The Cheltenham Festival is here! The four greatest days in jump racing are well and truly on. This is a celebration of the best jumping horses and jockeys in the world – and the chance for you to bet on them in action.
Check out our ultimate Cheltenham Festival preview, with Cheltenham Festival free bets and Cheltenham Festival top tips below.GET CHELTENHAM FREE BETS GET CHELTENHAM TOP TIPS
For jump racing fans, the Cheltenham Festival is quite simply the highlight of the year.
These four days are the pinnacle of the sport, with the best horses in the world competing for major prizes and the chance to grab a slice of immortality.
The Cheltenham Festival dates are written into people’s calendars and minds months in advance. Each of the four days of the meeting is packed with great action and highlighted by famous races.
On Tuesday it’s the Champion Hurdle, a two-mile shoot-out between the fastest horses over the smaller obstacles.
The chasers take centre stage on the Wednesday with the Champion Chase, a thrilling clash of the finest two-milers in the world.
Thursday’s highlight is the Stayers’ Hurdle, a fascinating three-mile test of jumping, speed and stamina.
Out of all the Cheltenham races, however, the climax arrives on Friday with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the ultimate test to identify the finest staying chaser.
Some of the greatest horses in the sport’s history have won the Gold Cup. Each year another chapter is written, and another name added to the roll of honour, in the story of this prestigious event.
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Horseracing.co.uk ambassador Bryony Frost is gearing up to ride the magnificent Frodon in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday 19th March alongside a number of other rides at the festival - listed below;
The Cheltenham Festival countdown is a fabulous time to be a horse racing bettor.
Bookmakers eager to attract customers offer a host of tempting bonuses in exchange for new business across the four days of Cheltenham Festival coverage.
When you are looking to start betting on Cheltenham races, it is highly advisable to check out the offers, free bets and bonuses available that can seriously boost your punting power.
Some sportsbooks are quick off the mark in offering Cheltenham-specific bonuses. At Betfair, you can get up to £100 in free bets for the festival. Just place 5 x £10 bets to get a free bet. Repeat 5 times to get £100 in free bets.
Other operators are offering an enhanced bonus in return for your initial investment. Ladbrokes and Coral will both give you £20 in free bets when you sign up and place an initial £5 bet. Betway will also give you up to £10 in free bets.
Similarly, Betfred and 888sport will reward you with £30 in free bets when you place a first bet of £10.
18+ New UK & NI customers only. promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet of £10 in one bet transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0) . settled within 60 days. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement, 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 60 Free Spins on Justice League Comics. 7-day expiry.Full T&Cs apply.Full T&C's apply
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & full T&C’s applyFull T&C's apply
Bet £10 on racing with BetVictor and you’ll receive £40 in bonuses in your new account.
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus, a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. T&Cs Apply, see below. Please Gamble Responsibly.Full T&C's apply
At William Hill, there’s £30 in free bets on offer in return for a first bet of £10 – that rises to £40 if you sign up via mobile.
Bet365 will enhance your account considerably in time for the festival. Sign up as a new customer and whatever amount you deposit up to £100 will be matched in free bets.
Risk-free first bets are also a popular option. Paddy Power will refund an initial wager of up to £20, while at Unibet you get a bonus of up to £40.
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Many of the above are ongoing sign-up offers that are particularly timely in the countdown to Cheltenham; there will be many more race-specific promotions in the days before the festival.
Please check the terms and conditions of all bonuses to make sure you are aware of any restrictions.GET CHELTENHAM FREE BETS GET CHELTENHAM TOP TIPS
When it comes to betting on the finest horse racing at the Cheltenham Festival, there are some simple do’s and don'ts that will help you enjoy the experience.
DO your homework. Spend some time researching the form book and checking out runners’ previous races, as well as the form of trainers and jockeys. Our Cheltenham Festival top tips page will help!
DO place extra value on horses’ previous form at Cheltenham and, in particular, at previous festivals. This is a unique course and occasion – not every horse performs at its best here.
DO take note of the trends applying to winners of particular races.
DO vary your stakes. You don’t have to bet the same amount on each race. It’s also wise to bet each-way on horses at double-figure odds in big-field handicaps.
DO take advantage of free bet offers and bonuses. The first day of Cheltenham is a terrific day to open new accounts, while existing customers can also find plenty of offers. Use our Cheltenham free bets page to see what’s available.
DO look for, and take advantage of, special money-back offers on losers in certain races. You’re getting a risk-free bet.
DON’T listen to too many people. There is a huge amount of opinions out there – take too much onboard and you’ll end up confused.
DON’T bet on every race. If you can’t pick a selection with any confidence, or you believe the favourite will win but the price is too short, it’s OK to sit this one out.
DON’T chase your losses. If you’ve had a few losers, it’s tempting to put more money on your next selection. Stick with your original staking plan.
DON’T make it all about the betting. Of course, enjoying a bet is a huge part of the Cheltenham experience, but the festival is, first and foremost, a spectacle of incredible racing. Enjoy the action, savour it – then start looking forward to next year.
The Cheltenham Festival is so exciting, the atmosphere around it so intoxicating, that it’s tempting to get carried away and bet more than you can afford.
It’s essential to remember at all times that betting should be an enjoyable leisure experience. So work out what you can happily spend across the four days - that way, any return you get is a pleasant bonus.
Please don’t bet beyond your means. It’s important that you bet responsibly, for the sake of your own health and that of those close to you.
If you are ever worried about your levels of gambling, contact organisations such as GamCare that can help you.
There are three courses at Cheltenham - the Old (used the first two days), the New (used Thursday and Friday) and the Cross-Country (used on Wednesday).
Prize money across the four days comes to more than £4.5million.
The total attendance at the Festival is normally more than 260,000.
Betting turnover on the 28 races is estimated at up to £500,000,000.
Only one horse has won the same Festival race six years running: Quevega in the Mares’ Hurdle in 2009-2014.
There are 22 fences to be jumped in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Is Cheltenham Festival cancelled?
No. The 2021 Cheltenham Festival is going ahead on March 16th to March 19th 2021. Cheltenham Festival took place in 2020, in the early stages of the Covid-19 crisis, before all racing was suspended. The last time the Festival was cancelled was in 2001, as a result of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.
When does Cheltenham Festival start?
The tapes go up on the first race of the Festival, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, at 1.20pm on the afternoon of Tuesday March 16th 2021. This is usually accompanied by a huge roar from the watching crowd - sadly, as the festival is taking place with no crowds this year, we’ll have to wait for next year to hear that roar again.
How do I watch the Cheltenham Festival online for free?
There are live streams of all races provided by the TV channels who have the rights to Cheltenham Festival coverage. If the bookmaker you use offers live streaming, you will be able to watch the action live provided you have a bet on the event, or a positive account balance.
How many races are there at the Cheltenham festival?
There are now seven races on each of the four days of the Festival, with the first starting at 1.20pm and the seventh at 4.50pm. The number of races has gradually grown since the Festival switched from three days to four in 2005.