Cheltenham 2019 Betting Tips & Free Bets

Read our Cheltenham Betting Guide for all you need to know about the 2019 Cheltenham Festival - the latest odds, how to bet, race schedule, best bookies & more.

Cheltenham Betting 2019

Forget the Derby meeting at Epsom, overlook Glorious Goodwood and disregard Royal Ascot. When it comes to the most popular horse race meeting in terms of betting turnover in Europe, nothing compares to the Cheltenham Festival.

Every March this four-day meeting, encompassing 28 races over hurdles and the larger chase fences, generates an estimated £700 million ($1,285 million in betting turnover).

It’s a totally unique experience – midweek racing action (Tuesday to Friday) with over 250,000 racegoers and a massive rivalry between the British trained runners and a huge visiting contingent from Ireland. Irish trained horses have won more races at the Cheltenham Festival than the home trained runners for the past three years.

Cheltenham Odds 2019

Each and every race at the Cheltenham Festival is major race. While the showpiece three-mile two-furlong Cheltenham Gold Cup may attract more bets than any other contest, every one of 24 races (all with a minimum race distance of two miles) generates huge betting turnover.

And the bookies don’t miss a trick when it comes to offering betting odds on every conceivable outcome – including which country will supply the most winners in 2019. (the Prestbury Cup) Furthermore, with major bookmakers sponsoring so many of the races, firms are keen to give their customers ‘feel good’ money back offers and concessions.

Unibet are sponsors of the Champion Hurdle on Day 1, for example, and are sure to devise some tasty offers and Cheltenham odds boosts on ‘their’ race.

By far the biggest Cheltenham surprise of all time was 100/1 Norton’s famous win at the 1990 Gold Cup. No other horse has come close to matching that, although many 40/1 and 50/1 underdogs have won in Grade 1 Cheltenham races over the years.

It’s not uncommon to see underdogs win the big races. At last year’s Cheltenham Festival, 5/1 Native River beat 4/1 favourite Might Bite, 12/1 Penhill won the Stayers’ Hurdle with 9/4 favourite Sam Spinner back in fifth place, and 8/1 Balko Des Flors won the Ryanair chase ahead of odds-on favourite Un De Sceaux.

The last few days has seen plenty of money flowing in for the Cheltenham Festival, with a number of horses being backed in from long odds to near-favouritism in the biggest races.

Cheltenham 2019 Tips

Following are some of our best betting tips on the major races on days three and four.

Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle

This 3-mile hurdle is always the highlight of the third day of the Cheltenham Festival. It has become one of the most open fields in the last few days with the withdrawals of last year’s winner Penhill and other highly regarded horses in Apple’s Jade and Samcro. Ladbrokes has Paisley Park as the 2.50 favourite, with Faugheen as the 5.00 favourite. If you’re looking for an underdog, then Supasundae is your horse. The 9-year-old has seen some heavy betting in recent days, bringing it in to the third line of betting at 7.50. Supasundae has placed in the top three in each of his last 11 races. He has raced in 19 hurdles for 5 wins and 15 top-three finishes. He’s hoping to go one better than last year’s second place finish in the Stayers’ Hurdle, when he finished two lengths behind the winner Penhill.

Ryanair Chase

The Stayers’ Hurdle isn’t the only big race on day three, with the Ryanair Chase to take place immediately beforehand at 1:50 a.m. AEDT. This one is a really open field, with seven of the 18 horses currently quoting single-figure odds at bet365. Footpad and Min lead the field at 4.50 each, with Monalee at 5.00, Road to Respect, 6.00, Frodon, 6.50, Un De Sceaux, 7.00, and Notch, 9.00. The horses will race across a 2-mile, 5-furlong course with 17 hurdles. Five of the participating trainers have won this race twice, including Willie Mullins with Un De Sceaux in 2017. Un De Sceaux has won 12 times and finished second five times from 19 chases in his career. He finished second in his return from an eight-month break in December, and is a genuine chance of winning this race for a second time.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

The final day is Gold Cup Day, featuring the Cheltenham Gold Cup, a 3-mile, 2 ½ furlong chase at 2:30 a.m. AEDT on Saturday morning. Bet365 again has all the best Cheltenham Gold Cup odds for Aussie punters. This race is shaping up as a battle of three, with Presenting Percy the favourite at 4.50, followed by Clan Des Obeaux and last year’s winner Native River, who are both paying 5.00. If you’re looking for an underdog, look no further than Thistlecrack on the sixth line of betting at 13.00. Thistlecrack is one of three Colin Tizzard-trained horses at this year’s Gold Cup, alongside Native River and Elegant Escape. The 11-year-old has won at Cheltenham before, going first past the post in the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2016. He’s been rested since Boxing Day, when assistant trainer Joe Tizzard confidently said he was ready to go straight through to the Gold Cup.

Cheltenham Schedule

Every day of the Cheltenham Festival has a ‘Championship Race’. Those being the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and Gold Cup.

Day 1 of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival kicks off with the SkyBet Supreme Novice Hurdle. There are two handicaps, which are sure to have big fields, on the card (the Ultima Handicap Chase and the National Hunt Chase) and there is also a trappy Novice Handicap Chase (the Close Brothers Novices Handicap). But the show stoppers are the Mares Hurdle (a race which the Irish always seem to win) and Unibet Champion Hurdle. In 2019 Buveur D’Air will attempt to win the race for a third time.

Day 2 sees the Neptune Novices Hurdle kick off proceedings. The RSA Chase is on the card as is the hyper competitive Coral Cup – which is something of a favourite’s graveyard – as is the unconventional Cross Country Chase. The day’s headline act is the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Look out for a horse called Altior here who is going for his 18th consecutive victory in this.

Day 3 is called ‘St Patrick’s Thursday’ in honour of the strong Irish representation.  On the course the three-mile ‘stayers championship’ race tops the bill and the JLT Novice Chase, big-field handicap hurdle race, the Pertemps, the Brown Advisory Plate and three-mile one-furlong amateur riders Kim Muir Challenge Cup make up part of the day’s seven races.

Gold Cup Day 2019 completes the four day annual Cheltenham Festival. It will see a capacity crowd of 70,000 racegoers packed into Cheltenham’s Prestbury Park racecourse where the opening race will be the Triumph Hurdle for four-year-old hurdlers and the curtain comes down on the show with the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle and the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase.

How to bet on the Cheltenham Festival

The process of logging in, locating your race, selection, bet type and chosen stake on your Cheltenham tips with an online bookie is as straight forwards as ever. But you will find far more betting options than just win & place when it comes to the Cheltenham Festival races.

Be prepared for incentives such as ‘money back if second’ and ‘money back if your horse is a faller’ and many other unique Cheltenham betting offers from the likes of bet365 and Ladbrokes who are Cheltenham’s premier bookies.

All the normal betting markets will be in place during Cheltenham week but as the big betting companies battle for business be prepared to take advantage of all the bonuses and incentives such as ‘additional each-way positions’ and odds boosts for big margin winners.


Recommended bookies for Cheltenham Festival betting

When it comes to getting the best offers, concessions, odds boosts and free bets it generally pays to stick with the major recommended brands when placing your Cheltenham Festival bets.

The bet365 Cheltenham betting concessions have become legendary and when combined with other regular horse racing promotions such as ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’, ‘Top Fluc’ and ‘Each Way Extra’ – suffice to say they come highly recommended from us.

But let us not forget Ladbrokes who, with it’s 130 year history, know a thing or two about bookmaking and how to keep their customers happy. They are another thoroughly reputable firm who are sure to devise some unique Cheltenham betting offers to please punters and boost any potential winnings.

And then there is the ‘new school’, sites like Topbetta who have an excellent new customer sign-up bonus and Unibet who have a sizeable portfolio of sponsored races leading up to Festival and have put their name to the Champion Hurdle.

In fact Unibet is a great place to get some Cheltenham betting tips as their website has an excellent blog section which features the views of champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson and top jockey Nico de Boinville.

Cheltenham 2018 Form Pointers

A fine way to find a Cheltenham Festival winner is to identify the successful horse in the corresponding race a year beforehand…

  • The 2018 Champion Hurdle was won by Buveur D’Air who also took the 2017 running of the two-mile race. He will be bidding to follow in the hoof-prints of Istabraq (1998-2000) and See You Then (1985-1987) as a three time winner.
  • The 2018 Champion Chase went to Altior who is odds-on favourite with every bookmaker to retain his crown in 2019.
  • The Stayers Hurdle has thrown up three dual-winners during the past 15 years and so defending champion Penhill must be of interest in the three-mile contest this time around.
  • Native River, while nicely on course for the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup, may have a harder job as no horse has defended its Gold Cup crown since Best Mate in 2004.