With less than two weeks to go until the biggest horse racing meet of the year, we caught up with Jacob Johns, one of the leading horse racing tipsters at odds comparison site Easyodds, to find out more about his company’s preparation for The Festival and how he expects the bookmakers to respond after the ‘Worst Ever Cheltenham’ in 2016.
SBC: How have you prepared for the Cheltenham Festival?
We prepare an SEO and content plan months in advance with search terms decided upon our ante-post tips and Cheltenham Festival news pieces, and we strike deals with bookmakers to be a part of our Cheltenham Festival centre and exclusive app.
We first created a stand-alone Cheltenham app last year – which received positive data results for the business and got a good review in the Racing Post on Sunday, which we were very proud of.
This year we have been ahead of schedule with the release of the app; we are already seeing more users than we had last year and have even more content already, with more coming daily between now and the start of the Festival via myself and guest tipster Steven Power – the Racing Blogger.
SBC: How are you hoping to stand out from the other odds comparison providers?
JJ: As above, we have a bespoke and exclusive Cheltenham app, providing the usual Easyodds service of odds comparison, tips, free bets and offers, but for the Festival.
It’s a one-stop-shop for your Cheltenham Festival needs. It’s an improved user experience which is making comparing the latest odds easier and faster than ever before for Festival punters.
We also have a much larger social audience than ever, including our ever-growing presence on YouTube with myself and our editor Ross Casey making multiple Cheltenham videos in the weeks leading up to the Festival which are seeing great numbers already. These are available in-app and will continue to be produced in the lead-up to and throughout the Festival.
Our successful two-part Cheltenham preview video with the enigmatic ‘Racing Blogger’ certainly saw our comments section blowing up. We are the punter’s pal and we aim to give our users value for money via our odds comparison, whilst also entertaining and informing them with our social media.
SBC: Are there any betting trends or strategies that you expect to see this year?
JJ: The favourites have dominated proceedings for the past couple of years, so I expect them to be hammered more than ever this year. Of course, with multiples becoming more and more popular we should expect to see short priced favourites being lined up in Lucky 15’s throughout the Festival as well.
Also, everyone wants to get their Festival off to a flyer so they will be latching onto something on day one to make their week. Usually the ‘Willie Mullins multiple’ is the obvious place to start but it seems unlikely this year. If Charli Parcs goes for the Supreme, I think we could get a lot of punters latching onto the Charli Parcs – Altior – Buveur D’air Nicky Henderson treble instead.
SBC: Do you expect to see more conservative pricing after last year’s ‘Worst Ever Cheltenham’?
JJ: In all honesty, I don’t. This is the biggest horse racing meeting by a long distance and the bookies are just going to be interested in getting new punters depositing.
We’ve already seen some crazy new customer offers from the newer bookies to get their foot in the door, such as Bet On Brazil, and I fully expect many of the short-priced favourites to be bigger on the day, with the players piling in. So, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be the opposite!