As we’ve mentioned several times on these pages, bookmakers love to try to give themselves an edge over their competition. They all want your business and believe that if they offer something a little bit different then there’s a real chance they’ll be able to win it. This is not something that punters should be worried about, however, as it unquestionably works in our favour. If a bookie has a brilliant welcome offer and you don’t have an account with them? Sign up and take advantage. Are they offering five places for Each-Way bets rather than three? Bet with them and take advantage.
It’s not only free bets, enhanced odds and welcome offers that bookmakers use to entice in customers, either. One of the other tactics they use is to have news sites, blogs and statisitc pages that punters can turn to, read and learn from ahead of betting on the races. This is something that you can take advantage of regardless of whether or not you want to bet with the bookie that hosts the pieces, give that they’re normally free. On this page we’ll tell you a little bit more about the sort of thing you’re likely to come across as well as how you can make use of them when it’s time to place your bets on the Cheltenham Festival.
William Hill Best All Rounder For News & Stats
If you are looking for a betting site with the widest range of news, blog, tip and statistic features then go for William Hill. There is a huge gap between this online bookmaker and the next level.
William Hill are one of the few good bookmakers to provide a full racecard with previews, full results, a massive archive, form guides, going guides, non-runners, basic guides, trainer stats, jockey stats and daily pointers. This is alongside the some of the very best live streaming, in play betting and cash out features you will find anywhere
Bookmaker News, Stats and Blog Features
When it comes to betting on horse racing there are numerous different types of bettors. Some will have a bet on virtually every race going, knowing the market inside out and being able to tell you which horses have done well on which courses in the past. Others will be more selective with their bets, going big on certain events and steering clear of others if there’s no clear winner in their mind. Others still tend to only bet on the main meetings of the year, such as Epsom, the Grand National and Cheltenham, picking horses based on their name or the colour of the jockey’s strip.
There are many other variations of betting choices within that too, of course. Regardless of which category you consider yourself to be in, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of victory the more you know about all of the horses, courses and jockeys. However the problem is that not everyone has the time to look at racing form websites, pour over the historical performances of every horse running in a race or research whether or not a jockey and trainer combination has had much success in the past.
Thankfully you don’t need to. This is exactly where the pieces on the various bookmakers websites come into play, with them having done the heavy lifting for you. From interviews with former jockeys through to blogs by current ones, trainers and owners, the best bookies on the market use their contacts to give you information that could prove invaluable. How does a jockey who is riding ten horses over the course of the Festival feel about the rides they’re giving him? What are the stats on fallers in the Gold Cup? Is there any news about which horses are likely to be pulled from the meeting or switched to a different race? That’s the sort of thing you can find out that will give you an advantage when it’s time to place your bets.
Can You Trust Horse Racing News, Stats and Blogs?
Obviously jockeys are unlikely to tell you that the horses they’ve chosen to ride are dreadful, just as trainers won’t be turning around and saying that things haven’t gone as planned for them in the build-up to the event. Therefore everything you read that is based on an opinion should be taken with a pinch of salt. None of it is gospel and if you read the words of four different jockeys you’ll likely convince yourself that all four of them are going to win.
It’s also worth remembering that you should still be doing your own research. It’s all well and good reading a trainer’s piece about how they’re supremely confident that their horses are going to win time and again throughout the Festival, but if they’ve never won at Cheltenham before or they’re having a really tough season then that’s worth bearing in mind. When you see who a piece has been written by you should firstly read about them so that you can put their words into some context.
Another thing you’ll want to think about is trainers, jockeys and owners all have a fair bit of rivalry with each other. They’re not stupid and they’ll know that this is an opportunity to psych each other out. If Willie Mullins has written a piece about his stable heading into the Festival he’ll know full that Nicky Henderson will be reading it, so might he put in some misdirection in there to throw his rival off? Perhaps suggest a horse is struggling when it’s really been training better than ever before? Read between the lines of the pieces and you’ll give yourself another edge.
How To Best Use These Features For Cheltenham
If you’re wondering what order to read pieces in then it’s probably best to look at news first, then stats and finally the blogs. As we’ve just said, blogs can be used to throw competitors off the scent of a stable’s plans, so you’re always best reading them last in order to see if there’s anything noteworthy within their pages. News and stats, on the other hand, can’t really be twisted or turned and can give you a really good insight into what to expect for any given race.
If you like an ante-post bet then make sure you’re all over sites that offer Cheltenham Festival news before you place any. After all, if you place a bet on a horse to win a race that is being pulled out and put into a different one then you’ll likely lose your stake. Reading a news site may help you avoid that situation or, at the very least, help you delay making your decision if it looks like some news may emerge soon.
As far as stats are concerned, knowing how many times a jockey has won a race will give you a good indication of whether or not they’re worth betting on. If they’ve won that race with the same horse, trained by a particular trainer, then you might want to use that particular bit of information to go even bigger with your bet. If you have a look through our pages on here you’ll see in each individual race who the most successful jockey is, which horse has won the race the most times and which is the most successful jockey. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stats, but you get the idea.
You can also do things such as look out to see whether certain races tend to have a lot of fallers. If it does then you’ll want to place your bet with a bookmaker that offers faller insurance. Does a horse have a track record of getting out in front of the pack but then falling off as the race wears on? You can bear that in mind when it comes to live betting, having a punt on a different horse in the race that’s handily placed in the middle of the pack. Have a look at the sorts of stats that are available and think outside the box in order to give yourself an edge.
Finally, then, the blogs. Previously in the piece we’ve already told you about why you need to take blogs by trainers and jockeys with a pinch of salt, but they’re not the only types of blogs that you’ll be able to find in the build-up to the Festival. There are also plenty of different pieces from people that will offer a summary of everything we’ve talked about, including the stats and the news. Our advice would be to read as much as you possibly can from as many different sources as possible and then come to a sensible conclusion. They’ll tell you about systems, plans and ways to bet, so take from them what you can.
The fact is that jockeys, trainers and owners know more about the industry than the vast majority of people. Take what they say with a pinch of salt, yes, but ignore their advice entirely at your peril. These are experts in the field and you’re being presented with an opportunity to read their minds, so take it. Head into the Cheltenham Festival with as much information as you can and make sure to look out for bookmakers that offer a “Daily Diary” blog from someone actually participating in it – that’s the sort of insight that you can’t buy.