If you’re not familiar with betting terms, then you may not be aware of antepost betting. Essentially this is where a bookmaker offers odds on an event far into the future. They compile a list of the horses they believe will be entered into a specific race and they offer odds on those potential runners.
However, those horses are NOT guaranteed to run. They may not even get entered. Because of that, bookmakers will offer higher odds. Those higher odds do offer better value for punters.
The risk is that if you place an antepost bet and your selection does not run, you lose your stake.
Anything can happen on the run up to a race. When it comes to the Cheltenham Festival, trainers can and will enter the same horse into multiple races. They usually only make their choice of race days before. This can make it very tricky for punters to accurately predict which horses will run in which races.
When it comes to antepost betting on the Cheltenham Festival, the odds may be high but so is the risk.
NRNB ON CHELTENHAM RACES
NRNB stands for Non Runner No Bet. When you see this, it means that if you back a certain horse in a race and that horse gets withdrawn before the race, you get your bet back.
In the past, bookmakers only offered this on the day of the race when the final line-up has been declared. But with competition between bookies so high, many are now offering NRNB on big Cheltenham races, weeks before they happen.
NRNB odds may be lower, as the bookmakers try to maximise their profit, but there is no risk to you or your money if your horse gets withdrawn before the race begins.
CHELTENHAM PREVIEW NIGHTS
An excellent way to get the inside scoop on the Cheltenham Festival is to check out one of the preview nights. These are generally held at different racecourses around the country a few weeks before the festival starts.
The Cheltenham Preview nights host panels made up of leading trainers and pundits who discuss the various races and which horses they think will make the biggest impact. Trainers also offer news and information on their own stable starts with tips on which runners are doing well in training.
If you want to get your tips straight from those in the know, a preview night is as good a place as any. For more information check your local racecourse website to see which events have been planned.
SPECIAL OFFERS & PROMOTIONAL BETS
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest sporting events in the UK for betting. Millions of racing fans spend their money backing their favourite horses and every single bookmaker wants a piece of it.
Competition is high for your custom and loyalty so bookmakers will frequently have special offers and promotions on the Festival. Welcome bonuses are a good way to maximise your money if you’re a new customer. Those bonuses can include offers such as free bets or cash matches on your first deposit. Just make sure to check out the terms and conditions for the one that suits you best.
Other Cheltenham Festival promotions include odds boosts on big races. Back the winner and you make more money with the bigger odds.
Also check for races that offer ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ on a race. This is one of your biggest advantages when you make a bet. No matter which odds you back your horse at, if that horse goes off at higher odds and wins, you get paid on the bigger odds.
For example, you back a horse to win at odds of 10/1. By the time the race starts, his odds are 20/1. He runs a great race and wins. You get paid out at 20/1 rather than the 10/1 odds that you backed him at.
The opposite is also true. If you back a horse at 10/1 and he goes off at 5/1 and wins, you still get paid out at 10/1 – the higher of the two sets of odds.
When it comes to the Cheltenham Festival, stats are your friend. Some horses will run at the festival numerous times and how they perform at one festival can be a great indicator of how they will do in the next.
The biggest race to bet on is the Gold Cup on Day 4 of the Festival and historical data is a good way of predicting the winner in 2021.
Age: Look for horses between 7-9 years old.
Odds: As the Gold Cup is not handicapped the best horses will often win. That’s why seven of the last 12 winners have been in the top three of the betting.
Form: 10 of the last 12 winners won on their previous run before the Gold Cup.
Course: All 12 of the last Gold Cup winners had previously run at Cheltenham and six of them had won there.
Rating: Nine of the last 12 winners had an Official Rating of 166 or higher.
By whittling down the 2021 Gold Cup contenders using the stats above, you should have a much better idea of which runners have the potential to win.
You can use the same method for any race that you are considering betting on. Simply look at the past winners and make a note of the things they all had in common. Use those stats to narrow down your selections for 2021.
NEWSPAPER RACING TIPS
For weeks before the Cheltenham Festival, tipsters are busy analysing and following the best chasers and hurdlers. Following seasonal form, past results, suitability on the ground, and the race competitors, they work out which horses will have the best chance of winning.
On the day most national newspapers and racing websites will be offering tips for the days racing. Comparing notes across the reputable racing sites should give you a good indication of which horses are the most fancied.
The likes of Timeform and the Racing Post have comprehensive coverage and tipping sections so use them to help make the best betting decisions.
FAMOUS PUNTS AND GAMBLES ON CHELTENHAM
One of the most famous gambles on the Cheltenham Festival was in 2012. Months prior to the festival, Conor Murphy who worked for trainer Nicky Henderson, placed a £50 accumulator bet on five of the yard’s runners.
Given that it was so far in advance, he got good antepost odds on Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig, Bobs Worth, Finians Rainbow and Riverside Theatre to all win. And they did.
Murphy managed to walk away with £1 million in winnings. And he wasn’t the only one to make a savvy bet.
In the same week, Phil Williams, owner of the Donald McCain-trained Son Of Flicka, was reported to have collected £900,000 when his horse won the Coral Cup at the Festival.
Great few days for punters but maybe not the bookmakers!