The Cheltenham Festival takes place in the second week in March. The ante-post betting markets are developing and there are some key trials in the UK and Ireland over Christmas. Online bookmakers will provide plenty of betting promotions related to the festival – and horse racing in general – over the next three months. Many of these racing bonuses and promotions will also apply to the Grand National at Aintree, which takes place three weeks after the Cheltenham Festival.
Best Odds Guaranteed
Bookmakers offer Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) for horse racing in the UK and Ireland. Bettors who take a board price when they back a horse and the Starting Price (SP) is different will have their bets settled at the best odds. This offer applies for racing throughout the year, but bookmakers will promote BOG during the Cheltenham Festival and on the day of the Grand National. Bookmakers introduce the promise from 9am on the day of each meeting.
Ante-post betting is fraught with danger because if the backed horse is withdrawn before race day, all bets are lost. Bookmakers introduce the non-runner/no bet concession for races at the Cheltenham Festival, often extending it to cover all 28 races at the meeting. The offer is introduced for the Grand National a few weeks before the race. Ante-post stakes are returned for non-runners.
Each way bets on horse racing are settled in line with standard place terms. Bookmakers calculate place returns for two, three, or four places depending on the type of race and number of runners. Bookies offer extra places on major big-field competitive handicaps. The Grand National is a handicap with a maximum field of 40 runners with regular place terms of one-quarter the odds for four places. Some bookmakers offer five or six places for the National.
Bookmakers provide insurance when customers have one loser in a multiple bet with five selections or more. The offer is mainly for football accas, but some bookmakers apply the concession to horse racing accumulators. The refund is usually for the value of the stake and comes in the form of betting funds or a free bet. Some bookmakers stipulate the free bet must be used for another acca and there is usually a limit placed on the value of the refund.
Some bookmakers offer enhanced odds for a winning accumulator bet. This offer mainly relates to football multiples, but a number of bookmakers extend the offer to horse racing in the UK and Ireland. The profit from a winning acca is boosted on a sliding scale. The boost ranges from 5% to 100% for bets with five to 15 and more selections. There is usually a limit to the extra amount that can be won.