The Best Spread Markets To Bet On At The Festival

| March 2, 2011 | Reply

The world famous Cheltenham Festival is almost upon us and punters throughout the land are already swotting up on their form books and ratings.

However, many have never considered spread betting as a way to make their insight and hard work pay. In this article, I will be looking at some of the great markets we cover at Extra Bet and how you can make the most of them.

Now, I’m going to assume that everyone knows what spread betting is, but for those of you who are new to the game, check out this beginners guide.

As many of you may know, 2011 is Cheltenham festival’s centenary year. While the original meeting was first held all the way back in 1860, in 1911 the meeting was held at Prestbury park and has remained there to this day, establishing itself as one of sport’s biggest events.

It all kicks off on March 15th, but both bookies and punters alike will be getting bets on way before the starter’s orders of the first race. So with that in mind, let’s have a look at some of spread markets that will be open for the whole festival.

Festival Lengths

This is a hugely popular market amongst racing punters as its great value for money and incorporates every race across the meeting. How it works is simple…

A ‘winning distance’ is the distance, in lengths, between the horse in first place and the horse in second place.

We take all of these then add them together across all the races to get the make-up.

Naturally, if you’re expecting most races to go to the wire, with only a few nose hairs separating the front two, you’d be more inclined to sell. If you think that the favourites in most races are particularly strong, with a few demolition jobs likely, you’d probably be looking to buy.

At the time of writing, Extra Bet are quoting 100-110. Historically, this is a pretty consistent price but not always with a consistent result.

The 2010 festival saw a makeup of 94.7, with the highest in the last five years being the 110.6 of 2008.

That’s roughly the buy price for this year’s festival. One for the sellers? Our traders obviously fancy a few big wins. What do you think?

Festival Favourites

Everyone loves a ‘jolly’. Whether it be the star of the show putting in a once in a lifetime performance for the adoring crowd, or the hugely fancied runner who has an off day to the delight of the bookmaking world, like it or not, the favourites are where most business is done.

At Extra Bet we have another fantastically popular market called “Festival Favourites”, which is an index based on how well we think the ‘jollies’ will perform. It works like this…

Points are awarded depending on where the favourite finishes in the race:

If the favourite wins, 25 points are awarded
For 2nd, 10 points are awarded
For 3rd, 5 points
Anywhere outside the top three is 0 points

These are then aggregated over the course of the meeting and at the time of writing, Extra Bet have gone 203-213.

If we look into more detail, that means that over the 27 races, that’s an average of roughly 7.7 points per race. Seem quite high? It will do to those of you who saw the festival last year. The make-up was a poorly 145 as the bookies danced all the way to the bank. Extra Bet fear a real turnaround this year and sadly for the bookies, it looks like the ‘jollies’ will perform much better.

So where do you stand? A great week for the fancies or a great week for the layers? The cool thing about spread betting is you can choose which side you’re on.

Match Bets

So, you’ve got an interest in every race already but as an astute punter, you’re always on the lookout for value.

Another market Extra Bet offer on every race is called the Match Bet. It’s a great way to express your opinion on the race.

What happens is we’ll pick out two horses. We’ll then predict how much one horse will beat the other by (in lengths, not places).

For example: Horse A/Horse B 1.5 – 3.

This means we think Horse A will win by two and a bit lengths.

You’ve studied the form, heard the trainer’s interviews and spoken to the guy you know who knows a guy whose cousin once went on a date with Kauto Star. Horse A should blow Horse B away. Maybe even lap it!

Naturally you’re a buyer at 3 and the formality that is the races proves you right. Horse A wins by 13 lengths, even keeping the pace up at the end to make sure it wins by as much as possible.

That’s a 10 point win to you. Job done.

But be warned! It’s always wise to consider what would happen if the result were different? Say a stumble three from home meant Horse A’s assault on the winning post was badly hampered?

Horse B comes though and beats your nag by 3 lengths.

This means that you’ll end up with a negative makeup of -3. Your horse lost by three lengths. Makes sense right?

So, the difference between 3 (the buy price) and -3 is 6. That’s a 6 point loss I’m afraid.

Although, don’t forget, with spread betting you can sell as well as buy, meaning you can bet on either outcome.

Another great thing to remember with Extra Bet is that we offer stop losses on every market, but no stop wins!

That means we limit how much you can lose but not how much you can win. Seems like the total opposite to most bookies huh?

Spread betting is the most exciting way to enjoy this year’s Cheltenham festival. Don’t miss out on the action and the multitude of markets we cover…

Sign up today.

Extra Bet*

*Spread betting can result in losses that exceed your initial stake. Please ensure you fully understand the risks involved. We support responsible gambling.

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