Ante-post betting is a type of bet most commonly seen in horse racing. It’s a pretty simple concept, but it contributes towards a number of broader topics and questions detailed below:
- What is ante-post betting?
- What’s the point in ante-post betting?
- How do you place an ante-post bet?
- Do you get your money back if your horse is a non-runner?
- Why is it called ante-post?
- What does gone to post mean?
Ante-post betting, is simply betting before a horse race, up to the point that it has been finalised with the list of official runners. That process is known as an overnight declaration, when the final list of runners is named.
Betting before the overnight declaration, is betting on the ante-post market. As soon all runners have been declared, official betting markets are open and normal bets resume.
Up until recently it was ante-post betting was more risky and, therefore, an opportunity to earn bigger odds. For example, if a horse wins a pretty standard race and is touted for one of the bigger races, the bookies start to tempt punters into taking the risk on whether it will be entered for that big race or not. The impulse comes from the bigger odds, like offering 20/1 three months before the race when in all likelihood if it actually does take part on the day it should be lower, let’s say 6/1 hypothetically.
As a punter you take the risk on whether it will run or not, and whether other better horses end up entering. If the horse doesn’t actually enter that race it’s a non-runner and traditionally goes down as a loss, so you lose your stake – but that may have changed.
Traditionally not, an ante-post non-runner is settled as a losing bet, but that is entirely down to the bookmakers. Up until recently it was standard that all non-runner ante-post bets were losing bets. But at some of the major events recently, bookies declared non-runner no bet specials on some of the ante-post markets.
No bet means it’s void, therefore you got a refund. Bare in mind this was deemed a special promotional offer on certain races, like the Cheltenham Gold Cup and is not standard practice. Currently, officially, if you bet ante-post on a horse and it doesn’t run, assume you’ve lost your bet and your stake.
Ante-post can be normally found by either searching the exact race you want to bet on whilst on your chosen online bookmakers website or by navigating to the ante post or future racing sections. Again you’re looking for specific races within those categories like the Grand National or The Derby and they must be future races, listed before the overnight declaration.
It should be like betting on a normal race card with either singles or each-way markets available. As they are treated as normal single bets, they can often be combined into multiples like a double, treble or acca.
It basically means betting “before post time”, which isn’t entirely accurate, as ante-post betting is up until the final overnight declaration the night before the race. But the saying is derived from the term “post”, signalling the start of a race.
Sometimes you’ll see the phrase ‘gone to post’, but what does that mean? The post time in horse racing, is quite simply when the horse race is signaled to start, it is normally called with the ringing of a bell. Its that short period of time between jockeys mounting in the parade ring, getting to their starting position and beginning the race.