Cheltenham Festival 2019 - Preview

Cheltenham Festival 2019 Preview: Brace Yourselves for The Greatest Show on Turf

The long wait is almost over and the 2019 Cheltenham Festival looms large on the horizon for horse racing fans. It is the most prestigious meeting of the National Hunt season and it never disappoints, as all the leading stars from across the UK and Ireland battle it out for glory. This year’s festival promises to be a thrilling affair that provides all manner of drama and excitement. Superstars will cement their statuses, greats will fall and new heroes will emerge during four action-packed days as the boisterous and snappily dressed crowd roars them on.

Check out all the horse racing spread betting options over the duration of the Festival, as you will find markets on all the races, plus exciting options such as the biggest winning distance or winning starting price. You can speculate on how well favourites will fare, bet on things like winning distances and predict who will seize the Prestbury Cup.

Which are the Big Races to Watch at This Year's Cheltenham Festival?

There are 28 races spread across four days of action, and 14 of them carry Grade 1 status. That is extremely impressive when you consider that there are only 40 Grade 1 races in the entire National Hunt season. There is a feature race every day: The Champion Hurdle on the Tuesday, the Queen Mother Champion Chase on the Wednesday, the Stayers’ Hurdle on St Patrick’s Thursday and the Gold Cup on the final day. Other big races to look out for include the Ryanair Chase, while the Cross Country Chase is always captivating.

Check out all the horse racing spread betting options over the duration of the Festival, as you will find markets on all the races, plus exciting options such as the biggest winning distance or winning starting price. You can speculate on how well favourites will fare, bet on things like winning distances and predict who will seize the Prestbury Cup.

Who is Favourite for the Champion Hurdle?

Last season Buveur D’Air won the Champion Hurdle for a second year in a row. Nicky Henderson’s superstar is the narrow favourite to make it a hat-trick this time around, but his air of invincibility has diminished somewhat. He finished runner-up to Verdana Blue in a huge upset at the Christmas Hurdle, ending a long winning streak, and now rivals feel like he is vulnerable. Apple’s Jade has a lot of fans, while Laurina, Sharjah and Melon have gained plenty of attention too.

Who is Favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase?

Henderson secured a famous double at last year’s Cheltenham Festival when Altior romped to victory in the Champion Chase. That was Altior’s third win at Cheltenham, where he rallied after a sluggish start, surged past Min and delighted many punters. His air of invincibility is still very much intact as he has never lost in jumps racing and he extended his winning streak to 17 when landing the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase in January. He is the heavy favourite to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase once again, but the field in this one is extremely competitive too.

Who is Favourite for the Stayers' Hurdle?

Last year’s winner, Penhill, has been ruled out with injury and the field for this race is wide open, although Paisley Park is the clear favourite. Emma Lavelle’s seven-year-old has won his last four races, including the Grade 1 JLT Hurdle at Ascot in December and the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle at this course in January. However, there is a surge of support on social media for Willie Mullins’ Faugheen, a veritable legend of the sport. Faugheen has struggled in recent times to recapture the blistering form that saw him rise to prominence a few years ago, but his potential remains vast and fans are excited to see him tackle this distance for the first time ever.

Who is Favourite for the Gold Cup?

The Gold Cup is the richest Grade 1 race of the year and the most prestigious contest in the National Hunt scene. Last season, second favourite Native River prevailed in a thrilling duel with favourite Might Bite, a result that denied Henderson the greatest hat-trick imaginable. Native River has since placed at the Betfair Chase and the King George VI Chase, but he is not the favourite for this year’s Gold Cup.

That honour goes to Presenting Percy, who has already clinched two victories at the Cheltenham Festival, landing the Listed Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle in 2017 and the Grade 1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase last year. Clan Des Obeaux is also vying for favouritism in this race thanks to his fine victory in the King George on Boxing Day. The spreads may change in the build-up to the race, so be sure to keep checking in on the Cheltenham Festival spread betting.

Which Horses Perform Well at Cheltenham?

Last year Mullins and Gordon Elliott won 15 out of the 28 races between them, with Elliot prevailing 8-7 in the battle to be named leading festival trainer. Mullins is now the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history and he will have a strong hand once again this year. It is also worth seeing which horses have won on this course before. Several previous festival winners will be back for another crack at glory, not least Altior, Buveur D’Air and Native River.

What's the Biggest Priced Winner Cheltenham Festival has Seen?

Although you will find many top-class horses boasting shorter odds at Cheltenham, occasionally no-hopers come from nowhere to claim Cheltenham glory. Last year we saw Kilbricken Storm dig deep to win the Albert Bartlett at 33/1. That however is not the biggest priced winner at Cheltenham, that title goes to 1990 Gold Cup winner Norton’s Coin who won jump racing’s most prestigious race at odds of 100/1.

What is the Prestbury Cup?

The Prestbury Cup was first contested in 2014 and sees British and Irish trainers battle it out in a Ryder Cup style contest, where a point is awarded to GB or IRE for every race won by a British or Irish trained horse. The Irish have dominated in recent years winning the last 2 renewals, including a 17-11 thrashing last year. Check out Sporting Index’s latest spreads on the 2019 Prestbury Cup.

Why is Cheltenham Such a Big Event in the Horse Racing Calendar?

The Prestbury Cup was first contested in 2014 and sees British and Irish trainers battle it out in a Ryder Cup style contest, where a point is awarded to GB or IRE for every race won by a British or Irish trained horse. The Irish have dominated in recent years winning the last 2 renewals, including a 17-11 thrashing last year. Check out Sporting Index’s latest spreads on the 2019 Prestbury Cup.

Cheltenham Festival kicks off on Tuesday 12th March and what better way to enhance your experience of watching The Greatest Show on Turf than exploring our Cheltenham Specials.





West Indies v England - 2nd T20

England lead the T20 against the Windies and will look to wrap up the series in St Kitts. We have all the angles covered.

All arrows point to the darts

Broaden your betting horizons by exploring the thrilling world of darts spread betting, find explainers & market examples here.

Cricket: 5 Popular Markets

Check out our 5 most popular spread betting markets and how to get the most out of your sells and buys.

To Cash Out or Not To Cash Out?

Do you lock in your profit or let the bet ride? We explore all the areas surrounding the Cash Out feature.

Spread Betting on Horse Racing

Sporting Insights delves into how you can make the most of your spread betting on the horses.

Bet Smart: Creating a Staking Plan

Whether your buying or selling this guide will help you sharpen up your spread betting and get the maximum excitement.