EVERYONE is desperate to beat the bookies during the Cheltenham Festival so we've asked seasoned racing expert @VoiceOfValue to tell us best tips to make the most of the festival outwith following his very own selections…
There are of course a few tips and hints to bear in mind if you want to enjoy the whole experience and try to make it profitable at the same time. Here are a few tips that I would suggest:
1. Shop around
There is no shame in looking for the best prices and using a few different bookies to do so. Use odds comparison sites to find the most competitive odds, it can make the difference between being in profit or making a loss across the Festival.
2. Use bonuses and promotions
The bookies will be bending over backwards to get new customers and also to attract existing customers to deposit their Cheltenham Festival cash.
There are lots of new accounts offers here https://mrfixitstips.co.uk/bookie-bonuses/ which you can use to your advantage and keep your eyes open for offers for existing customers.
3. Don't get carried away
You don't need to bet on every race and you don't need to bet more than you normally would. There are 28 races over 4 days so there are plenty of chances for us to have a bet.
Cheltenham is hugely competitive so if you don't get a winner straight away don't worry and definitely don't start chasing losses. You'll quickly turn a bad week into a disaster.
4. Set a staking plan
Get yourself a sensible staking plan by working out what you can afford to lose over the course of the week – worst case scenario stuff – and then split that total across the four days to work out roughly what you want to stake each day.
When I refer to recommended stakes in ‘points' for example ‘2pt each way' you need to work out what you are happy to stake in total for the day then divide that by the number of ‘points' and that will tell you how much you should stake per recommended point.
5. Non-runner no bet (NRNB)
Be very careful with your bets at this stage. In most cases you want to be taking ‘Non-runner No Bet' options which some (but not all) of the bookies are offering.
There are bigger prices available from bookies who are still running antepost markets but if the horse goes for another race or has a setback and doesn't run you won't get your money back. Tread carefully.
6. The Paul Nicholls factor
This is just my personal opinion, but I think that Paul Nicholls might be overlooked a little bit in general.
In the past 5 or 6 years he hasn't had the same quality of horses that he used to have and that Mullins, Elliott and Henderson have had in abundance. That is changing a bit now because Nicholls set out to close the gap by paying higher amounts for the best young horses, particularly from France over the past few years.
The other point which I don't think has been factored into the prices for a lot of the Nicholls horses is the equine flu situation.
Whilst many horses across the country required booster vaccinations Nicholls' stable was ahead of the game having vaccinated all off their inmates in January as they do each year. Other horses will have missed intended races and crucial training preparation for the Festival because horses have to take it easy for a few days after they get their vaccine but it will have been more or less business as usual for Nicholls.
That could be a crucial factor over the course of the week and I'll be having a second look at all of his entries.
Most of all, enjoy the spectacle, it's a wonderful week of racing – best of luck!