Your Guide to the Cheltenham Festival 2023
It’s that time of year when the whole of the UK and Ireland goes horse racing crazy for 4 days. A week when the whole country gazes its attention to the goings-on in the Cotswolds.
It can only be the Cheltenham festival.
The Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival
The Cheltenham horse racing festival is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the racing calendar, and it’s not hard to see why.
Taking place over four days in March, the festival brings together some of the best horses, trainers and jockeys from around the world, all vying for a share of the £4.5 million total prize fund.
For many, the festival is the highlight of the racing year, and there’s no shortage of excitement both on and off the track. But for those looking to place a bet, the festival can be a daunting prospect.
With so many races to choose from, and so many horses and riders to consider, it can be hard to know where to begin.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some general tips to help you pick the right horse for each race.
Top Cheltenham tips
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of picking a winner, it’s worth remembering some of the basic principles of successful betting. These include:
Set a budget
Before you start betting, decide on a budget for the festival and stick to it. This will help you avoid overspending and keep your betting fun and enjoyable. It’s a good idea to perhaps deposit your gambling budget onto one of your e-wallets or your PayPal account. This way you can easily track how much you are gambling over the 4 days.
Do your research
Spend some time researching the horses, trainers and jockeys before you place your bets. Look for recent form, track record and any other relevant information that might help you make an informed decision.
Follow the odds
While they’re not infallible, the odds can be a good indicator of a horse’s chances of winning. Keep an eye on the odds in the run-up to each race, and look for any significant changes that might indicate a shift in the market. Always check if a price is falling rapidly and try to get in on a good price.
Expect a few surprises
The top horses could look absolutely unbeatable all year, but remember, Cheltenham is prone to throwing up some surprising wins. No bet is a sure bet, but that is the joy of Cheltenham.
New Player Bonuses
It’s worth noting that betting companies are very generous with their new player sign-up bonus around this time of year. They understand the hype and know there will be quite a few novice gamblers looking to place a bet or two over the course of the week. So it’s always worth taking your time to look around at the best welcome bonuses on offer from the bookies.
Remember that gambling can be addictive, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. If you’re struggling to control your gambling, seek help from one of the many organisations that offer support and advice to problem gamblers.
When it comes to picking a winner at Cheltenham, there are a few things to bear in mind.
Firstly, look for horses that have a proven track record over similar distances and conditions.
Cheltenham is a notoriously tough track, with undulating terrain and stiff fences, so it’s important to look for horses that have the stamina and jumping ability to cope with these challenges.
Secondly, consider the form of the horses in the lead-up to the festival. Look for horses that have been performing consistently well in recent races, and consider any factors that might have affected their performance. For example, if a horse has been running well on heavy ground but the going at Cheltenham is expected to be good, it may struggle to perform to its best.
(With the freezing conditions across the country over the past week, expect hard ground for this year’s Cheltenham festival).
Finally, take note of any jockeys or trainers who have a good record at Cheltenham. Experience counts for a lot at the festival, and jockeys and trainers who have a proven track record at Cheltenham may be more likely to produce a winner.
If you’re new to betting on horse racing, there are a few things to consider before diving in.
Firstly, start small. It’s easy to get carried away in the excitement of the festival, but remember that betting is a marathon, not a sprint. Start with small bets and gradually build up as you gain more experience.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s from a friend who knows a bit more about horse racing than you do, or from a bookmaker who can offer advice and guidance, there’s no shame in admitting that you’re not an expert.
Finally, remember that betting on horse racing is not an exact science. Even the most experienced bettors can get it wrong sometimes, so don’t be too hard on yourself if your bets don’t pay off. The key is to enjoy the festival and have fun while betting responsibly.
GamblingAuthority’s Tips for the Week
Back Rachel Blackmore
Blackmore has 2 Champion Hurdle wins and a Gold Cup already on her CV, and it is very likely she will be adding to those victories this year. Expect a big week from the 2021 BBC and RTÈ sports personality of the year. We can see her riding to victory on Honeysuckle in the Mares’ Hurlde on Tuesday.
Willie Mullins’ Horses
Willie Mullins has the accolade of training the most Cheltenham winners of all time. He had 10 winners alone at the festival last year.
We like the look of Facile Vega in the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle on Tuesday, State Man in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday, and Galopin Des Champs in the Gold Cup on Paddy’s Day.
Don’t Underestimate Gordon Elliot’s Herd
This year’s herd of Elliot-trained horses does look a little underwhelming, but make no mistake, come Tuesday there will be a lot of buzz around them. With 34 winners to his name, don’t be surprised to see his exploits rival Mullins for the top trainer.
Conflated in the Gold Cup could be a decent shout if you fancy an outside bet.
Schedule & Racecards
The Cheltenham festival takes place over four days, with each day featuring a number of high-profile races. Here’s a breakdown of the schedule for each day, along with some of the key races to look out for:
Day 1 – Tuesday, March 14th
- Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 13.30
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Tahmuras (E/W) (not-placed)
- Arkle Chase – 14.10
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Saint Roi (3rd)
- Champion Hurdle – 15.30
GamlingAuthority’s Tip – Constitution Hill (outright) (W), State Man (E/W) (runner-up)
- Mares’ Hurdle – 16.10
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Honeysuckle (outright) (W), Brandy Love (E/W) (not-placed)
Day 2 – Wednesday, March 15th
- Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – 13.30
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Hermes Allen (E/W)
- Coral Cup – 14.50
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Langer Dan (E/W) (W)
- Queen Mother Champion Chase – 15.30
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Energumene (outright) (W)
- Grand Annual Chase – 16.50
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Andy Dufresne (not placed)
Day 3 – Thursday, March 16th
- Ryanair Chase – 14.50
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Fury Road (not placed)
- Stayers’ Hurdle – 15.30
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Home by the Lee (not placed)
- Plate Handicap Chase – 16.10
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Haut En Couleurs (5th)
- Mares Novices’ Hurdle – 16.50
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Halka Du Tabert (3rd)
Day 4 – Friday, March 17th
- Triumph Hurdle – 13.30
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Gala Narceau
- County Hurdle – 14.10
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Path D’Oroux
- Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – 14.50
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Three Card Brag
- Gold Cup – 15.30
GamblingAuthority’s Tip – Galopin Des Champs
Bookies’ Favourites for the Some of the Big Races
While it’s important to do your own research and not just rely on the bookies’ odds, it’s still worth taking a look at who they’re tipping for the big races.
At the time of writing, some of the bookies’ favourites for the festival include:
Champion Hurdle: Constitution Hill
Queen Mother Champion Chase: Energumene
Stayers’ Hurdle: Home by the Lee
Gold Cup: Galopin Des Champs
Remember, though, that the odds can change rapidly in the run-up to each race, so it’s always worth keeping an eye on the latest news and developments to stay ahead of the game.
Make sure to Enjoy Yourself
The Cheltenham horse racing festival is a thrilling and exciting event, but it can also be a challenging one for those looking to place a bet.
By following some of the tips outlined in this guide, and by doing your own research and staying up-to-date with the latest news and developments, you can give yourself the best possible chance of success.
And remember, above all, to bet responsibly and enjoy the festival for what it is – a celebration of one of the world’s oldest and most beloved sports.
Peter is our Editor-in-Chief at Gamblingauthority. He has more than eigth years of experience from the iGaming industry and is a valuable resource for everything related to online casinos.Read more about the author