Cheltenham Festival Free Bets & Opening Account Offers 2020

These are the sign-up offers that are provided for day to day betting throughout the majority of the year, but are amended around once a year for a one-week period around the Cheltenham Festival.

The Festival is the biggest, brashest and most eagerly anticipated event in the horseracing calendar. Held over four days from Tuesday to Friday in late March the meeting is what all top trainers, horses and jockeys gear their seasonal campaigns towards. The biggest prizes, both in monetary and prestige terms, are on offer at The Festival making it the meeting where all racing connections want to have a winner.

We provide you with a comprehensive guide on all things Cheltenham related including our betting stories and stats at the festival from yesteryear.

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2019 Cheltenham Festival

If you are a fan of National Hunt racing then this is the four days that you enjoy most during the year.  The 2019 Cheltenham Festival took place between Tuesday March 12 and Friday March 15. All the top races were renewed with over £4.5m in prize money. It proved to be four days of racing that simply cannot be missed.

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2019 Results

Tuesday 12 March

1.30: Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)


1st: Klassical Dream (6/1) Willie Mullins (trainer), Ruby Walsh (jockey)

2nd: Thomas Darby (28/1) Olly Murphy, Richard Johnson

3rd: Itchy Feet (25/1) Olly Murphy, J Gavin Sheehan

4th: Fakir D'Oudairies (9/2 JF) Joseph Patrick O'Brien, JJ Slevin


2.10: Arkle Trophy (Grade 1) 


1st: Duc Des Genievres (5/1) Willie Mullins, Paul Townend

2nd: Us and Them (14/1) JP O'Brien, JJ Slevin

3rd: Articulum (25/1) Terence O'Brien, David Mullins


2.50: Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3)


1st: Beware the Bear (10/1) Nicky Henderson, Jeremiah McGrath

2nd: Vintage Clouds (16/1) Sue Smith, Danny Cook

3rd:  Lake View Lad (25/1) NW Alexander, Henry Brooke

4th:  Big River (28/1) Lucinda Russell, Derek Fox


3.30: Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 


1st:  Espoir D'Allen (16/1) Gavin Cromwell (trainer)Mark Walsh (jockey)

2nd: Melon (20/1)  Willie Mullins, Paul Townend

3rd: Silver Streak (80/1) Evan Williams, Adam Wedge


4.10: OLGB Mares' Hurdle (Grade 1)


1st: Roksana (10/1) Dan Skelton (trainer) Harry Skelton (jockey)

2nd: Stormy Ireland (7/1) Willie Mullins, Paul Townend

3rd: Good Thyne Tara (25/1) Willie Mullins, Rachael Blackmore


4.50: Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed Race) 


1st: A Plus Tard (5/1)  Henry De Bromhead (trainer), Rachael Blackmore (jockey)

2nd: Tower Bridge (6/1) JP O'Brien, JJ Slevin

3rd: Ben Dundee (33/1) Gordon Elliott, Keith Donaghue

4th: The Russian Doyen (20/1) Colin Tizzard, Harry Cobden


5.30: National Hunt Challenge Cup (Amateur Riders') Novices' Chase (Grade 2)


1st: Le Breuil (14/1) Ben Pauling (trainer), Mr JJ Codd (jockey)

2nd: Discorama (9/2) Paul Nolan, Mr B O'Neill

3rd: Jerrysback (16/1) Philip Hobbs, Mr D G Lavery




Wednesday 13 March


1.30: Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)


1st: City Island (8/1)  Martin Brassil (trainer) Mark Walsh (jockey)

2nd: Champ (9/2) Nicky Henderson, Barry Geraghty

3rd: Bright Forecast (25/1) Ben Pauling, Nico de Boinville


2.10: RSA Insurance Novices' Chase (Grade 1)


1st: Topofthegame (4/1) Paul Nicholls (trainer), Harry Cobden (jockey)

2nd: Santini (3/1) Nicky Henderson, Nico de Boinville

3rd: Delta Work (15/8F) Gordon Elliott, Davy Russell

4th: Mister Malarky (20/1) Colin Tizzard, Robbie Power


2.50: Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 


1st: William Henry (28/1) Nicky Henderson (trainer) Nico de Boinville (jockey)

2nd: Wicklow Brave (28/1) Willie Mullins, Mr P W Mulliins

3rd: Ballyandy (14/1) Nigel Twiston-Davies, Sam Twiston-Davies

4th: Brio Conti (10/1) Paul Nicholls, Harry Cobden


3.30: Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)


1st: Altior (4/11F) - Nicky Henderson (trainer) Nico de Boinville (jockey)

2nd: Politologue (11/1) -  Paul Nicholls, Harry Cobden

3rd: Sceau Royal (16/1) - Alan King, Daryl Jacob


4.10: Cross Country Chase (Class 2) 


1st:Tiger Roll (5/4F) - Gordon Elliott (trainer), Davy Russell (jockey)

2nd: Josie's Orders (15/2) - E Bolger, Mark Walsh

3rd: Urgent de Gregaine (17/2) - Emmanuel Clayeux, Felix de Giles


4.50: The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)


1st: Band of Outlaws (7/2F) - JP O'Brien (trainer), JJ Slevin (jockey)

2nd: Coko Beach (14/1) - Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy

3rd: Ciel de Neige (17/2) - Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh

4th: King D'Argent (25/1) - Dan Skelton, Harry Skelton


5.30: Champion Bumper (Grade 1)


1st: Envoi Allen (2/1) - Gordon Elliott (trainer), Mr JJ Codd (jockey)

2nd: Blue Sari (7/2): Willie Mullins, Barry Geraghty

3rd: Thyme Hill (20/1): Phillip Hobbs, Richard Johnson


Thursday 14 March

1.30: JLT Novices' Chase (Grade 1)

1st: Defi Du Seuil (3/1) Philip Hobbs (trainer), Barry Geraghty (jockey)

2nd: Lost in Translation (4/1) Colin Tizzard, Robbie Power

3rd: Mengli Khan (9/1) Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy


2.10: Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)


1st: Sire Du Berlais (4/1F) Gordon Elliott (trainer) Barry Geraghty (jockey)

2nd: Tobefair (40/1) Debra Hamer, Tom Bellamy

3rd:  Not Many Left (16/1) Mrs John Harrington, Mark Walsh

4th: Cuneo (12/1) Henry de Bromhead, Rachael Blackmore


2.50: Ryanair Chase


1st: Frodon (9/2)  Paul Nicholls (trainer), Byrony Frost (jockey)

2nd: Aso (33/1) Venetia Williams, Charlie Deutsch

3rd: Road to Respect (9/2) Noele Meade, Sean Flanagan


3.30: Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1)


1st Paisley Park (11/8F) - Emma Lavelle (trainer) Aidan Coleman (jockey)

2nd: Sam Spinner (33/1) - Jedd O'Keefe, Joe Colliver

3rd: Faugheen (4/1) - Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh


4.10: Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3


1st: Siruh du Lac (9/2) Nick Williams (trainer) Lizzie Kelly (jockey)

2nd: Janika (3/1F) Nicky Henderson, Daryl Jacob

3rd: Spiritofthegames (6/1) Dan Skelton, Harry Skelton 

4th: Eamon An Cnoic (10/1) David Pipe, Tom Scudamore


4.50: Dawn Run Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 


1st: Eglantine Du Seuil (50/1) Willie Mullins (trainer), Noel Fehily (jockey)

2nd: Concertista (66/1) Willie Mullins, Danny Mullins

3rd: Tintangle (40/1) Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy


5.30: Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase (Class 2) -


1st: Any Second Now (6/1) T M Walsh (trainer), Mr Derek O'Connor (jockey)

2nd: Kilfilum Cross (7/1) Henry Oliver, Mr Alex Edwards

3rd: The Young Master (22/1) Neil Mulholland, Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

4th: Crievehill (40/1) Nigel Twiston-Davies, Mr Zac Baker


Friday 15 March

1.30: JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)


1st: Pentland Hills (20/1) Nicky Henderson (trainer), Nico de Boinville (jockey)

2nd: Coeur Sublime (20/1) Gordon Elliott, Davy Russell

3rd: Gardens of Babylon (9/1) JP O'Brien, Barry Geraghty


2.10: County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 


1st: Ch'tibello (12/1) Dan Skelton (trainer), Harry Skelton (jockey)

2nd: We Have a Dream (14/1) Nicky Henderson, Daryl Jacob

3rd: Countister (18/1) Nicky Henderson, Barry Geraghty

4th: Whiskey Sour (5/1F) Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh


2.50: Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)


1st: Minella Indo (50/1) Henry de Bromhead (trainer), Rachael Blackmore (trainer)

2nd: Commander of Fleet (4/1F) Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy

3rd: Allaho (8/1) Willie Mulliins, Ruby Walsh


3.30: Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) - 


1st: Al Boum Photo (12/1) Willie Mullins (trainer), Paul Townend (jockey)

2nd: Anibale Fly (22/1) AJ Martin, Barry Geraghty

3rd: Bristol De Mai (18/1) Nigel Twiston-Davies, Daryl Jacob


4.10: Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunter's Chase 


1st: Hazel Hill (7/2F) - Philip Rowley (trainer), Mr Alex Edwards (jockey)

2nd: Shantou Flyer (7/1) Richard Hobson, Mr David Maxwell

3rd: Top Wood (33/1) Kelly Morgan, Miss Tabitha Worsley


4.50: Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)


1st: Croco Bay (66/1) - Ben Case (trainer), Kielan Woods (jockey)

2nd: Bun Doran (11/1) - Tom George, Paddy Brennan

3rd: Brelan D'As (8/1) - Paul Nicholls, Bryony Frost

4th: Forest Bihan (33/1) - Brian Ellison, Danny Cook

5.30: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)


1st: Early Doors (5/1) - JP O'Brien (trainer), Jonjo O'Neill Jr (jockey)

2nd: Dallas Des Pictons (7/2) - Gordon Elliott, Donagh Meyler

3rd: Defi Bleu (14/1) Gordon Elliott, Conor Brassel

4th: Champagne Court (14/1) - Jeremy Scott, Rex Dingle


Cheltenham Betting Stories and Stats

Gambling Tales That Stand Out

Annie Power 2015

When Annie Power was approaching the last with Mares’ Hurdle won bookmakers were facing an estimated £40 million payout on the Willie Mullins four timer. On the first day of last year’s festival Douvan, Un De Sceaux and Faugheen had won for the trainer so all the running up money was on Annie Power. The horse had done everything right up to approaching the final hurdle but misjudged the obstacle and fell ruining a multitude of accas. The nightmare scenario for the bookmakers was averted by a horse that was trading at 1.03 in running but found a way to lose the race.

Beech Road and Waterloo Boy 1989

A friend who lived in Beech Road in Waterloo just north of Liverpool had the bet of a lifetime on the Tuesday of Cheltenham in 1989. A small punter he had a £2 double on Beech Road in the Champions Hurdle and Waterloo Boy in the Arkle. This was a massive case of placing a bet based on the names of the horses with no form logic. Both outsiders duly obliged and the double paid 1070/1 for a return of £2140 for a couple of quid but he didn’t mention the winning bet to his wife.

Norton’s Coin 1990

Norton’s Coin is the biggest priced winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and only the second winner trained in Wales. Sent off at 100/1 his trainer Sirrel Griffiths thought that was an outrageous price. The horse had some form in the book that suggested winning the Gold Cup was not a forlorn hope but very few punters backed him at Cheltenham or in the betting offices. Norton’s Coin beat Toby Tobias by three quarters of a length with the 10/11 favourite Desert Orchid 4 lengths further back in third place.

Michael Dickenson’s First Five 1983

Michael Dickenson was a bit of a fruit cake but he knew how to train steeple chasers. He eventually moved to the United States to train Flat horses and invented an artificial racing surface. However, he will always be remembered for training the horses that finished in the first five in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Dickenson had won the race in 1982 with Silver Buck but surpassed that achievement a year later when his Bregawn won the race. The horses that finished in the next four places all came from Dickenson’s stable and the achievement is arguably the greatest in the history of the race.

Betting Statistics 1993-2018

The 2001 Cheltenham Festival did not take place due to the foot and mouth outbreak. So, since 1992 there have been 25 meetings and 25 renewals of the four championship races, so 100 races in total.

Champion Hurdle Winners 1993 to 2018 (no race in 2001)

Horse, year, price, (trainer and jockey).

  • Biggest price: Hardy Eustace 2004 33/1 (Dessie Hughes and Conor O’Dwyer)
  • Shortest price: Istabraq 1999 4/9 (Aidan O’Brien and Charlie Swan)
  • 10/1 and over: 6
  • Under 10/1: 19
  • 20/1 and over: 2
  • Under 20/1: 23
  • Odds-On: 4
  • Number of favourites or joint favourites: 11

Champion Chase Winners 1993 to 2018 (no race in 2001) 

Horse, year, price, (trainer and jockey).

  • Biggest price: Newmill 2006 16/1 (John Murphy and Andrew McNamara)
  • Shortest price: Sprinter Sacre 2013 1/4 (Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty)
  • 10/1 and over: 5
  • Under 10/1: 20
  • 20/1 and over: 0
  • Under 20/1: 25
  • Odds-On: 2
  • Number of favourites or joint favourites: 9

World Hurdle Winners 1993 to 2018 (no race in 2001)

Horse, year, price, (trainer and jockey).

  • Biggest price: Anzum 1999 40/1 (David Nicholson and Richard Johnson)
  • Shortest price: Big Buck’s 2010 and 2012 5/6 (Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh)
  • 10/1 and over: 6
  • Under 10/1: 19
  • 20/1 and over: 3
  • Under 20/1: 22
  • Odds-On: 3
  • Number of favourites or joint favourites: 10

Gold Cup Winners 1993 to 2018 (no race in 2001) 

Horse, year, price, (trainer and jockey).

  • Biggest price: Cool Dawn 1998 25/1 (Robert Alner and Andrew Thornton) and Cool Ground 1992 25/1 (Toby Balding and Adriam Maguire) 
  • Shortest price: Best Mate 2004 8/11 (Henrietta Knight and Jim Culloty)
  • 10/1 and over: 6
  • Under 10/1: 19
  • 20/1 and over: 3
  • Under 20/1: 22
  • Odds-On: 1
  • Number of favourites or joint favourites: 8 


About The Cheltenham Festival

The Christmas trials in England and Ireland have made some issues clearer but muddied the waters with others in the context of ante post betting for the four championship races at the Cheltenham Festival in March. The holiday programme provided much food for thought and some ramifications for those four days in March. The festive races were significant in their own right but all roads lead to Cheltenham in this sport.

The Festival dominates National Hunt racing like no other single tournament or fixture in any other sport. The meeting has been described as the Olympics of jumps racing and winning one of the historic races is the ambition of most owners. The superpowers of training and ownership dominate but the beauty of the sport is that a horse with unfashionable connections can have a day in the sun. Norton’s Coin was trained by dairy farmer but won the Gold Cup in 1990 at 100/1.

Sire De Grugy was bought as a birthday present by his family for Steve Preston, a man not of great wealth. The team had some great days out, most notably when winning the Champion Chase in 2014. A horse can come from left field literally and take on and beat the big boys at the pinnacle of the sport. Jump racing is more democratic than Flat racing and there are thousands of horses in fields, especially in Ireland, that can win a gold medal at the most important fixture of the year.

The Cheltenham Festival is huge for the betting industry and results at the meeting can have a significant effect on their bottom line for the year. If Annie Power had completed the final leg of the Willie Mullins four-timer on the Tuesday in 2015 the bookies would have paid out an estimated £40 million on all the multiples but the horse fall at the last hurdle with the race won. The major races are always in the top 10 for betting turnover throughout each year

Bookmakers compete with free bets and promotions throughout the year. The objective is to get new customers with enticing sign-up deals. Turnover and odds restrictions negate some of the benefits but during Cheltenham week you can almost bet for free. All the major high street and online firms will have something up their sleeve for that week in the middle of March.  

Cheltenham Betting Specials

As well as enhanced Cheltenham free bets many online bookmakers also introduce Cheltenham betting specials, over the course of The Festival, in relation to different races.

Paddy Power are perhaps the most synonymous with Cheltenham Festival special offers. In recent years their big promotions have revolved around refunding bets on specific races if the named favourite wins. In 2010 this worked to the Irish firm’s advantage when pre-race favourite Dunguib was well beaten in the Supreme Novices Hurdle. But punters got their own back in 2012 as Sprinter Sacre romped home in the Arkle and Paddy Power were required to refund all losing bets on the race.

Paddy Power aren’t the only bookmaker to offer Cheltenham specials along with their Cheltenham sign-up bonus, however. Whether it be enhanced place terms, faller insurance, enhanced odds or refunds on beaten favourites most bookmakers will offer some form of special offer over the course of the week. Many will introduce a new offer every day.

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