As excitement mounts for the prestigious Cheltenham Festival, leading operator bet365 has unveiled a new offering that is set to enhance the betting experience for horse racing enthusiasts. The operator has announced Non-Runner No Bet (NRNB) coverage for five marquee races at this year’s showpiece event.

Pat Cooney, spokesperson for bet365, shared valuable observations on the prevailing betting trends as the festival approaches. He said, “Typically, the market leaders in these races are the most popular choices, and certainly the Constitution Hill, El Fabiolo and Galopin Des Champs treble features heavily in multiple selections since going NRNB.”

Cooney further noted: “Punters tend to also go for horses which have a Plan B, for example, connections of Bob Olinger would be reluctant to run in the Champion Hurdle, but if the main contenders became doubtful, if he ran, he would be an interesting runner.

Commenting on other potential scenarios, Cooney mentioned, “Dinoblue is probably going for the Mares Chase, but is owned by JP McManus, who, of course, owns Jonbon in the Champion Chase. If he became a non-runner, then Dinoblue may well take her chances. We’ve seen money for her.”

Delving into the broader betting landscape, Cooney highlighted the competitiveness of the Ryanair and Stayers Hurdle, while noting significant interest in the Gold Cup with punters exploring unconventional choices.

Cooney remarked, “For example, easy Welsh National winner Nassalam is 40/1, and unlikely to run, unless heavy ground, but if it was on the day, he’d be a lot shorter in price. It’s always interesting to see where the money is after going NRNB, and this year is no exception!” 

This announcement follows bet365’s recent financial success, with the operator reporting £3.39 billion ($4.29 billion) in sports and gaming revenue throughout 2023. Despite facing an operating loss, the figure reflects a remarkable 19% increase in revenue year-on-year, underlining bet365’s resilience and prominence in the industry. As the Cheltenham Festival approaches, the NRNB offer is expected to add an extra layer of excitement for punters exploring their options in these marquee races.

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