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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Big Odds Betting on the Cheltenham Festival


The highly anticipated four day Cheltenham Festival is now just around the corner (march 13th - 16th 2018). Earlier today I was looking over some of the previous results of the Cheltenham Gold Cup over the years imagining how I'd have felt if I'd had the guts to place bets on the bigger odds selections. Of course often such selections go nowhere with the markets correctly pricing their chance of winning, but on occasion they do come good and what a story to pass on (and big win to smuggly collect) should you land a big odds winner in the ballpark of 25-1 + instead of betting on short odds favourites with a 'playing it safe' mindset, which can often backfire anyway.

One of the most noteworthy wins of previous wins that falls along these lines has to be 9 year old Gelding Norton's Coin, who managed to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup at dizzying betting odds of 100-1. Bred  owned and trained by Sirrell Griffiths, who viewed training as a hobby, Norton's Coin disappointed in previous runs before stepping up in class so was seen as something of a no hoper by the betting markets. At these odds though, some did elect to take the punt, and it more than paid dividends for them. When placing a bet a certain degree of bravery (or some would say foolhardiness) is often needed. For Norton's Coin 100-1 had looked about right with everything else factored in, but imagine having £20 on that, or perhaps even a bet via a bookmaker's free bet offer. You'd certainly be thanking your betting bank afterwards! Often bookmakers have free bet offers running alongside the big events like the Grand National, Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival and so it certainly makes sense to keep an eye on those to get more bang for your betting buck!

This year's Gold Cup, or Cheltenham Festival in general could of course also throw up Outsider surprises, though they're unlikely to scale the heights of this 100-1 winner (hopefully I've not just tempted fate by stating that!). Often elements of luck and skill combine when betting on Cheltenham or the Grand National and so whether you bet on a short odds favourite or a long shot, there can be aspects of flying blind with any selection and are both plus points and drawbacks whichever odds bracket you find yourself drawn towards. Current favourite in the betting markets for the Gold Cup is 3-1 Might Bite with many a glowing write-up in the racing press. Sizing John, Coney Island and the like also factor is, while Cloudy Dram has been pulled out of the race and entered into the RyanAir Chase Instead, which was a surprise to many.

Ruth Jefferson stated: “He’s come out of the race at Newbury fine. We took him out of the Gold Cup and he’ll go for the Ryanair, that’s the plan” As always there will likely be a few more changes across this and other races before the Festival begins, but as per usual the event as a whole is bound to be once again be one of the real highlights of the British racing calendar.

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