Myracing’s ultimate guide to betting on Cheltenham Festival handicaps

Cheltenham Festival handicaps are notoriously competitive and therefore difficult to get right from a punting point of view. There are simply too many variables to consider and it can be a frustratingly complicated process. We at Myracing have you covered however and are here to help with some useful hints and tips which can give you an advantage. Why not check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.

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Extra places

Bookmakers will tend to compete for your custom by offering multiple extra places in the handicap races. Whilst these are certainly helpful, they aren’t the be-all and end-all. Extra places tend to mean you will get a shorter price and it can often be prudent to take the better odds with less places. Historically I personally haven’t benefitted too often from extra places and better value is more important.


Trends are you friends

There will always be anomalous results but as general rule, trends are trends for a reason. One particularly important one for handicap races is the ratings of previous winners. A good example of this would be Day 4’s County Hurdle. Only one winner in the last 10 renewals of the race has had a rating in excess of 150, which means you should avoid such horses as a rule.


Trainers to look out for

There are a number of trainers that will make long term plans to target the handicaps at the Festival. With these trainers you can pretty much ignore their recent form and keep an eye on their runners in the market. Irish trainers Tony Martin and Martin Brassil are good examples of this. In Britain, Dan Skelton has a won four of the last eight renewals of the County Hurdle which makes him one to watch.


Don’t forget the basics

Whilst it’s important to consider factors such as this, it’s absolutely crucial to remember the basics. Here is a list of significant factors which shouldn’t be forgotten:

  • Previous course form
  • Ground
  • Winning handicap marks
  • Recent form
  • Trainer/jockey statistics and form

If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.


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