Cheltenham Betting - 5 Alternative Betting Options

Cheltenham Betting: Five Alternative Options For You to Consider Ahead of The Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is the most prestigious meeting in the entire jumps racing season and it always proves popular among punters. Many will simply choose the horse they like the look of in a particular place and back it either to win or each-way. However, there are plenty more options at your disposal if you visit our horse racing spread betting and horse racing odds pages.

These are some interesting alternatives for you to consider ahead of Cheltenham Festival:

Favourites Index

This spread betting market allows you to speculate how well the favourites will perform on a particular day at Cheltenham. A favourite will be assigned 25 points for a win, 10 points for a runner-up finish and 5 points for crossing the line in third. At the end of the day, all of those points are added up to arrive at a total. You might see the Favourites Index pitched at 61-65 points. You can either buy at 65 if you think the favourites will enjoy a strong day, or sell at 61 if you think they will struggle.

Many of the finest horses in the UK and Ireland head to Cheltenham to take part in the meeting, meaning the favourites are often household names. However, the standard is extremely high and competition to secure a winner is ferocious, so you have to weigh up how many of the favourites will justify that status. If two win, two finish second and one finishes third, it would result in 75 points. If you had bought at 65, your bet would settle 10 points above the buy price. Yet sellers would have incurred a loss.

Reverse Forecast

A forecast involves predicting which horse will win the race and which horse will finish second. That is more difficult than simply picking the winner, but if you can pull it off you will be rewarded with a significantly higher payout. A reverse forecast is essentially two bets. Let’s say you like the look of two horses and you think they will dominate the race, but you are unsure which will win and which will finish second. You could then put them in a reverse forecast, which is one bet on Horse A to win and Horse B to finish second, and another bet on Horse B to finish first and Horse A to finish second. A £20 reverse forecast would therefore require a total stake of £40, as it is £20 on each outcome.

Another option is a combination forecast. This involves picking three horses and hoping that one of them wins and another finishes second. It is essentially six bets: Horse A to beat Horse B, Horse A to beat Horse C, Horse B to beat Horse A, Horse B to beat Horse C, Horse C to beat Horse A, and Horse C to beat Horse B. A £5 combination forecast would require a £30 stake. You can also go for a tricast, which involves picking the winner, the runner-up and the third placed horse. This is harder to achieve, but you will be rewarded with a much higher payout if successful. A combination tricast also involves six bets. It means that the three horses you choose must secure the top three places, but in any order.

Match Bet

In horse racing spread betting, a Match Bet pits two specific horses against one another. If you choose to bet on this market, you do not have to worry about any of the other runners in the race. You are simply focused on which horse will prevail in a one-on-one battle. We might decide to pit a horse called Bullseye against another called Snowbolt. Our traders will weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each horse and predict which one is likely to win the race. We might then make Bullseye the favourite to finish ahead of Snowbolt by 1-2 lengths. If you think Bullseye will beat his rival by a comfortable distance, you can buy at 2. If you think he will struggle, sell at 1.

If you buy at 2 for £10 and he wins by 8 lengths, you will make a £60 profit (8 – 2 = 6 and 6 x £10 = £60). However, if Bullseye finished 3 lengths behind his rival Snowbolt, you would lose £50. You are buying at him winning by 2 lengths, so if he finishes 3 lengths behind his rival, the result would be -5, which is multiplied by your stake. If you sell at 1 for £10 and Snowbolt wins by three lengths, you would make a £40 profit. But if you sell at 1 and Snowbolt finishes four lengths behind Bullseye, you would lose £40. You can also bet on a particular horse “against the field” within the Matched Bets section, which is another popular option amongst punters.

Jockey Index

All the best jockeys in the business will head to Cheltenham in a bid to make a name for themselves this year. The Jockey Index allows you to bet on how well an individual jockey will fare on a particular day at the Cheltenham Festival. He or she will be given 25 points for a win, 10 points for finishing second and 5 points for finishing third. Tally up all the points at the end of the day to arrive at the result. Before the action begins, you will see a price on all of the leading jockeys set to take part, allowing you to buy or sell on any of them.

Just like the Jockey Index, there are plenty of other betting options that do not focus on a single race, but allow you to make a prediction on the entire day. Starting Prices is an exciting market, as it allows you to speculate on whether the short priced horses will dominate the card or if long shots will have a great day. In this market, a 10/1 winner is worth 10 points, a 5/2 winner is worth 2.5 points and so on, giving you a final result at the end of the day. Other great markets are Starting Prices, Distances, Heavyweights, Featherweights, Racing Post Favourites, Stop at a Winner, Multi-Mules and more. Check out the horse racing spread betting to peruse the various options.


You are by no means confined to placing single bets on each race. If you think one horse will win the opening race and another will win the second race, you can put them in a double. Both must prove correct in order for your bet to pay out, but if successful you will be rewarded with a significantly higher profit than if you had backed each one individually. Pick the winner of three different races for a treble, four for a four-fold and so on.

A Yankee is a popular selection among visitors to our horse racing odds page, as it encompasses many bets. You choose four horses in different races, and you then get six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold on those selections, resulting in a total of 11 bets. A £5 Yankee therefore requires a stake of £55. It means you will still gain a return on your bet if one or two horses let you down, and many punters like this level of insurance.

There are many alternatives: a patent requires three selections and involves three singles, three doubles and a treble; while a Super Heinz requires seven selections and includes 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, seven sixfolds, and a sevenfold accumulator. Keep adding selections to your betslip and it will automatically present you with the multiple options you can choose from.

Get set for Cheltenham Festival 2020 with our comprehensive range of horse racing odds and horse racing spreads!

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