If you’ve ever heard the sports betting term “Ante Post” and wondered exactly what it meant, then look no further our guide to ante post betting.

What is ante post betting?
The term “ante post” comes from the idea of trying find the winner of a horse race, well in advance of the race time – in other words, long before the horses go to post. Ante post simply refers to betting on horse racing, or indeed other sporting events, that are to take place some time into the future.

While horse racing is probably the most common sports betting arena for the ante post bet, it can also be found in football; usually at the start of the football season, when people are betting on the eventual League or Cup champions. Another popular ante post football betting market, is that of the next World Cup winner.

Other popular ante post markets include politics (election outcomes), golf and tennis (major tournament winners).

Why bother with ante post betting?
To many sports bettors, ante post betting is considered a waste of time. After all, why would I bet on something a year away when I could wait for eleven months and get a better idea of the conditions at the time? A horse or a key member of a football team could get injured; another rival could emerge at the last minute; even some freak occurrence like unseasonal weather can make a difference, particularly in horse racing, where ground conditions can be crucial.

It is true that these are all large risks, but the reason that ante post sports bettors are happy to take them can be summed up in one simple word – value.

Ante post betting gives you much bigger odds, as the bookmakers know that so much can go wrong between the striking of the bet and the actual event.

A great example of the value that can be gained from ante post betting comes from the 2008 Derby winner, New Approach. Trainer Jim Bolger had stated that the horse would not run in the race and all ante post bets seemed dead. Despite this, some shrewd bettors took advantage of the 209/1 available on Betfair and when Bolger forgot to remove his horse from the race and took a late U-turn, deciding to let the colt take his chance in the Derby anyway, those punters would cash in big time, as New Approach won by half a length at a starting price of just 5/1.

How can you place winning bets so far in advance?
Everybody has their own ante post betting strategies, but a good place to start is identifying key trends. Horse racing is a good example of this strategy; ante post racing punters will often consider the last ten to twenty winners of a race and look at their characteristics.

Identifying trends amongst these horses will allow you to narrow the field down to a smaller, more manageable number and find horses with the right sort of profile, which can be investigated further.

Perhaps the majority of the last twenty race winners were in a certain age range, suggesting that you need to back a young horse or a mature horse? Maybe they followed a certain preparation, with the number of races leading up to the event or a certain period off the track, resting? Do the majority of recent race winners share a similar pedigree?

In short, ante post betting guarantees the sports bettor a long term interest in an event, as well as much better odds. We recommend that newcomers to ante post betting start out with Bet365, who offer all new customers up to £200 in free bets. What better way to hone your antepost skills than with someone else’s money?

Stay tuned for more sports betting guides in the near future.