Cheltenham Betting (2022) - Everything You Need to Know

Original artwork featuring the words Cheltenham Festival and an animated rider on a horse followed by the coat of arms of Cheltenham Festival

There are some locations that remain synonymous with horse racing in the UK and Ireland, from Uttoxeter and Curragh to Ascott and Newmarket.

Cheltenham is arguably the trailblazer in this respect, however, as this is home to the world-famous Cheltenham Festival and a host of other meetings that are held all year round.

In this guide, we'll explore Cheltenham betting in greater detail, while taking a look ahead to 2022 and next year's Cheltenham Festival.

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Cheltenham Betting Tips - What Do You Need to Know?

We'll take a closer look at the Cheltenham Festival and next year's iteration a little later in the guide, but let's start by considering the most popular betting markets in play during the festival (and other meetings hosted at the racecourse). Here's our selection of the most widely utilised betting markets:

  • The Place Bet: The Cheltenham Festival is home to a number of G1 races, including the iconic Gold Cup. Races of this type typically feature packed and competitive fields, making it incredibly hard to predict a winner with any accuracy. Even in this year's iteration, Minella Indo romped home having started the race priced at 9/1, while the 100/30 second-favourite (Plus Tard) trailed in second. This is where a place bet can prove highly effective, as this enables you to profit if your chosen horse places fourth or higher, creating a scenario where you can recoup at least some of your stake at the end of the race.
  • The Win Bet: This remains the single most popular Cheltenham wager and one that pays out in full and at the advertised odds in instances where your horse claims first place in a particular race. This is the best way to wager when backing heavy or short-priced favourites to prevail, as this will help to optimise your returns in line with the amount staked. This is also the single most thrilling type of bet and one that's synonymous with high-octane meetings such as the Cheltenham Festival.
  • The Trifecta Bet: A favourite amongst seasoned horse racing fans or students of form, a trifecta bet requires you to pick the first three finishers of a race in the exact order. Of course, the odds of this wager coming in are relatively lengthy, while there are also multiple ways to play the bet with a view to increasing your win probability incrementally. Just be warned, however, as trifecta bets actually account for a large percentage of the handle (or racetrack profit) each day.
  • The Accumulator Bet: Last, but not least, we come to accumulator bets, which tend to include four or more selections within a single wager. Each selection has its own unique odds, which are then combined to create a cumulative price that's considerably higher and creates a fascinating balance between risk and reward. You can include up to 20 selections in your acca bet, while this type of wager is particularly popular at a meeting like Cheltenham where there are numerous races held across four glorious days.

As you can see, each of these wagers has its own unique risk profile, and you'll need to factor this information in when deciding how to deploy your bankroll at the Cheltenham Festival or similar event.

When it comes to wagers such as accumulator bets, however, you can optimise your chances of winning by including between four and six selections and favouring short-priced favourites that are likely to prevail.

This way, you can create inflated returns without overly compromising your chances of winning, while we'd recommend targeting high profile races such as the Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle.

Cheltenham Odds - The Key Races and Odds History

Obviously, it's far too early to list odds for next year's Cheltenham Festival, which is typically run in March to coincide with St. Patrick's Day.

Even the popular ‘Showcase' event on October 22nd and 23rd is too far away to feature accurate runners and odds, but rest assured that we'll be updating this page with the relevant information just as soon as we can.

However, we can take a look at the Cheltenham Festival's key races, while looking at their most recent history and the ante-post odds afforded to eventual winners.

The Gold Cup

Day 4 of Cheltenham Racing which represents the Gold Cup Race

We'll start with the aforementioned Gold Cup, which is a key staple of Cheltenham betting and one of the richest races in the world with a total prize fund of £468,750 (as of this year's iteration).

This Grade 1 National Hunt horse race is run on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse, over a distance of about 3 miles, 2 ½ furlongs.

It can trace its history back to July 1819, when the first-ever iteration of the Cheltenham Gold Cup was held. Interestingly, this was actually a flat race contested over three miles on Cleeve Hill, which overlooks the current venue.

Students of the sport will know that the Gold Cup's most successful horse is the incredible Golden Miller, who claimed five consecutive wins between 1932 and 1936. This puts the horse ahead of several rivals who have claimed three Gold Cup triumphs, including the iconic Arkle who prevailed in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

These three successes were masterminded by the excellent Pat Taafe, who can also lay claim to being the Cup's most prolific jockey with four victories overall. He earned his fourth triumph in 1968, with the horse Fort Leney.

In recent history, it's interesting to note that ante-post favourites have rarely won at the Cheltenham Gold Cup. What's more, 2014 saw the 20/1 shot Lord Windermere claim a shock win at Cheltenham, while the 12/1 runner Al Boum Photo won by two-and-a-half lengths from Anibale Fly (22/1) in 2019.

Even this year's race saw the 9/1 shot Minella Indo claim an impressive win over Plus Tard (100/30), while just three favourites have crossed the line first in the Gold Cup during the last 10 years.

Of course, some will argue that this is normal in National Hunt races, where the hurdles provide a significant challenge to runners (especially in soft going) and can see several fancied contenders fall in a moment.

This is something to bear in mind when betting in 2022, as outside runners can offer huge value as either win or place wagers.

The Golden Miller Novices' Chase

Day 3 of Cheltenham Racing which represents the Golden Miller Novices' Chase

Last, but not least, we come to the Golden Miller Novices' Chase, which is yet another G1 National Hunt race that's open to runners aged five years and older.

This is run over a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs, while the winner here walked away with a cool £131,250 in 2021.

Despite being introduced in 2011 as a new race at the festival (it's typically run on a Thursday), it has made quite a stir at Cheltenham, while also managing to capture the attention of the world's leading runners and riders.

To this end, the excellent Ruby Walsh has claimed three wins at this race since its inception, with Vautour (2015), Black Hercules (2016) and Yorkhill (2017). Each of these horses was also trained by Willie Mullins, who has actually seen four of his runners prevail at the Golden Miller Novices' Chase, with Sir Des Champs winning the second iteration in 2012.

It's a little too early to see a trend in the ante-post price of winners, but the slightly shorter nature of the race means that favourites are arguably more likely to succeed than others.

The Champion Hurdle

Day 1 of Cheltenham Racing which represents the Champion Hurdle Race

The Champion Hurdle is another G1 race at the Cheltenham Festival, albeit one that's run over the much smaller distance 2 miles and ½ furlongs.

Open to runners aged four years and older, there's also a hefty prize of £337,500 and a winner's cheque on offer of £189,911.

First run in 1927, the Champion Hurdle has a rich and stellar history, with several top-tier runners who have won this prestigious crown on three separate occasions. The most recent horse to achieve this was Istabraq, who prevailed in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Since then, three horses have won the Champion Hurdle twice, including Buveur d'Air (who achieved this feat most recently in 2017 and 2018).

On a similar note, three jockeys have won four Champion Hurdles, including two recent competitors in the form of Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty. The former won four times in six years between 2011 and 2106, including twice with the excellent Hurricane Fly, while the latter claimed his most recent triumph in 2020 with Epatante.

Interestingly, the favourite is statistically more likely to prevail at the Champion Hurdle, with this having happened on six occasions during the last 10 years. This has also occurred during three of the last four years, while the 11/10 ante-post favourite Honeysuckle beat the 11/1 shot Sharjah by six clear lengths in the 2021 race.

So, you can give a little more credence to the favourites here, although it's important to review the form and the ante-post odds in full before making a selection!

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Cheltenham's Fixtures - Beyond the Cheltenham Festival

Riders on their horses racing around the Cheltenham race track

While the Cheltenham Festival absolutely dominates the racecourse's calendar, this is one of just eight meetings scheduled to be hosted at the venue over the course of the next year or so.

We've broken down these meetings in the table below, along with their scheduled dates and some of the standout races that you expect to enjoy!

Fixture / MeetingScheduled DateThe Key Races

The Showcase

Friday 22nd to Saturday October 23rd 2021

The Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Steeplechase and the Masterson Holdings Hurdle race

The November Meeting

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th November 2021

The Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle and The Sky Bet Supreme Trail Novices' Hurdle

The International

Friday 10th - Saturday 11th December

The Unibet Handicap Steeple Chase

New Years' Day

Saturday January 1st 2022

The Paddy Power Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021Million Novices' Steeple Chase

Festival Trials Day

Saturday January 29th 2022

The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

The Cheltenham Festival

Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th March 2022

The Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle

The April Meeting

Wednesday 13th to Thursday 14th April 2022

The Ballymore Silver Trophy Chase (A Limited Handicap)

Race Night

Friday 29th April 2022

The JRL Group Open Hunters' Steeple Chase

These dates and times are subject to change in some instances, of course, so you can check out the full Cheltenham Racecourse calendar here.

A Brief History of the Cheltenham Festival

The modern-day Cheltenham Festival is one of the most popular and prestigious of its type anywhere in the world, with 28 stellar races (including 14 Grade 1 events) run over the course of four action-packed days.

While millions are now gambled as 70,000 enthralled spectators pack into the venue every March, however, the festival was a much smaller and low-key event when it originated back in 1860. At this time, the National Hunt Chase was first held at Market Harborough, taking place at several locations as it shifted across the country.

By the turn of the 20th century, it was most frequently held at Warwick Racecourse, before Cheltenham's Prestbury Park hosted the meeting in 1904 and 1905. It moved there permanently in 2011, and has remained at the same iconic venue ever since!

By 2005, the festival had been extended to cover four days, thanks to the addition of several new races. Organisers have continued to add Grade II races to the meeting since, including the aforementioned and highly popular Golden Miller Novices' Chase.

Your FAQs Answered

We get asked a great deal of questions here are BetinIreland, especially pertaining to Cheltenham betting and how to access the very best value odds.

We’ve sought to answer some of these below, so that you can prepare for the 2022 Festival or any other Cheltenham race meeting that you may want to attend!

How Can I Bet on the Cheltenham Festival?

Of course, you can place ante-post and even live wagers with your choice of online sportsbook using your smartphone, enabling you to compare the market for the best real-time odds. However, there are also on-course bookmakers where you can place cash bets, although you should note that the remainder of the venue (including concession stands) is cashless.

Can I Purchase Tickets on the Day?

While the short answer is yes, this is a practice that we would advise against if you want to be sure of seeing the action. Additionally, this will offer you access to early-bird discounts, which typically end on midnight the day before racing commences.

How Many Enclosures are There at Cheltenham Racecourse?

Currently, there are three separate enclosures at Cheltenham Racecourse; namely Club, Tattersalls and Best Mate. Each offer their own unique experiences and variable dress codes, so we’d recommend checking out the official site here to learn more about the venue!

How Can I Contact the Racecourse?

The venue’s reception is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding Bank Holidays). You can also make enquires by email at Cheltenham.Reception@thejockeyclub.co.uk,, while the racecourse advises you not to call or leave a message at present as this may not be responded to in a timely manner.