The 2019 Cheltenham Festival, the highlight of this year’s National Hunt season, is over and this year’s races proved to be just as exciting and bet-driven as its predecessors.
The festival’s popularity and importance continue to grow. This is easily made evident by the evolving number of bookies – both big and small – offering odds and offers. Plus, there’s also the many betting comparison services aiming to provide hungry punters with tips and the best prices from the top bookmaking brands.
Even more notable is that we live in a digital age that’s not only seeing a rising number of the UK’s betting shops jumping on the online bandwagon, but they’re also going mobile as well. Ladbrokes, Coral, 888Sport, PaddyPower, and Betfair are just the tip of the iceberg of betting sites that offered Cheltenham odds and offers. On the other side, there is a growing number of review sites and betting offer aggregators leaving punters no room for mistake when choosing their betting operator.
The growing number of betting options and platforms makes it easier for punters to engage in betting, with many of them enjoying some big wins at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. In fact, two of the most notable wins of the event occurred on days one and two of the races.
A once-a-year gambler wins a near record-breaking bet
BBC Sport reported that a UK punter who wishes to remain anonymous, won a tidy sum of £182,567.80 from only a £2 bet on day 1 of the races.
The once-a-year gambler placed his wager in the on-course Tote Placepot, which requires punters to pick a placed horse (usually one of the first three) in each race. Our winning punter picked only one horse.
The Placepot gives a dividend conditional to the number of people who enter the pool. A total of more than £900,000 was shared by only 10.5 winning units.
For the anonymous big winning punter, this meant a dividend of £91,283.10 to a £1 stake, which is just a few hundred pounds shy of the biggest in the bet’s history!
British golf star scores a Super Heinz bet win
The second noteworthy winner was none other than British golf star Lee Westwood, who won an incredible £48,000 on day 2 of the races. His winning Super Heinz bet was the result of a £240 stake.
A Super Heinz bet requires the punter to bet on seven selections taking part in different events. It is composed of a total 120 bets: 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and a seven-fold accumulator. A minimum of two sections must win to earn any returns.
Even more impressive, this isn’t the first time Westwood has made headlines as a Cheltenham winner. The golf star won each of the nice races at last year’s festival before moving on to win 11 out of 12 in an uncanny run of victories, scooping up a total £20,678.
Westwood’s win this year is over two times bigger and an even prouder one for the sports celebrity who was happy to post about his nearly £50,000 victory on Instagram.
Cheltenham Festival betting is drawing increasing interest from punters
Through the years, the Cheltenham Festival has dominated top betting races, easily dwarfing all others in jump racing the full week it runs. If 2019’s betting stats prove to be anything like the 2018 Cheltenham Festival’s, the event is far from showing any signs of slowing down.
According to big-time bookies like Ladbrokes and Coral, the Cheltenham Festival is increasingly drawing interest from punters. Since the two bookmakers merged, the first list of top 40 betting contests of the festival reportedly accounted for a dominating 25 entries in 2018, up from 20 in 2017 and 15 in 2013 from Coral shops alone.
Moreover, there seems to be a growing appeal of top-quality jump racing with bettors, which was emphasized by just 10 of the top 40 races being Flat contest, which compares to 16 in 2017.
Although the full 2019 Cheltenham Festival betting stats have yet to be revealed, with roughly €172 million (£147.3 million) bet on the festival annually, there’s no doubt that this year’s event was a smash hit as several lucky punters walked away with heavy pockets.