The Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival is set to begin on March 15th and will last until the 18th. Each year, the festival welcomes some of the best National Hunt Horses from all over the world that comp ete in different races that test various abilities of the horses. The event is largely popular across Europe and even more so among sports bettors.
Horse race betting is one of the earliest forms of sports betting, so it’s safe to say that each year a huge number of punters flock to online bookmakers to wager on the races. But that’s not all; this festival is also one of the only ones where a large number of manual wagering takes place. Before the start of each game, the organizers post the odds for each race, and bettors can read the race cards to figure out which horse to bet on.
Similarly, betting sites have their odds up as well, and these sites have a wider variety of betting lines, including the ones that don’t traditionally go with the event, like prop and futures bets. Not to mention the live-betting option that’s becoming increasingly popular among online bettors and lets people stream and bet on their favorite horse from all over the world.
History Of The Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival
The Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival is one of the most popular sporting events in sports betting. The festival originated in 1860 at the National Hunt Chase that was first held at Market Harborough. The race was initially called the Grand National Hunt meeting and happened at several different locations.
In 1904, it was first held in Cheltenham on a newly established course at Prestbury Park, but the race was again held in different locations. In 1911 it was decided by the organizing committee that the race would be permanently held in Cheltenham, where it remains to this day. The oldest race of the festival is the Stayers’ Hurdle which began in 1912. It’s currently a championship race at the festival.
Later on, the Gold Cup was established in 1924 as a support race, but it quickly became a main championship event in the festival. Despite the lineup changes, event changes, and a few changes in the format, the Cheltenham horse racing festival is largely the same and has the same essence and spirit from the spectators and punters as well.
The festival has always been widely popular among bettors since its inception, and it remains the same today as well. This is perhaps the only event with such a high number of betting lines and wagers. In terms of the race track, the Cheltenham racecourse has is made up of two main tracks. The opening two afternoons are held on the old course while the later ones are staged at the new one. Both of the courses are not flat, so horse riders need to keep in mind the steepness of the course when they race over it.
What Is The Format Of The Horse Racing Festival?
Traditionally, the races were held over the course of three days, but in 2005 an additional day was added, and now the festival is held for four days. This added another championship race to the festival. Since originally, each day had six races, another five races were introduced to keep everything balanced between all 4 days.
In the past few years, four new races have been introduced as well, taking the total count of each day to seven races. As a result, there are now 28 races in total for each event. Despite being done on the same two race tracks, each race is unique and tests various performance metrics of the horse and the riders. Each horse is awarded points based on how smoothly they can avoid a hurdle, how fast they run, their form, and their precision when making sharp turns.
At the end of each day, the best-performing ones get a chance to enter the championship race. Even though all races test the performance of the horses, some races are more popular than the others, like the Triumph Hurdle, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and the Gold Cup. Most of these races require a lot of stamina along with proper pose to jump over the hurdles. Because of that, the wagers on these races are higher too.
Why Is The Event So Popular?
Despite the number of horse races that happen around the world throughout the year, the Cheltenham festival is the one that attracts the most attention, whether it be from spectators or sports bettors.
The main reason why this festival is so popular is that it’s the only one that brings out the best horses from all over the world, as well as the best trainers and riders in the business. That’s why at every event, each horse gives its best performance. This, combined with the different forms of races available for the event, makes the event even more interesting to watch
In sports betting, Cheltenham has a wager for every punter. Those with less experience can target the novice races that have smaller wagers and easy wins. While those with experience in horse racing can go for the championship events.
What Are The Betting Lines?
Due to its unique nature, the Cheltenham horse racing festival has some interesting betting lines. That’s why there’s no end to the types of bets you can choose. Here are some of the popular ones.
The Morning Line
Morning bets are one of the first bets displayed for horse racing events. These bets are normally written by the track’s handicapper and are available on racecards and sportsbooks. Each horse has predetermined odds, and punters need to pick the one most likely to win.
Favorite bets are like outright bets, as in you need to pick a horse you think is going to win the entire race. Based on the performance of the horse, these races are easier to predict and are mostly preferred by novice bettors.
The Exotic Bets
Exotic bets have a lot of variations, but the most common one involves predicting who will finish first and second between two given horses. These bets need a lot of consideration as it’s difficult to correctly predict two consecutive winners.
These bets are placed well in advance before the event. Sometimes these bets are placed a year in advance. Commonly the championship events have odds in this type of betting, but its main downside is that if your chosen horse is disqualified, then you lose your money completely.
Straight Win Bets
These are the most simplistic bets that involve predicting which horse will be first, second, or third. A lot of time, these odds are randomly chosen, and punters need to pick one on their gut feeling.
Win Bets also have different variations. The common one includes placing bets on the horse you think will become second, but you’ll also need to predict who will be first. These bets are like outright bets.
Place bets are quite easy to wager on. You’ll need to bet on your selected horse and predict whether it will finish first, second, third, or fourth depending on the number of horses.
Each Way Bets
Each Way is two bets in one. One part of the bet includes picking the horse that you think will win, and the second part includes picking the position it’ll win at. If your horse wins, you’ll win both of the bets.
What Are The Best Races To Bet On?
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is a good race to bet on for new and less experienced bettors. There are so many betting lines available for this bet, and punters can easily make winning wagers. Another thing is that this race is done in the beginning to bettors can use this to find out which horses are good for betting.
Queen Mother Champion Chase
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is an exciting race that features challenging hurdles and obstacles, but with this race, the winners are not always with the best odds. That is because the winner is selected based on performance because there’s always a risk of falling or not going over an obstacle properly.
The Ryanair Chase is one of the newest races added to the festival after the format change in 2005. The race is 2-mile long and tests the horse’s reflexes regarding sharp turns and racing forms. This race is popular among bettors because of its unpredictability.
The Gold Cup is the biggest race in the Cheltenham festival and is the most popular race for sports bettors as well. The race is 2-mile long, and all of the top horses from the festival take part in this race. The wagers are interesting, and there are huge payouts as well.
How To Read The Odds?
For horse racing, betting odds can be quite daunting to read. Most of the time, new punters get easily confused and can make wrong wagers. That’s why It’s important to understand the odds and read them correctly. For fractional bets, the first number indicates the profit you’ll get if you win the bet, and the second number indicates the wager you need to make. So a 4/1 bet will give you a $4 payout if you wager $1.
The other type of odds is decimal odds which display a number in decimal. You need to multiply the number with the wager to determine how much the payout will be. Race favorites are another type of odds, but unlike the previous ones, these are only for the best horses in the race.
What Are The Best Odds To Bet On?
Each year a number of horses attract the attention of punters. These horses can be past race winners or new horses with great form. This year the horse that has the most odds for reaching the Gold Cup is Monkfish. The horse showed great performance in the Champion Hurdle race last year.
Following closely behind is Tiger Roll; this horse was the Grand National Winner and even won the Cross Country. Currently, he’s ranked in the top 3 on betting sites for the Cheltenham races. Shishkin is another newer horse that has shown great performance in last year’s festival. The horse won 9 out of 10 starts and is set to win a few races this year as well.
Top Betting Tips
Before you begin betting on the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival, it’s important to know about the competing horses and understand which ones have the best odds to win. But these odds alone aren’t enough to make winning bets. Instead, you’ll also need to check the condition of the ground, the weather, the rider, and the form of the horse before the race. Once you’ve figured these things out about the horse, then you can proceed to make wagers.
Another thing you need to be cautious of as a new better are bigger stakes. Bets that have higher stakes are also harder to win, and any unforeseeable circumstance and injury can cause you to lose your money. That’s why it’s always recommended to go for easier and smaller bets that don’t cause any damage to your finances even if you lose.
Finally, the most important tip is to keep track of the money you wager. It’s easier to get carried away in the heat of the moment and wager more than you can afford; this can lead to gambling addiction as well. So always keep track of your spending and your wins. If you’ve lost a few bets, then it’s best to stop wagering further.
If you want to find the latest odds and the top bets for the 2022 Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival, take a look at Betting Sites Ranking. It’s an online listing platform that ranks all of the top online sportsbooks around the world. They even have reviews written by industry experts on each of these gambling sites highlighting the pros and cons of each site along with the option to compare them.
Besides that, you can look up the top betting sites in your country and region along with payment methods accepted by them. There’s a separate section that lists all the top bets for events happening in the next 24 hours. New bettors can even read blogs, guides, and tips to help them make better wagers. Head over to Betting Sites Ranking and get betting today!