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A Beginner's Guide to Cheltenham Festival

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Cheltenham Beginner's Guide

A Beginners Guide to Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday 14th March 2023 and finishes on Friday 17th March. This is the most prestigious event in the National Hunt Racing calendar with 28 races taking place across the four days (7 races each day) from 13:30 pm while the last race of the day starts at 17:30 pm.

Here, we have taken a look at a beginner's guide for those who are betting on this event for the first time.

When is the Best time to Place a Bet?

Before betting on a race, there are factors to consider like when you place a bet on a goalscorer in football - rather than fitness factors, there are declarations in horse racing which will ultimately confirm if your selection will compete. There are two different types of declarations as we get closer to the day of racing.

Firstly, you have a 5-day declaration which is the penultimate stage for a horse to be withdrawn from a race but this is not the final field for the race.

Then comes at the 48-hour declaration stage. At 10:30 am two days before the race the final fields are settled and that is when the Bookmakers will put up their prices.

If you bet from the 48-hour stage and the horse still doesn't run you will then get your money back. If you bet at the 5-day declaration stage and your horse doesn't run, you will lose your money - so make sure your horse is declared to race at the 48-hour stage before placing a bet.

Favourites to Lookout For

In terms of favourites and trainers to watch out for Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Gordon Elliott are the four trainers at every meeting to keep an eye out for with them being the four most successful trainers currently still training at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Favourites from these trainers that will be worth looking out for are as follows:

Constitution Hill - Nicky Henderson - Champion Hurdle

Luccia - Nicky Henderson - Mares Novices' Hurdle

Jonbon - Nicky Henderson - Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase

Hermes Allen - Paul Nicholls - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

Gerri Colombe - Gordon Elliott - Brown Advisory Novices' Chase

Mighty Potter - Gordon Elliott - Turners Novices' Chase

Delta Work - Gordon Elliott - Cross Country Chase

Galopin Des Champs - Willie Mullins - Gold Cup

Lossiemouth - Willie Mullins - Triumph Hurdle

Allegorie De Vassy - Willie Mullins - Mares Chase

El Fabiolo - Willie Mullins - Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase

Energumene - Willie Mullins - Champion Chase

Gaillard Du Mesnil - Willie Mullins - National Hunt Chase

Races to Lookout For

In terms of key races to look out for during Cheltenham Festival, these are the main ones:

Championship Races: Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle, Ryanair Chase, Gold Cup.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is arguably the most prestigious in the racing calendar and at the festival as a whole.

Key Novice Races: Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase, Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, Turners Novices' Chase, Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Take a look at Cheltenham's day-to-day schedule/Race Card below:

Cheltenham Race Cards

Betting on Horse Racing

Single bet - this is a bet on a single horse to win a race, this can be a straight win or each way.

Each way betting - This is where you spread your stake on a horse to win and place in the race, getting a return if your horse loses but places in the following:

Seven runners in a race allows your horse to finish first (winners) or second behind the winner, eight to 15 runners is three places and 16+ is four places with some bookies always offering extra places.

Double bet - This is where you bet on two horses both to win in a bet, if one horse loses then the bet is lost.

Treble bet - Three horses to all win in a bet, if one horse loses then the bet is lost.

Lucky 15 - A Lucky 15 is 15 bets that are of equal value on selections in four different events. It includes four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator. It means if just one of your selections comes in you will get some sort of return and if more of those selections land then your returns will be greater.