Cheltenham 2012 Bookie Offers

Bookie Offer Silly Season

Bookie Offer Silly Season

It's silly season with the bookies again and, frankly, if you can't make a profit from them now, then I fear you never will! In today's post, I'll take you through what I think are a couple of amazing offers, and tell you how I plan to play them.

I've also got news of some Cheltenham preview videos, and of a live preview taking place tomorrow night, featuring yours truly. Ahem.

OK, let's start with the bookie offers. And the first thing to say is that, finally, many bookmakers are now 'non runner no bet'. This concession is massive, and basically means that if your horse doesn't run - or worse, doesn't run in the race you backed him in - you'll get your stake money back.

So, for instance, one (excellent) way to play this is to back horses in their least likely engagement. If they don't run, you'll get your cash back. If they do, they will shorten greatly in the betting for that race.

The most obvious example of this is probably Peddlers Cross, who looked nailed on to go for the Arkle, but then connections were thinking about the Jewson (a slightly longer distance novices chase).

However, last season's Champion Hurdle runner up is still entered in this year's Champion Hurdle. And he's 40/1 with betVictor, non runner no bet!

Now, look, he probably won't run in the race. But if he doesn't, you get your cash back. If he does, he's going to be about 12/1 or 16/1, surely. Perhaps even shorter. Then you can trade him on Betfair for a free bet at 25/1 or thereabouts, or simply gloat to your mates that 'you knew'. 😉

There are plenty like this. Boston Bob has dual engagements, and you could back him in both, knowing you'll get money back on one and he'll shorten a point in the other when he's a confirmed runner.

Grands Crus is a further example.

Help yourself, it's not often you have a hold over the bookies!


The following bookies are already non-runner no bet (NRNB) ALL races at the Festival:

bet365, skybet, totesport, betVictor, Blue Square, Paddy Power, 888sport, Ladbrokes, and Corals.


Now then, two stand out bookie offers this morning.

The first is from William Hill, who don't 'do' concessions, but do offer best price on more horses than anyone else these days.

True to form then, they're offering punters 5/4 about Hurricane Fly for the Champion Hurdle today. Use the link below to register an account or, if you have one already, to get some odds against about a horse is best priced 4/5 elsewhere and generally as short as 4/6.

Oh yes, and Hills are Non Runner No Bet on this event, so if the Fly did fail to turn up for any reason, you'd get your cash back! 🙂

William Hill Sports


The other standout bookie offer is Paddy Power's annual jaw-dropper. No, I'm not talking about the trans-gender advert which has caused such a storm.

But, rather, something a bit more punter-friendly. Here's the deal...

If you bet a horse (or horses, hint) in the Arkle Trophy, and Sprinter Sacre wins, Paddy will refund you up to £100/€100.

Now, if you don't immediately grasp what that means, let me show you. Paddy currently bets on the race like this:

Sprinter Sacre - Evens

Al Ferof - 3/1

Peddlers Cross - 7/2

Cue Card - 7/1

Your first 30 days for just £1

Menorah - 10/1

It's my contention that the rest don't count. So, in essence, if you share my belief that only one of this quintet can win the race, then you're in good shape.

Taking an even money chance out of a 118% book (which this roughly adds up to) means you can 'dutch' the other four for a free bet.

Specifically... take your £100 and divide it as follows:

Al Ferof - £36.33

Peddlers Cross - £32.29

Cue Card - £18.17

Menorah - £13.21

Now, if Sprinter Sacre wins, you get your £100 back. If any of the other four win, you win £45.32.

But it gets (potentially) better. If - as looks increasingly possible - Peddlers Cross runs elsewhere, you'd also get your £32.29 stake back on that one, which you could either reinvest across the remaining trio of Al Ferof, Cue Card and Menorah, or just keep hold of.

Of course, if something at a big price trumps these five, then that rather scuppers things. But they'll be betting 33/1 bar on Betfair on the day, so you could take the Peddlers refund (if applicable) and cover the rags.

Make sense? Here's how that looks, using my bet this morning as the example!

PaddyPower Cheltenham Bet

PaddyPower Cheltenham Bet

Click below to join me and take advantage of

Paddy Power's annual jaw-dropper

(offer applies to new accounts - who also get a free bet - and existing accounts)


So there's two ways to give yourself a real chance of kicking the Festival off with a profit on the Tuesday, courtesy of the bookies.

Obviously, they want you to be betting with them that week, and you're far more likely to do that if you've had some gratis gravy from them, than if you haven't.

My take is that, if you're betting that week anyway (and I'm pretty sure you will be!), then take these offers!!!

And, if bookies offers are your thing, then I've got another good reason for you to take advantage next week. More on that then. 🙂


Next, and some of my racing chums have been having a bit of a video jaunt recently, looking at a bunch of the bigger Festival races.

The learned trio of Ben, Cathryn and JP gathered at Cheltenham racecourse itself to whizz through nine races, and you can watch the vids for free here.

I think they're pretty good myself - what do you reckon?


And finally, as they say, I'll be heading North and East tomorrow night, as the Cheltenham Preview Night roadshow gets a new member of its cast... me!

Yes, for the first - and possibly last! - time, I will be seated at the top table sharing my thoughts on the Festival.

The event is at the Revelstoke Hotel, Bridlington, and starts from 8pm. Full details below:

The Star Sports Cheltenham Festival Preview Night


With guests: trainer Brian Ellison, Tony Stafford (racing manager to Raymond Tooth), Kristian Strangeway (professional gambler), Russ James (jockeys agent), Matt Bisogno (, Cathryn Fry ( and Luke Tarr (Star Sports). Hosted by Graham Orange.

Charity raffle with a chance to win a stunning limited edition framed print of Big Buck's, signed by Ruby Walsh.

All proceeds to Cancer Research UK/Niall Hannity, who rides in the St Patrick's Day Derby at the Festival.

Tickets £5

Discounted rates on overnight stays at

To book ring Tony McCormick on 07737 885463 or email

If you're in the area, do come along and say hello! (Please be gentle with me - it's my first time...)

Right, I'm off to do my homework for tomorrow...


p.s. if you haven't joined in the poll yet, it's here:

[poll id="41"]

Your first 30 days for just £1
14 replies
  1. Peter says:

    Hi Matt,
    Not like you to miss a trick!
    How about backing The Fly at 2.25 with Wm Hill and laying at 2.02 with Betfair? That has to be the best value.
    Keep up the good work,

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Good point Peter, and very well made!

      In the unlikely (and unwanted) event that the Fly missed the Festival, you’d get money back from Hills and win the lay on Betfair…


  2. Jim says:

    Note that the Betfair market is still ante post – “All bets stand run or not”.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      True Jim, but if you’re laying a horse, then ‘not run’ is a very good result! 😉


  3. Josh Wright says:

    hi Matt,

    can you point me to any posts on this site or others about how the ‘book’ is made up. i am still in my early days of understanding the maths around betting, so any info on how the ‘betting book’ is made up, what your example means (coming to 118% etc), would help me immensely. basic question i know but your advice would be appreciated.


    • Gavin says:

      Hi Josh,

      I wrote a piece last year on the maths behind how a bookmaker makes a book when looking at ‘value betting’ and how to find it.

      You can read it here The bit relating to percentages is about half way down.

      I hope it helps,

  4. Craig says:

    Thanks for the NOT too good to be true Paddy Power offer!! I was going to oppose Sprinter Scacre anyway, but to do so this way means I can’t lose my ‘lay’ bet if he does win.

    And surely the odds of something other than the first five in the betting winning, must be much higher than evens!? I reckon we’re getting even money or money back about a bet which is 1/15+ to succeed i.e. not lose. 🙂

  5. Paul says:

    Backing those 4 in the same race with those stakes ending in odd pence amounts is a sure fire way of getting your account noticed and susequently restricted.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Certainly possible Paul, and Paddy Power are hotter on that sort of thing than many.

      But… they’d still have to pay out. 🙂


      p.s. Incidentally, it seems as though Peddlers Cross is heading for the Jewson and dodging Sprinter Sacre. That’s a real shame, and disappointing for me personally (and plenty of geegeez readers) who had backed him for the Arkle.

  6. Peter says:

    Now that Peddlers has dropped out those nice people at Paddy Power have returned my stake on him. To show my thanks I’ve just used it to dutch the other 6 runners in the race to make an all green book on the race with every thing refunded if Sprinter wins.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Well done Peter – I think that’s precisely the way to play it… or top up on the top three bar SS.

      Good luck (not that you’ll need it!)


  7. Ged says:

    Have followed your advice Matt and dutched all 5 remaining runners to show a profit if Sprinter Sacre loses, but just seen the last small detail in the T&C’s that states Paddy Power reserve the right to refuse a refund if multiple selections are backed!! Looks like we might have been had!!

  8. Ged says:

    Despite previous post on Paddy Power’s T&C’s, refunded in full immediately! Respect to Paddy Power, he’ll be seeing more of my wagers in future! And thanks for your column, Matt – makes entertaining and informative reading and very often profitable too.

Comments are closed.