All You Need to Know about Ante Post Horse Racing Betting

Ante-post horse racing betting is something that many people do, but it is also something that many people do not understand fully, and because of that, they are too worried to try it. The first thing to say is that ante-post betting has its risks, especially on horse racing, and you need to be aware of those, and the implications before you begin betting ante-post.
An ante-post bet is when you place a bet on a horse to win a race in advance of the actual race taking place. Ante-post rules apply for all races until 48 hours before the race, though this is sometimes changed by bookmakers as a promotional offer, so keep your eyes out for when that happens. If you are interesting to choose best bookmaker for horse racing betting, check our best horse racing bookmakers 2019 rating.

Before we go into detail, here are the basic rules of ante-post betting:

  • If your horse does not run, you do not receive your stake back,
  • Your bet is not valid for any promotions such as best odds guaranteed,
  • If backing each way, you get the each way terms at the time of your bet, regardless of how many runners on the day,
  • There are no rule 4 deductions if horses in the market do not run.

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Non-runner = losing bet

Unlike standard horse bets, if you back ante-post betting and your horse does not run in the race, you do not get your money back this is a losing bet. This is something many people do not realise, but it is of course hugely important and something you need to know before placing your bets.
It does not matter how early you place your ante-post bet, it can be 12 months before the event, or two weeks before the event, if your horse does not run, you do not get your money back. This is one of the risks you take when you are placing ante-post bets, but the big prices available are why people are happy to take that risk.

Ante Post Horse Racing Betting

You are not eligible for best odds guaranteed

When you place an ante-post bet, the price you take on that bet is what you are given and that does not change. Best odds guaranteed is not available and you will not receive this when you place your bet, even if your bookmaker offers this on horse racing.
If you back a horse at 5/1, and you place the best 12 months before the race then 5/1 is what price you will be paid out. If the horse has a poor season and eventually goes off at 20/1 for the race, then that does not matter, you still get 5/1 on your bet. This is one of the risks of ante-post betting, but also one of the benefits because if you are backing early you are likely to get a bigger price, so you could find yourself with 20/1 about a 5/1 shot on the day.

Check the each way terms

If you are backing each way ante-post then it is vital that you check the each way terms of the horse race, and make a note of them so you remember them. When you back ante-post, you get the each way terms at the time your bet is placed, and that sticks with your bet, regardless of how many runners there are on the day.
For example, if you back a horse each way and at the time the bookmakers are offering 1/4 odds 1,2,3, if only six runners turn up to the race then on the day the terms will be 1/4 odds 1,2. However, you still get your bet at the 1,2,3 placings, because you got on early by backing ante-post, and that is your reward for that.

There are no rule 4 deductions on races

When you place an ante-post bet you are taking the price of your horse and it doesn’t matter what happens to that market afterwards. One advantage of this is that there are no rule 4 deductions on the market when horses do not run.
For example, if you backed a horse at 10/1 in a normal race, and the 3/1 favourite was withdrawn, you would have a rule 4 on your bet. This does not happen with ante-post betting and is one of the benefits of it. If the favourite does not make the race, for whatever reason, then your bet still stands at the price you were given, no deductions.

Ante Post Horse Racing Betting

The benefits of ante-post betting

Of the four main rules of ante-post betting that we have listed above, two are negatives and two are positives. The two positives are the each way terms and the no rule 4 deductions, and these can really help you out. There is still a thriving market for ante-post betting and it is because of these two benefits, there is nothing better than taking a huge price on an ante-post runner, and seeing them go off favourite, and winning the race later down the line.

The one thing you need to do when you are backing ante-post is to look for value. Think about horses that are certainly going to run in the race you are backing them for, so you do not lose your stake, but look for races where other horses may drop out. There are big prices to be had when it comes to ante-post betting, and if you can strike at the right time, then you are going to land yourself some huge value.


Ante-post betting does have its risks, and you will not get it right every single time. When you place a bet, be prepared to lose that stake, because that is what will happen if your horse does not run. Remember the downside to ante-post betting, but do not forget that there is a huge upside and you could bag yourself something special from the bookmakers for one of the upcoming major horse racing festivals.

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