Cheltenham Betting Offers 2018 - Best UK Bets & Promotions
Cheltenham festival 2018 Betting Overview
The Cheltenham Festival is a gambling bonanza.
No less than half a billion pounds will change hands during 4 days and 28 races and, unsurprisingly, bookmakers will be throwing out Cheltenham free bets aplenty in their attempts to attract the max from this veritable Cheltenham betting feast.
Unsurprisingly the online bookies make betting on the Cheltenham Festival races very straightforward. And likewise Cheltenham free bet offers are not difficult to find either. The only real challenge is deciding where to place them.
Bookmakers cannot hide their enthusiasm for the ‘greatest show on earth’ which to them represents not one but four Grand National days.
Here’s the type of Cheltenham betting offers they are sure to promote in order to get your new custom and keep it:
- New Customer/Account Sign-Up Offers – Expect the classic ‘new customer’ offers to be bigger and better than ever in the run-up to the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.
- Enhanced Odds – There are already some pretty outrageous Cheltenham betting offers when it comes to boosted prices. Betway’s 33/1 about Douvan, generally considered a 1/3 shot being a case in point.
- Risk Free Bets – A theme on a theme some firms, like betting exchange Smarkets, will give their customers the luxury of placing a Cheltenham Festival bet safe in the knowledge that if it loses the stakes will be returned to them.
- Special Bets and Markets – It is not only the horses you can bet on at Cheltenham. You can also bet on the outcome of the Prestbury Cup which is the honour bestowed to the country which wins the greatest number of races, the UK or Ireland, and who will be the leading owner. Non-Runner No Bet Offers
How to use your Cheltenham free bets
If you have acquired a pile of Cheltenham free bets through either signing up new betting accounts or via loyalty rewards, it is probably best using them on one of the 4 main ‘Championship’ races and not one of the notoriously difficult big-field handicap races.
Horse racing odds calculators will confirm these are absolute minefields whereas the Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Stayers Hurdle and Champion Chase can normally be far easier puzzles to solve.
Top Fancies for Cheltenham Betting 2018
That said, this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup betting looks something of a conundrum…
The defending champion, Sizing John put up a woeful display when racing at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival and drifted out from 3/1 to 8/1.
Might Bite is now favourite following his impressive King George victory on Boxing Day. The trouble is, no King George winner has won the Gold Cup in the same season since Kauto Star in 2008/2009.
Money Back Racing Offers
Undoubtedly there will be more free bets issued during Cheltenham 2018 than ever before. Money back offers, particularly as Cheltenham free bets, has become massively popular with customers and bookmakers seeing them as the ideal incentive to keep customers ‘coming back’.
It will not be uncommon for free bets to be given out for a number of specialist Cheltenham betting offers composed during the coming weeks and most certainly during the Festival itself.
Narrow margin losers, second to the SP favourite and last fence fallers, will all undoubtedly lead to some bookmaking firms refunding clients with money-back free bets.
Cheltenham Betting 2018 – Our Banker Bet
Conversely the Champion Hurdle looks a penalty-kick for its defending champion, Buveur D’air. His cause has been aided by a seemingly hopeless prep-run by Faugheen who was pulled-up at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival when a 2/11 odds-on favourite.
Buveur D’air is now odds-on favourite across the boards to win the Cheltenham 2018 Champion Hurdle with Faugheen out to 13/2 with his Willie Mullins trained stable-mated Melon and Yorkhill both trading at 9/1 in the Cheltenham betting 2018 odds, at the time of writing.
The Nicky Henderson trained favourite will have to defy the recent Cheltenham history books though, only once since 2001 has a horse won the Champion Hurdle in back-to-back years.
Other big Cheltenham 2018 Championship Races
Champion Chase Betting
Henderson will be hoping to collect the Champion Chase too with his brilliant Altior, winner of the ‘Arkle’ at last season’s Cheltenham Festival.
He looks set to extend his unbeaten sequence beyond the 11 it currently stands at. Indeed, the 8-year-old has never been beaten over chase fences!
Stayers Hurdle Betting
As for the Stayers Hurdle, a race which has grown and grown in stature since Ingles Driver won it three times (2004, 2005 & 2007) and the incomparable Big Bucks took it four consecutive years (2009-2012), there cannot be a repeat winner at Cheltenham 2018 as the defending champion was tragically killed at that bleak Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
Sam Spinner is the market leader here following his popular triumph in the Long Distance Hurdle. At odds of 9/2 he looks outstanding Cheltenham 2018 betting value especially when you consider the Irish-trained Supasundae is second favourite and he is an 8-year-old with just three wins to show for 14 starts in hurdle
Like any good party it takes a pile of freebies to get the action going and, in the case of Cheltenham betting offers in 2018 that means free bets, great concessions, offers and sign-up bonuses.
These have all been devised to attract your business and keep you loyal as a customer. But the shrewd punters out there can doubtlessly turn all these freebie offerings into genuine opportunity to make money during a veritable orgy of horseracing and betting opportunities.
And, while one online sportsbook would like to think they can get all your custom to themselves, any self-respecting punter will be well prepared with countless online accounts loaded up and ready for action during the four day Cheltenham Festival.
Just like an evaporating price, when an online Cheltenham Festival betting offer becomes available and it fits the profile/portfolio you are compiling, be prepared to pounce.
Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Champion Day Preview – 13th March 2018
Supreme Novices Hurdle
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
The first race of the Festival is a very competitive renewal of the Supreme Novices Hurdle. Run over a shade over two miles, the field must navigate eight hurdles around the Old Course before a sprint finish for the winning post.
There’s no doubt that current bookies’ favourite, Melon, will have most attention paid to him. He’s got a bright future ahead but with concerns about his pace and lack of experience, there are more than enough alarm bells to look elsewhere.
That opens the door for the six-year-old Ballyandy. A 6/1 shot with Ladbrokes, Ballyandy is well fancied for good reason.
His Betfair Hurdle win at Newbury proved his pace and stamina whilst allaying fears about his jumping after failing to win in three attempts over hurdles. Ballyandy’s improvement will continue Nigel Twiston-Davies, hopefully as early as Thursday afternoon.
Let’s keep the first bit of this preview short and sweet. Altior is a sure-fire favourite to claim his 10th win in a row by outclassing the field in the Arkle Trophy.
He is, however, very short at 1/3 with Coral but if you’ve got big money to bet, he’s perhaps the safest bet of the Cheltenham Festival.
It’s not all about Altior however. He’s got some classy challengers including the six-year-old gelding, Charbel.
Kim Bailey’s charge has only been beaten by top class horses (including Aitor) and could have the legs to push the favourite all the way.
At 16/1 with Betfred, Charbel represents very good each-way value.
There is no more important hurdle race in the National Hunt calendar than the Champion Hurdle. The 2018 renewal sees some very well regarded horses with a chance of adding their name to the list of illustrious previous winners of the opening day’s feature race.
Three of the last four winners of the Champion Hurdle went off as the favourite with the bookies but it’s not clear which of Yanworth or Buveur Dair will be favourite come the off.
Certainly there are other horses worthy of consideration (think Petit Mouchoir, Vroum Vroum Mag and previous winner, Jezki) but we think the winner will come from those top two in the betting.
Were it not for a slight injury worry in his preparations for the Festival, Yanworth would probably be shorter in the betting.
We don’t think you should let those fitness concerns trouble you.
Yanworth enjoyed a great pre-Cheltenham run by winning at Wincanton as a heavy odds-on favourite and we’re happy enough to side with JP McManus’s seven-year-old at odds of 7/2 with BetVictor.
- Ballyandy to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle at 6/1 with Ladbrokes
- Altior to win the Arkle Trophy at 1/3 with Coral
- Charbel each-way in the Arkle Trophy at 16/1 with Betfred
- Yanworth to win the Champion Hurdle at 7/2 with BetVictor
Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Ladies Day Preview – 14th March 2018
The Coral Cup is one of the most highly anticipated handicap races at Cheltenham and we certainly look to be in for a cracking renewal this year.
At two miles, five furlongs, it’s relatively long for a hurdle with 10 fences along the way making the Coral Cup a great test of speed, jumping and stamina.
The competitiveness of this race makes picking an outright winner tough but we think we’ve found a very good each-way prospect in Supasundae.
The seven-year-old goes into the race with a rating of 145 from the handicapper but he’s won with a similar rating before and connections are quietly confident about his chances at 25/1 with Coral.
Queen Mother Champion Chase
In reality, there is only one horse worth backing to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase – Douvan.
In many people’s eyes, Douvan is the best ever chaser at his age. The seven-year-old has a perfect record of 13 wins from the 13 races and is only available at a very short 1/3 with Ladbrokes.
Like Aitor on Tuesday, it’s going to take a big bet to get rich off a Douvan win but he looks to have this one sewn up.
In terms of challengers, there are few in with a sniff of catching Douvan but Sire De Grugy could at least claim a place for Gary Moore. The 11-year-old still has enough in the tank to warrant an each-way get at 25/1 with 888Sport.
The Champion Bumper is the biggest flat race in the National Hunt season. The two-miler has been run since 1992 and has given some of flat racing’s best jockeys the chance to experience the atmosphere of running at Cheltenham first hand.
It’s also traditionally a very competitive betting heat even if there is a clear favourite this year in the shape of Cater Mckay.
The six-year-old gelding has picked up two wins already for Willie Mullins and is a best price of 7/2 with Coral. It definitely looks as though he’s got what it takes to win Wednesday’s final race and we wouldn’t put anyone off a bet.
He’s not our only selection though.
We also think it could be worth chancing an each-way bet on Zaheer at 20/1 with William Hill. He’ll likely go under the radar but has been working well after a lengthy absence and should challenge his more fancied rivals.
- Supasundae each-way in the Coral Cup at 25/1 with Coral
- Douvan to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase at 1/3 with Ladbrokes
- Sire De Grugy each-way in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at 25/1 with 888Sport
- Carter Mckay to win the Champion Bumper at 7/2 with Coral
- Zaheer each-way in the Champion Bumper at 20/1 with William Hill
Cheltenham Festival 2018 – St Patrick’s Thursday Preview – 15th March 2018
There is always an exodus from Ireland to Gloucestershire for the Cheltenham Festival. Fans of horse racing and those involved in the sport make the hop over the Irish Sea for four of the best days of racing but they really come to the fore on St Patrick’s Thursday.
There’s green, Guiness and world class racing everywhere you look so let’s see if we can find some winners from Thursday’s best racing.
JLT Novices’ Chase
The St. Patrick’s Thursday racing gets underway with the JLT Novices’ Chase. The horses taking part don’t quite have the quality of the best chasers at the festival but this is always a competitive affair which often provides a thrilling finish.
Fittingly, Irish horses have a great record in the race and the Irish hopes are carried by Yorkhill who is the 7/4 favourite with Betway.
The seven-year-old has many fans but his jumping was poor at the recent Leopardstown schooling session which could open the door for Politologue.
The six-year-old has a poor record at Cheltenham but he’s in the form of his life and should kick Thursday off with a win for trainer Paul Nicholls at 13/2 with Betfair.
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle
12 qualifier races precede the Pertemps Final which is scheduled for 14:10 on Thursday. Any horse who finishes in the top five of those qualifiers gets the chance to race in the three miler which was won by Mall Dini last year.
There is no clear favourite in the early betting with each of Tobefair, Presenting Percy and Jury Duty attracting plenty of support.
The one that we’re siding with, however, is Isleofhopendreams at 14/1 with William Hill.
Isleofhopendreams won over fences in November but Willie Mullins decided to revert the 10-year-old to hurdles for Cheltenham. A winner on soft ground at the start of February, Isleofhopendreams will be towards the bottom end of the weights and should challenge, so back him each-way.
Thistlecrack’s absence from Cheltenham is a big blow this year, especially as he showed just what he’s capable of by winning the 2016 Stayers’ Hurdle. Some highly impressive horses are in the running to follow in his footsteps but who’s going to come out on top?
Although Irish horses have only won one of the last 10 renewals of the Stayers’ Hurdle, they’ve got a great chance for a big win in the shape of Ballyoptic.
The seven-year-old’s form doesn’t make for especially pretty reading given he’s fallen twice in his last four outings and failed to win either of the other two. He’s also got to get the better of the favourite, Unowhatimeanharry who’s won the last three races that Ballyoptic’s featured in.
However, he does have four impressive wins under his belt and got valuable Cheltenham experience in January. With the improving ground a further plus for Ballyoptic, back the Nigel Twiston-Davies horse each-way at 16/1 with Bet365.
- Politologue to win the JLT Novices’ Chase at 13/2 with Betfair
- Isleofhopendreams each-way in the Pertemps Final at 14/1 with William Hill
- Ballyoptic each-way in the Stayer’s Hurdle at 16/1 with Bet365
Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Gold Cup Day Preview – 18th March 2018
We’ve got Gold Cup tips below but there is more than one race worth getting excited about on Friday. Here’s our pick of the best of the betting.
Any hangovers from Thursday will quickly get blown away by Friday’s opener, the Triumph Hurdle. There look to be any number of entrants with a chance of victory but who should you be lending your support to?
Well, Charli Parcs is certainly an interesting option for the jockey/trainer combination of Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson. The four-year-old was certainly impressive enough in his British debut at Kempton in December even if he fell when Geraghty was on board for the first time in his last appearance.
At odds of 10/1 with William Hill, he’s a good each-way option.
The other horse worth getting on board is Landofhopeandglory for trainer Joseph O’Brien. O’Brien’s father, Aiden, claimed the Triumph Hurdle last year with Ivanovich Gorbatov and there’s a real chance this one will stay in the family.
Landofhopeandglory has made an impressive switch to hurdles after his flat career and again offers each-way appeal at 20/1 with Coral.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Gold Cup is hands down the biggest race of the Cheltenham Festival. It is a real shame that Thistlecrack has been ruled out with injury by Colin Tizzard but we’re still in line for a strong, competitive renewal.
Cue Card and Native River head the betting ahead of the Festival but the withdrawal of the long-term favourite suggests that we could get something of a shock winner.
Were it not for a pretty big fall at Sandown at the start of 2015, Champagne West could have worked his way up to being one of the world’s best chasers already. However, it’s taken a change in trainers for him to overcome the poor form which followed that setback.
With wins in his last two, the nine-year-old is approaching his best and can turn in his biggest performance in his biggest race at odds of 16/1 with BetVictor.
For a longer odds shot at Gold Cup glory, try a smaller stakes each-way bet on Zabana at 40/1 with William Hill. He’s beaten Champagne West before and certainly looks a little over-priced.
Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle
If you’ve settled down from the excitement of the Gold Cup we’ve got an each-way tip for the following race, the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle.
Le Rocher is not among the most highly fancied horses for the race but he’s well worth chancing at 25/1 with Betfred. The seven-year-old has bounced back impressively from injury back in 2014 and, with a previous win at Cheltenham, he can continue improving for trainer Nick Williams.
- Charli Parcs each-way in the Triumph Hurdle at 10/1 with William Hill
- Landofhopeandglory each-way in the Triumph Hurdle at 20/1 with Coral
- Champagne West each-way in the Gold Cup at 16/1 with BetVictor
- Zabana each-way in the Gold Cup at 40/1 with William Hill
- Le Rocher each-way in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurldle at 25/1 with Betfred