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Cheltenham 2023 Ante Post Betting

There are few – if any – sporting events so widely anticipated as the magnificent Cheltenham Festival. For four days in March each year, the eyes of the sporting and betting world are firmly focused on the Prestbury Park venue, in readiness for one of the most thrilling and dramatic shows that horse racing has to offer. If you back a horse to win a particular race in the antepost list and handlers decide to enter it into a different race you will lose your money. That seems a little unfair. Thankfully, the antepost promotion non-runner no bet takes away the risk. With non-runner no bet, if the horse you backed doesn’t run in the race, traders will refund your stake in plenty of time, allowing you to back another. William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes all offer non-runner no bet promotion as the Festival approaches.

Whilst the event takes place in early March, the Cheltenham Festival will have occupied the thoughts of fans and punters alike long before that date. Almost from the moment the National Hunt season proper gets underway in the previous Autumn in fact. Not only do fans like to think about Cheltenham from an early stage; they also like to get those bets on nice and early too. That’s where Cheltenham Festival ante post betting comes in. Here we provide an introduction to ante post betting in horse racing, specifically in relation to the Cheltenham Festival.

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Cheltenham 2023 Ante Post Betting Tips

The National Hunt season may well just be starting in earnest, but we are already looking forward to the Cheltenham Festival. All roads lead to Prestbury Park, and we’re taking an early look at the Cheltenham 2023 ante-post betting. We have some very early tips for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, the Ryanair Chase, the Champion Hurdle and of course the big one, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Keep these horses in your notebook for the winter ahead with a view to them peaking in March.

Cheltenham Gold Cup 2023 Ante-Post Tips

We have to look for more than one good value horse here and come at the race from a couple of different angles.

In terms of those we’re happy to leave out; ante-post favourite Galopin Des Champs did win the Martin Pipe in 2021, but we’ve no idea yet how he’ll handle Cheltenham’s fences.

Protektorat was fancied last year, but has done his best work on flatter tracks and despite running third in 2022, he was well beaten in all truth.

At around 10/1, Allaho makes more appeal. Third at the Festival in 2019 and 2020, he won the Ryanair Chase for the last two years by an aggregate of 26 lengths. He was even more impressive at Punchestown when stepped up to three miles.

A bunch of horses high up in the ante-post betting, L’Homme Presse, Ahoy Senor, Capodanno and Farouk D’Alene, all took part in the Brown Advisory at the 2022 Festival. That’s a bit of lazy thinking on the bookmakers’ part as, though often a good trial, it wasn’t that strong a renewal.

The horse who may well have beaten the lot of them but was pulled out on account of the ground was Bravemansgame and he is our second selection. Paul Nicholls has always thought this chap was of the highest order and he is our ‘better ground’ angle, while Allaho can handle it softer should the rain come.

Paul Townend onboard Allaho celebrates winning 27/4/2022

Paul Townend onboard Allaho celebrates winning The Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup

2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup ante-post tips: Allaho and Bravemansgame.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2023 Ante-Post Tips

Of the two clear favourites for this 2m5f hurdle race, American Mike makes more appeal than Facile Vega at this point.

True, Facile Vega beat American Mike by 3¾ lengths in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2022 and then by 15 lengths at Punchestown. Hurdling is a different story however, and hurdling over an extra five furlongs changes things even more.

Facile Vega may be out of Quevega, but his sire was a middle-distance type who didn’t stay over hurdles. American Mike however is by St Leger second and Melbourne Cup third Mahler and he should have no stamina worries.

A little more speculative is the selection of Joseph O’Brien’s Dawn Rising. The Galileo gelding has already reached a good level in winning over 2½ miles over hurdles at Listowel and he can get much better yet.

JJ Codd onboard American Mike comes home to win The Lisburn Bowl (Pro/Am) Inh Flat Race

2023 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle ante-post tips: American Mike and Dawn Rising.

Champion Hurdle 2023 Ante-Post Tips

After his performance in the Supreme Novices’ last time, it seems ante-post favourite Constitution Hill really is a monster. He’s most likely the best in this two-mile division, but he’s too short a price and it’s best to look for a couple of each-way options against him.

Firstly, Bob Olinger is worth a look. Despite winning the Turner Novices’ Chase last season, he was not himself and was gifted the race.

Should he come back to hurdling, then as a former Ballymore Novices’ winner and given the extra experience he now has he could be a real force in this race.

Another angle is looking at the mares who have done well in this race with 7lb weight pulls. Double champ Honeysuckle is 16 from 16 at the time of writing, but frankly she has been given some easy tasks over the years while Epatante is regressing.

Honeysuckle will find Constitution Hill a very different proposition alright, and may not be streets ahead even of last year’s surprise Mares Hurdle winner Marie’s Rock. At 33/1 versus 7/2, she’s a much better option each-way.

Rachael Blackmore on Bob Olinger celebrates after winning 17/3/2022

Rachael Blackmore on Bob Olinger celebrates after winning The Turners Novices’ Chase 2022

2023 Champion Hurdle ante-post tips: Bob Olinger and Marie’s Rock (each-way).

Ryanair Chase 2023 Ante-Post Tips

Easy double winner Allaho is already a very short price to make it three out of three in the Ryanair, but he’s been there and done that and having now run over three miles it is easy to see his team sending him for a crack at the Gold Cup.

Shishkin also appears in the betting, but Nicky Henderson appears to want to go up against Energumene again in the two-mile division so his odds may also be false. Likewise, Galopin Des Champs is taking a chunk out of the market when the Gold Cup appears to be his aim.

It does mean there are some juicy prices in behind them in the ante-post market however, and if you simply take those three out of the running then you are getting good prices for Conflated and Fakir D’Oudairies who are the top two rated horses in this division.

Backing the two of them at these early each-way prices looks a simple and smart way to go.

Davy Russell onboard Conflated comes home to win 5/2/2022

Davy Russell onboard Conflated comes home to win The Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup in 2022

2023 Ryanair Chase ante-post tips: Conflated and Fakir D’Oudairies.

What’s It All About?

First things first. What is ante-post betting? Time for a quick explanation of the meaning of ante post. In its simplest terms, a bet placed ante post in horse racing is simply any bet placed on an event some time in advance of the day on which that event takes place. In horse racing the final fields for a race are only confirmed two days before the race for flat racing, or the day before the race for most jump racing. Any bet prior to this declaration stage is deemed an ante post bet.

One of the main benefits of betting on a horse before it is a confirmed runner is that you are likely to obtain better odds. This is really a logical conclusion as clearly a horse that we know is declared to run in a race is more likely to win than a horse who only might be declared to run.

Ladbrokes Cheltenham Ante Post Betting

Ante Post Betting & Cheltenham

When it comes to major racing events such as the Cheltenham Festival, the ante post betting markets open well in advance of the Festival. It is not unusual for example to see prices quoted for next years Gold Cup almost as soon as the runners have crossed the line in the current edition of the race.

It’s not all rosy when it comes to Ante Post betting though. There has to be a downside to the ability to back a horse at odds which may be vastly superior to the starting price on the day.  That one downside comes with how this type of betting treats non runners.

In a standard bet on a horse placed on the day of the race – or in some cases the night before – your stake will be returned to you should your horse be a non runner. With an ante post bet all non runners are settled as losers and so the stake is lost. Many bookies however offer Non-Runner No Bet promotion  on all or some Cheltenham Races – just check out Cheltenham Ante Post Offers above.

Cheltenham Ante Post Offers

Which Bookies Offer Non-Runner no Bet (NRNB) on the Cheltenham 2022?

Picking the right horse to bet on in the antepost market is very important, of course, but so too is getting the best deal out there. Major bookmakers all offer Cheltenham promotions, special offers and deals designed to convince you to choose them over the competition.

There are three different types of antepost betting offers. You’ll find each listed below, as well as a short introduction to how they work.

Best Odds Guaranteed

This promo is worth its weight in gold to horse racing bettors who are serious about making a long-term and consistent profit from the sport. Best odds guaranteed, as the name suggests, means you will always get the best price for your pick. For example, if you back a runner at 5/1 but the SP is 6/1, you’ll be paid out at the better odds. It works both ways. If you back a horse at 5/1 and the SP is 4/1, for example, the profits from 5/1 will be dropped into your balance. Most UK bookmakers offer best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing with Boylesports, Betfred and Unibet being just three of them.

Extra Places

This is a promotion designed to catch the attention of each-way backers and those who enjoy supporting outsiders at a bigger price. In order to stand out from the crowd, online betting firms may offer extra places each-way in the biggest races of the Cheltenham Festival. For example, if most firms are 1/4 the odds a place 1-2-3, one firm may go 1/4 the odds a place 1-2-3-4. This is great news for punters as it gives you more of a chance at bagging a return. Paddy Power are known for offering the extra places promotion on big races, as do Betfair and bet365.

Cheltenham Festival Ante Post Betting Guide

Having looked firstly at what ante-post betting is, and then gone on to outline a few of the best bookies to offer this type of betting, let’s now highlight a few of the key points to be bear in mind when placing those ante post punts.

Firstly, when can you post a bet?

This will vary from firm to firm, but generally for the big championship races of the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup, you will be able to place a bet up to a year in advance should you wish. The other races are generally priced up a little later, with the handicaps being the last to appear – read our Cheltenham Betting guide to learn more about race types. As mentioned above though, a number of firms had ante post betting on all 28 races from as early as January in 2018.

Take Advantage Of Bookmaker Welcome Offers

Particularly if this is your first time placing an ante-post bet, what better way to do it than with a free bet. There’s plenty of free betting credit to be had out there – including the excellent offers listed in our “Best Bookies” section above and on our Best Cheltenham Offers page. Why not take advantage of the often lucrative odds of an ante post wager using some of this free credit. Minimal risk, potentially maximum reward!

Placing a bet

Placing an ante post at an online sportsbook works just the same way as placing a standard bet. Firstly, navigate to the ante post section in the horse racing menu, then select the Cheltenham Festival race you are looking for, finally add your selection to your bet slip and your good to go. If you have a free bet available which you would like to use, be sure to select this option prior to submitting your bet.

Best Bookies to place an Ante-Post Bet

So now we know what ante post betting is, what next? Should we decide that we would like to place a Cheltenham ante post bet or two, there are no shortage of sports books willing to cater to our needs. Not all are created equally though, with the following being – for us – the best in the business.


Founded by Joe Kagarlitski – or Joe Coral for short – back in 1926, Coral are one of the most well established, trusted and respected names both on the high street and online. The oldest betting firm on our list, Coral have few – if any – equals in terms of experience when it comes to betting on horse racing and should be one of your first ports of call for Cheltenham 2023 ante post betting.

Coral Ante-Post Betting
Coral Ante Post Betting: Coral are invariably one of the first firms to go non runner no bet on the Cheltenham Festival.

With live streaming on all UK and Irish racing you won’t miss a trick at the Cheltenham Festival

Coral currently have an excellent matched betting offer available to new customers. Place an initial bet at odds of 1/2 or greater and the firm will match your stake with a free bet, between a minimum of £5 and a maximum of £50.

William Hill

Another of the traditional giants of the British betting landscape, William Hill was first established way back in 1934. Fully licensed and regulated and trading on the London Stock Exchange, the company have a well-earned reputation as one of the safest and most reliable betting companies in business.

William Hill ante post betting: Also one of the first companies to go non runner no bet last year, William did have the stipulation that stakes would only be returned if your selection didn’t take place in the festival at all. So for example should you back a horse for the Champion Hurdle, only for it to then run in the Stayers Hurdle, you would lose your stake. The prices on offer did largely compensate for this stipulation but keep an eye on those William Hill ante post rules in 2021.

If – like many – you like to watch your selected horse in action, William Hill has you covered with live streaming on all UK and Irish horse racing.

Don’t miss out on William Hill’s excellent sign up offer. Register for a new account and place your first bet of £10 or more at odds of 1/2 or greater to receive 3 x £10 free bets. Excellent value! Apart from it, there is an outstanding selection of William Hill Cheltenham offers available during the Festival.

Paddy Power

With 30 years’ experience in the game and now being one half of the betting behemoth that is Paddy Power Betfair, you will do well to find a more safe, secure and respected betting operator. Covering almost every sport you can think of, it’s hard to fault their horse racing offering.

As you might expect from one of the biggest names in the game, Paddy Power offer live streaming on the Cheltenham Festival and all other UK and Irish horse racing.

Paddy Power ante post betting: Another of the early movers on the ante post non runner no bet scene, keep an eye on Paddy Power’s Cheltenham Festival ante post markets from around the turn of the year for the magic NRNB sign.

Paddy Power’s welcome offer is well worth snapping up. Should your first bet lose the company will refund your stake in cash. Not only that but you will also receive a free £5 same game multiple bet. Read more about Paddy Power Cheltenham offers on our site.


From relatively humble beginnings in Stoke on Trent, bet365 have grown to be one of the true giants of the global gambling game. Evolving from a high street operator, into one of the biggest and best firms online; quality, safety and service are all assured at bet365.

bet365 ante post betting: Going non runner no bet on all 28 Cheltenham Festival contests as early as 08 January in 2018, there weren’t many firms ahead of bet365 when it came to this offer.
Known to many as the home of live streaming, bet365 covers a multitude of events including all UK and Irish horse racing.

The companies sign up offer is also one of the very best available. The value of all first deposits will be matched 100% with free bet credits, between a minimum deposit of £5 and a maximum of £100. What better way to boost the bankroll ahead of making those Cheltenham ante post betting plans.

bet365 ante post betting: Going non runner no bet on all 28 Cheltenham Festival contests as early as 08 January in 2018, there weren’t many firms ahead of bet365 when it came to this offer.
Known to many as the home of live streaming, bet365 covers a multitude of events including all UK and Irish horse racing.

The companies sign up offer is also one of the very best available. The value of all first deposits will be matched 100% with free bet credits, between a minimum deposit of £5 and a maximum of £100. What better way to boost the bankroll ahead of making those Cheltenham ante post betting plans.


When placing your antepost horse racing betting selections, at Cheltenham or any of the year’s biggest and best meetings, you should take a closer look at the Moplay site and mobile app as they have plenty to offer.

They are a brand determined to make up ground on the industry leaders and one of the ways they do this is by offering a competitive and eye-catching welcome bonus to new customers. If you don’t already have an account with Moplay you can sign up and receive £30 in free bets when you sign up, deposit and bet just £10. This must be done on a sportsbook selection with odds of 1.50 or better.

The Moplay service also boasts a great variety of horse racing betting features. You can have your say on the winner of any race covered on the UK and Irish schedule or cast your net further afield, taking in the international racing list. Back the unnamed favourite, second favourite, place a forecast or shoot for a tricast. Bet on singles win or each-way or aim higher and build a multiple, such as an accumulator, Lucky 15 or Yankee. Small stakes for large returns is the aim there. You can also look further ahead at the antepost horse racing options. Pick the contest that best suits your needs and check the promotions page for a full list of updated promotions and offers.

Moplay mobile app allows you to gamble on the go. It’s quick, responsive, user-friendly and very stylish. It has all the same markets and matches as the site does but with the added benefit of being able to bet at a time that suits you. With a reliable wifi connection you can bet on the favourite in the next race going off in well under a minute or take your time and put more thought into your bets before parting with your stake money.

Ante Post Betting: The Early Bird Catches The Worm

Ante Post betting really does offer the opportunity to obtain an excellent price about a runner. Perhaps you spot the potential of an up and coming hurdler early on, and suspect it may be aimed at the Champion Hurdle. If you back it early in the ante post Cheltenham 2021 markets and your hunch turn out to be correct, you are likely to beat the starting price of the horse by a significant margin. To see that horse then go on win can be one of the most satisfying experiences when it comes to betting on the “Sport of Kings”.

Hopefully this article will have not only given you a better understanding of the ante post betting meaning and ante post betting rules, but also have perhaps piqued your interest in an ante post bet or two on the Cheltenham Festival. If so be sure to check out the bookmakers on our list, and don’t miss out on all those excellent offers available.

About the author
Harvey Mayson
Harvey Mayson

Harvey Mayson has worked as a horseracing writer, blogger and tipster for several of the UK’s leading bookmakers and numerous other specialist racing sites. Harvey has great knowledge of horse racing history and was the author of the Paddy Power Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National blog for three years. Harvey’s blog at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 included a 100,000-1 ante-post four-timer while he correctly forecast the first four winners on Grand National day in 2015. He also tipped three Grand National winners in a row and eleven consecutive winning nap selections.

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