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How to succeed at the Cheltenham Festival, according to a betting expert

Gentleman’s Journal turn to Balthazar Fabricius for his top tips for the race meet

Balthazar Fabricius is a successful man. The CEO of private bookmaker Fitzdares – aimed at individuals who value sportsmanship, discretion and personal service – he created his company with the aim to re-assert the age-old relationship between bookmaker and punter – one based on romance, expertise and integrity.

Over the past eleven years Fitzdares has turned betting on its head, making it glamorous, exclusive and fun. Its ambition is to set a new tone in the industry through it’s own unique vision championing values such as sportsmanship, knowledge, relationships and style. So, with Cheltenham Festival in full swing, why not listen to Fabricius’ top tips to get ahead this week.

Time your day sensibly, and get up early

How to succeed at the Cheltenham Festival, according to a betting expert

“Set the alarm early,” says Fabricius. “Have a big healthy breakfast. The Festival is a stamina test, don’t get your shorts wet before you hit the water. Take the quiet time first thing to read your paper of choice, and make your calls. This is the time to mentally set up your day.

“Get on course early,” he continues. “I am widely ridiculed for being in the car park at the crack of sparrows but what’s the fun in the last 5 miles taking 1 hour? Instead, take that time to suck up the racecourse air, dig your heel in the turf, have that double mac from the Organic Fairtrade coffee stand at the back of the Main Grandstand, and feel the adrenaline start to course through your veins.”

Dress appropriately and be your own judge

How to succeed at the Cheltenham Festival, according to a betting expert

“What do you wear? Go careful on the tweed. Tweed is fine but some of the checks are, shall we say, sospechoso. Drake’s is your ‘go-to.’ Harvey Specter would look no further.

"What do you wear? Go careful on the tweed..."

“And as regards the races themselves, the big names are Buveur D’Air (Champion Hurdle), Altior (Queen Mother), Might Bite (Gold Cup). But my best tip is to be your own judge.

“There is a tsunami of information out there. Analysis paralysis if you ask me. Back yourself, pace yourself – remember: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

After you’ve won, enjoy yourself

How to succeed at the Cheltenham Festival, according to a betting expert

“If you are not in a box head for the Quevega bar where they do a good spread of Spanish tapas. It is handily positioned close to the Winners Enclosure so the atmosphere is tip top.

“Post racing, if you are heading into town make a beeline for The Clarence Social where the wagyu beef is superb,” advises Fabricius. “If you are staying closer to the racecourse or looking for somewhere en-route home The Lion in Winchcombe is a beauty.”

Learn how to act during the horse racing season, with our handy guide…

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