The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most distinguished race of the entire National Hunt season and the highlight of the biggest betting event of the year; the Cheltenham Festival. Gold Cup betting is fierce with punters staking thousands.
The race is for horses aged five years and older and is run over a gruelling 3 miles, 2-and-a-half furlongs with 22 fences for the field to jump.
The race is otherwise known as the Blue Riband of jump racing and given its prominence on the racing scene we’ve decided to cover it comprehensively here detailing betting offers, the history of the race, the venue and more.
Cheltenham Gold Cup General Info
The Gold Cup is the richest non-handicap chase race in Britain with a prize fund topping £600,000. All National Hunt trainers consider this the race they want to win even above the Grand National as winners of the race still rely on class and stamina, but less luck than is required over at Aintree.
When is the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Staged across four racing days in mid-March, the Cheltenham Festival is considered the peak of the National Hunt racing season. Although French trainers also like to test out their best from time to time, the festival is usually thought of as a head-to-head between the very best that Britain and Ireland has to offer.
The Gold Cup itself takes place on Friday, the last day of the festival, by which time more than 240,000 people will have attended to see the champion crowned. Friday 15th March is the date for the diary for the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019.
What time is the Gold Cup?
Although naturally the running order is subject to change each year, the Gold Cup runners and riders are traditionally underway at 3.30PM and the 2019 running is on course to be the same.
Why Is the Gold Cup so Hotly Anticipated?
Owners, trainers, jockeys and stable staff will almost certainly all list the Gold Cup as the race that can define their careers. Much like the Derby in Flat racin, where speed, stamina and balance are all required, the Gold Cup is seen as the ultimate test of a National Hunt thoroughbred and the highest quality race on the calendar.
Although those with extremes of stamina can be aimed at the Grand National and those with more natural speed can claim glory in the Champion Hurdle, the Gold Cup is the one race that requires a little of everything from its participants and is therefore seen as the hardest to win.
True, your horse may be well bred and have lots of natural ability, but to train your competitor to perfection right when it counts and to ride the race perfectly by not falling behind early yet all the time retaining some energy for the final few fences and the uphill finish is a definite skill.
Cheltenham Gold Cup horses are seen as ‘stayers’, i.e. the race requires stamina to get around the 22 fences and 3¼ mile trip, but they are by no means plodders. Having the pace to not lose position at crucial moments, the strength to get into contention at the top of the hill, the balance to stay together going back down the hill then the fight to climb again to the line means this really is the ultimate test.
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Gold Cup Betting Offers
Cheltenham Gold Cup betting is a fierce business and not just on course. Those betting from home contribute to a multimillion-pound turnover at Gold Cup race time and this is helped by the myriad of offers that bookies throw out on the big day.
What sort of offers can we expect?
Although not standard for other ante-post bets, most firms run a ‘non-runner no bet’ offer in advance of the festival meaning you can back your horse in advance, taking a better price, but will receive your stake back as a refund if your horse doesn’t make the final field.
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019 betting will be part of broader offers by bookmakers during the festival, deals including money back specials, enhanced odds and a lot more.
Betting on the Gold Cup
Before you place your bet on the big race it is very much recommended that you don’t go into it under informed. There are a range of tools you can use and some crucial points to remember when considering Gold Cup betting.
How to pick the top bookie for your Gold Cup Bet
In spite of fierce competition and all prices available online for everyone to view at any time, not every bookie will offer you the best offers or the best prices. Since this is the case, here’s what you need to do (at the very least):
- Read the latest, honest, and easy to understand sportsbook reviews.
- Don’t just check a few odds, check them all! Some runners can be quite stark in price variance prior to the race.
- Look for Cheltenham Gold Cub betting promotions and choose the right one for you. All the big name bookies openly advertise their available promotions.
- Use the bookie’s live chat and get the answers to any questions you have about the bookie’s promotion. If you don’t understand the promo terms and conditions, this is the best and fastest ways to get the facts you need.
- Look for a live streaming option. If you can’t be near a TV during the event, watching it via live stream is the next best thing. Pick a bookie that lets you stream the rice live for as long as your bet(s) are in play.
What is each-way betting?
Although most punters will simply bet on the nose, Cheltenham Gold Cup betting in 2019 will as usual provide plenty of each-way opportunities.
An each-way bet is essentially two bets, a win and a place bet on the same horse. For the ‘win’ part of the bet, the selection must win the race and for the place part the horse must finish ‘in the places’, in the Gold Cup’s case this is in the first three.
Imagine your horse is 10/1 with the bookie offering ¼ of the odds for the first three places and you wish to back it each-way. A £5 each-way bet in this case will actually cost £10 in total. If the horse goes on to win; you would receive £55 for the win part (£5 at 10/1 plus your original stake) and a further £17.50 for the place bet.
Had the horse finished 2nd or 3rd in this instance, only the £17.50 return would be forthcoming by virtue of your £5 stake going on at a quarter of the actual odds (10/1 effectively becoming 5/2). Look out for extra places being offered by your bookie during the festival though, i.e. each-way on the first four or five in the Gold Cup.
History of Betting on the Gold Cup
Alongside the Grand National at Aintree, the Gold Cup has long since been regarded as one of the top betting races of the calendar. Punters tend to latch onto runners in this race as they often compete in more than one renewal, Kauto Star for example being one of the most popular horses in Cheltenham Gold Cup history.
How Many Races Are There and How Much Money Do They Generate?
There are seven races on each of the days, Tuesday – Friday for a total of 28 championship races. Across the week betting turnover goes past £500 million in Britain with the Gold Cup and the Stayers’ Hurdle in the top 4 betting races anywhere in Britain at any time of the year.
The 2018 winner of the Gold Cup was Native River and he may well return to have another go at the big race. History can help us to pick the winner of this event as it helps us to understand what it takes to be the champ.
Other notable Gold Cup winners have include Kauto Star, Denman, Best Mate and Cool Dawn, all of which were massively popular with the betting public leading up to and no doubt after the race.
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018
2018 was another massive year for the Gold Cup with betting interest reaching all new heights as the race celebrated its 90th anniversary.
Held on the famous New Course on Friday March 16th, the last day of the festival, with a titanic struggle in the market meaning Might Bite (trained by Nicky Henderson), Our Duke (Jessica Harrington) and Native River (Colin Tizzard) all vying for favouritism in what was a very keen betting heat.
In the end Might Bite won the argument in the market and went off as the 4/1 favourite on course, Our Duke close behind at 9/2 and Native River at 5/1 and with the ground described as ‘good’ many expected a classic renewal.
Nobody was disappointed in what happened next with nine of the 15 runners finishing the course and the race in the balance coming round the bend. As the leaders jumped the last and climbed the hill, Colin Tizzard’s eight-year-old Native River rewarded his supporters with a 4½ length victory having stayed on best to the line.
The well-backed Might Bite ran on for second with each-way supporters of Anibale Fly more than happy with their 33/1 third place with the roar greeting the winner something to behold.
This was not a great result for the bookmakers as millions were staked on the winner who had long since been targeted at this race having won the Denman Chase at Newbury quite easily in February. He is expected to return to Prestbury Park to defend his crown in 2019.
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2017
The 2017 running of the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup was, as always, run on the last day of the meeting, Friday March 17th and given that it fell on St Patricks Day there was an even larger than normal betting turnover given the huge influx of Irish racing fans at the track.
There was real hope of an Irish winner of the race and by the off Willie Mullins’ Djakadam was sent away as the strong 3/1 favourite under superstar jockey Ruby Walsh. To back this up, Jessica Harrington had her first ever runner in the race (Sizing John) which was to be ridden by Robbie Power, also his first Gold Cup ride. They were sent off at odds of 7/1.
The home team had high hopes with old-timer Cue Card and young buck Native River (9/2 and 7/2 respectively) both trained by Colin Tizzard high on many people’s lists. Cue Card fell unfortunately however Native River ran third and was to come back and win the race next time.
The famous ‘Cheltenham Roar’, usually at its most fervent at the start of races, was reaching a crescendo as the field reached the final fence when a titanic battle ensued between Jonjo O’Neill’s 18/1 outsider Minella Rocco and Jessica Harrington’s Sizing John.
As they climbed towards the line though it was the reasonably well backed Sizing John who got the better of the argument by 2¾ lengths. The result wasn’t too bad for the bookies as both Cue Card and Djakadam were unplaced.
By the time figures were released showing what Britain’s most popular betting races of 2017 were, the Gold Cup had sprung to second in the list behind only the Grand National itself which truly showed how much the betting public had become engrossed in what was a great renewal.
Placing Bets on the Cheltenham Gold Cup Race
Choosing your Cheltenham Gold Cup bet may not be an easy task and so remember to be well clued up before the big day.
Thoroughly research all the runners and riders the day before the race, make sure your horse likes the probably ground conditions and make sure you’ve got the best possible odds available on your chosen app or bookmaking site.
To compliment your bet, be sure to grab any and all special Cheltenham promotions that are being offered as, aside from the usual rollover requirements, you can expect to get genuine free bet offers and odds enhancements.