The Cheltenham Racing Festival is a highlight of the UK racing calendar

The Cheltenham Racing Festival is a highlight of the UK racing calendar

It’s steeped in history having started in 1860. Second now only to the Grand National and over the years it has expanded from a 2 day meet to 4 days with a championship race on each day culminating in the famous Gold Cup race on the last day of the festival. This year’s event is going ahead and looks set to attract a big audience keen to see which horses and trainers look in form.

Typically, up to 300,000 spectators can visit over the 4 days and with such big crowds, Cheltenham is known for its atmosphere and the famous Cheltenham roar (the huge cheers when the starting flag is raised for the big races)

That’s a lot of punters and race fans packing into the racecourse and paddocks. Pre-Covid19 the attendance on the final day of the 2019 meet was a record-breaking seventy-one thousand. We may not get those numbers this year but it will still be a good turnout.

Records to be Broken!
This year’s big talking points are whether the aging Altior can triumph in a 5th Festival race. And whether Al Boum Photo can win the Gold Cup for the 3rd time. A feat not achieved since the magnificent Best Mate rode by jockey Jim Culloty dominated the 3 years from 2002 to 2004, who could have won a 4th consecutive one in 2005 if not withdrawn days before the race. The Gold Cup is the pinnacle for many trainers and punters.

Al Boum Photo is the clear favourite and a true Cheltenham great, having already won back-to-back Gold Cups in the last 2 years. Al Boum won at Tranmore at the new year by a massive 19 lengths so you can see why he is the bookies’ favorite with the next closest rivals Minella Indo and Santini and Champ way behind in the betting odds.

For some indication of the form of those rivals, watch the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on January 30 where a strong field will show us if Champ is up for the fight and then later in February when Santini gets a run out at the Newbury Denman Chase.

Free Bets on Cheltenham Festival Races
There is plenty to look forward to if you want to place a bet on the Cheltenham festival. Even if you don’t bet regularly or save your bets for special horse racing events like the Grand National or Ascot Derby Day, you can get a risk-free bet by joining an online bookie.

At the moment the online sports books are all about the Cheltenham Festival so you can check out what kind of risk free bet on the Cheltenham Festival you can get. Make sure to check out Cheltenham betting guides so you can get the best betting tips, schedules for the event, the runners, and betting offers. There are money back specials, enhanced odds, ‘non-runner no bet’ (NRNB) so if you bet now but your horse does not run, you will get your money back!

Very English Looking Field
Cheltenham doesn’t attract the international field that Ascot or The Grand National do so, the travel restrictions from Covid are not as worrying except for the Irish contingent, who are historically very strong at Cheltenham. This year they are favorites in 18 of the 28 races including Al Boum Photo in the Gold Cup and the Chacun Pour Soi in the Champion Chase, where Ditto Politologue would benefit greatly from no Chacun Pour Soi racing. Read more about which Irish horses may miss the meet in the Sun.

When Will the Festival Take Place?
Starting this year on Tuesday 16th March and finishing on the Friday 19th March, it is sure to be a spectacle, and it is clear sports fans around the world can all benefit from the drama and uplift of live sports. Remember some sporting events that did go ahead in 2020 and what great drama they brought us!