Welcome to my Cheltenham ante post tips blog. I have been betting on this renowned festival for many years now. By doing so I have built up a fair bit of experience that I intend on sharing with you. I will also be making selections on or around the festival, but the best value tends to be on the early betting.
With the markets being wide open at this point, favourites can offer much better prices months before the festival begins. As the festival gets nearer odds tend to drift in as more information is leaked. News on Actual runners, conditions, training performances, stable rumours etc. all affect the prices on offer. If you can get a bet in correctly on a horse that does run before these factors become apparent, potential returns can be significantly more.
So is this style of betting a correct strategy for you? Good question and one that I would struggle to answer off the cuff. Instead take a read of my Cheltenham ante post tips below. These handy hints ensure I get the most out of my early bets and I hope they help you too!
Cheltenham ante post tips & hints
We are still classed as being in the early stages of betting at this point in time. Ante post bets have a tendency not to ring true come the morning of the festival itself. There’s a lot of uncertainty at this point as to which horse will actually end up running in which race.
The recent outbreak of equine flu has caused havoc within the horse racing circles. However scheduling of meetings are slowly looking like they are heading back to normal. Further tests are being carried out, with an initial clause put in place that only horses vaccinated in the last six months should be entered in to races for now. By the time the festival is here, everything hopefully will be full speed ahead, so to speak.
Many horses that enter the festival races do not end up running. For example, there are over 125 horses available to bet on for the Supreme Novices Hurdle currently (Feb 6th).
Therefore, My first section of the Cheltenham ante post tips runs through some key offers that you should keep an eye out for. I use these to give myself a fighting chance of an overall return from all of my Cheltenham ante post tips combined.
Non Runner No bet (NRNB)
Many horses are also entered in to multiple races in order for owners to keep their options open. The situation is an in-depth strategical nightmare for those looking to pick up a bit of early value. This is why I make sure I secure Non Runner No Bet (NRNB) on all of of my ante post selections.
I recommend you to do the same. The guarantee of getting your stake back if the horse doesn’t run sounds like it should be a given. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Make sure you pick a bookmaker that is offering NRNB on the race you would like to bet on.
Best odds guaranteed (BOG)
Another offer to look out for is Best odds guaranteed. This ensures that you get the best price for your horse if it wins. If the starting price is stronger than the price you took when placing the bet, you get paid on the starting price instead in this instance.
If you do not have best odds guaranteed in place, you will only get paid at the price you took the bet at.
Bookmakers offering NRNB/BOG
Bet365 are offering NRNB and Best odds guaranteed across all races at the festival. As such, this will be my go-to bookmaker for my ante-post bets on the races this offer is available on.
Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
The Paddy Power app is offering NRNB across select races throughout the festival. So if you are looking for a bit of reassurance across some of the main feature races of the festival, the Irish gambling giants may be the way to go.
- Champion Hurdle
- Champion Chase
- Stayers Hurdle
- Ryanair Chase
- Gold Cup
Those who have yet to sign up for a Paddy Power account can also benefit from a £20 risk free bet as a new customer offer. Check out the details below.
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses Paddy Power will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.
Betfred are a huge name in the horse racing industry, so it comes as no surprise to find them also offering NRNB across select races. Slightly less of a selection here though. Races are;
- Champion Hurdle
- Champion Chase
- Stayers Hurdle
- Gold Cup
Another new customer offer here allowing for one to place more bets on the Cheltenham festival. If you don’t already have a betfred account you can sign up and bet today with the Betfred app and get £30 in free bets.
New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +.£30 paid in free bets within 10 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Full T&C’s apply.
Do your research
Successful gamblers of the festival tend to be those who have put in plenty of research beforehand. There’s lots of information out there that needs to be soaked in to provide an overall picture of likely outcomes. Here are some of the factors I look in to and consider to make sure I have made an informed choice.
Factors to consider
- Historic festival winners – Checking out previous winners and watching previous races is a good place to start. This gives you an initial picture of how the race will pan out.
- Form – How has the horse been performing over the last 12 months? Has the horse proven itself over similar distances? How has the horse been jumping?
- Jockey – How has the jockey been performing? How many previous rides? Has the jockey suffered any recent falls?
- Trainer – Trainer reputation plays a big part at the festival. Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Nicky Henderson have dominated this festival over the last decade. Therefore any horses entered by these names should be looked at in more depth.
- Conditions – Collecting information on projected weather and ground conditions can pay dividends come the festival. Some horses are suited to the wet, some prefer the harder ground. Does the forecasted conditions suit the horse you are looking to bet on?
- Fitness – This isn’t the easiest bit of information to come by, but can be a big help to decision making if it is out there to be grasped. knowing how the horse has been running in the build up to the festival gives an idea on how likely it is to be able to compete against the other elite horses on show.
- Weight – Comparing the weights of the horses and how the horse performs against lighter/heavier horses could identify a strength or weakness in your potential selection.
- Age – Trends have appeared within certain festival races that reflect a certain aged horse is more likely to win. Matching this data with the age of the horse in question may provide you with a bit more confidence in the selection.
Ante post laying
Another important feature of my Cheltenham ante post tips is the ability to lay bets. There can be just as much value obtained from laying a horse as there is backing one. As I research in to each horse I narrow down my selections along the way.
Cancelling out selections brings about a whole new opportunity in relation to exchange markets. Here you can essentially act as the bookmaker and lay a bet to be backed by somebody else.
You set the price and stake amount you want to lay it at and if someone is happy to back the amount at the desired odds, the bet is matched and live.
A quick example would be if I was looking to lay a horse at 10/1 due to believing it wasn’t going to win the said race. I was also looking for £10 to be staked on this bet by someone willing to back the bet at that price.
In this instance my potential return for the bet would be the £10 staked. my ‘liability’ for the bet would be £100.
If the horse in question loses, I win £10. If the horse wins, I lose £100. As far as traditional betting goes, the roles are reversed for the person laying.
If you are interested in lay betting and are looking to get involved, we would recommend the Betfair Exchange app. Betfair are by far the market leaders in exchange betting. They already have the Cheltenham races available to either back or lay on the Betfair exchange app.
Head straight there from the image below and pick up a £20 free exchange bet if your first bet loses.
New customers only, bet up to £20 on the Exchange and if your first bet loses, we’ll refund you £20 in Cash. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. T&Cs apply. Best odds on certain markets for Premier League football, cricket, tennis, golf, horse racing and Greyhounds during specified timeframes. Prices compared against leading UK bookmakers and excludes enhanced prices and specials. Verification of ‘win bigger’ at promos.betfair.com
Cheltenham ante post tips
Here are my Cheltenham ante post tips from the extensive research I have put in so far. However my advice to anyone reading this would be to use this information as a starting point and a guideline. Do some digging around yourself and use a variety of sources. Therefore, you can substantiate the information you are taking in.
One last piece of advice as part of my Cheltenham ante post tips would be to not be afraid to back more than one horse in the same race. You will see on some of my selections below that I am not always relying on one horse to cross the line first. This may feel a little unnatural if you are not used to doing this, but hedging your bets in the early stages could still end up with a good return.
That said, here are my picks.
Champion Hurdle – Buveur Dair 2/1 and Laurina – Priced at Betfair*
Ryanair Chase – Waiting patiently 11/2 and Balko Des Flos 10/1 – Priced at bet365*
Arkle Chase – Cilaos Emery 7/1 – Priced at Betfred*
RSA Chase – Top Of The Game 6/1 Priced at Bet365.
*Prices shown were correct at time of checking and are subject to change. Info checked on 6th February 2019.
Bets during the Cheltenham Festival
That concludes my Cheltenham ante-post tips. I will, of course, be placing a lot more bets nearer the time. I find myself lucky enough to be attending the 2019 festival. As such I will be spreading my allocated budget for the festival across every race, every day.
I will also be sharing these bets with you on separate blogs. I plan on placing at least one ‘to win’ bet and one ‘each way‘ bet on the morning of the actual races. These will be the bets that I will post for you to view. You can check these selections nearer the time from the following posts;