Cheltenham betting with William Hill

A guide to betting at Cheltenham

Cheltenham racecourse is regarded as the home of National Hunt racing and stages the prestigious Festival meeting. Cheltenham betting is available throughout the year on the top races, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle.

William Hill promotions often feature the best Cheltenham odds and ante-post prices. There are also special offers and price boosts on the Cheltenham Festival and the other top Cheltenham races during the winter.

Betting at Cheltenham – The Big Meetings

The Cheltenham Festival in March is the highlight of the National Hunt season, with over £4 million in prize money on offer over the four days. There are 28 championship races, with an estimated £300 million staked in Cheltenham bets during the week.

The October meeting is regarded by National Hunt fans as the start of the new winter jump racing season. The volume of Cheltenham betting increases for the three-day Open meeting in November with another top-class card in December.

Trials Day takes place in late January and always has an impact on Cheltenham odds for the Festival meeting.

Cheltenham Betting – The Big Races

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the Blue Riband event of National Hunt racing. It provides the ultimate test for chasers over 3m2f off level weights. Only the Aintree Grand National rivals the Gold Cup in terms of prestige.

The Champion Hurdle is the top prize for 2m hurdlers and The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the premier 2m steeplechase. The oldest surviving championship race is The Stayers Hurdle over 3m, which was first run in 1912.

The Triumph Hurdle for four-year-olds traditionally opens the card on Gold Cup day. A top Cheltenham tip is to be wary of Triumph Hurdle winners contesting the Champion Hurdle the following year. They have an extremely poor record in the race.

The Ryanair Chase is a Grade 1 chase over 2m5f. 2m novice chasers compete for the Arkle Challenge Trophy, with the top 3m novices clashing in the RSA Chase.

Other big Cheltenham betting races include The BetVictor Gold Cup and December Gold Cup. The Greatwood Hurdle in November is the first big handicap hurdle of the season and the International Hurdle can influence Cheltenham odds for the Champion Hurdle.

Cheltenham Betting Tips

The Cheltenham Festival is the main objective for the best National Hunt horses throughout the season. Cheltenham tips for the Gold Cup should focus on horses aged between seven and nine. This age group have won a large majority of Gold Cup races in modern times.

When assessing the Cheltenham odds for the Champion Hurdle, it pays to concentrate on horses that won last time out. Horses which finished in the first four the previous year also do well statistically.

Nicky Henderson, Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott have dominated the trainers’ championship at Cheltenham in recent years. In 2018, Elliott equalled the record of eight winners at the meeting, set by Mullins in 2015. Ruby Walsh has won the jockeys’ title at the Festival more times than any other jockey.

Previous course form is a good pointer for Cheltenham betting tips, particularly in races like the December Gold Cup. There are only three races each season over the Cross Country track which greatly favours course specialists.

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Cheltenham Course Characteristics

Cheltenham is an undulating left-handed track with stiff fences and a testing uphill finish.

There are two separate courses; the New Course and the Old Course. The New Course has a notoriously tricky downhill fence and a slightly longer run-in for steeplechases. Cheltenham tips should certainly avoid suspect jumpers as this course takes a lot of jumping.

Hurdle races on the New Course have only two flights of hurdles in the last seven furlongs. The steep uphill finish puts the emphasis firmly on stamina in all Cheltenham races over 3m or more.

You should always look for horses with winning form over the distance when working out your Cheltenham bets. Races like the Gold Cup test a horse’s stamina to the limit, particularly on soft ground.

Cheltenham Racecourse - How to get there

The racecourse is situated at Prestbury Park, near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. The track is in a natural amphitheatre beneath the Cotswold Hills, with stunning views across the course.

Cheltenham is only two hours from London by car and one hour from Bristol and Birmingham. The course is clearly signposted at Junction 10 on the M5.

There is a shuttle bus for rail travellers arriving is Cheltenham Spa during the Festival meeting.

Cheltenham Horse Racing History

Prestbury Park became the established home of Cheltenham racecourse in 1831.

The National Hunt Festival meeting was first held at Market Harborough in 1860. It was later moved between Cheltenham and Warwick before settling at Cheltenham in 1911. The future of Cheltenham was secured in 1964 when it was purchased by Jockey Club Racecourses.

The Cross Country course was introduced in 1995, comprising a wide variety of fences for experienced chasers.

A £45 million development and expansion plan was completed in 2015, increasing the course capacity to 67,500 spectators. There are extensive Cheltenham betting facilities across all enclosures.

Famous Cheltenham Races and Racehorses

Golden Miller won the Cheltenham Gold Cup for five consecutive years between 1932 and 1936. Arkle won the race three times between 1964 and 1966 and is still widely regarded as the best chaser of all time.

Michael Dickinson achieved a remarkable feat when training the first five horses to finish in the 1983 Gold Cup. Dawn Run’s famous win in 1986 and the heroic victory of Desert Orchid in 1989 are among the most memorable Cheltenham races in history. Desert Orchid had a huge public following and regularly featured among Cheltenham Festival tips.

In more recent times, Best Mate completed a hat-trick of Gold Cup wins from 2002 to 2004. Kauto Star created his own piece of Cheltenham history when regaining his title in 2009 after being defeated by Denman the previous year.

Five horses have won three Champion Hurdles, the most recent being Istabraq (1998 – 2000). Aidan O’Brien’s horse was the hot favourite in the Cheltenham odds for a record fourth win in 2001, but the meeting was abandoned due to the foot and mouth disease outbreak.

Badsworth Boy (1983 – 1985) is the only horse to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase three times.

Big Buck’s dominated the Stayers Hurdle between 2009 and 2012 with four straight wins for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh. Quevega, trained by Willie Mullins, surpassed that achievement by winning the Mares’ Hurdle for six successive seasons (2009 – 2014).