The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most exciting sporting events taking place throughout the entire year and for anyone with the slightest interest in national hunt racing produces performances, both human and equine, that really get the juices flowing. The excitement comes with risks however, so here are a few tips in an effort to make the four-day extravaganza as enjoyable as possible – and hopefully profitable!
- Treat the four days in the same way you would a holiday or special occasion. Decide how much you can afford to lose and treat any winning as a bonus.
- Shop around for the best value. Bookmakers will be falling over themselves in an effort to relieve you of your hard-earned cash. Don’t take 5-1 about your fancy when 6-1 is available with the bookmaker next door or on another website.
- With several weeks to go before the Cheltenham Festival take a look at the ante-post prices on offer about any long-range fancy as your selection could start a fraction of the price come the day. But remember, your stake will be lost should your horse fail to turn up on the day or be re-routed to another race.
- Plenty of firms are now going non runner no bet (nrnb) on some or all of the Cheltenham Festival races, taking away the risk element of any potential non-starters. You will probably find that the odds quoted by these bookmakers will be shorter than the riskier ante-post prices quoted by other firms. Weigh-up the chance of your horse not running against the better odds on offer before making your bet.
- With many big field races at the Cheltenham Festival bookmakers are sure to be offering enhanced place terms. Some of these can be very generous while others may appear attractive but offer poor value. The usual place terms for a handicap of sixteen or more runners is one quarter the odds the first four but you will find many bookmakers advertising one or more extra places at one fifth of the odds. It makes sense to take the extra places when they are significant – eg 7 or 8 places as opposed to 4 but should your horse finish in the first four you will lose out, receiving a fifth of the win odds as opposed to the traditional quarter.