According to numbers released by Oddschecker, the Cheltenham Festival 2020 has drawn approximately 40 percent more ante-post punting compared to last year’s edition.
The figures showed an increase of 39.6 percent over the same period from 1 January to 18 February in the overall staked from 2019 to 2020.
Likewise, the number of ante-post bets increased by 9.7%. It represents significant progress but a decline from the 22.3 percent increase of last year (2018> 2019).
Paisley Park (8/11) is the most common ante-post pick at the time of writing, collecting 5.61 percent of all bets through the network of odds comparison.
Benie Des Dieux (5/6) is the second most backed ante-post betting for the Mares Hurdle (5.4 percent of all bets), led by Envoi Allen for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle (4.8 percent).
Meanwhile, traffic to the ante-post section of the Cheltenham Festival has also climbed since 2018, jumping by 6.3 percent from 2019 to build on the 8.2 percent growth of last year.
Alex Keating, the commercial account manager at Oddschecker said: “Over the last few seasons, we’ve seen heightened interest and scrutiny from punters in the Cheltenham ante-post markets.
“With various firms moving towards the ‘Non-Runner No Bet’ concession at varying times between January and March, there is a ‘security vs price’ dilemma to be had as bettors look to plot out their fancied runners journeys to the Festival.
“Many say that ‘ante-post punting isn’t what it used to be’, but this new variation is still providing plenty of interest for those looking to snip some early value for the Festival and still proves one of the most enjoyable ways to track the progress of a horse through the season, knowing you have a docket with a chunky price on it going into the Festival.
“Notably this year, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Betfair, amongst others, have yet to go NRNB on all races. With their prices fully standout on the Oddschecker grids for all of the major contests – this provides an extremely interesting problem for punters looking to take bigger prices around which races horses will contest over the fabled four days in March – and makes for a fascinating two month battle between punter and trader.”