The Cheltenham Festival is always a major event for our UK and Irish partners and that will certainly be the case again this year. However, with no crowds and no social runners at the Gloucestershire track there is a different feel to events this year. That’s also reflected in the betting according to our Head of Trading, Mark Wilson.
“This is a Festival like no other. We’ve seen significant cross-platform business focussed on multiples and there are a cohort of runners who are all wrapped up in trebles, four folds and upwards to eight folds. As you can imagine, short priced favs like Shiskin, Monkfish & Envoi Allen have been central to these bets. I can’t recall so many strong favourites at one Festival.”
Wilson spoke of his fear regarding the chances of multiple Day 1 favourites winning.
“Looking at the opening day of the Festival on Tuesday, we’re really hoping that we can get one of the big favourites beaten. If Appreciate It (Supreme Novices Hurdle), Shiskin (Arkle Chase), Honeysuckle (Champion Hurdle) and Concertista (Mares Hurdle) all win then it will put us on the backfoot for the rest of the week.”
Other strong favourites within these multiples include Monkfish (Brown Advisory Novice Chase) and Chacun Pour Soi (Champion Chase) running on Wednesday as well as Marsh Chase fav Envoi Allen who runs the following day. Wilson’s team are prepared and ready for a big four days as they provide partners with an outstanding service.
“Cheltenham week is a huge operation and on top of our regular service, we also enhance our racing derivative markets like Enhanced Each Way, Top 2/3/4 Finish, Betting Without The Fav and Faller Insurance. We’ve taken great care to create efficient models for these markets and they were popular last year, especially the Enhanced Each Way offering.”
Our Marketing Services team are also hugely busy over Cheltenham week as they work hard to serve a number of our partners as Head of Marketing Chris Graham explained.
“This is a huge week for our UK and Irish partners and we expect to be very busy. As well as providing day to day operational support for a large chunk of our partners, a number of our customers deploy us to run their marketing as a fully managed service.”
“Months of planning have gone into these Cheltenham campaigns. The balance is running cost-efficient campaigns that at the same time activate and inspire the customer base. Managing marketing strategy for a number of our partners is also a challenge as it’s imperative that each brand has it’s own identity, voice and approach for the Festival. What works for one of our partners may not work for another when it comes to marketing at Cheltenham.”
It’s sure to be an exciting if stressful week at FSB as the Cheltenham Festival takes place. Let’s hope the hard work pays off.