Cheltenham Festival 2019: Horse Racing Tips And Essential Betting Guide

Martin Green

Sunday, March 3, 2019 8:30 AM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 3, 2019 8:30 AM UTC

The 2019 Cheltenham Festival will be one of the biggest betting events of the year and our betting guide explains the key markets and statistics you need to arm yourself with before placing your wagers.

<h2>Daily Updates:</h2><p><strong>Friday, March 15th</strong></p><ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham day four"><b>Cheltenham Day Four Preview</b></a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Gold Cup"><b>Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview</b></a></li></ul><p><strong>Thursday, March 14th</strong></p><ul> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham day three recap">Cheltenham Festival Day Three Recap</a></strong><strong> </strong></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham leading trainer"><strong>Cheltenham Leading Trainer Battle Delicately Poised</strong></a></li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham day three preview">Cheltenham Festival Day T</a></strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham day three preview"><strong>hree Preview</strong></a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Stayers' Hurdle preview"><strong>Stayers' Hurdle Preview</strong></a></li></ul><p><strong>Wednesday, March 13th</strong></p><ul> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham day two recap">Cheltenham Festival Day Two Recap</a></strong></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham leading trainer"><strong>Cheltenham Leading Trainer Update: Henderson Leads Mullins And Elliott</strong></a></li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival: Day Two Preview">Cheltenham Festival: Day Two Preview</a></strong></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Chase Preview"><strong>Queen Mother Champion Chase Preview</strong></a></li></ul><p><strong>Tuesday, March 12th</strong></p><ul> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival: Day One Preview">Cheltenham Festival: Day One Preview</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey Betting">Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey Betting</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Champions Hurdle">Champion Hurdle Betting Preview</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Day One Recap: Willie Mullins Leads The Way">Cheltenham Day One Recap: Willie Mullins Leads The Way</a></strong></li></ul><h2> </h2><h2> </h2><h2>The Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide</h2><p>The Cheltenham Festival is the most prestigious meeting of the National Hunt season and it always serves up a dazzling blend of action, drama and intrigue. The leading trainers, jockeys and racehorse owners from across the UK, Ireland and further afield will vie for glory over four spectacular days of racing. It boasts no fewer than 14 Grade 1 contests including the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Gold Cup">Gold Cup</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Hurdle">Champion Hurdle</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Queen Mother Champion Chase">Queen Mother Champion Chase</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Stayers’ Hurdle">Stayers’ Hurdle</a>. Millions of pounds in prize money is also up for grabs and each race will be ferociously competitive. It is sure to be one of the biggest betting events of the year and OddsMarket will provide in-depth coverage and Cheltenham Festival 2019 horse racing tips throughout.</p><h2>History</h2><p>The festival was first held in 1860 at Market Harborough. It was initially called the Grand National Hunt meeting and it moved around during the Victoria era, before settling at the new Prestbury Park in Cheltenham in 1911, where it has remained to this day. The aim was to establish Cheltenham as the home of jumps racing, just as Newmarket was the home of flat racing. The 1911 event was a grim, two-day affair that suffered from foul weather and heavy going, but 33/1 shot Sir Halbert delighted some punters with a surprise victory.</p><p>The following year the Stayers’ Hurdle was launched as Aftermath romped to victory and earned his owner the princely sum of £100. In 1923, the organisers decided to increase the meeting to three days. The Gold Cup began life in 1924, followed by the Champion Hurdle in 1927 and the Champion Chase in 1958. In 2005, it grew to a four-day meeting and five races were added to ensure there is superb racing each day. Now there are 28 races in total and 14 are at Grade 1: the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Challenge Trophy, Champion Hurdle, David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle, RSA Chase, Champion Bumper, Golden Miller Novices’ Chase, Festival Trophy, Stayers’ Hurdle, Triumph Hurdle, Spa Novices’ Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.</p><h2>Cheltenham Festival 2019 details</h2><p>The 2019 Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday, March 12, at 1.30pm (GMT) with the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. There are seven races per day and the opening card also includes the Arkle and the Mares’ Hurdle, but the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Hurdle">Champion Hurdle</a> is the showpiece event on day one. Wednesday is Ladies’ Day and there will be muddy stilettos all round. The <a href="" target="_blank" title="Queen Mother Champion Chase">Queen Mother Champion Chase</a> is the biggest race that day, but the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle, the RSA Chase and the Champion Bumper are all Grade 1 contests too.</p><p>Day three is St Patrick’s Thursday and the famous racecourse will turn into a sea of green as pints of Guinness are downed and the action heats up. This day hosts the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Stayers’ Hurdle">Stayers’ Hurdle</a> and the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, which is among the top five richest contests of the festival. Then it culminates on Friday, March 15, with the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Gold Cup">Gold Cup</a> running at 3.30pm. It all ends with the £70,000 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at 5.30pm that day, by which time reputations will have been made and lost, heroes and villains will have emerged and hundreds of millions of pounds will have changed hands.</p><h2>Cheltenham Festival 2018 recap</h2><p>Last year witnessed a thrilling duel between favourite Might Bite and second favourite Native River in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. That duo left their rivals high and dry and slugged it out over 22 challenging fences, before Native River finally stormed clear on the home straight and seized victory by four and a half lengths. That denied Might Bite’s trainer, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Nicky Henderson">Nicky Henderson</a>, the greatest hat-trick imaginable at the Cheltenham Festival. He had already saddled Buveur d’Air to victory in the Champion Hurdle and Altior in the Champion Chase, but Might Bite eventually ran out of steam. Yet it was still a fine meeting for the English trainer and he will be back with a vengeance this year.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;A special performance from a very special horse&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Altior battled to victory in the &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@betway&lt;/a&gt; Queen Mother Champion Chase on Ladies' Day&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;That's three wins for him at &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#TheFestival&lt;/a&gt; - 2016, 2017 and 2018 🏆🏆🏆 &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;March 14, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>Penhill won the Stayers’ Hurdle for Willie Mullins, who overtook Henderson as the most successful trainer in the festival’s history as he saddled seven winners. Yet that still was not enough to walk off with the leading trainer honour as compatriot Gordon Elliott claimed a record-equalling eight winners over the four days. As such, the Irish won the Prestbury Cup with ease. Other big winners at the festival included Footpad, Benie Des Dieux, Samcro, Presenting Percy, Tiger Roll, Shattered Love, Balko Des Flos, Laurina and Farclas.</p><h2>Cheltenham Festival records</h2><p>Mullins is now out in front with 61 wins as the top trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival. Henderson is just behind him on 60, but he has been racing for 10 years longer than his Irish counterpart. Paul Nicholls is third in the all-time chart with 43 wins, while out of those currently active Jonjo O’Neill has 26 and Gordon Elliott has 22. Yet Elliott has only been going to Cheltenham since 2011 and he is soaring up the list thanks to his fruitful partnership with Ryanair boss and racehorse owner Michael O’Leary.</p><p>Elliott has been the leading trainer for the last two years, ending a four-year spell of dominance for Mullins, who previously worked with O’Leary before a bitter split. The legendary Ruby Walsh missed last year’s festival through injury, allowing Davy Russell to seize the top jockey title. Walsh had won it the previous five years thanks to his partnership with Mullins. He has been named top jockey nine times since 2008 and 10 times in total, making him the most successful rider in Cheltenham Festival history with 32 wins. The retired Sir Tony McCoy is second in the all-time list, with Barry Geraghty third on 20 wins.</p><h2>Changes for 2019</h2><p>The organisers have moved the second to last fence this year after facing a backlash over equine welfare. The penultimate jump was always tricky as it swiftly followed the final bend and had high faller rates. The decision to move it should lead to fewer overall fallers and therefore fewer frustrated punters. A couple of races have been moved around, but the big contests are all at the usual times.</p><h2>Prize money</h2><p>Prize money has remained broadly flat for Cheltenham Festival 2019 and, in the current climate, that is a decent result for the sport. Many courses are cutting prize money significantly as a result of the UK government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2, shrinking the amount of cash that bookmakers can plough into racing. Yet Cheltenham has managed to remain on an even keel, as it is such a popular event.</p><p>Last year prize money rose 7% to £4.6 million, and it is virtually identical this time around. That means the Cheltenham Gold Cup is still the richest Grade 1 race in Britain, with prize money of £625,000, while the Champion Hurdle boasts $450,000, the Champion Chase prize purse is £400,000, the Stayers’ Hurdle is at £325,000 and the Ryanair Chase is £350,000.</p><h2>Cheltenham Festival betting info</h2><p>The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest economic event in horseracing and punters wager more than £150 million over the four days. Sometimes the bookmakers make a killing, but other times they are taken to the cleaners. A couple of years ago <a href=";a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank" title="Ladbrokes">Ladbrokes</a> alone lost £60 million at the festival as a number of heavily backed favourites came in. This event transcends the sport of horseracing and earns a lot of TV coverage and plenty of column inches, so it brings in punters that would not normally bet on the gee-gees.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Heard the news? We’re going Non-Runner No Bet on ALL of the 28 Cheltenham Festival races!&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Here's what &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@NicolaMcGeady&lt;/a&gt; had to say ➡️ &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;February 28, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>The bookies are desperate for new business at this time of year, so they offer a range of different promotions in order to reel you in. Look out for all manner of free bet offers, and keep using our odds comparison tool to see which sites are offering the most attractive prices. Old-school bookmakers like <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b" target="_blank" title="William Hill">William Hill,</a> Ladbrokes and <a href=";a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a" target="_blank" title="Betfred">Betfred</a> built up their businesses on the back of horse racing and they all still offer exceptional market coverage. It is worth seeking out these established players, while also checking leading sites such as <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="Bet365">Bet365</a> and <a href=";a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356" target="_blank" title="Paddy Power">Paddy Power</a> for more great odds and bonus offers.</p><h2>Main betting markets</h2><p>For the most part, punters simply bet on which horse will win a particular race. The Gold Cup is the most popular, followed by the Champion Hurdle and the Champion Chase, but all 28 races attract a lot of action. You can bet on the winner or go each-way, which gives you a return if your horse places (which typically involves finishing in the top three or four, depending on how many runners there are). You can also look at forecasts and tricasts, or combinations. Other punters like to go for doubles, trebles, four-folds or larger accas over the festival, while you can also look at putting together a Trixie, Yankee, Super Yankee, Heinz, Super Heinz or Goliath.</p><p>You can also bet on who will be the top trainer at the festival, a market that looks set to develop into a straight fight between Mullins and Elliott. Paddy Power and Bet Victor make Eliott the favourite at 5/4, with Henderson surprisingly second at 2/1 with <a href=";a=acd6b93a-905e-45af-90ef-7eb1df661829" target="_blank" title="Coral">Coral</a> and <a href=";a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c" target="_blank" title="Betway">Betway</a> and Mullins out at 4/1 with Ladbrokes. Nicholls is an interesting long shot at 33/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral. Walsh is 3/1 with William Hill to reclaim his top jockey crown, with Gerraghty at 7/2 with Bet Victor, while Betway has 6/1 on Jack Kennedy and 13/2 on Russell. Finally you can bet on the winner of the Prestbury Cup, which is awarded to the country whose trainers secure the most victories. Ireland is the 8/11 favourite with Ladbrokes, while Betfred has 13/8 on Great Britain.</p><h2>A word on favourites</h2><p>It is always tempting to throw all your money at the favourite in a particular race, as that runner is typically in great form and looking formidable. However, the contests at the Cheltenham Festival are all very rich and prestigious, so they are all extremely competitive, with deep, star-studded fields aplenty. Bear in mind that favourites only win 30% of the time, so you will lose out overall if you always back them. This is amplified at a big meeting like Cheltenham as it is so competitive.</p><p>Last year, seven favourites out of 28 secured victory. It was a decent festival for the punters, as well-backed favourites like Altior and Buveur d’Air landed big races, but overall the favourites struggled. None were triumphant on the final day, for instance. In 2017, six favourites won out of 28, with short-priced hopefuls such as Douvan and Unowhatimeanharry letting punters down. You can back favourites – it can be a very profitable enterprise – but just do not back them all the time. Be selective. Do not ignore the less glamorous races either. There are 14 Grade 1 races at the festival, but you are just as likely to turn a profit out of an unheralded Listed contest or a less competitive juvenile race. If you treat each race with equal respect you could thrive.</p><h2>News on the 2019 Cheltenham Festival</h2><p>The Irish are sending a record 825 horses to Cheltenham this year, but Penhill will not be among their number as he is not fit enough. Le Richebourg will also miss the Arkle, but overall the Irish contingent looks huge and stacked with quality. British trainers saw their preparations for the festival plunged into chaos as <a href="" target="_blank" title="an equine flu outbreak">an equine flu outbreak</a> led to a six-day racing shutdown as 174 yards went into lockdown. However, the leading trainers have rallied and the home challenge will be strong at the Cheltenham Festival 2019. OddsMarket will provide updated news throughout the meeting, so be sure to bookmark this site and keep returning for on-going analysis, insight and horse racing tips.</p><p> </p>
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