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5 Bullshit Cheltenham Betting Strategies That Should Always Be Avoided

5 Bullshit Cheltenham Betting Strategies That Should Always Be Avoided
By Conor Neville Updated

As Wordsworth might have put it but didn't, bliss is it in this week to be alive but to be a horse racing fan is to be very heaven.

But Cheltenham is also a dangerous week. A week when so many other otherwise sensible people forget that they're not horse racing fans the rest of the year and try and get in on some action.

Be careful out there. Here are five dismayingly popular betting strategies (not all of them applicable to Cheltenham) of which you should be wary.

Apeing the bets of the most successful gambler in your peer group

A favoured strategy of the clueless punter is to seek to mirror the bets of the most successful gambler in his party.

In approximately 100% of these cases, your betting whizz colleague will embark on a lengthy, borderline ruinous losing streak, one which only abates when you stop apeing his bets.

('Ruinous' for you, we mean. His much trumpeted past glories in this field will provide him with an invaluable safety net).


Hardened realist and rationalist that he is, he will likely blame you for his losing streak and forbid you from tracking his selections in the future.

You may or may not emerge from the experience harbouring the suspicion that he has been engaged in selective reportage of his gambling exploits for some time.


Those of you who graduated with an arts degree in the 2008/2009 period know what it is like to spend a year living in the bookies.


A year of watching Frasier repeats and idly researching jobs abroad, when one's greatest responsibility was making sure you were up in time for the 2.30 at Portman Park.

Such was the effect of the recession on young university educated lads with only one mouth to feed - including their own.

In our post-degree days, one housemate had the quite appalling misfortune to get a job in the winter of 2008.


At 2.00pm, he would let us know of his 'nap of the day', one we had assumed he had gleaned from nattering with his in-the-know colleagues in a Dublin accountancy firm.

The first two of these selections came through. We were onto a goldmine.

After the second successive victory, it was the universal conclusion of everyone in the house that these 'naps of the day' were basically guaranteed money.


Indeed, such was the unforgettable thrill of those opening two wins, that not even fourteen successive losses could shake us from this belief.

After a while, we noticed that the expert colleagues feeding him his 'naps of the day' were often of the same mind, and had the exact same nose for a horse, as the late Kieran O'Connell in the Star.

In fact, they never disagreed.


It quickly transpired that he had been reading the Star all along, something we were in an even better position to do, not having had jobs to go to.

I'm informed that the legendary Kieran O'Connell's success rate for his 'naps of the day' was somewhere in the region of 30%, making him something of a king among tipsters.

Still, not even the most pollyannaish of gamblers would assume that such figures equated to guaranteed money.


The blurbs on the dog races in the bookies 

Small blurbs at the back of the bookies outlining the merits of the dogs running that day, they were marginally less concrete in their advice than the astrology pages.

The race favourite, usually priced at around 3/1, was trumpeted as a terrific little goer who finished like a rocket.

The longest odds shout meanwhile, usually priced at around 4/1, was described as a game little bitch who couldn't be discounted in the final straight.


Patriotism is not only the last refuge of the scoundrel, on Cheltenham week, it is the last refuge of the clueless punter, who'll be swept along on a wave giddy nationalistic fervour akin to that which engulfed Britain in 1914.

This is a special risk in this country given the year that's in it. James Connolly didn't give his life so that our nags could get outclassed in front of English minor royals.

We simply have to win.

And, while Cheltenham is usually good for presenting RTE with chances to showcase scenes of Irish celebration, it's our contention that betting purely on patriotism is plain folly.

Just backing jockeys

With the retirement of Tony McCoy, the lads who base their selections purely on the identity of the jockey are relying on one man and one man alone to deliver this week.

No pressure.

In truth, of all the strategies on here, this is probably the least foolhardy.

See also: The Famous Balls Tipster Table For Cheltenham Day One

See also: An Ode To Gaelic Football's Great 'Mystery Talent', Colin Corkery

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