There are opportunities to make a profit on a daily basis when matched betting. With sporting events taking place every day, there is no shortage of bookmaker offers such as free bets, money-back specials and extra places to take advantage of. However, a few times a year there are big events which inspire the bookmakers to run an increased number of profitable promotions in an attempt to attract more customers and retain existing ones. One of these big events is Cheltenham Festival which is the highlight of many matched bettors’ sporting calendar as it gives them an opportunity to boost their profits a considerable amount over the space of the 4-day festival.
Cheltenham Festival 2019
Cheltenham Festival takes place in March each year at Cheltenham Racecourse in Glouceshire, UK and attracts 67,500 spectators each day, totalling over a quarter of a million throughout the 4 days of racing. Each day, there are 7 races with the first one at 13:30 and the last at 17:30.
Over £1,500,000 is estimated to be bet on the festival each year by punters which explains why bookmakers are eager to attract customers via enhanced promotions and offers.
Many matched bettors take leave from work due to the potential profits they can generate throughout the festival, making it the biggest week of the matched betting year.
Cheltenham Festival 2019 Schedule
|Tuesday 12th March
1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2.10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase
2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase
3.30 UniBet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
4.10 Mares’ Hurdle
4.50 National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup
5.30 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
|Wednesday 13th March
1.30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
2.10 RSA Steeple Chase
2.50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
3.30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
4.10 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
4.50 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
5.30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper
|Thursday 14th March
1.30 JLT Novices’ Steeple Chase
2.10 Pertemps Final
2.50 Ryanair Chase
3.30 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle
4.10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase
4.50 Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle
5.30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase
|Friday 15th March
1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle
2.10 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle
2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
3.30 Cheltenham Gold Cup
4.10 Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup
4.50 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase
5.30 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
How profitable is Cheltenham Festival for matched bettors?
Many matched bettors consider Cheltenham Festival as the most profitable week of the year. The amount of profit you can make during the festival will depend on a number of factors such as the bookmaker offers available, the size of your bank and simply, how many offers you do. If you’re able to dedicate a bit of time to the offers throughout the 4 days then it’s safe to say that it will be worth it.
Cheltenham Festival Betting Offers
Bookmakers usually announce their Cheltenham offers 1-2 weeks prior to the festival taking place with more being released throughout the festival. The best way to find all of the offers is to join a matched betting service such as ProfitSquad who find all of the offers for you and list them all in one place along with step-by-step guides on how to profit from them.
Based on previous years, some profitable offers we can expect to see from bookmakers for Cheltenham Festival are:
- Refunds on losing bets either as cash or as free bets
- Extra places
- Bet & Get offers
- Money back if 2nd/3rd
If you’re looking to make the most of Cheltenham betting offers, it is important that you ensure that you are prepared and know what to expect. With races setting off every 40 minutes, you need to plan in advance which offers you are doing with which bookmakers and ensure that you have the funds and time to place those bets correctly.
If you haven’t already, make sure you have accounts at the major bookies. These are the ones which will be providing the most profitable promotions which will be available to existing customers. Some of these bookmakers include:
- Paddy Power
- Betfair Sportsbook
- William Hill
It is a good idea to keep an eye on what offers are available and various bookmakers in the run-up to the festival and ensure you have accounts with those bookmakers. You can find a full list of Cheltenham betting offers on ProfitSquad.
You’ll also want to make sure that you have as many options to lay your bets as possible. Therefore, it is a good idea to have accounts with multiple exchanges such as Betfair Exchange, Smarkets, Matchbook and Betdaq. However, be aware that using multiple exchanges means that you will have to fund each one depending on which ones you use most so you need to make sure you have a large enough bank to cover your liability across multiple exchanges.
The size of your bank will have an effect on how much profit you can make based on the number of offers you can affordably participate in. Depending on whether your bets win with the exchange or with the bookmaker, you may find that your exchange balance is depleted early in the festival should your bank size not be large enough. This isn’t advising you to deposit more than you can afford but just to be aware of which accounts your funds are in and to ensure that you have the funds available for the most profitable offers at the associated bookmakers.
With so many offers available during Cheltenham Festival, there is going to be a mix of optimum strategies to be used. Concentrate on the ones you are most comfortable with but if you have the time prior to the festival starting, it may be a good idea to research additional strategies so that you can take advantage of more offers.
Basic Strategy Offers – These will include offers such as ‘Bet £10 on the first race and get a £10 free bet to use on the next race’ or ‘Bet £20 on the first race and get a refund if it loses’. For these type of offers, basic matched betting strategy can be used.
Intermediate Strategy Offers – Extra place offers and Money back if 2nd/3rd are common and are available most days of the week. However, not all matched bettors do them for various reasons but they can be extremely profitable and during Cheltenham, bookmakers tend to offer additional extra places and enhanced promotions in this category making them even more desirable. Take the time to learn how extra place offers work when matched betting and how to use tools such as the Each Way Calculator and Horse Racing Matcher.
Advanced Strategy Offers – Dutching is an advanced strategy which involves betting on numerous horses in a race with multiple bookmakers and eliminates the need for betting exchanges as you won’t be placing any lay bets. Dutching can be very profitable but does require some knowledge and experience. Thankfully, ProfitSquad provides the necessary training and tools to help members get to grips with and profit from dutching. Each Way Dutching can be profitable in the right circumstances but ensure that you understand how to dutch horse races and have practised prior to the festival starting before attempting it. Tools such as ProfitSquad’s Each Way Dutcher will help.
If you’re gubbed by a bookmaker, you won’t be able to claim the majority of promotions. However, generally, this doesn’t include extra place offers and as there will be a lot of these offers available during Cheltenham, they’re a great way to boost your profits using accounts which are restricted. Be sure to check that you aren’t stake restricted with bookmakers you are gubbed with as this will impact how large your bets can be and ultimately your returns.
Another option for gubbed accounts is arbing opportunities. Arbing is generally not recommended when matched betting but can be an effective way to generate a profit when using gubbed accounts. With bookmakers offering competitive odds, there may be each way arbing opportunities from which you can lock in a profit and consists of covering all outcomes by laying the win part and the place part of an each way bet.
10 Fun Cheltenham Festival Facts
|£1,000,000 – The economic impact Cheltenham Festival has on Gloucestershire each year
|£4,590,000 – The prize money at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
|£2,300,000 – Cash withdrawn from ATM’s at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival
|75,000 – The max capacity on Gold Cup Day
|21,120 – How many feet run in the National Hunt Chase
|8,000 – The number of gallons of tea & coffee served
|2001 – The only year (apart from during WW1 & WW2) that the festival was cancelled which was due to foot and mouth disease
|22 – The number of fences to jump in the Gold Cup
|7 – The most race wins by a jockey in a single year which was Ruby Walsh in 2009. He equalled that record in 2016.
|5 – The number of tonnes of smoked salmon served.