham Course Form

Many horses return to Cheltenham year after year, and anybody who isn’t paying attention to a horse’s previous form is missing out on crucial information.

You only have to look at recent results in the Gold Cup to see how important this can be: Al Boum Photo won back-to-back in 2019 and 2020, then came third in 2021. Kauto Star won the Gold Cup in 2007 and 2009 (coming second in 2008), while Long Run took two consecutive third-place finishes directly after winning in 2011.

Cheltenham Handicaps

Cheltenham Handicaps

Picking a horse based on previous Cheltenham form alone isn’t enough; you must consider its current handicap. If a horse is perceived to have a far superior ability and terrific form over its competitors, it is more likely to receive a higher handicap and therefore will need to carry a higher weight, slowing it down during the race.

This keeps races competitive, helping to stop a select few horses blowing the rest away. Make sure you check out the list of handicaps, which are traditionally announced a couple of weeks before the festival.

Find Value Bets

Find Value Bets

Some races won’t offer much value. For instance, there may be only three or four horses with one being a red-hot favourite. For more value, bet on races with more horses.

You can also take advantage of Cheltenham betting offers like ‘extra places paid’, then bet on a horse with longer odds to place. You may receive a better return than backing the outright winner.

Check the Weather Forecast

Check the Weather Forecast

Certain horses perform better in adverse conditions, and the weather can have a major impact on the outcome of races. The British weather is notoriously unreliable, so keep an eye on weather reports right up until the day of the race.

If there’s a hot favourite who prefers dry ground but will suddenly have to navigate a number of fences on a soaking wet course, you may want to consider backing an outsider to cause an upset.

Cheltenham Festival Betting Trends and Statistics

They say numbers don’t lie. We’ve put that theory to the test by highlighting some of the most telling Cheltenham trends and statistics for the four biggest races of the week over the past decade. Who knows, they might help you pick a winner?

Champion Hurdle Betting Trends

Champion Hurdle Betting Trends

  • All winners aged 5-9, with seven-year-olds being most successful
  • All winners had previously run in a Grade 1 race
  • In the last 10 years, the favourite has gone on to win 50% of the time
  • Willie Mullins is the most successful trainer of the last decade (four winners)
  • All bar one of the last 10 winners had no headgear

Champion Chase Betting Trends

Champion Chase Betting Trends

  • 7-10 is the average age of winning horses, with nine-year-olds claiming the most wins
  • All bar one winner had run four races or less that season prior to the Champion Chase
  • All winners had a Grade 1 victory under their belts
  • All winners had raced at Cheltenham two or more times previously
  • Only one horse took down the Champion Chase as their first win of the season

Stayers’ Hurdle Betting Trends

Stayers’ Hurdle Betting Trends

  • All winners aged 5-9, with seven-year-olds being most
  • All winners aged 6-9
  • Most winners (8/10) had already run a race of three milesor more
  • 50% of winners last ran in the Cleeve Hurdle
  • Trainer Willie Mullins has won two of the last five races, and placed another four over 11 years
  • All winners had won at least two hurdle races, having raced in four or more

Champion Chase Betting Trends

Champion Chase Betting Trends

  • 7-10 is the average age of winning horses, with nine-year-olds claiming the most wins
  • All bar one winner had run four races or less that season prior to the Champion Chase
  • All winners had a Grade 1 victory under their belts
  • All winners had raced at Cheltenham two or more times previously
  • Only one horse took down the Champion Chase as their first win of the season

Cheltenham Festival Trainer and Jockey Betting Trends

Trainer and jockey trends are also worth reviewing when betting on the Cheltenham Festival, as the most powerful stables bring out the big guns for the highlight of the jumps season.

Here’s a table listing the top trainer and jockey for each Cheltenham Festival since 2012:

YearTop Trainer (Wins)Top Jockey (Wins)
2022Willie Mullins (10)Paul Townend (5)
2021Willie Mullins (6)Rachael Blackmore (6)
2020Willie Mullins (7)Paul Townend (5)
2019Willie Mullins (4)Nico de Boinville (3)
2018Gordon Elliott (8)Davy Russell (4)
2017Gordon Elliott (6)Ruby Walsh (4)
2016Willie Mullins (7)Ruby Walsh (7)
2015Willie Mullins (8)Ruby Walsh (4)
2014Willie Mullins (4)Ruby Walsh (3)
2013Willie Mullins (5)Ruby Walsh (4)
2012Nicky Henderson (6)Barry Geraghty (5)

Cheltenham Festival Results and History

As discussed, looking at previous results can help with future predictions in major races. The following four tables list the winners of the four biggest races during the four-day festival. Besides listing the winning horse, trainer and jockey, we include the horse’s age and odds to help you identify any trends.

The Champion Hurdle (2010-2022)

YearHorseTrainerJockeyAgeOdds
2022HoneysuckleHenry de BromheadRachael Blackmore81/2
2021HoneysuckleHenry de BromheadRachael Blackmore711/10
2020EpatanteNicky HendersonBarry Geraghty62/1
2019Espoir d’AllenGavin CromwellMark Walsh516/1
2018Buveur d’AirNicky HendersonBarry Geraghty74/6F
2017Buveur d’AirNicky HendersonNoel Fehily65/1
2016Annie PowerWillie MullinsRuby Walsh85/2F
2015FaugheenWillie MullinsRuby Walsh74/5F
2014JezkiJessica HarringtonBarry Geraghty69/1
2013Hurricane FlyWillie MullinsRuby Walsh913/8F
2012Rock On RubyPaul NichollsNoel Fehily711/1
2011Hurricane FlyWillie MullinsRuby Walsh711/4F
2010BinocularNicky HendersonTony McCoy69/1

The Champion Chase (2010-2022)

YearHorseTrainerJockeyAgeOdds
2022EnergumeneWillie MullinsPaul Townend87/2
2021Out The Kettle OnHenry de BromheadAidan Coleman717/2
2020PolitologuePaul NichollsHarry Skelton96/1
2019AltiorNicky HendersonNico de Boinville92/5
2018AltiorNicky HendersonNico de Boinville8EvensF
2017Special TiaraHenry de BromheadNoel Fehily1011/1
2016Sprinter SacreNicky HendersonNico de Boinville105/1
2015Dodging BulletsPaul NichollsSam Twiston-Davies79/2
2014Sire de GrugyGary MooreJamie Moore811/4
2013Sprinter SacreNicky HendersonBarry Geraghty71/4
2012Finian’s RainbowNicky HendersonBarry Geraghty94/1
2011Sizing EuropeHenry de BromheadAndrew Lynch910/1
2010Big ZabColm MurphyBarry Geraghty910/1

The Stayers’ Hurdle (2010-2022)

YearHorseTrainerJockeyAgeOdds
2022Flooring PorterGavin CromwellDanny Mullins74/1
2021Flooring PorterGavin CromwellDanny Mullins612/1
2020Lisnagar OscarRebecca CurtisAdam Wedge750/1
2019Paisley ParkEmma LavelleAidan Coleman711/8
2018PenhillWillie MullinsPaul Townend712/1
2017Nichols CanyonWillie MullinsRuby Walsh710/1
2016ThistlecrackColin TizzardTom Scudamore8EvensF
2015Cole HardenWarren GreatrexGavin Sheehan65/2F
2014More Of ThatJonjo O’NeillBarry Geraghty615/2
2013SolwhitCharles ByrnesPaul Carberry917/2
2012Big Buck’sPaul NichollsRuby Walsh95/6
2011Big Buck’sPaul NichollsRuby Walsh810/11
2010Big Buck’sPaul NichollsRuby Walsh75/6

The Cheltenham Gold Cup (2010-2022)

YearHorseTrainerJockeyAgeOdds
2022A Plus TardHenry de BromheadRachael Blackmore83/1
2021Minella IndoHenry de BromheadJack Kennedy89/1
2020Al Boum PhotoWillie MullinsPaul Townend8100/30
2019Al Boum PhotoWillie MullinsPaul Townend712/1
2018Native RiverColin TizzardRichard Johnson85/1
2017Sizing JohnJessica HarringtonRobbie Power77/1
2016Don CossackGordon ElliottBryan Cooper99/4F
2015ConeygreeMark BradstockNico de Boinville87/1
2014Lord WindermereJim CullotyDavy Russell820/1
2013Bobs WorthNicky HendersonBarry Geraghty811/4F
2012SynchronisedJonjo O’NeillTony McCoy98/1
2011Long RunNicky HendersonSam Waley-Cohen67/2F
2010Imperial CommanderNigel Twiston-DaviesPaddy Brennan97/2F
Champ after victory at Cheltenham Festival

2023 Cheltenham Festival Tickets and Hospitality

Racegoers sink over 200,000 pints of Guinness at the Cheltenham Festival, pop more than 10,000 bottles of champagne, and consume over 30,000 hospitality meals. It’s about much more than just horse racing.

The Jockey Club offer a whole range of hospitality packages, including hotel stays and even helicopter transport to the racecourse. There are several Michelin star restaurants on the festival grounds and a boutique shopping village, with live entertainment from famous artists.

The cheapest single day tickets to the festival are £40, which gives you access to the Best Mate enclosure. From £65 you can get into the famous Tattersall’s enclosure where you’ll get a better view of the winning post. And from £80, you can get access to the more exclusive Club enclosure with prime viewing positions of both parade ring and winning post. These cheaper prices are accessible when you book for a group.

Alternatively, you can enjoy fine dining in a private box with a perfect view of the racecourse. However, the top private boxes go for around £900 per person, so you might need to back more than a few winners to pay for it!

Claim One of the Best Cheltenham Betting Offers

Now that you’re familiar with the biggest Cheltenham races, it’s time to claim one of the best Cheltenham betting offers.

Take your pick from any of the horse racing betting sites on this page, follow the link, and open an account to claim your offer. Then it’s time to pick a winner.

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FAQs

How do I bet on Cheltenham?

It’s easy to bet on Cheltenham. First, join an online bookmaker with Cheltenham betting offers for new customers. Depending on the bookmaker, you may need to deposit to claim an offer. Next, navigate to the horse racing section and find the latest Cheltenham betting odds. Then pick a horse and watch the race.

Who is giving free bets for Cheltenham?

All the best horse racing betting sites offer Cheltenham free betsto celebrate one of the biggest eventsin the racing calendar. Many Cheltenham free bets are exclusive to new customers, but you’ll also find special offers like odds boosts, extra places paid and other promotions for both new and existing customers.

What are the best Cheltenham offers for existing customers?

Best odds guaranteed is always a great Cheltenham betting offer, as it ensures you get bigger odds if your horse begins to drift down the pecking order close to race time. Extra places is another lucrative offer, as it gives you a higher chance of getting paid when betting on an outsider to place.
Q.

What year was the first Cheltenham Festival?

A.
The first official Cheltenham Festival was held in 1911. It was originally named the National Hunt Meeting and had regularly changed venue since the first National Hunt Chase was run in 1860. The meeting settled at Cheltenham in 1911 after an agreement between the National Hunt Committee and the Steeplechase Company, and it has remained at Cheltenham’s Prestbury Park ever since.

About the author

Alan Penny
Alan Penny

Editor-in-Chief

Alan hails from Northern Ireland and is an avid fan of all sports. He has been with us since 2017 and serves as SBO’s Editor-in-Chief. Alan passionately covers everything from the latest regulatory developments across the globe to tips on the latest football matches.