It’s a phrase you may have heard before, but just what is ante post betting on horse racing? This is the latest in a series of guides that explain gambling terms and jargon, so you can understand and learn all about it. The ante post bet meaning will soon become clear to you as our experts reveal all.
Let’s get cracking. What is an ante post bet then? It’s a wager you can place on horse racing betting sites in advance of the event in question and prior to final declarations. The announced runners in the field for a race is currently revealed around 48 hours beforehand in the UK.
If you take a punt before this point, then it’s a bet struck on ante post terms. It really is as simple as that. The ante post betting meaning should now make sense. There are rules in place governing these wagers, however, and you need to know about them. More on those in a moment.
You may also see ante post written hyphenated as ante-post, or markets listed under Future Races on leading UK bookies operating online today. For those interested in its origins, ante has a double meaning. It comes from the Latin for before or ahead of time. Ante is also gambling jargon for the stake, i.e. the money you wager on a bet.
Post refers to the Betting Post, which was erected on-course at racetracks back in the Victorian era. Once this went up, it was a sign that fixed odds wagers could be placed with bookmakers in the betting ring. It’s an homage to the history of the sport.
We mentioned there are some important rules attached to this type of bet, so now is the perfect time to make you aware of them. The main one is that you aren’t guaranteed a run for your money. In other words, non-runner no bet will not apply to your wager unless it says otherwise. This is one of the risks attached to horse racing ante post betting you must consider when taking an early punt.
Next, there is matter of each way betting and how it works with ante post markets. You may have seen Extra Place races advertised by the bookies on their sites, but you probably won’t get these enhanced terms offered if you bet early. This is because, although there may be lots of horses entered, bookmakers don’t know how many will turn up.
There are also industry standard practices all ante post betting sites must follow. The minimum place terms a bookie can offer you are enshrined in the Tattersalls Committee Rules on Betting under Rule 3. This states that if there are fewer than five runners in a race, it’s win only from a betting perspective. It follows that the more participants involved, the more places pay out.
Depending on whether or not the ante post betting market relates to a conditions race or a handicap, that also governs the fractions and place terms offered. You’ll get three places if there are eight or more runners. The standard terms available to punters are usually a fifth of outright odds for three places, or a quarter for four.
Rule 4 deductions, meanwhile, cannot apply to ante post bets. This is because they only relate to wagers struck after final declarations in the event of a non-runner. It’s good that you avoid these, but you cannot get Best Odds Guaranteed covering your bet either unless stated otherwise.
You have probably already realised that there are some positives and not so good aspects to this. Taking your understanding of what is ante post betting to next level requires you to appreciate the upsides and drawbacks of such a wager.
Balancing potential risk and the rewards for pulling a long-term bet off like this are central to your gambling journey. It’s not just about weighing up whether or not the horse you fancy will be that price on the day. Here are the benefits and disadvantages of an ante post bet:
There are a lot of early closing races in both the UK and Ireland, so the British Isles provides plenty of opportunities for an ante post punt. As with any sport, however, some events in the annual calendar are bigger than others. The best horses in their respective disciplines and age groups take part in these major meetings and festivals:
They call Cheltenham Racecourse the home of jumps racing. This is because the biggest of all National Hunt meetings take place there every March. The Cheltenham Festival has developed into the central pillar around which much of the season for jumpers depends.
While each of the 28 races across the four days is technically an early closer, entries for some are announced earlier than others. That means there’s Cheltenham Festival ante post betting available months in advance in some cases. The championship races listed below are the first to have entries published for them:
Each of these is a Grade 1 race, the highest level of competition in the National Hunt code. There are also six novice events holding that status over either hurdles or fences. On top of that, there’s two top class hurdle races restricting the horses who run in them either by age or gender. Completing the set of Grade 1s at Cheltenham is the Champion Bumper, a National Hunt Flat race in which the horses don’t jump obstacles.
Cheltenham ante post betting isn’t just about the four days in March. There are other meetings during the core National Hunt season that begins in October where horses head to this track for races. The majority of these early closing events are some Premier Handicaps over fences, each at around a distance of two-and-a-half miles, which culminate with the Festival Plate.
There are also valuable hurdle races at Cheltenham throughout the season over different distances you can bet on ante post. It’s not just about steeplechasers with early closing events and important action:
Known as the world’s most famous steeplechase and watched on TV by billions around the globe, the Grand National remains a fascinating with the wider public outside regular punters. Watching a maximum field of 40 horses tackle unique spruce-covered fences and two circuits of Aintree on the second Saturday in April is just different from the average race.
The Grand National used to be a real lottery. As if picking the winner wasn’t difficult enough from so many horses, successful Aintree ante post betting required lots of luck too. Many punters’ dreams of winning last no longer than the first fences. Modifications to the obstacles have been made in the interests of equine safety, reducing some of the risk.
That hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for betting on the Grand National, though. The issue you have with ante post bet here, however, is getting a good price might not be the primary concern. It’s common for the bookies to offer six, seven or even eight places after final declarations. When you wager in advance, the most you’re going to get is five.
Switching from jumps to Flat horse racing, the very best three-year-old thoroughbreds have races just for their generation throughout the season. These are called the Classics. Only entire colts and fillies can run in them. Getting an ante post bet on any of the following five races is easy with markets available for much of the year:
Among the Classics, Epsom Derby ante post betting is the most popular. This is because the race is the most valuable and prestigious. Winning one of the other Classics comes with plenty of money too, but there’s just something about The Derby. Successful horses can race on, but many end up retiring to stand as stallions at stud or to the paddocks to become broodmares at the end of their three-year-old season.
The Royal meeting at Ascot is the premier Flat festival of the entire year. Held in mid-June, it attracts more thoroughbreds from overseas than any other meeting in the UK. In recent years, it’s become common to see horses from the USA, Hong Kong, Europe and even Australia taking part. There are eight Group 1 races at Royal Ascot across five days, which you’ll find can get ante post bets on with the bookies:
These aren’t the only early closing races either. There are some big Heritage Handicaps at the Royal meeting too. If you’re one of those punters that enjoys solving the complex puzzles that such competitive events and big field races are. The Royal Hunt Cup on the Straight Mile and Wokingham Stakes over 6f are Royal Ascot ante post betting events you can wager on.
Talented young horses also compete here with plenty of Group and Listed races for two-year-olds. These present their own challenges for punters, as you need to try and estimate which juveniles can improve on what little form there is to go on. The Royal meeting provides such variety with races over all distances between five furlongs and over two-and-a-half miles.
Another of the big summer galas on the Flat is the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Better known as Glorious Goodwood and taking place in late July and early August, it provides something that Royal Ascot doesn’t at the highest level – competition between generations. There are eight early closing races from this five-day meeting if you want to get an ante post bet on. Some are handicaps, while others are important events for the pattern:
We’ve only discussed some of the major highlights of the horse racing year in the UK. There are ante post betting opportunities on televised meetings every weekend, but these are some of the other events that attract lots of early wagering from punters:
The top bookies in the UK will also let you wager on future events abroad. Whether that’s in France or Ireland, or further afield in the Middle East, across the Atlantic in America or Down Under in Australia, there are some big races with ante post betting available on them:
In the course of our exploration of the ante post bet, it’s become clear that are tons of horse races and chances for you get such wagers on. The only question now is when. You’ve got what is ante post betting settled in your mind, so now it’s all about how to use such markets effectively. Our experts are on hand to give you some sage advice on these. Follow the below tips and strategies, and you’ll reach better decisions when betting more often:
All decent online bookmakers that offer horse racing markets will have an ante post section on their sportsbook. It may be under the name Future Races or Future Racing, so as to make it more accessible to casual punters, but providing this comes at standard. Most betting sites we recommend here include the option of ante post bets. Given the risks involved with them, please gamble responsibly and within your means when taking a punt.
Sign up and/or log in to a bookmaker site, make sure you have funds in your account and deposit if necessary. Locate the ante post markets on the sportsbook. Click the odds of the horse you want to wager on to the betslip and enter the stake. View potential returns before confirming the bet.
Not unless non-runner no bet (NRNB) applies. Without that guarantee, you’re not certain of a run for your money in ante post markets or your stake back. This is one of the main risks and disadvantages of the bet.
It purely depends when bookmakers are prepared to price up the market. They may quote certain horses months ahead of a race, before early closing entries come out, if they look like obvious types to run in the event. Always check the ante post or Future Races section of the bookies you bet with to see what’s available.
Again, it varies from one betting site to the next. Some will let you cash out your ante post wager early, but others expect you to see the bet through until the end.
Without non-runner no bet terms attached, you will lose your stake unfortunately. That is the chance you take with ante post betting and must accept that risk when wagering. While NRNB isn’t the default setting for bookmakers, some do offer it on certain future races.
This should be pretty clear in that you accessed the market on a bookie website through clicking on the ante post of Future Races section or tab of their horse racing page.
Yes, it can be risky. Nothing is certain and all the runners quoted in the market are only potential participants, even if they feature among early closing entries for a race. You must prepare yourself for the worst, whilst hoping for the best outcome.
The benefits are likely better odds than SP and you may also get more favourable terms for an each way bet, if the race in question subsequently cuts up. In theory, the longer you have to sit on a bet, then the better the return should be on it.