What is Ante Post Betting & How Does it Work?

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What is Ante Post Betting & How Does it Work?

Ante post betting allows you to bet on the winner of a race several days, weeks or months before it takes place.

This guide explains the key pros and cons of ante post betting. Find out how to locate ante post horse racing markets at UK betting sites and learn what happens if your chosen horse is a non-runner. 

Why Choose Ante Post Betting?

Ante post betting offers you the chance to earn bigger profits by taking an early price on a promising horse to win a big race.

Top online bookmakers and new betting sites sites generally release ante post odds for major races like the Grand National or Cheltenham Gold Cup several months in advance. 

If a horse performs well in the build-up to the race, bookies typically respond by slashing its odds. However, if the horse struggles, the horse racing odds normally lengthen.

Let's look at an example:

  • In February 2019, Tiger Roll was priced at 20/1 to win a second consecutive Grand National after the weights were announced. If you backed Tiger Roll at that time, you would have netted a £200 profit from his victory a couple of months later.
  • In March 2019, Tiger Roll won the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the bookmakers responded by slashing his odds to win the Grand National. 
  • On the 6th of April, Tiger Roll ran in the Grand National at a starting price of just 4/1. A £10 bet on Tiger Roll placed on the morning of the Grand National would have resulted in a profit of only £40.

In a nutshell, ante post betting is ideal if you believe a horse will show form in the build-up to a major race, as you can take advantage of better early odds.

You can also make use of Cheltenham Betting Offers and Grand National free bets to maximise your profits when betting on major racing events. 

Top Ante Post Betting Sites

Pros & Cons of Ante Post Betting

  • Potential to bank bigger profits
  • Fun to follow a horse’s progress as they take part in build-up races
  • Can hedge your bets if your horse's odds shorten in build-up
  • Starting price could end up bigger than ante post odds
  • Bet will usually lose if your chosen horse doesn't run

Top Ante Post Betting Tips

These are our top five tips for making successful ante post bets at the best horse racing betting sites:

  1. Choose elite horses that have managed to remain free of injuries and behavioural issues throughout their careers. Your bet will lose if the horse does not take part, so it is important to identify consistent performers.
  2. Check the news for comments from the horse’s trainer or owner. They will normally indicate which big races they are targeting, so you can have a degree of confidence that the horse will take part.
  3. Consider which races the horse is likely to compete in during the build-up to the big meeting. Try to predict how well it will fare, taking into account the distance, the quality of the race, typical conditions and the strength of key rivals. 
  4. Look out for 'Non Runner No Bet' promotions at top bookies and betting apps. These promotions will earn you a cash refund if your chosen horse does not compete.
  5. Consider hedging your bets. If the odds on your chosen runner shorten considerably by the week of the race, you can afford to back a few rivals and can land a profit if any of them win. A hedging calculator, which you'll easily find online, can help you decide how much to bet on each runner in this scenario.

What if my Horse is a Non-Runner?

Most bookmakers will settle your ante post bet as a loser if the horse is a non-runner. However, there are certain exceptions. As mentioned above, if non runner no bet is in play, you will get a refund.

You will also get your money back if the race is cancelled or if it is run at a different venue than the one initially scheduled. If the horse is balloted out of the race, your ante post bet will be voided and you will receive your money back too. It is also worth noting that you will be reimbursed if entries are reopened.

Those rules apply at most bookmakers. However, the terms and conditions can vary from one site to the next, so check a site’s ante post betting rules in its general terms or ask customer service for information.

More Ante Post Betting Options

How to Find Ante Post Markets

Navigate to the horse racing section of a betting site. There will normally be a tab at the top of the screen for ante post markets. They will often include the English Classics; Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National and so on, alongside big international races like the Melbourne Cup and the Breeders’ Cup.

Compare Ante Post Odds

Final Word From Our Betting Experts

Ante post betting can be a lucrative strategy if employed correctly. But, like all forms of betting, it's not without its risks. You can lose your stake if your chosen runner does not compete and you may also find that a horse you had high hopes for endures a poor run of form and ends up starting the race with longer odds than you took all those weeks ago.

Punters who want to cash in on ante post betting markets should do plenty of research and should look for some insurance with non runner no bet promos that give you your stake back as a free bet if your horse doesn't run. 

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