Tag Archives: Cheltenham Festival

Nicky Henderson Remains Tight Lipped about Terrefort’s Cheltenham Chances

The Cheltenham Festival is looming ever closer, and champion trainer Nicky Henderson has more at stake than anyone. Over the past 40 years, he has trained countless Cheltenham winners, and 2018 looks set to be no different – he has trained three of the favorites from the four showcase festival races.

But while Might Bite, Buveur D’Air and Altior have dominated the racing media to date, there is a growing question mark over one of the most promising five-year-olds in racing. Will the exciting Terrefort even take to the track at this year’s festival?

The view from bookmakers and tipsters

Despite still being a month away, there are new tips available every day in the run up to Cheltenham. The team at Cheltenham Fest provide expert insight for all the races, and feel that the real drama will come from the support races, such as the RSA Chase on Ladies’ Day, and the JLT Novices Chase, which is the first race of the day on Thursday. Both are races in which Terrefort is provisionally entered, but Henderson has warned that this highly promising gelding might miss the festival entirely.

About Terrefort

Henderson is a man who knows a winning horse when he sees one, and Terrefort could be something very special. He only took over training the horse a month ago, but has already seen him win twice, at Huntingdon and Sandown. The Sandown win, in particular, was impressive, and Henderson will be careful not to overwork the youngster.

Henderson commented that Terrefort needs to run on soft ground to avoid risk of injury. He complemented the owners, saying they support his decision either way and added: “He has surprised us a lot, and it might be worth looking after him a bit.”

Who to back?

If Henderson decides to keep Terrefort back till Cheltenham 2019, which horses are the ones to watch in the RSA Chase and the JLT Novice Chase? The Anthony Honeyball trained Fountains Windfall is the horse that has attracted all the early discussion. He beat some high-quality opposition at Kempton last month, to win by five lengths in the 32Red.com Handicap Chase. Bookmakers are now quoting 8/1, and the odds are ever-shortening. Monalee, trained by Henry De Bromhead, is another to watch, after a fabulous win at the Dublin Festival last week.

As for the JLT Novice Chase on St Patrick’s Day, punters, bookmakers and tipsters are all eyeing up Willoughby Court. Trained by Ben Pauling, this horse is undoubtedly another star for the future, and if he doesn’t go up against Terrefort this time around, there will be plenty more opportunities. A six-year-old gelding, he shocked everyone with some big wins at Warwick and Cheltenham last year. The latter was one of the classic races of 2017, as he and Neon Court slugged it out all the way for a near photo finish. Bookmakers have already slashed their odds to 4/1, making him the runaway favorite.

Get Ready for Ladies’ Day at the Cheltenham Festival

Mention the Cheltenham Festival to a non-racing fan, and they will immediately think of glamourous ladies in extravagant dresses and hats, sipping champagne as they watch the action. The showcase event of the day is the Queen Mother Champions Hurdle, a race named in honor of the late wife of King George VI. She was a fanatical racegoer and was a familiar face for TV audiences around the world.

Picking the winners

Her Royal Highness did not just attend for the fun and champagne; she also loved to place wagers on her favorite runners, and thousands will be following in her footsteps this year. There are seven races on Ladies’ Day, and with tips for every race, the tipsters at Cheltenham Fest can give some expert advice to royals and commoners alike! Here are their top tips for what promises to be a thrilling second day at the Cheltenham Festival.

The RSA Chase

The third race of the day, and the one immediately preceding the showcase event is the RSA Chase, and it is well worth catching. The bookmakers have Presenting Percy as the 3/1 favorite, but the tipsters only have eyes for Fountains Windfall. Trained by Anthony Honeyball, the horse shocked everyone with a big win at Kempton last month against some top ranked competition. He is currently available at 8/1.

The Queen Mother Champions Chase

In general, the odds settle and the picture becomes clearer as a race draws closer. For the main event of the day, however, there are still questions to be answered, and the bookmakers’ favorite could change. Currently, Nicky Henderson trained Altior is odds on to win. The horse looks head and shoulders above all others and is currently enjoying an eleven race winning streak.

The complication is that this might be Altior’s first race in almost a year after a long injury. Henderson insists he is fitter than ever, and the bookmakers clearly agree, but all was thrown into disarray by confusion over whether the horse will get a run out at Newbury this weekend. If he doesn’t, it makes the horse something of an unknown quantity, and the odds might start to lengthen.

The tipsters’ advice is to take advantage of the confusion and place an each way bet on 14/1 outsider Great Field. He’s in great form, and a fabulous win in Dublin last year proves he’s well capable of rising to a big occasion.

The Cross Country Chase

With the showcase race out of the way, there is no letup in the action, with more races to come. Next up is the Cross Country Chase. Last year, Cause of Causes won in style and he is the 7/2 favorite to repeat the feat for a second year in succession. Our tipsters can see no better place to bet your money on a winner, but for an interesting each way option, they have singled out Auvergnat. This is a horse with plenty of experience, who has been finishing consistently in the top four over recent outings.

A Guide to This Year’s Cheltenham Festival Favorites

Racing is big business in the UK, and while the Grand National might be the most famous event in the National Hunt racing calendar where betting is concerned, the Cheltenham Festival beats it in terms of sheer entertainment.

The festival takes place over four days at Prestbury Park, a picturesque racecourse just outside the usually quiet and quintessentially English town of Cheltenham, close to the English and Welsh border. Every March, thousands of racegoers take over the town to witness 28 top class races, culminating in the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup at 3:30PM on the final day.

Two nations battle

One of the most compelling factors of Cheltenham is that it is not just a race between horses. There is also national pride at stake between the English and the Irish. Every year, there is an informal battle to see which country can scoop the most trophies. In particular, look out for two of the most famous trainers from either side of the Irish Sea.

Willie Mullins is from an Irish family that has been riding, breeding and training horses for generations. In 2015, he set a festival record with eight of the 28 winners.

However, when it comes to overall festival wins, even his record is surpassed by English trainer Nicky Henderson. He has been in the business for 40 years, and has been particularly successful at Cheltenham.

The battle between Mullins and Henderson is one of the most intriguing sideshows in British horseracing, and it all comes to a head at Cheltenham.

Picking a winner

So much for the trainers, then, but what of the horses? With four days, 28 races and literally hundreds of entrants. It is little surprise that an estimated £500 million ($700 million) will be bet trackside and online in the days up to and including the festival. For the casual observer, it can be hard to know where to start, which is why we have asked the tipsters at Cheltenhamfestival.net to single out the pick of the festival runners. There are certain to be a few surprises along the way, but here are their picks for some of the top races, whether you are looking to back an outright winner or an each way shot.

Champions Hurdle
To win –  Buveur D’Air
To place – My Tent Or Yours

Last year, Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air was an outsider who won the race in relative comfort. This year, the horse has gone from strength to strength, and the bookmakers have him as odds-on favorite to retain the trophy.

Another from the Henderson stable, My Tent Or Yours, came in second last year. This was the third time in four years he had done so, and at 16/1, racing fans are already queueing up to place their each way bets.

Queen Mother Champion Chase
To win – Altior
To place – Great Field

Going into Ladies’ Day and it’s three for three for Nicky Henderson from our expert tipsters. Altior has been unbeatable in his recent outings, with an amazing 11 straight wins, dating back to October 2015. The bookmakers have him at even money to make it a round dozen.

The outsider to watch is Great Field. He is the first Willie Mullins horse to get a mention and is also in winning form.  There’s every chance he could pull off a surprise, and is certainly in with a good chance of placing.

Stayer’s Hurdle
To win – Sam Spinner
To place – L’Ami Serge

This could be one of the most closely fought of the showcase races, but Sam Spinner, trained by Jedd O’Keefe, is the bookmakers favorite. However, our tipsters fancy Nicky Henderson’s L’Ami Serge as the archetypal dark horse, who could easily pull off a surprise win.

Gold Cup
To win – Might Bite
To place – Native River

The romantics might fancy last year’s winner Sizing John, but for the realists, it’s Henderson all the way. Might Bite looks like the class of the field and will be tough to beat.

Outside the main combatants, Native River is coming into form at just the right time. He came third last year and is well capable of doing so again.

Faugheen Heads to Cheltenham

Following his most recent run, Faugheen certainly has questions to answer but there is no doubting he is one of the greatest horses of recent times. Through his 15 starts he has only tasted defeat on two occasions this being his most recent run and to the ill-fated Nichols Canyon when he clearly badly needed the run. If Faugheen had not had his injury it would be likely we are talking about a three-time Champion hurdle winner to equal the likes of the Istabraq, who to many is the greatest champion hurdler in history.

Faugheen reached a peak RPR of 177 following his 2016 victory in the Irish Champion hurdle where he beat a top horse in stablemate Arctic Fire by 15 lengths with Nichols Canyon a further 13 lengths behind. When Faugheen was performing to this level would any horse have been able to defeat him? This is an unfortunate question that we will never get the answer to. With all this in question it was very unfortunate to see Faugheen be pulled up on his most recent start but no problems or answers have been found as to why this happened.

Faugheen will now head to Cheltenham looking vulnerable, but if he returns to the level he ran to on his comeback we are set for a fascinating clash between two Champion hurdle winners as Buveur D’air looks to defend his crown. The Cheltenham Festival 2018 odds on Paddy Power has the reigning champion as the clear favourite. Check this infographic out to see how Faugheen compares to the greatest Champion hurdlers throughout history.

2018 Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham festival 2018 is now just a few months away as anticipation continues to build for jumps racing premier fixture. The penultimate day is all about St Patrick’s Day as the Irish fans descend on Cheltenham to support the away side.  The main race on day three is the Stayers hurdle which this year looks to have a fairly open look to it. However, the underdog Sam Spinner will be looking to provide his small-time connections with success and he continues to improve on each ran. The latest Cheltenham 2018 Betfair odds has Sam at the head of the betting at 7/2.

There looks to be plenty of challengers that could include Apple’s Jade. She is likely to defend her crown in the Mares hurdle but if she took her chance would without a doubt head the betting as she continues to dominate. A key challenge as things stand looks to be Supasundae who looks a stayer to follow following a hard-fought defeat to the previously mentioned Apple’s Jade. Check out the infographic below to find out the key facts and horses in the main races come March.

Cheltenham Festival Racing 2018

The 2018 Cheltenham Festival will take place in March at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK. The Festival 2018 will take place over 4 days from Tuesday March 13th with the Cheltenham Gold Cup taking place on Friday March 18th. The date of the horse races usually coincides with Saint Patrick’s Day which makes it popular for Irish visitors.

With 2018 here, the Cheltenham Festival gossip is starting to take shape now with Native River, Sizing John and Samcro all being hotly discussed ahead of next year.

Cheltenham free bets 2018 will keep you updated with the festival in every way imaginable, making sure we don’t just bring you the best Cheltenham betting offers, but the finest free bets, tips, enhanced odds and predictions from across the web.

The festival is all about big betting with 600 million pounds expected to change hands during the 28 Cheltenham Festival Races. The feature horse race will now be the fourth race on the card each day supported with grade one races and handicaps. In September 2017 it was announced that all races will have 48-hour declarations. This is great news for punters and racegoers who will now have more time to study the runners, riders and race form.

The first day of the Cheltenham Festival features the Champion Hurdle and is the main race on day one. The other major races on the first day include the Arkle Trophy and the Supreme Novices Hurdle. There are also some very good handicaps to take in including the Festival Handicap Chase which is always competitive and the Novices Handicap Chase which gives the first season chasers a shot at glory.

Day 2 of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival is on the 14th March with the feature race being the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The Queen Mother Champion Chase is another favorite within the Freebets.com camp, and we’ll be sure to bring you the best odds when we get them.

Another top race on day 2 is the Neptune Novices Hurdle which is the long-distance hurdle for future Stayers’ Hurdle candidates. Run on a distance of around three miles on the new course, it’s a big race for punters, with plenty of money going on last year’s winner Nichols Canyon.

The Ryanair Chase is another of Thursday’s finest and has seen a Willie Mullins horse win for the last two years. Will he make it three in a row in 2018?

The highlight of the final day of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival will be the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Gold Cup day is one of the biggest in the horse racing calendar and the bookies will be begging you to use their Gold Cup free bets and promotions.

With a prize pot of over £500,000, it’s one of the most lucrative races in the sport and is run over three miles, taking in 22 fences. Last year was won by Sizing John, a 7/1 shot ridden by Robbie Power. He’s among the Cheltenham Festival favorites again with bookies already backing him at 6/1. However, there’s still a way to go and the race is well worth studying the form for.

The Triumph Hurdle kicks off day 4 and the Grand Annual is the last race on the card. The Foxhunters also get their chance on the Friday of the Festival.

Cheltenham Betting Tips You Cannot Afford to Overlook

Considered one of the most looked forward to and popular horse racing festivals in the United Kingdom, the Cheltenham Festival offers a great number of betting opportunities to the interested punters.

Although you can avail Cheltenham free bets, offers and tips from several reputed online bookmakers, are you aware how to make them count? Let’s tell you about some very important Cheltenham betting tips you cannot afford to overlook.

Don’t get overly obsessed with the hyped up horses and trainers

All such festivals throw up various ‘so-called’ certain possibilities that people often latch onto quickly causing ridiculously short prices on fiercely competitive horse racing. The odds are often cramped up so badly as if it was some five-runner race in Thurles or Plumpton, in UK, on a Monday. All that talk about value-based betting is thrown right out of the window. These so-called superstars and super horses are touted as unbeaten, no matter where they may have competed in the past. The fact they belong to some well-known owners is good enough to send the market into a tizzy. You should avoid getting carried away by all such hype and bet purely based on your own due diligence.

Keep your bets at minimum, unless you have a solid edge

A large number of horse race bettors indulge in huge bets over the 4 days of the Cheltenham Festival, placing punts much bigger than they normally prefer to. There rush from one race to the other, trying to chase their losses. Please note, in case it’s a must for you to get involved in every race, ensure that you keep your bets small, unless you strongly feel that the odds are in your favour.

Follow the Cheltenham form

A task that every punter must accomplish before betting on any race is watching the last 3 years’ recordings of the Cheltenham Festivals, and taking detailed notes related to the festival form. The results of the previous years can tell you how the horses may perform in the present year. Particularly keeping the ultra-tough handicaps in mind, you’d be able to see things clearly and jot down any runners which performed exceedingly well compared to the bare result. Regardless of what their recent form may be like, these runners can be expected to perform well once again, if the circumstances haven’t changed greatly.

Punt in the morning instead of later in the day

As there would be plenty of punters in the fray, it might provide terrific value if you bet in the early morning hours on the race day. Any astute horserace bettor would set a 5 AM alarm every morning of the festival and place his/her bets well in time, not waiting until the dust has settled and everyone knows what’s going to happen.

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Open accounts with multiple bookmakers

It would be better if you have already-running accounts with multiple bookmakers and have already deposited ample money into each one of them. This way, you’d be able to quickly benefit from the competitive racing prices.

Horse Racing Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle – National Hunt Racing

The Cheltenham Festival is a meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom, with race prize money second only to the Grand National in Aintree. The event brings in more than £20M through ticket sales, hospitality, sponsorship and other income, and there is some £4.3M in prize money on offer, the most of any jump festival in the world. Meanwhile, the four-day event is also estimated to bring in £100M to the wider Gloucestershire economy.

The 28-race steeplechase event is run by the Jockey Club and culminates in the Gold Cup day on Friday. The Festival ran from Tuesday, March 14 to Friday, March 17, 2017.

On Tuesday, March 14, Buveur D’Air, ridden by Noel Fehily, won the 2017 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle, the Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. “It’s fantastic. To win one was great; to win two is special,” said Fehily, whose first Champion Hurdle win came on Rock On Ruby in 2012.

The race is now known as the Stan James Champion Hurdle. It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and ½ furlong (2 miles and 87 yards, or 3,298 meters), and during its running there are eight hurdles to be jumped. The race is the last leg of the Triple Crown of Hurdling and is scheduled to take place each year on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Cheltenham Champion HurdleThe Champion Hurdle is the most prestigious hurdling event in the National Hunt calendar. Its list of winners features many of the most highly acclaimed hurdlers in the sport’s history, and several of these, such as National Spirit, Istabraq, Hatton’s Grace, Persian War and Lanzarote, have had races named in their honor.

Sizing John, ridden by Robbie Power and trained by Jessica Harrington, powered home to win the revered Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, March 17.

The Timico Gold Cup is one of the most significant Jump races in the season, and nothing can rival the Cheltenham roar as the horses charge up the famous hill.

National Hunt racing – Sport of horse racing in the United Kingdom

National Hunt racing is the official name given to that form of the sport of horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and Ireland in which the horses are required to jump fences and ditches. National Hunt racing in the UK is divided into two major distinct branches: hurdles and steeplechases. Alongside these there are “bumpers”, which are National Hunt flat races. In a hurdles race, the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles; in a steeplechase the horses jump over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jump or an open ditch. In the UK the biggest National Hunt events of the year are generally considered to be the Grand National at Aintree and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Jump racing is most popular in Britain, Ireland and France. In Ireland the sport receives much higher attendances than flat racing, while in England it is more balanced, but the different seasons (there is little top-class flat racing in Britain from November through March) mean that most fans of the sport can enjoy both forms of racing.

The Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil, sometimes referred to as the French Champion Hurdle, is a Group 1 hurdle race in France which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Auteuil over a distance of 5,100 meters (about 3 miles and 1½ furlongs) on Sundays at the Galop, March 26, 2017.

The NAAS Kilcock Novice Chase is a Grade 3 National Hunt novice chase in Ireland which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run over a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs (4,023 meters) and during the race there are 13 fences to be jumped. It is scheduled to take place March 26, 2017.

Aintree Grand NationalNational Hunt horses are often bred for jumping, while others are former flat horses. National Hunt horses do not have to be Thoroughbreds: many French-bred jumpers are Selle Français or AQPS.  Many horses begin their racing careers in amateur Point-to-Pointing where they compete over steeplechase races of 3 miles.

The two main highlights of the National Hunt calendar are the Cheltenham Festival meeting and the Grand National meeting.

The Cheltenham Festival is held at Cheltenham Racecourse over four days in the second week of March. It features eleven grade one races, culminating in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the best and most prestigious Chase race in the world, on the Friday. The Grand National meeting, held at Aintree over three days every April, is the next major racing event to be held. Many of the best horses come to these festivals, which are watched by a huge television audience worldwide. Hundreds of millions of pounds are gambled on these festivals.

Fun & Fashion at the Cheltenham Festival

Horse racing and eventing fans benefit from something very few other sports can truthfully claim: there is no real off-season. However, while there are professional racing events that happen during the winter, the next couple of months will bring about at a slight decline in the interest that is paid to the sport. This means that the next big events on the horse racing schedule will start to occur in the spring. Among these, the Cheltenham Festival in England is in many ways a starting point for the year to come.

For starters, the Cheltenham Festival is one of the best celebrations in racing because of its length and the balanced quality of its race day schedules. At many similar events (such as the Grand National a month later in Aintree), everything is a sideshow compared to the main event on the final day. Yet, while Cheltenham does have its own Gold Cup event, it is also designed in such a way that each day has a main event, which helps to keep the action engaging throughout. This sort of scheduling over a four-day period makes for one of the most unique and enjoyable events on the world racing calendar.

It also makes for a very busy, and thus entertaining, betting scene. Any major horse racing festival will be alive with betting activity, but with four full days of racing and four “main events,” so to speak, Cheltenham can thrill even casual fans who want to place a few light bets here and there. Beyond a chance at winning money, race betting also offers a good excuse to learn a little bit about the various competitors and odds. It’s a little early right now to be seeing much more than straight betting odds for the Cheltenham races, but in the coming months you’ll be able to view Cheltenham tips here to get a feel for the various horses expected to do well. Then, if you feel so inclined, you can be ready to make a bet or two if you attend the races (or simply track them from abroad).

Perhaps even more than the general festivity of a four-day event or the excitement brought on by a busy betting scene, it’s the fashion of the race-goers that gives Cheltenham its flavour. As is the case with many major races, spectators take the opportunity to have some fun. They try out different outfits while experimenting with gaudy and amusing, but somehow stylish, looks that are popularly associated with horse racing culture. But on Ladies Day at Cheltenham (the second day of the festival), race day fashion is taken to a whole new level. You can click here for a beautiful look at some of the photos and styles that stood out from 2014’s Ladies Day, but here are a few general tips for fashion at the festival based on past years.

  • There Are No Colour Restrictions – Sometimes people dress for the season when it comes to colour, but at Cheltenham that won’t be necessary. To begin with, the event takes place in mid-March, placing it almost between seasons anyway. Besides that, spectators in the past have come in all manner of colours, some electing to take a rustic approach and others bursting with the bright colours of summer. The idea is expression.
  • Oversized Hats Are Still Key – Oversized hats are often associated with horse racing culture, and nothing has changed in this regard. If there’s one thing you do to prepare for Cheltenham fashion, you may want to make it about selecting the perfect hat for the occasion!
  • Wear Florals & Feathers – Mind you, this doesn’t mean floral and feather patterns; it means literally wear flowers and feathers! Whether it’s a feathered ornament on your oversized hat, a brooch that resembles a flower, or even some manner of corsage, this is a popular way to accessorize for the festival.
  • Consider Fur Linings – One dilemma that spectators sometimes face at Cheltenham is wanting to go with light, bright clothing but needing to dress for cooler weather. This may change year to year, but one way around the problem is to look for accessories, light jackets, or even scarves with fur linings. It’s simply a nice, fashionable, and noticeable way to stay warm without changing your whole outfit as if you were dressing for winter.

Follow those tips and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the festival!

Take Advantage of Top Tips Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival

The build-up to the Cheltenham Festival is a special time of year for horse racing fans.  The wet tracks of the winter are a thing of the past and the sport’s premier jumpers are gearing up for the biggest meeting of all.  To really get the most out of the four-day Cheltenham Festival, check out the form of some of the top runners.

The William Hill Champion Hurdle provides the first feature race of the meeting.  Last year Noel Fehily rode Rock on Ruby to victory and the horse will be back to retain his title.  However, Nicky Henderson will be hoping to put a spanner in the works with his two horses, Darlan and Grandouet.  However, keep an eye out for Don McCain’s horse Cinders and Ashes.  Although not widely fancied, there is plenty of potential in this horse, especially on the relatively good ground of Cheltenham.

Ladies’ Day is all about fashion, style, and of course some excellent Cheltenham betting at the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Most people think that Sprinter Sacre already has this one in the bag.  However, don’t be so sure.  Prestbury Park will provide a particularly difficult test of stamina and character and Rainbow and Sizing Europe will be poised to take advantage of any chink in Sprinter Sacre’s armour.

Of course, the festival ends with the crescendo of the Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious titles in the sport.  Champion jockey AP McCoy rode Synchronised to victory last year, under the tutelage of trainer Jonjo O’Neill.  This year, the pundits have put Bob’s Worth in the driving seat.  However, the Hennessy Gold Cup winner will come under pressure from previous winner of this race Long Run and keep an eye out for Jewson winner Sir Des Champs.