Templegate’s Cheltenham Festival betting guide: Punters pointers for the week ahead at Cheltenham Festival 2019

Rub a rabbit’s foot, shine a horseshoe or spruce up your lucky heather but if the punting gods are not on your side it makes for a long week.

Stick to my FIVE golden rules and you’ll give yourself a fair chance.

Download the new Sun Racing app today

The brilliant new app, which is free to download ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, features:

  1. Best Odds – our odds comparison tool keeps the bookies honest
  2. Predictor – rank the field by 18 different categories, such as weight, draw, career prize money and jockey wins
  3. Tips & news – get a steer from the best tipsters in the business in our news tab

Head over to the App Store to download it for free.

BOOKIES once wore camel coats, chalked up prices on a blackboard and wouldn’t give you a fright if they worked in a haunted house.

They were about as well known for their generosity as Lester Piggott.

But now they are offering boosted prices, best odds guaranteed and money-back deals to tempt you to open your wallet.

There’ll also be endless enticements to open new accounts but be careful. Plenty will be worth taking advantage of but hunt around for the best prices over breakfast.


Each-way punters must also study the small print to avoid getting tucked up. With four-days of punting heaven it will help – you can bet on that.

RETURNING HEROES A number of stars could etch their name in the history books this year

THERE’S sure to be plenty of short-priced bankers to get stuck into this week.

But that doesn’t mean we should be swerving the outsiders.

Anything but.

The Festival is one of the few chances to back something at 33-1 with proper form – and there’s nothing better than finding one at tasty odds to crack the code to the bookmaker’s safe.

Last year there were six winning favourites in the opening two days but a string of long-odds results bit back for the bookies.

There were three 33-1 shots go in, two 25-1 winners and another at 20-1.


SOME trainers caught a bit of a cold when their preparations were disrupted by the ’flu outbreak.
Key Cheltenham trails were lost and some of the Festival fancies stopped from running.

Luckily the best trials took place long before the virus struck.

That’s because the best trials usually take place at the previous Festival.

Presenting Percy – on target for the Gold Cup this week – returned to the Cotswolds to land the RSA Chase having landed the Pertemps Hurdle 12 months previously.

Tiger Roll’s Cross-Country success was his third at the meeting, while Altior’s Champion Chase victory put him in the ‘trio’ club.

THE biggest Festival certainty is that track boss Simon Claisse will call the ground ‘good to soft’ on the opening day.

It doesn’t matter if the local wildlife heads for Cleeve Hill two-by-two or a tropical heatwave hits – it’ll be good to soft.

But that doesn’t mean the ground won’t change during the week.

So as well as studying the formbook it’s worth sticking your head out of the window.

Weather forecasters as about as reliable as racing tipsters.
But checking the latest forecast is far better than blindly charging into the early markets without checking the weather prospects.


FORM is temporary, class is permanent. Or so the saying goes.

But it pays to follow trainers banging in the winners.

Paul Nicholls has his team in top shape heading into jump racing’s greatest four days.
Nicky Henderson wasn’t so lucky.

He had to swerve key trials with Cheltenham contenders when he was forced to vaccinate them at short notice.

Luckily, he’s continued to churn out the winners at a decent strike-rate so arrives at the Festival in great form.

Tom Lacey, Kim Bailey and Emma Lavelle are others peaking but watch out for struggling trainers.

There’s no tougher route to the winners’ enclosure than at Cheltenham.

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