Bookmakers report significant upsurge in Cheltenham betting
The three bookmakers who this week introduced the non-runner no bet offer on all 28 races at Cheltenham reported the move to have had the desired positive impact on festival business.
Sky Bet and bet365 offered the concession on Monday and were joined by Paddy Power on Tuesday.
Pat Cooney, spokesman for bet365, said on Tuesday: “We’ve seen a real upsurge in Cheltenham betting today. The non-runner no bet concession has really galvanised it all. We’ve been non-stop.
“Footpad at 11-8 in the Racing Post Arkle has proved really popular, but the main theme has been the interest in the handicap chases such as the Ultima and Kim Muir – we’ve been inundated with requests.
“There have been plenty of life-changing multiples struck. I would imagine all bookmakers will be doing this by the end of the week.”
Sky Bet, who were the first to offer the concession on every Cheltenham race, also reported good business.
The firm’s Michael Shinners said: “The switch to NRNB across all Cheltenham races has certainly livened up the markets and, without the fear of losing their stake, punters are proving far more willing to part with their hard earned money on selections where their target is still up in the air.
“The David Pipe-trained Vaniteux has been comfortably the best backed selection in the handicaps and is now 14-1 from 33-1 for the Grand Annual, and 14-1 from 25-1 for the Brown Advisory.”
Paddy Power – like sister firm Betfair Sportsbook and bet365 – had last week gone non-runner no bet on the five biggest races at the festival, in the wake of punters' requests and a confusing season to date capped by a number of shock results over the festive period and several big names meeting with setbacks.
The firm's spokesman Paul Binfield, speaking about the extension of the offer to every festival race, said on Tuesday: “It’s proving popular but the impetus is only just beginning.
“We’ve extended the offer to all races to help out those punters with a nervous disposition after all the shocks of the season so far.”
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com