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Latest update:March 16, 2024

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Welcome to the Cheltenham festival matched betting guide.

The Cheltenham Festival is a highlight of the horse racing year. The festival is great for matched betting. Expect free bets, bonuses, enhanced odds and profit-making opportunities.

The Cheltenham festival is in the second week of March every year. Tuesday to Friday sees four days of top-class racing action.

What offers can you expect?

Look out for great offers across the 4-day festival such as:

  • Enhanced welcome offers for new customers.
  • Excellent reload offers.
  • Increased stake limits.
  • ITV Racing free bet on winner offers: Betfair sportsbook 3/1 and Bet365 4/1 offer.
  • Extra places for your each-way matched betting: 5 to 7 places at 1/5 the odds on big handicap races.
  • Price boosts online and in shops such as Betfred pushes.
  • Each way arbing opportunities.
  • Advantage play opportunities: price boosts, enhanced multiples, Cheltenham specials.
  • Newspaper free bets vouchers: £1 free bet for certain races. Check the front pages!

A dedicated matched betting service helps to get organised. Discover the top offers and price boosts.

The best matched betting services are:

Each has a daily offer calendar and forum community, which will more than cover the small outlay.

Cheltenham preparation

How do you make the most of the Cheltenham Festival?

Follow this checklist of matched betting tips to get ready for the 4-day bonanza.

Bookmaker and exchange accounts

Sign-up for all the major bookmaker accounts. See the free bets page. Then you’ll be ready to receive existing customer reload offers.

Also, open an account with at least two of the four main betting exchanges:

Mug betting

Place horse racing mug bets. Aim to build a profile before the festival, rather than only betting on offers.

Cheltenham is a big event, but the bookies don’t like customers betting only on promotional races.

Learn matched betting strategies

Read the horse racing guides section.

The beginner horse racing guide explains the basics.

Advanced techniques include each-way betting and extra place matched betting.

Practice each technique with trial matched bets. Then you’ll be comfortable when the festival starts.

Get organised

Good record-keeping is key to track offers and free bets due.

Keep handwritten notes of every bet placed. Or use a profit tracker at a Matched betting subscription service.

I also carry a paper crib sheet and tick off each bookmaker and each race.

Bankroll management

Decide how much money you have available. Then split your cash between bookmaker and exchange accounts. Ensure you’ve enough money to cover large liabilities at the exchange.

Exchanges will combine liabilities when you lay different horses in a race. This reduces the amount of money needed at the exchange.

Cheltenham matched betting strategies

For “refund if” style offers, simply back and lay your horse – and hope the refund triggers.

Other simple back, lay and hope offers include:

Bet365 4/1 winner offer: 

a). Back a horse at odds of 4/1 (5.0) or higher at Bet365.

b). Place a matching lay bet at the exchange.

c). Then if your horse wins, use your own money to place a bet on the next ITV race, but lay as if Stake Not Returned.

Extra places

a). Back a horse each-way at the bookmaker,

b). Place 2 lay bets at the exchange: 1) lay “to win” and 2) lay “to place”.

c). Hope that your horse finishes in the extra place(s).

Cheltenham festival schedule

The festival hosts seven races across Tuesday to Friday.
Let’s run through the Cheltenham festival schedule of races.

Day One – Tuesday 10 March 2020 (Champion Day)

13.30 Supreme Novices Hurdle

14.10 Arkle Novice Chase

14.50 Ultima Handicap Chase

15.30 Champion Hurdle

16.10 Mares Hurdle

16.50 National Hunt Chase

17.30 Novices’ Handicap Chase

Day Two – Wednesday 11 March 2020 (Champion Day)

13.30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle

14.10 RSA Chase

14.50 Coral Cup

15.30 Champion Chase

16.10 Cross Country Chase

16.50 Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

17.30 Champion Bumper

Day Three – Thursday 12 March 2020 (St Patrick’s Day)

13.30 The Marsh Novices Chase

14.10 Pertemps Final Hurdle

14.50 Ryanair Chase

15.30 Stayers Hurdle

16.10 Brown Advisory Plate

16.50 Mares Novices Hurdle

17.30 Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Day Four – Friday 13 March 2020 (Gold Cup Day)

13.30 Triumph Hurdle

14.10 County Hurdle

14.50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

15.30 Cheltenham Gold Cup

16.10 Foxhunter Steeple Chase

16.50 Martin Pipe Hurdle Hurdle

17.30 Grand Annual Chase

Useful resources 

  • Racing Post newspaper: industry-leading daily for comprehensive Cheltenham guides.
  • Sporting Life fast results – find all the latest horse racing results.