It’s that time of year again when the nation’s eyes turn to Cheltenham as the cream of National Hunt racing come together from all corners of the globe to test their mettle.
There’s nowhere quite like Cheltenham and the 2012 Festival promises to be very special indeed. To mark the event, Ladbrokes have dug deep and come up with a sensational offer for new and existing customers.
New customers with Ladbrokes will qualify for a free £50 bet on the first day of the Festival, Tuesday 13th March, while all existing customers also get a free £5 bet for day one.
And there are a lot of interesting prospects for that first day.
A new Ladbrokes customer weighing the possibilities of, for example, Midnight Game in the opening race, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, could find him or herself a free £400 to the good if Willie Mullins’s five-year-old can land the spoils at 8/1.
But the race is something of a lottery as history has shown and if you’re having a free bet, why not make it a real punt on Venetia Williams’s 50/1 Brick Red, for example, or any of the four 100/1 shots currently available with Ladbrokes? You’ve nothing to lose.
Of course, the feature race on the first day is always the Champion Hurdle. This year, all eyes are on reigning champion Hurricane Fly, who is on top of his game after landing the Irish Champion Hurdle in January. This is another Willie Mullins-trained hurdler, but he isn’t offering much value for punters feeling lucky with their free money at about 4/6.
And he’ll have to beat 11 rivals if he’s to repeat last year’s hugely impressive win. So free bet first time Ladbrokes punters may be hoping Overturn can live up to his name by toppling the current champion. Currently 25/1, Donald McCain’s eight-year-old has an excellent each-way fighting chance.
Others to consider include the 2010 winner Binocular (4/1 second favourite), who didn’t run last year, and last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner Zarkandar (5/1). The Paul Nicholls-trained Zarkandar has won his only start this season, the Betfair Hurdle, in quite some style and may be the likeliest challenger to Hurricane Fly here.
It’s certainly a big opening day for Willie Mullins, who also runs Quevega – bidding for her fourth win on the bounce in the Mares’ Hurdle.
And it could be an even bigger day for Ladbrokes’ tills to be emptied if thousands of £50 free bet UK gamblers are shrewd in their Cheltenham day one choices.
Free bets must be placed on any Cheltenham race on Tuesday 13th March 2012. The Free Bet will expire after the 5.15pm race.
More information on the Ladbrokes day one at Cheltenham offer can be found here on the Ladbrokes Website.