How to Bet on the Cheltenham Festival Ladies Day Online

When the all-important Cheltenham Festival draws near, the pulse rate of online punters around the world quickens. "Only" a few hundred thousand horse-racing fans actually attend the four-day festival; however, in every far-flung corner of the world, horse-racing bettors can easily place their wagers on their favourite horses through many online bookmakers. As the Cheltenham Roar resonates throughout Prestbury Park, signifying the start of the opening race, the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle (on Tuesday, March 12, 2013), online punters will join in with relish. The annual festival – the highlight of the National Hunt Season – is arguably the most anticipated sporting event in the UK (and most definitely in Ireland). Nothing comes close in terms of excitement, spectacle, talent, and, of course, the piles of money that are wagered.


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    Understand Cheltenham. The Cheltenham Festival – also called the National Hunting Meet – has been held for more than a century and a half. Among sports fans in the UK and Ireland, it is considered one of the most important sporting events of the year, on par with the British Grand Prix or Wimbledon. The current four-day format at Cheltenham has been in effect since 2005; in 2013, there were 27 races including one major race on each day. In 2014, the Champion Hurdle (on the first day, also known as Champion Day), The Queen Mother Champion Chase (on Wednesday, March 12, also known as Ladies Day), The World Hurdle (on March 13, known as St Patrick's Thursday), and the Cheltenham Gold Cup (held on the final day of the festival: Gold Cup Friday). All the races are held in the afternoon, and betting over the course of the festival is expected to generate hundreds of millions of pounds, both at the racecourse and online. Punters who cannot attend the festivities can still have a front-row seat, as many Web sites, including William Hill, offer live streaming of the races.
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    Attend Ladies Day. For the past eight years, the second day of the Cheltenham Festival is Ladies Day, and it is THE day to see and be seen. The racing centrepiece of Ladies Day is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, named for the Queen Mother on her 80th birthday. While the afternoon is dedicated to the horse races (seven in all), the morning is all about fashion, style, and glamour. The royal family tends to make an appearance on Ladies Day, turning it into a front-page news item and not just an event relegated to the sports pages. Female attendees come dressed to the nines in order to compete for one of the Fashion Awards: Best Dressed, Best Hat, and Best Accessories. Prizes for the winners include gift vouchers for clothing, all-expenses-paid holiday breaks, and bottles of Champagne.
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    Evaluate the Horses. On Ladies Day, there is always an impressive line-up of horse races. Last year, the schedule was almost the same as it will be for 2014 Ladies Day:
    • Neptune Investment Hurdle
    • RSA Chase
    • Queen Mother Champion Chase
    • Coral Cup
    • Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
    • Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
    • Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
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    Review Past Results and Current Conditions. Although past winners of specific races are often heavily favoured to repeat their achievements, factors such as recent racing history and the health of the horse can affect the ante post odds. Keeping track of pre-Cheltenham races, i.e., keeping your finger on the pulse of the horse racing world in the months and weeks ahead of the festival, can make you a smarter and more savvy bettor.The opening race on Ladies Day 2014, the Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle and, historically, this race has been won by a favourite (as opposed to a horse with long odds). However, a look at recent results will show that Captain Cutter won the important Challow Novices Hurdle at the end of December, which could mean that he’s a threat although Faugheen is the 2014 ante post favourite.The RSA Chase is always an interesting competition. Although Lord Windermere won the race last year, Carlingford Lough, with a victory at the Topaz Novice Chase on Christmas, is looking promising for 2014. Ballycasey and Smad Place may have better odds, but that important first-place finish is something to keep in mind when wagering. The Queen Mother Champion Chase – the Ladies Day feature race – was won in 2013 by the great Sprinter Sacre who, therefore, is a strong favourite to win again. But this is a good example of where paying attention to news and tips is important: Sprinter Sacre’s health is somewhat dubious (he’s had heart issues, it seems) and so other horses are being looked at as serious contenders, such as Sire De Grugy and Captain Conan to win in 2014.
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    Bet. Those who attend the races can check out the horses when they are displayed in the parade ring; however it is just as easy to assess a horse's chances and research his history when betting online. Top horse-race betting sites, of which there are many, use experienced experts who share extensive information and tips. At the best and most comprehensive sites, the odds are listed for every horse and every race, while news items about favourites and past winners are available at the click of a mouse. Betting online is convenient and quick; it is the method of choice for the vast majority of the world's horseracing fanatics.
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    Follow the Action Online. Online betting sites offer odds long before the opening day of the festival. William Hill, the venerable bookmaker with an excellent reputation on land and now online, for example, is a reliable site on which to place bets. They have special radio broadcasts to hear live updates, the latest news, recent trends, expert commentaries, and relevant interviews. The site is also a great source of helpful pointers and useful tips to enhance the betting experience. During the races, they broadcast the races live, streamed from Cheltenham Racecourse to your computer, tablet or smartphone, so you can follow the action in real time no matter where you happen to be.
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    Understand Ante-Post Betting. Although the Cheltenham Festival attracts more than 200,000 ticket-holders, most of the betting will be through online bookmakers. In addition, much of the gambling takes place before post time. Pre-race betting – commonly called ante-post betting – is available in the weeks prior to the start of the festival, up to shortly before the start of the actual races. Ante-post odds are offered for every horse running in every race, and they change according to numerous factors. Through the many Internet sports betting venues, you'll find that's it's easy to bet on the Cheltenham races. The only things you'll be missing out on are those hats.

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