Trends & Features

Which Platforms Have The Best Offers For The Cheltenham Festival Thursday Races?

Opening Thoughts

UK and Irish horse racing dictate so much gambling activity in the UK market throughout the year. However, events like Cheltenham allow the sport to truly put itself in the shop window and show exactly what it’s all about.

It doesn’t get much bigger for betting platforms. Suppose you’ve been to Cheltenham or watched races unfold on the TV over the last few years. You’ll understand how synonymous gambling, welcome bonuses, and specific horse racing promotions are big business for the festival.

Thursday is the second to last day of the festival, and while casual observers might think that it’s a foot off the accelerator before the gargantuan Gold Cup Friday – this presumption is quite far off the mark. Cheltenham Festival Thursday is the traditional St Patrick’s Day celebration, and with the Plate Handicap, Stayers Hurdle, and Pertemps Final all to look forward to, horse racing bettors have a lot on their plate. Thursdays at Cheltenham have been the source of great drama over the years – with many betting platforms tailoring their offers to cover the top races on the penultimate day.


Bet 365 & Sky Bet

As arguably the two biggest sports betting platforms in the UK, Bet 365 and Sky Bet always begin their marketing strategy for Cheltenham in November or December of the previous year. This indicates just how big this week is and how the right advertising campaigns can result in millions more punters and pounds streaming into their service via their desktop and mobile apps.

Sky Bet has £40 available in horse racing bets as part of its new customer offer, and Bet 365 has a betting offer of £10 and get £30 free. They’ve run this promotion on football betting for quite some time, but Cheltenham is such a big draw that they’ve pivoted towards the big festival and tailored this offer for horse racing bettors. Both offers will pay out in credits, but they are eligible for all of the races at Cheltenham, including the bumper seven-race schedule on Thursday.

Given that there are over 60,000 people a day at Cheltenham and millions watching around the world, Bet 365 and Sky Bet consistently try to outflank each other to try and gain an edge over the rest of the market. As evidence shows, the most effective way to do this is by offering tailored promotions for the festival and directing them at the core audience.

Paddy Power & Bet Victor

In terms of amount, Paddy Power and Bet Victor are looking to trump the big names we mentioned in the last section with their respective offers. Paddy Power currently has up to £50 in free bets on any of the races at Cheltenham, including money back as a free bet if your initial stake loses.

As with all of the bonuses we discussed today, always check out the terms and conditions and honour any terms to ensure that you can withdraw your winnings without issues. Bet Victor has opted for a welcome offer of £40 in free bets for customers who place £20 worth of bets on their platform, including any of the race days at Cheltenham.

Talksport Bet

In terms of other sports betting platforms, TalkSport Bet is a provider that may be considered on the periphery. However, Sky Bet has paved the path to success for prominent media companies looking to get into the betting game. TalkSport is looking to follow this blueprint by developing a platform that hoovers up every avenue of sport and using its live platforms to advertise its subsidiary gambling platform.

Sky Bet used sponsorships to become commonplace on football leagues, billboards, and shirt sponsors – and it has paid dividends. Sponsorships are a crucial element in all levels of sport, including rugby, and the sports betting companies who used their sports coverage to extend into gambling now have a significant portion – which is why Sky Bet is one of the prominent names consistently providing the best offers.

TalkSport Bet faces a different challenge, mainly as its customer base revolves around radio, YouTube, and social media moreso than traditional TV like Sky. However, by targeting a keen market that enjoys sports and overlaps with gambling, they’re able to find a substantial horse racing market, and more recently, TalkSport has done the same – with a growing base and a solid offer of £30 free bets for a £10 wager on Cheltenham.


As always, the top names in UK gambling pull out all the stops for Cheltenham. We’d say there’s more than enough choice from Sky Bet, Bet365, Paddy Power, Bet Victor, and Talksport Bet. All of their bonuses and promotions for Cheltenham apply to the whole festival, not just Thursday, so you can use them on any race throughout the festival.

Given that Thursday is the traditional day for St Paddy’s at Cheltenham, Irish bookmakers like Boyle Sports and Paddy Power also have a range of offers that punters can explore. If you haven’t signed up for any of these services before, then shopping around and utilising all of their best offers will give you much more longevity on Cheltenham gambling markets this year.


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