Bet365 Cheltenham Offers
- £50 in Free Bets for new signups^
- Four Free £5 Bets - no deposit required*
- NRNB and BOG on the 5 main races
Bet365's Cheltenham Offers for 2023
For fans of UK horse racing it doesn’t get much better in the jump calendar than Cheltenham.
The highly anticipated 2023 Cheltenham Festival starts on Tuesday March 14th, and with £5m in prize money, it’s no wonder it attracts the finest horses, jockeys and trainers.
In the run up to this years event, you’ll see most British Bookmakers start promoting some great Cheltenham offers for the Festival, and it's Bet365.com that have some of the better deals.
New and existing customers can take advantage of three horse racing specific Bet365 Cheltenham offers; four Free £5 bets on Cheltenham Festival (no deposit required), Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG), and Non-Runner, No Bet (NRNB) on the big 5 races.
Plus, that's on top of their offer of up to £50 in Free Bets when you open a new account.
Bet365 Offers for Cheltenham Festival
In our view there’s no better bookmaker to bet on the 2023 Cheltenham Festival than Bet365 as they're simply one of the best when it comes to betting on major horse racing events.
Not only does Bet365's signup offer give new customers the chance to earn £50 in Free Bets, there's also three other Bet365 Cheltenham offers that members can take advantage of too.
1. Bet365's Signup Offer
Register a new online betting account at one of the best British Bookmakers in the business, and you could earn up to £50 in Free Bets that Bet365 offer new customers.
STEP 2 - Place qualifying bets to the value of your qualifying deposit and allow these bets to settle to start the process of releasing your Free Bets for use on Cheltenham Festival.
STEP 3 - Free Bets are credited as Bet Credits and once released, you'll be able to use them to bet on Cheltenham, or any other sport. To do so, simply select 'Use Bet Credits' in the betslip.
Bet365 Open Account Offer
New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £50* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and Bet365 will give you five times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. To view full terms and conditions of the Bet365 offer for new signups click here.
2. four Free £5 bets on Cheltenham Festival
As well as £50 in free bets when you signup as a new customer, as a member of Bet365.com you'll then get access to an additional £5 free bet on each day of the Cheltenham Festival.
And the best thing about the Bet365 free bet offer for Cheltenham - there's no deposit required!
That's right, as long as you're an eligible customer based in the UK or the Republic of Ireland you'll be able to claim a free £5 bet on each day of the four day Festival.
To use each £5 free bet, simply add a Cheltenham Festival selection to your betslip (once the free bet is available), tick the Free Bet box, and then select Place Bet. It's that simple.
Bet365 Cheltenham Free Bet Offer
One Free Bet available per day with no deposit required. New and eligible UK & ROI customers only. Applies to single bets only. Returns exclude Free Bet stake. T&Cs apply. To view the full terms and conditions of the Bet365 Four Free £5 Bets offer for Cheltenham Festival click here.
3. NON-RUNNER, NO BET
Place a Win or Each-Way bet on on selected races at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival and should your horse fail to take part, they'll refund your original bets stake in cash!
This gives you the safety net of backing a horse for a race you think they may win, but if they don’t end up running in the race, you'll get your stake returned back into your accounts balance.
If one horse in a Multiple bet doesn't run, Bet365 class that part of your bet as a Non-Runner.
Bet365 Cheltenham NRNB
Bet365 Non-Runner No Bet will apply to all Ante-Post bets placed on the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle, Ryanair Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup from 12:00 UK time on 3rd January 2023. To view full terms and conditions of the Bet365 NRNB offer for Cheltenham click here.
4. BEST ODDS GUARANTEED
Take an early/board price on selected races at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival (including Ante-Post markets), and if the Starting Price is better, Bet365 will pay you out at the higher odds!
Bet365's offer includes Board Prices, Bet365 Early Prices, singles and multiples as well as Showcast bets on Cheltenham races where a fixed price is offered.
Bet365 Cheltenham BOG
Best365 Best Odds Guaranteed will apply to all Ante-Post bets placed on the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle, Ryanair Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup from 12:00 UK time on 3rd January 2023. To view full terms and conditions of the Bet365 Best Odds Guarantee for Cheltenham click here.
Cheltenham's 5 Standout races
There are over 28 races taking place across the 4 days of the upcoming 2023 Cheltenham Festival, with each day boasting Championship Races to bet on.
It’s expected that over £180m will be bet on the upcoming Cheltenham Festival, so we've taken a look at the 5 standout races that you could use Bet365's Cheltenham offers on below:
2023 - Champion Hurdle
The main event on the first day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, the Champion Hurdle, offers punters a great opportunity to take advantage of some of the Bet365 offers above.
And, with a huge £450,000 prize fund up for grabs, we’re likely to see some of the finest 4yo+ runners across the festival entered into the Champion Hurdle in 2023.
When it comes to the Bet365's favourites, it’s no real surprise that the reigning champion ‘Honeysuckle’ is the firm favourite to win. Trained by Henry De Bromhead and ridden by Rachael Blakemore, ‘Honeysuckle’ looks stunning coming into the festival.
With an impressive 100% win record, and victories over most of the other runners, it unfortunately means you’ll find pretty short odds on ‘Honeysuckle’ this close to race day.
Another top runner that is expected to perform well, is Willie Mullins 7 year old ‘Appreciate It’. ‘Appreciate It’ has won or placed in all races he has ran, and a win in last year’s Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, puts ‘Appreciate It’ in strong position.
The Gordon Elliott 5 year old French Bay Gelding ‘Teahupoo’ is also in the top 3 favourites that Bet365 offered at the time of writing. He has won 5 of his 6 races, showing great skill in wins at Gowran Park last month and The Limerick Hurdle in December.
2020 winner, ‘Epatante’ who placed 3rd in the 2021 Champion Hurdle, is also a contender, and worth a consideration - especially if you're taking advantage of Bet365's Cheltenham offers.
This 8 year old owned by JP McManus won the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park and the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in December, will be definitely looking for a victory but trainer Nicky Henderson knows ‘Epatante’ faces a strong field of runners.
‘Adagio’ trained by David Pipe makes up the last contender in the bookmakers top runners.
This 5 year old has finished second in The Kingwell Hurdle, The Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and at Aintree in the last 3 outings and looks solid coming into the Champion Hurdle.
2023 - Champion Chase
Day 2 of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival brings us the highly anticipated Champion Chase.
‘Shishkin’ has remained the current favourite to win at Bet365, but with ‘Chacun Pour Soi’ and ‘Energumene’ also competing, this is set to be one of the most exciting races of the festival.
Not one previous winner of the Champion Chase are in the favourites this year, even though the 2021 winner ‘Put The Kettle On’ and the 2020 winner ‘Politologue’ are both set to run.
British Bookmakers are expecting Nicky Henderson’s ‘Shishkin’ to win. Henderson has trained 5 of the last 10 winners and ‘Shishkin’ looks great heading into race day.
The son of ‘Sholokov’ boasts an impressive 91% win rate, and has proven he can beat fierce rival ‘Energumene’ after an impressive victory in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January.
‘Chacun Pour Soi’, who is trained by Willie Mullins and came 3rd in last year’s Champion Chase, is also in the top 3 favourites and worth a punt if using a Bet365 Cheltenham offer or two!
This 10-year-old French horse has had mixed success in the last year, but looks strong after a win in the Dublin Chase in Leopardstown in February. ‘Chacun Pour Soi’ definitely has the potential to win this year’s race, especially if he can perform like he did in his last outing.
Making up the top 3 contenders, is another Willie Mullins trained ‘Energumene’, who is expected to be ‘Shishkin’s’ strongest competitor. This 8-year-old has had staggering success in 2021 having won all races entered, however only came second to ‘Shishkin’ at Ascot in January.
Odds on ‘Shishkin’, ‘Chacun Pour Soi’ and ‘Energumene’ are extremely short, and this could be one of the tightest finishes we’ll see through the festival. However, this has always been one of the races, where more often than not, Bet365's favourite for the race doesn’t win!
If you’re looking for better odds on some of the top runners, ‘Nube Negra’, trained by Dan Skelton and Henry De Bromhead trained ‘Envoi Allen’ are among the top 5 contenders at.
‘Nube Negra’ had a strong victory in The Shloer Chase at Cheltenham, and also finished in 2nd place in the 2021 Champion Chase. ‘Envoi Allen’, who is trained by last year’s winning trainer, has had an impressive start to his career, although had a bit of a mixed bag in 2021.
In saying that, he seems to be back in form, and a good choice if taking advantage of the Bet365 Cheltenham offers above, after a win in the Paddy's Rewards Club Chase in December.
2023 - Ryanair Chase
The most popular race with punters on Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival is the Ryanair Chase.
Traditionally, you’ll find that quite a lot of the entries in this race feature in the Champion Chase and Gold Cup during the festival, so let’s see who Bet365 offer as the top contenders.
Willie Mullins is back with last year’s winner ‘Allaho’, and with 4 wins in the last 6 years, Mullins is hoping that ‘Allaho’ can secure another victory this year.
The bookmaker’s favourite had one of the best runs in the 2021 festival, and this French 8-year-old looks in fantastic form, coming into the festival on the back of an impressive win in The John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase in December.
It’s not surprising bookmakers offer ‘Allaho’ as the favourite to win the Ryanair Chase in 2023, however punters will find extremely short odds on the race favourite at most bookmakers.
‘Energumene’ another 8-year-old French runner trained by Willie Mullins also features in the bookmakers favourites. ‘Allaho’s’ stablemate won all of the races he entered last year, and ‘Energumene’ certainly looks like one of the most promising entrants.
Of course, his performance on day 3 of the Cheltenham Festrival could depend on the previous days run in the Champion Chase and whether Mullins chooses to run him against ‘Allaho’.
At this stage, Henry De Bromhead’s 2021 2nd place finisher in the Gold Cup ‘A Plus Tard’ is also worth a punt if you're looking to use some of Bet365's Cheltenham offers.
This 8-year-old French runner has delivered some great performances recently, including an amazing 22-length victory in the Betfair Chase, and is one of the most challenging contenders.
Making up bet365's top 5 entrants are ‘Chacun Pour Soi’ and ‘Shan Blue’.
‘Chacun Pour Soi’, yet another Willie Mullins horse, came 3rd in last year’s Champion Chase, and looks strong after a win in the Dublin Chase in Leopardstown in February.
‘Shan Blue’ is trained by Dan Skelton and the only Irish runner in the top 5 contenders at Bet365 with the 8-year-old looking strong, having recovered from a fall 3 out at Wetherby last October.
Out of the last 17 winners of The Ryanair Chase, only 6 have been picked out as bookmakers favourites, and while Willie Mullins has a great track record in this race, it will be interesting to see if he can take his 5th Ryanair Chase victory in 2023.
2023 - Stayers Hurdle
The Stayers’ Hurdle is another highly anticipated race taking place on day 3 of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival and kicks off just after the Ryanair Chase has finished.
There have been quite a few big priced winners in recent years, so let’s take a look at who Bet365 offer as their favourites for the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2023.
Gavin Cromwell’s ‘Flooring Porter’ will be the one to beat, with Bet365 offering pretty short odds on the reigning champion a good sign that he'll do well on the day.
Although ‘Flooring Potter’ remains winless since last year, he looked strong in the Dornan Engineering Hurdle, finishing second behind ‘Klassical Dream’ and looks to be in good form.
The strongest of the British entrants is ‘Thyme Hill’ who is trained by Philip Hobbs.
He finished 2nd at Ascot in December, finishing ahead of ‘Paisley Place’, and also had a great win at Aintree last year and could be worth a punt if using any of Bet365's Cheltenham offers.
Taking up the last spot in the top 3 bookmaker’s favourites is ‘Champ’.
This Irish runner trained by JP McManus won the RSA at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, and comes in the Stayers’ Hurdle on the back of a win at Ascot in December.
That victory saw ‘Champ’ beat both ‘Thyme Hill’ and ‘Paisley Park’ who are also strong contenders for this race, although ‘Paisley Park’ beat ‘Champ’ in the Cleeve Hurdle in January.
Willie Mullins trained ‘Klassical Dream’ is a 5 time Grade 1 race winner, and could prove to be one of the most challenging runners on the day.
Even though ‘Klassical Dream’ had a very underwhelming run in his last outing, he beat the favourite ‘Flooring Porter’ at Leopardstown in December, and had a great run in the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle last April which bodes well for Thursday's race.
The 2021 3rd place finisher ‘Paisley Park’ makes up the last of the Bet365’s top 5 contenders for the 2023 Stayers’ Hurdle and a good option when using any of their Cheltenham offers.
Emma Lavelle’s experienced runner ‘Paisley Park’ has finished in the top 3 of his 8 of his last 10 outings, and had a strong win in the Cleeve Hurdle in January at this race course.
2023 - Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup, which is the most prestigious event in the jumps racing calendar, wraps up the final day of the wonderful event that is the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
Bookmakers have decided on their top 5 runners, and with last year’s top 3 finishers in the line-up, this is set to deliver a fantastic end to the highly anticipated race of the day on day 4.
‘Minella Indo’, ‘A Plus Tard’ and ‘Al Boum Photo’ are top 3 runners that Bet365 offer at this stage.
With ‘Galvin’ and ‘Protektorat’ who both had strong wins over the Christmas period making up the top 5, lets see which of Bet365’s favourites are likely to take the prize money.
‘A Plus Tard’ trained by Henry De Bromhead is without a doubt the bookmaker’s top choice when it comes to who they believe will win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2023.
Having finished in 2nd place in last year’s race, ‘A Plus Tard’ has shown magnificent form over the past year, especially delivering that spectacular win in the Betfair Chase. If the conditions are right, there’s no reason not to back him using a Bet365 Cheltenham offer.
The top challenger for ‘A Plus Tard’ in Gordon Elliott’s ‘Galvin’. Elliott hasn’t achieved victory in this race since 2016 and is confident that ‘Galvin’ can deliver for him this year.
With 7 wins from his last 8 races, which included a victory over ‘A Plus Tard’ in the Savills Chase, ‘Galvin’ won’t be an easy runner to beat.
The final horse in Bet365's top 3 is 2021 winner ‘Minella Indo’, who is back to defend his title despite the Henry De Bromhead trained runner not having had the best of results since then.
Odds are pretty short on the 3 favourite horses and are likely to further shorten as we approach not only the start of the Cheltenham Festival, but also the final race day of the event.
The final 2 in Bet365's top 5 are Dan Skelton’s ‘Protektorat’ and Willie Mullins ‘Al Boum Photo’.
‘Protektorat’ looks to be in great at the moment, with top 2 finishes in his last 7 races, and an impressive win in the Grade 2 Many Clouds chase at Aintree last December.
Dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner ‘Al Boum Photo’ won back-to-back Gold Cups in 2019 and 2020 and also managed a 3rd place finish in last years main race.
‘Al Boum Photo’ also looks good and comes into the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the back of an impressive win at the Savills New Year's Day Chase at Tramore.
Realistically, you won’t get amazing odds on any of the favourites, especially as it gets closer to the race, so make sure you take advantage of some of the Bet365 offers listed above to really get the most from betting on the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
2021 - Cheltenham Festival
The main event on Tuesday’s race card is the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy and, in our opinion, also a good race for you to use Bet365's Cheltenham offers on.
The Champion Hurdle, the feature race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival, took an almighty turn when Honeysuckle cemented herself as a true player when destroying the field in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Christmas.
Henry De Bromhead’s mare has taken favouritism after a stunning victory at the Dublin Racing Festival. The talk before the race was whether she is good enough for the Champion Hurdle, and those doubts were firmly put to bed with a 10-length success over her male counterparts.
After beating Benie De Dieux last year Rachel Blackmore will be hoping to go 11 from 11 on board the superstar mare and may be worth a punt if using a Bet365 Cheltenham offer.
Epatante would be vying for favouritism had she not disappointed in the Christmas Hurdle where Silver Streak upset the odds-on favourite. Nicky Henderson has since confirmed she has been treated for a back issue putting doubts into punters’ minds.
She holds almighty respect though after a brilliant victory in last year’s renewal and if she turns up A1 on the day it will be a stunning showdown between two fantastic mares.
Goshen was a forgotten horse after so painfully unseating in last year’s Triumph, he then disappointed and was beaten a massive 29 lengths in the International Hurdle.
What we saw at Wincanton was hugely impressive however, reversing the form with Song For Someone and looking visually spectacular. If he can turn up in the same form he will be a major player for trainer, Gary Moore and offers punters a good option.
Sharjah made it a superb hat-trick when winning the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown in December, that was enough to install him as third favourite for Willie Mullins who also has Saint Roi and Concertista.
Both would command respect but Concertista may well go for her easier assignment in the Mares’ and would be our pick if using any of Bet365's Cheltenham offers on the race.
Abacadabras is an interesting one for Gordon Elliot, a neck second to Shishkin in last year’s Supreme isn’t bad form, his races since haven’t been great but he may well turn the tables as they approach the hill this year.
Always travelling well in his races he does tend to find little off the bridle which would be a concern taking into account Honeysuckle’s brilliance and Epatante’s turn of foot.
An interesting runner entered provisionally also belongs to Willie Mullis in the shape of James du Berlais (50/1), a four-time winner in France for trainer Robert Collet, joined the Mullins stable after being transferred over by owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.
Earning a Timeform rating of 152, he’s the highest rated French hurdler to switch countries in recent years, but we all saw what happened to Paul’s Saga earlier in March.
On paper, it looks an absolute belter of a race, let’s hope come race day we are treated to something special and that punters enjoy all that there is to offer when betting on the Festival.
The highlight of Wednesday’s racing is the Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase. The Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase for horses aged 5 years and older starts at 3.30pm.
The Champion Chase is the race to use a Bet365 Cheltenham offer or two on and is run over a distance of Abt 2m and offers £400,000 in prize money.
Last year’s Champion Chase was decimated after Altior and Chacun Pour Soi were pulled out at the last minute and Defi Du Seuil failed to deliver, despite being odds-on at Bet365.
This year sees Chacun head the market again after looking imperious so far this season. The Rich Ricci colours look to have a banker on their hands if injury is avoided unlike last year.
The way Chacun takes lengths out of the field at the fences is a sight to behold and you’d expect him to approach the hill still on the bridle whilst his rivals are all hard at work.
The only negative you could possibly find is that he has never run at Cheltenham before, that should be put to bed on the Wednesday afternoon though.
Politlogue looked simply sensational when landing the Tingle Creek this season, although there is an argument to suggest that the race this year may have too much quality compared to last year’s and so it may be wise using Bet365 Cheltenham offers on other horses.
That won’t bother his trainer Paul Nicholls who we know will have him primed for this, he was rather disappointing recently though, beaten seven lengths by First Flow in the Clarence House.
Altior is on offer at an unusually big price, but a surprising second at Kempton at Christmas tempered expectations and with his second run of the season cancelled due to the weather the legendary horse goes into race with a seeming lack of prep.
No one would begrudge Altior one last hurrah up that hill with Nico punching the air as he crosses the finish line in first place however.
Looking at the rest of the field, Nube Negra looks a big price after downing Altior in the Desert Orchid at Christmas and Dan Skelton has been bullish about his chances stating - “Nothing frightens me with the way the race is going to be run with Nube Negra, because I’ve got a confident feeling we’re the fastest horse in the race”.
Kim Bailey’s nine-year-old First Flow provided a flawless performance in the Clarence House and must be respected.
Ryanair Steeple Chase
There are two highlights for Day 3 of the Festival, with both races suitable to use Bet365 Cheltenham offers on, with the first being the Ryanair Chase at 2.50pm.
One of the most open renewals here in a long time, mainly because there isn’t an obvious favourite or definite runners. You can look at historical trends to rule out some horses.
The main one being course form, 11 out of the last 12 winners have had at least two previous runs at Cheltenham with nine of them winning, and eight of the last 11 winners finishing in the top two of a Festival race.
Min could be one to bet on at Bet365, but he was majorly disappointing LTO when pulled up due to poor jumping, he will try to defend his crown and that’s something not done since 2011.
He is a model of consistency over this distance though and it would be foolish to rule out another win here for Rich Ricci - especially if you're taking advantage of Bet365's Cheltenham offers.
Allaho is another runner for Willie Mullins, he is yet to win in Grade 1 company but time is on his side and this race does offer good opportunity for younger horses to an extent.
He beat Elimay at Christmas who has since gone on to win and boost the form. With improvement likely he will be a major player in the race you would like to think.
The final Mullins runner is Melon who benefits from front-running tactics and a two-length third in the Irish Gold Cup highlighted the potential in the lightly raced (over fences) horse.
Connections own Al Boum Photo so a fling at the Ryanair looks even more likely.
Other notable runners which should be there or thereabouts are Fakir D'oudairies, Samcro, Imperial Aura and Saint Calvados. The highlight of day three is always a blinding race to watch and the quality of runners here will ensure fans are treated to a close contest.
The second big race on Day 3 of the Festival, and one of the standout races that you can use Bet365's Cheltenham offers on, is the Stayers Hurdle which starts at 3.30pm.
This could prove to be one of the races of the Festival with Paisley Park and Thyme Hill doing battle for a third time this season, they both have a win against their name after two epic races in the Long Distance and Long Walk Hurdles respectively.
The combined winning distance of both races was less than two lengths and both horses have lost nothing in defeat to each other and offer punters a good option.
Emma Lavelle’s experienced and battle-hardened Paisley Park has bounced back from disappointment at last year’s Festival to show the fire and class is still there and could be worth a punt - even more so if you're taking advantage of Bet365's offers for Cheltenham.
It would have maybe suited him a little more to run in the Cleeve Hurdle and put the Cheltenham memories behind him but Lavelle is confident her horse can win two Stayers’ in three years.
Phillips Hobbs’ Thyme Hill is the new kid on the Staying scene and looked a champion in waiting when accounting for Paisley in the Long Distance Hurdle, and with only six career starts to his name you can imagine he has a fair bit of improvement left in him for Thursday's race.
JP McManus’ Sire Du Berlais is a notable runner here, after back-to-back wins in the Pertemps he steps up to three miles here but hasn’t looked suited to the distance as of yet.
In saying that it would be foolish to rule out his chances though given the owners record at the Festival and his ability to plot horses for specific races.
Last year’s winner Lisnagar Oscar is possibly overlooked in the market at Bet365.com with a general 33/1 shout – two races this year has seemed as if the runs have been needed and Rebecca Curtis will be hoping her charge strikes lucky again.
Roksana and Ronald Pump are other noteworthy runners in the race where both have shown high-level form this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise if either of these cross the line first.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup, the most prestigious race of the week, takes place on the final day at 3.30pm and the last race of the Festival that you can use a Bet365 Cheltenham offer on.
The showpiece of the Festival, Friday’s main event may end up a procession however, with Al Boum Photo looking more and more likely to win three Gold Cup trophy's in a row.
The Willie Mullins jewel has taken the same prep as usual, this time he won the Savills Chase at Tramore by 19 lengths and might be worth a punt at Bet365 if the odds are favourable.
He looked as good as ever and whilst his rivals have been battling each other throughout the season, he has been at Closutton relaxing in his stable!
His closest rival when looking at the odds that Bet365 offer on Cheltenham, is A Plus Tard, the Savills Chase winner at Leopardstown came on for his disappointing 2nd at Navan in November.
Henry De Bromhead will be hoping the extra distance that the Cheltenham Gold Cup commands won’t prove too much after it looked like he needed every yard of his run LTO.
Santini is an enigma and has had a very disappointing season so far, his neck second in this race last year has since seen him regress and diminishes the challenge he offers.
He seems to save his big runs for Cheltenham though and his lazy style of racing seems to suit the Cheltenham circuit, you cannot rule him out.
Nicky Henderson also has Champ in the race, he hadn’t raced all season until the Game Spirit (over 2m) but he looked sublime in his running and seemed to benefit from a front-running ride.
If he can replicate that in the big, and we know he can stay the distance then he becomes a major, major player in the JP McManus colours.
A really interesting one is Royal Pagaille, three ultra-impressive wins in seven weeks has seen the unknown become a major player when looking at the odds Bet365 offer on the market.
Trainer, Venetia Williams, has tempered expectations but the manner of victory so far has been very impressive and one that has installed him as third favourite in the best jumps race of the season.
He is still a novice over fences and owner Rich Ricci has Monkfish in the Novice Chase so a crack at the Gold Cup may well be on the cards.
Other horses for serious consideration are fans favourites Frodon and Native River, both of whom have been in the Winners Enclosure again this season and enter this race in peak condition.
The blue riband contest of jumps racing is usually fiercely competitive, let’s hope this year is a great renewal and offers punters a reason to be cheerful come the end of the Festival.
2020 - Cheltenham Festival
The Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy is run over a distance of 2m abt ½f with a total of £450,000 in prize money up for grabs.
This Grade 1 National Hunt Hurdle, open to horses 4 years and older, runs at 3.30pm, with competitive odds on the favourites usually on offer at Bet365.
The current Champion Hurdle favourites that Bet365 offer odds on fluctuated between the Willie Mullins trained Benie Des Dieux and Nicky Henderson’s Epatante until the former pulled out.
Fresh from a convincing win in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton she has just one blip on her CV, a ninth-place finish in the Mares Novices’ last year when she was said to be Nicky’s best chance of the meeting and possibly worth using some of Bet365's Cheltenham offers on.
Unfortunately Envoi Allen, one of the top Novices’ this season, won't be competing as connections decided not to take a chance and step him up against older horses.
Whichever way Gordon Elliot chooses to go with him, Chevley Park Stud’s star novice should have been in with a good chance of becoming a two-time Cheltenham winner.
Willie Mullins offers punters another Grade 1 horse running in the Champion Hurdle aside from Benie Des Dieux, but consistency has been hard to come by for Sharjah.
Pentland Hills enjoyed a fine debut season over hurdles having won three from three but will have to step up from his seasonal reappearance when 5th in the International Hurdle.
The Champion Chase is the race to use a Bet365 Cheltenham offer or two on and is run over a distance of Abt 2m and offers £400,000 in prize money.
Altior was looking to make historic Champion Chase titles, but his prep this year has been hampered to say the least. Bet365 offer no odds at the moment as he's unlikely to start.
It's unfortunate as his unbeaten run was ended when stepping up in trip against Paul Nicholls’ Cyrname at Ascot and a spate of entries have been left unfulfilled due to injury.
Henderson is now going down the tried and tested route taken with his star chaser in 2017 and 2018 – the Game Spirit Chase followed by Prestbury Park.
Looking at the rest of the field and the Cheltenham odds Bet365 offer, it's Defi Du Seuil that looks most likely to challenge Altior the most should they both go and you wouldn’t like to bet against the Philip Hobbs runner in what would be a mouth-watering clash.
He has Cheltenham form, having won the Triumph Hurdle and the JLT previously.
He’s currently two from two this season, having recently beaten Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek, however the pair are now set to lock horns again in the Clarence House.
Chacun Pour Soi is likely to offer a decent challenge if fit, having beaten Defi Du Seuil at Punchestown, and aside from a minor setback in a thriller to A Plus Tard at the Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown, his form suggests Willie Mullins’ charge will be sure to be there or thereabouts on the day.
One horse that would have been a major interest in the event is the legendary Douvan, a barnstorming run at Clonmel last year saw punters asking if he might do it again.
It would have been quite the spectacle should the nine-year-old have been able to roll back the years, storm up the hill and win at Cheltenham for a third time in the Rich Ricci colours.
As Mullins once said: 'He’s one of the best on his day, you would be foolish to ever rule him out'. Unfortunately for fans of Douvan, he won't be running in the 2020 Champion Chase.
Ryanair Steeple Chase
The Steeple Chase is run over a distance of 2m abt 5f with £350,000 in prize money on offer.
With no clear indications so far as to who will be running in Thursday’s event, last years’ winner, Frodon, led by Bryony Frost, landed a wonderful story for her and Paul Nicholls last year and will most certainly be hoping for the same this time around.
A win in the Silviniaco Conti Chase over Top Notch gave connections a much needed boost ahead of the big day. Stable mate Cyrname accounted for Altior famously last year, but it’s well known the Ascot specialist isn’t a fan of what the hallowed Cheltenham turf can offer.
Min, who has been beaten by Altior in each of his last three races at the Festival, seems to be best suited to 2m4f nowadays racking up three wins from four when running over the distance, he may finally break his Cheltenham duck for Willie Mullins should he be entered here.
A Plus Tard was sensational when beating Chacun Pour Soi in December and looks one of the main players when looking at the Cheltenham odds Bet365 offer, a successful Dublin Chase will help Henry De Bromhead decide which event he will end up running.
Defi Du Seuil did have an entry for this, along with the Champion Chase, which was similar to last years Cheltenham Festival where Phillip Hobbs offered up two runners but not so in 2020.
A decision will be made closer to race day as to where and who the horse will face and subsequently who Bet365 offer as favourites for the 2020 Ryanair Steeple Chase.
Whoever lines up on the day for the Ryanair Steeple Chase will be hoping to join an illustrious list of past winners of this great event such as Vautour, Un De Sceaux, Uxizandre and Cue Card.
The second big race on Day 3 of the Festival is the Stayers Hurdle and it's well known for being the leading long-distance Grade 1 hurdle in the National Hunt calendar.
2019 winner Paisley Park was one of the great stories of last years Cheltenham for owner Andrew Gemmell and trainer Emma Lavelle and Bet365 offer him as favourite once again.
An unbeaten campaign culminated in Aidan Coleman navigating a tricky race and almost blundering the last to land the spoils for popular connections.
Bet365 offer odds that suggest this year’s Stayers Hurdle being just as competitive with Paisley Park looking to be the first horse since Big Buck’s in 2012 to win back-to-back Stayers’ Hurdles.
Opposition is difficult to predict given Paisley’s inclusion, especially as If The Cap Fits, who has had a nice start to his campaign, had looked likely to run, but unfortunately won't.
Trainer Harry Fry has been bullish about his chances and with the pair set to clash in the Cleeve Hurdle, his horse, who is within 3lbs on official rating with Paisely, will be much shorter should he offer a good account of himself at the end of January.
Eddie O’Leary has hinted that 2017 Mares’ Hurdle winner Apple’s Jade could start after her win at Leopardstown, after beating Unowhatimeanharry, Penhill and Bacardys.
If Gigginstown takes this route her mares allowance will surely play a part come race day.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is usually most bet on event at Bet365, offers prize money of £625,000, is run over 3m 2f 70y, and the last race of the Festival that you can use Bet365's Cheltenham offers on.
Willie Mullins finally landed his first-ever Cheltenham Gold Cup last year with Al Boum Photo, who made a wonderful reappearance at Tramore on New Year’s Day, with all roads now leading to Cheltenham, and Bet365 offer him as favourite for the race.
Kemboy showed the greatest level of form at the end of last season but unseated jockey David Mullins last year. An enforced break from racing has also hampered preparation, coming 4th at Leopardstown at Christmas.
Clan Des Obeaux showed his class to win back-to-back King George’s, but it remains to be seen if Cheltenham suits, having never won at the track and finishing 5th in last year’s renewal.
Lostintranslation was easily beaten in the same race, but a stiffer test in the Gold Cup may suit the Colin Tizzard charge, who was impressive when accounting for Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase, that it might be wise taking advantage of Bet365 Cheltenham offers if betting.
Delta Work is Gordon Elliott's main hope and impressed when winning the Savills Chase LTO and was quickly shortened significantly in the betting odds.
The Gigginstown charge, who was Ireland’s top staying novice in 2019, looks in good shape for a tilt at racing’s biggest prize - the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Bet365's offer for the favourite for last years Gold Cup, Presenting Percy, hasn't shown anything to suggest he can win a major event like the Gold Cup since his win in the 2018 RSA.