The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest betting meeting of the year in the UK. In the annual list of the top 20 races for turnover, at least half are usually races at the Festival. Bookmakers offer a range of Cheltenham Festival bonuses for new and existing customers. The objective is to attract new registrations and maintain the loyalty of current players. The meeting attracts punters who rarely bet and a new generation of bettors who are looking to open a new account.
The Cheltenham Festival in 2020 takes place from Tuesday March 10 to Friday March 13. There are seven races each day that bring together the best horses from Britain and Ireland. There is extensive coverage in the mainstream media and racing Press. Five races on each day are shown on free-to-view television. Online bookmakers attract business with a range of Cheltenham Festival free bet offers. At the time of writing at the end of January, few Cheltenham Festival bonuses had been announced.
However, based on previous years, we can assume there will be Cheltenham Festival bonus bet offers in the weeks leading up to the meeting and over the four days of racing. Most of the major trials have been run and there are active ante-post markets. Betting activity intensifies during February and the start of March. The betting experience is enhanced for punters in the UK and Ireland and other parts of the world with the following Cheltenham Festival offers and Cheltenham Festival bonuses.
Cheltenham Festival Non Runner/No Bet promotion
Ante post betting has inherent dangers because in normal circumstances if a backed horse is withdrawn before the day of a race, ante post bets are losers. The upside is that there can be better value in the odds than the Starting Price. However, horses can suffer injuries or be targeted at other races at the Cheltenham Festival. Punters are wary of investing money because they might not get a run. The non-runner/no bet (NRNB) concession removes that potential scenario.
Bookmakers begin to introduce the NRNB Cheltenham Festival offers from about the end of January. Initially, the offer applies to the following four main championship races:
- Tuesday: Champion Hurdle
- Wednesday: Champion Chase
- Thursday: Stayers’ Hurdle
- Friday: Cheltenham Gold Cup
The concession is extended to include the 28 races at the Festival from the middle of February. All the major UK betting brands such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and bet365 introduce NRNB as part of their range of Cheltenham Festival offers. If a backed horse in ante post betting does not run, customers receive a full refund in the form of betting funds and not free bets. The concession encourages ante post betting but there is often less value in the odds.
Cheltenham Festival Extra Places
Each way bets on horse racing in the UK and Ireland are settled in line with the following industry standard place terms, depending on the number of runners and the type of race:
- Less than 5 runners: win only.
- 5-7 runners: one quarter the odds for 2 places.
- 8 runners or more in non-handicaps: one fifth the odds for 3 places.
- 12-15 runners in a handicap: one quarter the odds for 3 places.
- 16 or more runners in a handicap: one quarter the odds for 4 places.
One of the most common Cheltenham Festival bookie offers is extra places in selected races. Bookmakers usually offer extra places throughout the year in high-profile handicaps that are live on terrestrial television. They might settle each way bets for five or six places. The concession is often introduced for a number of races at the Cheltenham Festival. It can apply to the Grade 1 championship races and lucrative handicaps that attract a field of 20 runners or more. These Cheltenham Festival offers are usually announced on the day before the qualifying race and are promoted in the Press.
Cheltenham Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) promotions
The Best Odds Guaranteed concession applies to board prices or early prices on race meetings in the UK and Ireland. The guarantee is available on racing throughout the year and is part of bookmakers’ range of Cheltenham Festival offers. When bettors take an early price and the Starting Price (SP) is different bets are settled at the best odds. The BOG incentive encourages betting on a race before the first show. Punters know they will not lose out and always get the best odds.
Bookmakers like Coral, Betfair and Paddy Power offer BOG for all 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival. The best odds guarantee is subject to the following Terms & Conditions:
- BOG applies from 9am on the day of the race.
- Ante post bets do not qualify.
- Restricted winnings from any BOG race, up to £50,000.
- Win and each way bets.
- Cashed out bets do not count.
- Bets placed once the race has started are not valid.
- Applies to board prices and early prices.
- On offer for every race at the Cheltenham Festival.
- Subject to general bookmaker Terms & Conditions.
The BOG concession comes into its own when there is a market move on the horse during the day of the race. It is also useful for punters when a horse drifts in the betting. If the SP is higher or lower than the early price, punters are paid out at the best odds during the Cheltenham Festival.
Bookmaker Sign Up Offers during Cheltenham Festival
All the major UK-facing betting brands offer new customers a sign up bonus. These bookie welcome bonuses are available during the Cheltenham Festival. There are a number of types of Cheltenham Festival bonuses for new customers: no deposit, matched deposit, no qualifying bet and matched bet. The value of the qualifying deposit or bet is related to the value of the bonus. If the initial deposit or bet is £50 and the bonus is £50 it is a 100% matched deposit or bet bonus.
A typical bookie bonus sign up offer during the Cheltenham Festival will be subject to the following terms and conditions:
- New customers in the UK and Ireland and existing customers are not eligible
- Initial deposit and qualifying bets.
- Bonuses in the form of free bets.
- Turnover requirements and odds restrictions apply.
- Free bets expire after a certain number of days, often 30.
- Bookmaker general Terms & Conditions apply.
Bookmakers often promote more generous welcome bonuses during the Cheltenham Festival. They are often 100% matched deposit or matched bet bonuses because the value of the bonus is equal to the qualifying deposit or bet. Potential new customers are well catered for with Cheltenham Festival offers that come in the form of free bets. The good news for punters is the Gambling Commission has cracked down on unfair bookie sign up bonuses, stopping bookmakers from having unfair terms and conditions hidden away.
How to get Cheltenham Festival Enhanced Odds
One of the most popular Cheltenham Festival offers with punters is enhanced odds. Bookmakers boost the odds for selected horses. For example, customers with a bookmaker could get better odds for the favourite or one of the outsiders. A typical odds boost is 3/1 to 7/2 but there are often staking restrictions. For example, bookmakers allow one customer to bet up to £50 at the better odds. Bets for more than this amount are settled at the regular odd but the enhanced odds apply for the first £50. These Cheltenham Festival offers are announced in the days before the qualifying race.
Cheltenham Money Back bet refunds
The first race of the Cheltenham Festival is the Skybet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The sponsors often have Cheltenham Festival bonuses related to their own race. Typically, all bets are refunded if the backed horse finishes second to the Starting Price favourite. In some years, Skybet have refunded all losing stakes in the form of a free bet. The refund is restricted to £25 per customer. Other bookmakers offer something similar for selected races at the Cheltenham Festival. These offers are announced at the start of Cheltenham Festival week.
Cheltenham Festival Free Bet offers
New customers can claim free bets offers for the Cheltenham Festival when they create an account. Existing customers are also credited with free bets during the Cheltenham Festival. The value of any free bet is usually restricted to up to £50. There are qualifying conditions, including placing bets for a certain amount. Free bets can be used on selected race meetings, such as Cheltenham, or on any sports betting market without any time restrictions. The best free bet Cheltenham Festival offers credit customers with funds that can be used as cash that can be withdrawn.
Horse Does Not Finish promotion
Bookmakers could include this concession in the range of Cheltenham Festival bonus offers. Customers who back a horse that doesn’t complete the race are refunded with the stake in the form of a free bet. The offer applies to a nominated meeting and the qualifying bet can be win or each way. The jockey could be unseated or the horse falls, refuses or is pulled up. In any case, bettors receive a refund for up to £10 within 24 hours of the race for selected meetings such as the Cheltenham Festival. The nominated meeting is announced during the week before race day.
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