Cheltenham Festival 2018 preview
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious meets in the National Hunt racing calendar and is second only to the Grand National in terms of prize money on offer. Within the four-day event there are several Grade 1 races with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle being noteworthy highlights.
In our special Cheltenham feature we bring you the full race cards with all the times of the offs, so there is no reason to miss any Cheltenham action.
All the action is being broadcast by ITV and ITV4 this year, so even if you are out and about you can catch the action via the website, the ITV hub or using the app.
Tuesday 13th March
Day 1 at Cheltenham is always special and this year the festival starts with the much-anticipated Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Canny punters know a Willie Mullins horse will be there or there about after his horses have secured first place in three out of the last five curtain raisers. His Getabird is unbeaten in four starts and has already claimed the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in January.
13:30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
14.10 Arkle Challenge Trophy
14.50 The Festival Handicap Chase
15.30 Champion Hurdle
16.10 Mares’ Hurdle
16.50 National Hunt Chase
17.30 Novices’ Handicap Chase
Tip of the day: 1.30 Getabird @11-8
Wednesday 14th March
Last year’s Day 2 action sprang up one of the surprises of the festival when Henry de Bromhead’s Special Tiara shocked everyone to claim the Queen Mother Champion Chase. If we are to experience another shock in this year’s action, then Ordinary World is a horse that could provide such headlines.
Realistically though, it’s likely to be Altior’s race. Since 2014, Altior has made seven chase starts and won seven, five starts over the hurdles with five wins. The only minor blemish is the three runs on the flat, but even then, the eight-year-old managed a first and third.
13.30 Neptune Novices Hurdle
14.10 RSA Chase
14.50 Coral Cup
15.30 Queen Mother Champion Chase
16.10 Cross Country Chase
16.50 Fred Winter Hurdle
17.30 Champion Bumper
Tip of the day: 15:30 Altior @ 8/11
Thursday 15th March
Un De Sceaux showed why he is hot favourite to successfully defend his Ryanair Chase title by winning Ascot’s Clarence House Chase back in January. The Willie Mullins-trained 10-year-old was in the unusual position of not leading but showed true character and grit to make up a full 10 lengths deficit to claim first.
13.30 JLT Novices Chase
14.10 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle
14.50 Ryanair Chase
15.30 Stayers Hurdle
16.10 The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Handicap Chase
16.50 Mares Novices’ Hurdle
17.30 Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Tip of the day: 14:50 Un De Sceaux @ 6/4
Friday 16th March
The biggest news of the tournament is that last year’s Gold Cup Winner Sizing John will not be defending his title due to a small fracture to his pelvis. Sizing John, who is trained by Jessica Harrington, would have been a banker for many punters, instead many will now turn their attention to Our Duke, Sizing John’s replacement, who Harrington hopes will continue her winning streak that has made her the most successful female trainer ever at Cheltenham.
Our tip for the Gold Cup is going to be Might Bite. Early career he showed some erratic form such as falling at Kempton whilst 18 lengths clear but as he has matured into a more consistent performer, maybe would have struggled against Sizing John but looks the best of this weakened field.
13:30 Triumph Hurdle
14.10 County Hurdle
14.50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle
15.30 Cheltenham Gold Cup
16.10 Foxhunter Challenge Cup
16.50 Conditional Jockey’s Hurdle
17.30 Grand Annual Chase
Tip of the day: 15:30 Might Bite @ 7/2
Cheltenham Bookies Bonuses
Cheltenham is a haven for betting, this means the bookmakers want your custom and if you are looking for a new online site to bet on, there has never been a better time to take advantage of the special offers available.
Betway are offering to give you a free bet if your horse loses in the first or last race of the day at Cheltenham. The rules are pretty simple, place a bet of up to £10 on a horse to win in the 13:30 or 17:30 race, if it doesn’t win then Betway will give you a free bet up to the value of your stake.
Ladbrokes are offering new customers a free matched bet up to £50, with a minimum of £5, on all win and each-way bets at Cheltenham. Bets must be made within fourteen days and the free bet will be valid for four days. Tote or pool bets are excluded. Customers must be over 18, certain deposit methods are not eligible and minimum odds of the selection must be 1/2. Use the promo code F50 to unlock the free bet, but be aware it cannot be used on some markets.
BetVictor give you the chance to deposit £10 and get £50 free in bonus bets. To take advantage of this offer you need to bet £10 at odds of at least 2/1 within 7 days of registering. Once done they will give you 5 x £10 in free bets to use online. This offer is only applicable to new customers who use a credit or debit card to fund their account.
If you prefer your bonuses to boost your winnings, then the offer from 888sport may interest you. New customers can boost the odds on three fancied horses on day one of Cheltenham.