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 this year's Cheltenham Festival, which is scheduled from the 15th-18th of March.

Best Cheltenham Festival Bookies

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The Best Betting Sites for Cheltenham

When it comes to betting on the big races at Cheltenham, you will find that the majority of sportsbooks will offer their punters markets and odds for many, if not all, of the races because they know just how much money is up for grabs from such big events. However, to say that not all bookies are created equally is a big understatement, so below we are going to have a look at five of what we feel are the best sites to use when it comes to betting on Cheltenham races.

BoyleSports

With regard to horse racing betting sites for those who reside in the Republic of Ireland, it is fair for us to say that BoyleSports is a bookie that you need to take a closer look at. This is an Irish sportsbook through and through, which means that they know just what it is that Irish sports bettors are searching for. If you are searching for somewhere where you can bet on the biggest and best races at Cheltenham and around the world, then BoyleSports racing have more than got you covered.

What is it exactly that makes BoyleSports a brilliant website for Irish horse racing betting fans? Well, one of the main things is the fact that they offer a variety of top bonuses that you can make use of where there is a race that you want to make a wager on. For instance, they like to offer up a "Best Odds Guarantee" promotion, which means that if you make a bet a few days before a race, and then on the day of the race the odds are even better, then they will pay you out according to those odds should your chosen horse go on to be a winner. Additionally, if you make a bet and your horse finishes in second place behind the favourite, they will return the value of your stake in the shape of a free bet. Thus, before you jump in and start betting on any race, we suggest that you have a look at the different promos that they have available.

To make them even better, they also offer their own live streaming service that gives you the chance to watch the race action unfold in front of you. They do not leave any stone unturned when it comes to horse racing.

Betway

When you are placing bets on horse races, whether it happens to be at the Cheltenham Festival or any other huge race, another bookmaker that we recommend horse racing punters to take a look at in closer detail is Betway. They offer horse racing fans a wide variety of markets and quality odds for all of the big events at Cheltenham, but you will also find odds and markets for the smaller and less well-known races as well.

Like BoyleSports, they also offer a variety of great promotions that their customers can make full use of. For instance, they too have a "Best Odds Guaranteed" promotion, so you will get paid out according to the highest odds on offer before the race started. Additionally, they also offer their punters an "Enhance Combo Wins" promo, and with this you can earn up to 60% more winnings. For instance, if you go ahead and place a two-fold bet and it is a winner, then Betway will be happy to add 2% more winnings, while if you go all out and make a 16-fold accumulator and it is a winner, you will get 60% added on to your winnings.

Can you watch live horse racing streams on Betway? Well, since Betway happens to be one of the biggest and best bookmakers around at this moment in time, you will probably not be surprised to hear us answer this question in the affirmative. They have a quality live streaming service where you will find action from all of the big events.

Bet365

With regard to sports betting site, you will not come across many that can compete with the likes of Bet365. Even if you have only spent a little of your time in the sports betting world, we are pretty sure that you have heard something about Bet365 as they now have a reputation as being on of the best bookies in the world.

So, what is it that makes Bet365 such a great site for betting on the horses? Well, not only do that offer their punters a wide range of markets and quality odds for the large events such as the Cheltenham Festival, but they also regularly offer odds and markets for races around the world, regardless of their size or popularity. If you suddenly get an urge to do some horse racing betting, we are sure that you will be able to find a race on Bet365 to bet on.

If you decide to sign up with Bet365, we suggest that you get into the habit of checking out their promotions page as they have a number of awesome promotions available for races. Just like the bookmakers that we mentioned above, they also offer a "Best Odds Guaranteed" bonus - we will not discuss this again since you should now know what it is. Additionally, they offer an "Each Way Extra" promotion, which provides you with the chance to increase or decrease the number of places for an Each Way bet for a selected event. As can be expected from such a good bookie, they have a really good live streaming feature and a top-quality mobile app that enables you to bet on the go.

William Hill

William Hill now has a reputation as being a great place for horse racing punters to place bets on big events such as the Cheltenham Festival. They offer a comprehensive book for this sport and provide odds and markets for a variety of races from across Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. They also have a really good virtual horse racing section, so if there are no real races on that you would like to place bets on, we recommend that you check it out.

There is one thing that makes William Hill stand out from their main competitors and this is the fact that they have their own radio station which is dedicated to horse racing. They regularly bring special guests on their show to talk about the big events that are coming up and to provide quality betting tips for such events. So, if you own a William Hill account and are thinking about betting on a race, we suggest that you tune into their station.

Like other betting sites that are truly serious about sports betting, they have a live streaming service, a wide variety of promotions for horse racing, and very good customer care. William Hill, it is fair to say, is at the top of their game with regard to horse racing betting.

Ladbrokes

When it comes to the oldest sportsbook out there, Ladbrokes gets the medal because they have been in existence for more than 130 years. The fact that they have been around for well over a century is a testament to just how good they are and is indicative of their quality. In such a competitive industry, if a bookmaker has any serious flaws, it will be chewed up, spat out, and discarded.

Ladbrokes are the main sponsors of plenty of huge races, so it makes perfect sense that they offer a variety of markets and good odds for big events such as the Cheltenham Festival. Alongside odds for the big events, you will also find decent odds for many smaller races that you might not have heard of. Additionally, they offer their punters a really good tipsters page where you can find really helpful tips for the big races. If you opt to open an account with Ladbrokes, you would be foolish not to take advantage of such tips.

As to be expected from a top sportsbook, they offer a wide variety of racing promos, a really good live stream, and top-quality customer care. If you like to place wagers on the go, then you will be happy to find out from us that they also have a quality app that you can download on Android or iOS to bet on the go.

Cheltenham Betting Tips - What Do You Need to Know?

We'll take a closer look at the Cheltenham Festival and this 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 utilized 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

In this section we are going to 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 last 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.

Below is the odds table for the Gold Cup that will take place on the 18th of March.

RunnerBet365William HillBoyleSportsBetwayLadbrokes
Al Boum Photo5/15/16/16/16/1
Asterion Forlonge21/121/122/122/121/1
A Plus Tard3/14/13/13/14/1
Aye Right80/180/180/180/180/1
Chantry House16/116/115/115/117/1
Galvin4/14/13/13/14/1
Minella Indo7/17/18/17/17/1
Protektorat11/111/110/110/111/1
Royale Pagaille20/119/120/119/120/1
Santini66/166/166/166/166/1
Tornado Flyer9/110/110/19/110/1

The Golden Miller Novices' Chase

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

Next, 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.

Below you can find the odds table for the Novices' Chase that is scheduled to be run on the 17th of March. There are only going to be four runners, but it should still be a very entertaining race.

RunnerBet365William HillBoyleSportsBetwayLadbrokes
Bob Olinger6/56/56/56/56/5
Busselton50/145/150/149/150/1
El Barra18/119/119/118/119/1
Galopin Des Champs5/65/65/65/65/6

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!

Below you can see the odds table for the Champions Hurdle that is scheduled to be run on the 15th of March. The odds are likely to change as we get closer to the race, so we will come back here and update them accordingly for you.

RunnerBet365William HillBoyleSportsBetwayLadbrokes
Honeysuckle2/51/21/24/91/2
Appreciate It2/13/13/13/13/1
Teahupoo6/17/17/17/17/1
Epatante9/17/17/17/17/1
Zanahiyr13/110/111/110/111/1
Adagio13/115/111/113/115/1
Tommys Oscar19/119/119/119/124/1
Saint Roi32/132/124/124/119/1
Buveur DairTBATBATBATBATBA
Glory and Fortune39/149/139/139/149/1
Monmiral39/132/132/132/124/1
Not So Sleepy49/132/139/139/149/1
Quilixios32/119/124/124/124/1
Tritonic99/149/165/165/165/1
My Mate Mozzie99/199/199/199/199/1

Qualifying Betting Offers for Cheltenham

The sports betting world is extremely competitive, and it is only going to become more and more competitive because new bookies are being created all the time. Therefore, if a sportsbook wants to be successful in this industry, they have to stick out and make themselves seen. Standing out is a bad thing in some cases in life, but in the sports betting industry it is the only way to be successful. A sportsbook that stands out from the crowd for all of the good reasons is one that has a really good chance of seeing new players sign up with them.

One of the main ways that bookmakers try to stand out is by offering quality bonuses that their punters can make use of on a variety of sporting events, which usually includes horse racing as well. While many bookies will offer some kind of Welcome Bonus nowadays, it is safe to say that not all welcome offers are created in the same manner. Therefore, in the table below, you can find eight sportsbooks that we believe are offering some of the best bonus offers around at the moment.

Betting SiteOfferBet Here
Leo VegasDouble winnings on first two betsClaim now
BetssonClaim up to €125Claim now
Bethard100% match up to €50Claim now
10bet50% match up to €50Claim now
Betvictor100% match up to €100Claim now
Mr. GreenTwo €10 free bets and 100 free spinsClaim now
BwinUp to €20 cashback on first bet if it losesClaim now
NetBet50% match up to €20Claim now

N.B. Please keep in mind that sports betting sites are changing their bonuses all of the time, so there is the chance that if/when you go to sign up with one of the bookies that we mentioned in the table above that the offer is no longer available. If this happens to you, then we apologise for any inconvenience that it might cause. We will always do our best to make sure everything is updated, but things move very fast in the sports betting world, and it is easy to miss things.

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 ShowcaseFriday 21at to Saturday October 22nd 2022The Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Steeplechase and the Masterson Holdings Hurdle race
The November MeetingFriday 11th to Sunday 13th November 2022The Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle and The Sky Bet Supreme Trail Novices' Hurdle
The InternationalFriday 9th - Saturday 10th DecemberThe Unibet Handicap Steeple Chase
New Years' DaySunday January 1st 2023The Paddy Power Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021Million Novices' Steeple Chase
Festival Trials DaySaturday January 29th 2022The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
The Cheltenham FestivalTuesday 15th to Friday 18th March 2022The Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle
The April MeetingWednesday 13th to Thursday 14th April 2022The Ballymore Silver Trophy Chase (A Limited Handicap)
Race NightFriday 29th April 2022The 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 [email protected],, 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.