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Cheltenham festival matched betting guide

Welcome to the Cheltenham festival matched betting guide.

The Cheltenham festival is one of the highlights of the horse racing year. The festival is great for matched betting – expect lots of of 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
  • Potentially 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 organise all the 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 festival 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.

Additionally, an account with at least two of the four main betting exchanges is essential:

Mug/cover betting

Consider placing horse racing mug bets on your accounts to build up a profile – rather than only betting when offers are available.

Even though Cheltenham is a huge event, 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 offers.

I would advise placing some trial matched bets. Then you’ll be comfortable when the festival starts.


Good record keeping is key for keeping track of offers and free bets due.

The matched betting subscription services have a profit tracker to record every single bet and offer.

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, with enough to cover large liabilities at the exchange.

Remember that exchanges will combine liabilities when you lay different horses in a race. This reduces the amount of funds needed at the exchange.

Cheltenham festival matched betting strategies

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

Other simple back, lay and hope offers include:

Bet365 4/1 winner offerBack and lay a horse at minimum odds of 4/1 (5.00), 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 placesBack a horse each-way at the bookmaker, then place 2 lay bets at the exchange: 1) lay “to win” and 2) lay “to place”, then hope that your horse finishes in the extra place(s).

Cheltenham festival schedule

The festival hosts seven races across Tuesday to Friday, including Grade 1 races like the Champion Hurdle on day 1, the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Day 2, the World Hurdle on day 3, and Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Here is the typical schedule of races for Cheltenham festival.

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 – grab a copy of the industry leading daily for comprehensive Cheltenham guides.

Sporting Life fast results – find all the latest horse racing results.

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