Rise in Amounts Bet on the Cheltenham Festival

Rise in Amounts Bet on the Cheltenham FestivalThere were no crowds at last week’s Cheltenham Festival due to the ongoing pandemic. However, there was still massive interest in the four days of national hunt racing. Smarkets and Scientific Games have both announced a 40% rise in trade.

It was a Cheltenham Festival like no other. Irish domination and not a bookie in sight. High Street bookmakers were also closed, hence the big increase in the number of online bets being made.
Compared to 2020, there was a rather healthy increase of over 50% in bets on Scientific Games’ OpenSports platform. There were total bets of almost £70 million and the average stake for single bets was £7.50.

With six races being shown each day live on ITV, the festival attracted plenty of non-regular gamblers. The £7.50 figure is consistent with the 2020 figures, so although more bets are being made, stakes aren’t increasing.

Not that they need to do if you have the luck of Paul Dean. We previously told you how the Stockton-on-Tee’s gambler won £250,000 for a £5 bet. A nice return indeed, especially as the final leg of his bet didn’t win. Thankfully, his bet had been cashed out by that stage.

Another Win for Paul

However, that wasn’t the end of his winning streak. Friday March 19 saw the Cheltenham Gold Cup being held. That’s the most important race of the festival with millions gambled on it. If you wanted to know the result before the race, Paul was the person to ask.

He won another £140,000 on Friday, taking his overall Cheltenham winnings to a massive £390,000. This time rather than an accumulator bet, he went for a Cheltenham Gold Cup Tricast.
Now just backing the winner in that highly competitive race is hard enough. Picking the first three in the right order took the level of difficulty to a much higher level. It was Minella Indo that won the Gold Cup with A Plus Tard in second and the winner for the past two years, Al Boum Photo back in third.

Minella Indo

Dean is a big fan of Minella Indo who lost to Champ in the RSA Chase at the 2020 Festival. In that race the jockey was Rachael Blackmore, who was top jockey this year. However, she was on the second this year with Jack Kennedy in the saddle for the 2021 Gold Cup winner.

He must have had a lot of faith in the winner. His last two races had seen him fall at Leopardstown in late December 2020. A return to that track saw Minella Indo finish fourth of five runners in February.

Not surprisingly, Paul was in shock at his second major success of the week. So was his dad who seemed to spend the rest of the day on the phone spreading the good news.
His next big target is the Grand National, though he hasn’t revealed who his tip is. Paul loves gambling and can spend up to eight hours a day with his head in the formbooks. He now wants to make gambling his full-time career.