If you bet on the day of the race (from around 9am) with any leading UK bookmaker these days you will get best odds guaranteed as standard. If however you place a fixed odds bet more than one day in advance on most UK and Irish racing then you will miss out on the ability to get a better price automatically if the starting price is bigger than the price you took.
One of the best aspects of the Cheltenham Festival however is all the bookies are vying for your custom as they know it is the biggest racing week for punters over the whole year. Therefore if you are savvy with who you place your wagers with you can find best price guaranteed from around early-January each year for advance bets. There is no need to search around either as we’ve complied a list of betting sites offering BOG for Cheltenham below, along with details of what races it applies to along with other concessions.
Taking best odds insurance in this way allows you to take advantage of all the benefits of ante-post betting but ensure you still get the starting price if the odds should drift out.
Cheltenham Festival Best Price Guarantee Bookies
What Is A Best Price Guarantee
Best odds guarantees do what they say on the tin. If you back a horse to win or each-way and take a fixed price, say 5/1, and by the time that the race goes off the price is bigger, say 6/1, then you will automatically get the higher price for your bet.
This will be paid in cash up and there is no restriction on claiming this offer. For example, if you backed two horses in a race each-way and one won and the other placed, but the SP was higher for both than the fixed price you took, both of your bets will be boosted.
The payout amount is usually unrestricted up to the standard maximum payout limits, unless otherwise stated.
You can read more detail about BOG and how it works on our main best odds guarantee page.
What Is The Starting Price or SP
SP simply stands for starting price. This is the price of the horse at the time the race officially starts. The price is taken based on the on-course fixed-odds betting market at the time the race goes off.
This is decided by a panel who take a sample of bookmakers and divide them into two lists based on the odds longest to shortest. The list is then divided into two and the shortest odds available from the longest odds list is taken as the SP.
In times gone by many punters would back horses at the SP for fear of odds drifting. Since the advent of BOG the hesitancy of taking the fixed-price has been removed as the SP price will be matched if better. In fact, few people now back at the SP these days in light of this.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Betting Ante-Post
Odds prices for horses are determined by many factors but the two most critical factors are the form of the horse, trainer and jockey and the confidence people have in the ability of the horse to win.
This is one reason why odds prices can swing so wildly when on the surface nothing may have actually changed. If a lot of people get behind a selection the odds will shorten, if on the other hand few punters back a runner the price will generally lengthen. This is in part so a bookie can ensure they balance their books to give them the best chance of making a profit.
Odds prices also can swing more as the race approaches as jockeys are selected, horses with the best jockeys will see lower prices. The weather forecast will also have an influence, as some runners will favour heavier ground, others a firmer surface.
Betting ante-post you can often a better prices on some selections if you think that horse will be backed more heavily closer to the race. Backing a horse in advance at the right time therefore can result in a higher payout than if you waited until the day, but of course can be more of a risk as there are more unknowns.
For most horse racing if you bet ante-post you cannot get best price guarantees, but for the Festival (and some other big racing) you can. If you think you’ve spotted a good price ante-post and you can back it with a bookie listed on this page offering the concession then you can get the best of both worlds. Should you guess wrong and the price lengthens you will still end up getting the better SP price.
Another benefit of backing a horse ante-post is your bet is not subject to Rule 4 should a horse be withdrawn on the day. You can read more about Rule 4 on our dedicated page, but in basic terms it is a system that reduces the odds of other runners in a race if a horse is withdrawn, based on the odds of the selection withdrawn and the size of the field.
If you can therefore bet ante-post and get best price guaranteed and a horse is subsequently withdrawn on the day, all the bets placed on the day will be subject to deductions but your advance bet will not.
A major disadvantage to betting ante-post is you will usually not get your stake back if your horse doesn’t run, however for the Festival many bookies will give non-runner no bet along alongside BOG. You may also get reduced places each-way or lower place odds if betting in advance, but again for the Festival you can often still find these enhanced ante-post (see next section).
Other Ante-Post Concessions To Look For
Getting a best price guarantee can add insurance to your bets allowing you to relax in the knowledge that you will get a greater payout if the SP is higher.
As discussed in the last section however there can be negatives to betting ante-post so make sure you also look for other concessions that can add even more value or security to your wagers.
Non-Runner No Bet
Many of the bookmakers that provide BOG for Cheltenham will also provide Non-Runner No Bet, giving you double insurance.
We have a separate page listing all bookies with NRNB for the Cheltenham Festival.
When betting ante-post you will often get industry standard place terms. This means for races of 5-7 runners you get two places, 8-15 runners gives you three places and 16+ comes with four places.
When you bet on the day of a race the number of places is often enhanced with many sites, this is one way bookies compete for your business and it can be a negative of ante-post betting.
Again however for the Festival leading operators will also give enhanced places more than a day in advance, adding further reasons to bet early.
As standard many betting sites will give 1/5 odds each way. This is what you will typically get ante-post.
The Cheltenham Festival yet again bucks this trend however with some of the best bookies giving 1/4 odds each way alongside BOG and NRNB. If you can bet with a site like this it really can ensure added value if you back selections each-way or to place.
Money Back and Free Bets
Most existing customer special promotions such as money back, odds boosts and free bets do not come out until much closer to the race day.
Still with the Festival you will find many of these offers in advance, maybe not was early as the BOG and NRNB concessions but perhaps within two weeks of the main event.
You can therefore still often take advantage of ante-post markets with BOG and NRNB, well before they start to really swing, but get additional free bet or money back enhancements.
As we live up to the name of our site we of course will list the very latest existing customer betting promotions on our home page.