Cheltenham Festival 2018: The Best UK Bookmakers Sign Up Deals

Bookmakers in the UK are currently chucking out their best betting offers, price boosts and Cheltenham Festival 2018 free bets in the hope that you’ll take a bet with them. It’s the perfect time of year for the bookies to use these new customer sign-up offers to bolster their membership numbers for the year.

We’ve put together this epic guide for the 2018 festival, starting with a list of the best free bets offered by each bookie, followed by a detailed preview of day, some history of the festival and an insight into what actually goes on throughout the week – both on and off the racecourse.

The Best Free Bets For Cheltenham 2018

10Bet Up To 4 x £100 Bonuses

  • 4 x £100 in bonuses  (use promo code: CHEL1)
  • Best odds guaranteed on all UK & Irish racing.
  • £5 free bet whenever 2nd to Ruby Walsh. (Check T/Cs)

BetVictor £60 & £2 Free Bets

  • Bet £10 and get a £30 Free Sports Bet & £30 Casino Bonus.
  • Get a £2 Free Bet Each Time You Bet £10 On Cheltenham.
  • LIVE streaming on web & mobile when you stake at least £1 on the race.

BetFred £60 Free Bet

  • Get £30 in sports free bets and a casino bonus of £30.
  • Best odds guaranteed on all UK & Irish racing.
  • Cash out your horse racing accas & multiples after the first race.

Betfair £30 Free Bet

  • Get three £10 free bets when you join and bet £10 on any sporting event.
  • Horse finder feature – filter horses on wins, tips, distances, jockeys & trainers.
  • Daily horse enhancements and long term special bets & markets.

William Hill £30 Free Bet

  • Get £30 in free bets when you join and bet just £10.
  • Best odds guaranteed on all UK & Irish racing.
  • Daily enhancements & cash-in bets feature.

Ladbrokes £50 Free Betladbrokes logo small

  • Free bet up to £50 (use promo code: F50)
  • Best odds guaranteed plus.
  • Regular price boosts & enhancements.

SkyBet Money Back Offer

  • Get your money back if you lose in the first race of the day.
  • Best odds guaranteed on UK & Irish horse racing.
  • Cash out boost – win a free cash bonus when you cash out a bet.

Paddy Power £30 Free BetPaddy Power £30 free bet

  • Join Paddy Power and bet just £10 to get £30 in free bet tokens.
  • Non-Runner money back on the Champion Chase, World Hurdle & Gold Cup.
  • Best odds guaranteed & massive list of specials for Cheltenham jockeys & trainers.

Bet365 £200 Up To £200 Deposit Bonus

Coral £20 Free Bet

  • Get a massive £20 by joining and placing just £5 on a bet.
  • Best prices guaranteed on all UK & Irish racing.
  • Weekly £5 free bet club + 10 free spins.

Top Betting Offers & Special Cheltenham Promotions

Offer Details Offer Type Claim Promotion
SkyBet First Race of the Day Money Back Offer Free Bet & Refund Offer View Deal
Bet £10 and get a £2 free bet on each race at Cheltenham Existing Customer Offer View Deal
William Hill Money Back as a Free Bet If Your Horse Finishes Second In The First Race Of Each Day at Cheltenham Money Back Free Bet Offer View Deal
William Hill High 5 – If a Horse Wins By 5 Or More Lengths, Get a 25% Bonus On Your Winnings If You Back The Winner Or Money Back as a Free Bet If Your Horse Finishes Second Money Back Free Bet Offer View Deal
BetFred Money Back as a Free Bet If Your Horse Finishes Second In The Neptune Novices Hurdle Money Back Free Bet Offer View Deal
10Bet Up To 4 x £100 In Bonuses New Customer Offer View Deal
Bet365 Free Bet Up To £50 If You Back a Winner at 4/1 or Higher Existing Customer Free Bet Offer View Deal
Coral Bet €/£25 On Cheltenham & Get €/£10 In Free Bets For The Next Day Existing Customer Free Bet Offer View Deal
Coral Bet €/10+ On Cheltenham & Get a Refund Up To €/£25 In Free Bets If Your Horse Falls Or Unseats The Jockey Existing Customer Free Bet Offer View Deal
Betfair Free Bet Up To £25 When You Back a Cheltenham Winner at an SP of 3/1+ Existing Customer Free Bet Offer View Deal
Paddy Power Refund Up To £20 If Your Horse Finished 2nd In The First 5 Races of the Day Existing Customer Money Back Offer View Deal
William Hill Non Runner Insurance – Cash Back If Your Horse Doesn’t Run Existing Customer Offer View Deal
Betfair Non Runner No Bet Existing Customer Offer View Deal
William Hill Bet £10 Get £30 New Customer Offer View Deal
Betfair Bet £10 Get £30 New Customer Offer View Deal
Paddy Power Bet £10 Get £30 New Customer Offer View Deal
Ladbrokes £50 Free Bet New Customer Offer View Deal

Latest Cheltenham Festival Betting News

March 5th 2017: Defi Du Seuil Shortens for Triumph Hurdle After Charli Parcs Fall

Among the few other pointers for Cheltenham over the weekend was the racecourse gallop of Brain Power from the Nick Henderson yard. The horse appeared comfortable in beating two training companions on Saturday and has successfully claimed two graded handicaps earlier this season, but whether he can win a Champion Hurdle is open to debate. Should there be good ground on the opening day of the festival, then it would more advantageous for Brain Power against the current favourite and stable mate Buveur D’air.

  • 21st February 2017: Thistlecrack Withdrawn From Gold Cup Due to Injury
  • 21st February: Cue Card looks to be favourite for the Gold Cup after Thistlecrack’s withdrawal
  • 12th February: Sizing John Becomes a Cheltenham Contender After Irish Gold Cup glory
  • 12th February: Altior and Native River consolidate their Cheltenham claims with Newbury victories
  • 5th February: Buveur D’air and Top Notch Stake Cheltenham Claims as Douvan Canters to Another Victory
  • 30th January: Thistlecrack Defeat Is Overshadowed By Death Of Many Clouds

Daily Previews

A quick overview of each day. Click the links for detailed race previews and extended coverage of each day of the festival.

Day 1 Betting Offers & Specials – Tuesday 14th March

As per every day during the week, racing begins at 1.30pm and the Supreme Novice Hurdle opens proceedings with the two-mile novice chasers competing in the Arkle trophy thereafter. Yet the feature race of the afternoon is the Champion Hurdle which could feature the previous two winners of the coveted prize with Irish raiders Faugheen and Annie Power hoping to be among the entrants alongside the English challengers.

Time Race Name Favourite Odds Check Latest Odds
13:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle Melon 7/2 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
14:10 Arkle Challenge Trophy Altior 1/4 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
14:50 Festival Handicap Chase Noble Endeavor 8/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
15:30 Champion Hurdle Yanworth 5/2 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
16:10 David Nicholson Mares Hurdle Limini 11/10 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
16:50 National Hunt Chase A Genie In Abottle 4/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
17:30 Novices Handicap Chase Foxtail Hill 7/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)

Day 2 Betting Offers & Specials – Wednesday 15th March

The two-mile Queen Mother Champion Chase dominates the second day of the festival and who can forget Sprinter Sacre regaining his crown last season after a health scare interrupted his previously successful career. The gelding has now been retired but Irish horse Douvan will be hoping to add this prize to his Arkle victory from 2016.

Time Race Name Favourite Odds Check Latest Odds
13:30 The Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle Neon Wolf 9/4 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
14:10 The RSA Steeple Chase Might Bite 3/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
14:50 The Coral Cup Hurdle Tombstone 5/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
15:30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase Douvan 1/4 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
16:10 The Glenfarclas Cross Country Cantlow 2/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
16:50 The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Divin Bere 6/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
17:30 The Weatherbys Champion Bumper Carter Mckay 3/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)

Day 3 Betting Offers & Specials – Thursday 16th March

Racegoers on Thursday will be deprived of the opportunity of watching last season’s winners of the Ryanair Chase and World Hurdle defend their crowns, with the sad death during training of Vautour, allowing for an open contest in the former race. The three-mile World Hurdle was won last March by the impressive Thistlecrack who is now being aimed at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and those horses deemed unsuited by the shorter distance hurdle races may be primed for this race.

Time Race Name Favourite Odds Check Latest Odds
13:30 JLT Novices Chase Yorkhill 11/8 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
14:10 Pertemps Final Hurdle Tobefair 6/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
14:50 Ryanair Chase Un De Sceaux 3/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
15:30 Stayers Hurdle Unowhatimeanharry 5/4 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
16:10 Festival Plate Diamond King 6/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
16:50 Mares Novices Hurdle Airlie Beach 7/4 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
17:30 Kim Muir Challenge Cup Mall Dini 7/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)

Day 4 Betting Offers & Specials – Friday 17th March

Although the final day of the meeting begins with two novice hurdle races, the Gold Cup is arguably the most prestigious contest of the four-day festival and the National Hunt season. Both 2015 winner Coneygree and 2016 conqueror Don Cossack are out from illness and injury and unable claim the crown once again, so there will be a strong challenge from the Colin Tizzard stable plus several capable horses from Ireland with the reliable Djakadam set to reappear.

Time Race Name Favourite Odds Check Latest Odds
13:30 Triumph Hurdle Defi Du Seuil 7/4 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
14:10 County Handicap Hurdle North Hill Harvey 7/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
14:50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Death Duty 5/2 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
15:30 Cheltenham Gold Cup Djakadam 4/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
16:10 Foxhunter Steeple Chase On the Fringe 11/8 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
16:50 Conditional Jockeys Hurdle The Storyteller 4/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)
17:30 Grand Annual Chase Starchitect 9/1 View Latest Odds (SkyBet) | View Latest Odds (Betfair) | View Latest Odds (BetVictor)

One Of The Biggest Horse Racing Festivals In The World

Although there are many lucrative meetings at weekends and during the festive season within the national hunt calendar, it is the mid-March Cheltenham Festival which is regarded as the annual championships with featured horses trained to achieve peak fitness for the four-day highlight of the jumping season.

Until 2005, the Cheltenham fixture had traditionally been a three-day midweek meeting attracting thousands of spectators from Ireland. Then a fourth day was introduced for the Friday with the Irish still arriving at the racecourse in numbers, but with more punters from various parts of England now converging on the Cotswolds as they are captivated by the extra publicity and betting opportunities available.

Quite often, the arrival of the festival often coincides with the first signs of Spring weather, although snow has sometimes fallen on the racecourse, but what actually will be awaiting the punters on each day of the 2017 meeting…

Trainers to Note

Willie Mullins – The Irish trainer saddled the winners of seven races at the 2016 festival which was one fewer than his performance in 2015, but his stable has suffered from the withdrawal of horses from the Michael O’Leary Gigginstown House Stud, and he may not dominate the racing as in previous years.

Gordon Elliott and Henry De Bromhead – Both Irish trainers among others have benefited from the Gigginstown transfer of horses with Elliott now providing a serious challenge to Mullins as the champion trainer in the Emerald Isle.

Paul Nicholls – He began the current season with a flourish and has maintained his reputation as a good Saturday trainer with many winners among the televised races. However, the current UK Champion Trainer has not been so successful in recent seasons at Cheltenham with Kauto Star, Denman and Big Bucks among his more famous previous stars at the meeting.

Nicky Henderson – He produced one of the greatest ever training performances when saddling Sprinter Sacre to win last season’s Champion Chase and can usually win some prizes at this meeting especially with his novices, and Altior has emerged as potentially his most promising young chaser.

Colin Tizzard – The West Country Trainer was hoping that Cue Card would win the chasing triple crown last season when his star horse won the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the Kempton King George only to fall in the Gold Cup. Tizzard now has both Thistlecrack and Welsh National winner Native River lined up as potential Cheltenham winners among others in his stable.

Tony Martin – The shrewd Irish trainer rarely wins any of the most prestigious races at the meeting, but tends to focus on the big handicaps and can usually win some useful prize money.

Factors To Take Into Account When Betting On The Festival

Ground conditions – During mid-March, there is often a tendency for underfoot conditions to be much easier than during the depths of winter. ‘Good’ ground often prevails and this does not always suit horses campaigned with success in the mud (‘soft’) during the preceding months.

The famous Cheltenham hill – The final two furlongs of each race features a stiff uphill finish with horses racing successfully at less undulating circuits such as Newbury and Haydock not necessarily suited by the demands of this track. Horses which have won previously at Cheltenham should be noted.

The Bookies – There is so much competition among the bookmakers, even on the High Street, that it pays to watch the offers available. Money back when the favourite wins is one to note especially with several odds-on favourites winning in recent seasons from the Willie Mullins yard. For anybody wishing to use Ladbrokes or William Hill in Cheltenham town centre, it is worth bearing in mind that these shops can become very busy during lunchtimes of festival week.