The Cheltenham Festival is less than a week away and the bookies are already vying for our custom with some unbelievable new customer offers and some outstanding all-customer concessions.
Here are the ones we’ve found so far but be sure to keep your eyes out for even more bookmaker offers such as enhanced place terms, enhanced odds, extra places and more besides.
First Race Flutter
The atmospheric roar of the Cheltenham crowd as the tapes go up is enough to make most punters want to have a bet on the first race of the Cheltenham Festival.
However, there are a couple of bookmakers that are willing to make it even more exciting with their “Free bet in the first race” offers.
Place one bet of between £1 and £25 on the first race at Cheltenham (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) with Coral and they’ll give your stake back as a free bet if it loses.
Meanwhile, Sky Bet will offer you one free bet on the Supreme Novices Hurdle up to £20 and return your stake as a free bet if it loses.
Both bets are an absolute no-brainers if you’re likely to have another bet later in the week at Cheltenham and the only real question is what strategy are you going to take?
You may want to back the likely favourite Getabird considering Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh have teamed up to win three of the last five renewals.
Alternatively, you could take him on with Betfair Hurdler Kalashnikov, although Betfair Hurdle winners don’t have a great record in this race.
You may even want to take a chance on getting your Cheltenham Festival off to a real flyer by backing one at double-figure odds like Menghli Khan – seeing as you get your money back as a free bet anyway.
First Race Flutter Every Day
To Skybet’s credit, they’ve actually already announced that they’re offering their “free bet on the first race” offer on all four days of the Cheltenham Festival.
On Wednesday, you can look forward to having your free bet on the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in which Samcro is being touted as the Irish banker of the whole meeting.
However, whilst he looks to have an obvious chance, his trainer Gordon Elliott has yet to win this race. That can’t be said of Elliott’s main rival Willie Mullins who has won four of the last ten renewals and he could run the highly-regarded Next Destination.
Great Britain have won three of the last six renewals though and there are also good vibes resonating from the Nicky Henderson yard about On The Blind Side.
On Thursday, your free Sky Bet can be placed on the JLT Novices Chase. This relatively new race has been an Irish benefit so far as they’ve saddled six of the seven winners. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the market is currently headed by the Willie Mullins trained Invitation Only as Mullins has trained four of those seven winners. It’s possible he could also be sent off even shorter if, as expected, many of the horses around him take up other options.
The Brits are putting up some potentially interesting opposition though in the shape of Terrefort, Finian’s Oscar and Modus.
It’s then the turn of the Triumph Hurdle on Friday and it’s the Brits who have won 7 of the last 10 renewals of the race. Nicky Henderson has trained three of the last nine winners and, if his Apple’s Shakira is anywhere near as good as her sibling Apple’s Jade, she could take some stopping. Meanwhile, Alan King seems to have found another strong challenger in the shape of Adonis Hurdle winner Redicean and King trained the winners in 2005 and 2007. The Irish have some good-looking challengers of their own though in the shape of Farclas, Mister Adjudicator, and Stormy Ireland.
Add Some First Day Power
It’s also worth considering betting with Paddy Power on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, as Ireland’s biggest bookmaker is offering a generous concession on every race on the first day. Bet £10 on any race and, if the SP Favourite wins, and you’ve backed a different horse you can have your tenner back as a free bet. That could be a pretty generous offer too as there are some short-priced favourites in the form of Getabird (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle), Footpad (Arkle), Buveur D’Air (Champion Hurdle) and Apple’s Jade (OLBG Mares’ Hurdle).
How About A 14/1 Double About Buveur D’Air and Altior?
Trainer Nicky Henderson has a terrific record in both the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase. He’s won the Champion Hurdle three times in the last nine years and the Champion Chase three times in the last six years.
Therefore, that certainly makes the 14/1 that 188bet are offering about Buveur D’air winning the Champion Hurdle and Altior winning the Champion Chase very interesting indeed. Especially when the real price is only around 7/4 at current odds.
However, 188bet are willing to lay £5 at 14/1 to all new customers, with all winnings above the real-odds being paid in free bets.
Fancy 5/1 About Altior Winning The Champion Chase?
Meanwhile, if you only fancy Altior to win the Champion Chase, new customers can have a £5 bet on him doing so at 5/1 with SunBets. All winnings at enhanced odds will again be paid out as free bets.
Hopefully this guide is helpful. We’ll be posting a preview every day during the festival to help you find those winners and squeeze as much from the bookies as possible.