How to Bet on the Cheltenham Festival Champion Day

As March approaches, and with it the start of the Cheltenham Festival, excitement builds, anticipation grows, and pre-race betting gains momentum. This annual horseracing event, spread out over four days, is the highlight of the year for horseracing fans. This year's crowd will gather at the Festival in excitement, while around the world, hundreds of thousands of punters will be placing their bets through online bookmakers. The Cheltenham Festival, staged at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Prestbury Park, is the pinnacle of the National Hunt season. The festival has been held at different venues and in various formats for over 150 years, bringing together mostly UK- and Irish-trained horses. Those who cannot attend the festival in person can avail themselves of online bookmakers, like William Hill, which, for many, is the go-to betting site.


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    Get to know Cheltenham. As the gates open on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival – known as Champion Day – the traditional roar goes up from the crowd (as well as from the homes of hundreds of thousands of "remote" horseracing fans). Champion Day – Tuesday, March 11 – is followed by Ladies Day, St. Patrick's Thursday, and the final day: Gold Cup Day. Seven races will be run on each day (except for Thursday, when there will be six), totalling 27 races over the course of the four days. Although all the races offer great betting opportunities and the chance to witness thrilling competition, each day features one major race: The Champion Hurdle (Tuesday), The Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday), The World Hurdle (Thursday), and the Cheltenham Gold Cup (held on Gold Cup Friday). Along with races, the days' themes are celebrated with parades, contests, performances and a generally festive atmosphere. But through it all, the betting is the centrepiece.
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    Enjoy Champion Day. The very first race of the very first day – the race that is traditionally greeted by the Cheltenham Roar – is the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. This is always a crowd-pleaser. This is a particularly competitive race, in which the favourite is never guaranteed a win and horses with long odds have been known to triumph. Currently, many people are looking at Hurricane Fly as a favourite, though other pundits are considering My Tent Or Yours for a possible victory as well. Alongside the races, Champion Day pays tributes to great winners, past and present. A slew of racing legends will participate in a Parade of Champions and interviews will be conducted with the jockeys, owners, and trainers of title-winning steeds.
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    Bet at the track. For those who are lucky enough to attend the festival, betting at the racecourse is a simple affair. Before each race, attendees can view the horses in the parade ring where trainers and owners talk about their strategy and tactics. This is a good time for the undecided to eyeball the horses and to assess their, coat, muscle tone, demeanour, and gait. This is also the time to consult the racing form, which includes all the horses' previous performances. From the time the horses leave the parade ring, only five minutes remain for those who have not yet placed their bets. The odds are listed on the bookmakers' boards; bettors just step up to the window of the bookmaker of choice, announce the name of a horse, the race in which he's running, and the amount of the bet. The bettor receives a ticket with that information – horse, race, bet – which, hopefully, can be used to claim the winnings.
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    Bet online. The majority of Cheltenham bets will not be placed at the racecourse; rather, horseracing fans will avail themselves of online bookmakers. Pre-race odds – also known as ante-post odds – are available in the many online gambling Web sites, and they change frequently. Odds are offered for every horse running in every race, and clear instructions can be found about how to place a bet. Through the various betting sites, you'll find all the information you want and need to make the best picks.
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    Follow the action online. As opening day approaches, online punters can check out the guaranteed odds set by bookies. The online betting sites will offer insider information, news, statistics, the latest trends, commentaries, interviews, pointers, and tips to turn every punter into an educated, well-informed bettor. If you tune into the gambling sites during the races, you will be able to see the action live, streamed from Cheltenham to your computer or mobile device so that you can feel and see the action in the palm of your hand.
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    Enjoy the races. No matter where you are – at the track or at home – you should have no problem enjoying the Cheltenham Festival in general and Champion Day in particular. Rain or shine, this event is the pinnacle of the racing season and should not be missed.

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