Tis the season for NRNB

January 22th, 2016

When our friendly Turf Accounts start promoting various NRNB offers then you know we are on final approach to land at Prestbury Park for the Cheltenham Festival in March.


(N)on (R)unner (N)o (B)et

Fundamentally it’s a relative of an anti-post bet with a subtle twist.

Typically if you bet on a horse before the final declaration stage and your selection that was scheduled to run in a race doesn't for whatever reason, in most circumstances your bet gets consigned to the bin.

However with NRNB, if your selection is a non-runner, your bet will be void (and your stake returned) so you get all of the upside of ante-post bet with none of the downside.

Fundamentally, the bookies use the NRNB to tempt us into the act of nailing our Cheltenham colours to the mast weeks before a race but offer a kind of insurance in return for our business.  

Now if you (like me) have in previous years decided to take a NRNB punt only to find the odds on your selection on the day of the race were the same odds at your NRNB bet (or better), then as they say “once bitten twice shy” so you may feel committing this early offers no advantage.

The other advantage of waiting until nearer the race is that one cannot be confident about the state of the ground at Cheltenham in the week prior to the event.

If there is a dry spell, action will be taken to ensure “safe ground conditions” with obvious consequences depending on a horses (and your selections) going preferences. If the heavens open, the one paced mud larks that ran riot during winter months have conditions to suit.  

But for the moment let’s assume you want to take on the bookies sniper style, from a distance. What profile or type of horse should we look for if we are considering a NRNB bet for Cheltenham?

Obviously we need to be certain that the horse has the ability, is eligible and has a good chance of making it into a race Cheltenham.

The “one run before Christmas and put away for the festival” type of horse fits the bill.

For a different perspective, I quizzed Professional Punter and Racing Analyst Andy Gibson’s on his views on the subject

“Sometimes when I review a horses early season runs as I collate my diary notes, its performance stands out as one that is worthy of an entry in one of the races at Cheltenham”.

In discussion, Andy also indicated that he may not reach a position of clarity until all of the pieces of the form jigsaw puzzle are joined together in late February.

However, for those that have formulated their own opinions prior to Cheltenham (or utilised the work of others), NRNB does offer a few betting strategies.

We have the opportunity to trade or “lay off” part of our NRNB to take advantage of the contraction in the odds on the exchanges off the back of a good prep race or run in a recognised Cheltenham Trial.

Injuries or the removal of another contender in the market can cause the odds on our selection to contract and offer a trading opportunity.

Finally for trainers that are mob handed with talent like Willie Mullins, a decision regarding choice of races for their horses can have a dramatic effect on pre-race markets for Cheltenham.  

The obvious benefit of a successful trade is that you now have profits in the coffers which you can then leverage to put you on a sound platform before the roar at the start of the first race at the festival.  

And if Cheltenham is as competitive as last year, then we are going to need all the help we can get :)


The Cheltenham Trail

NRNB offers are available right up to Cheltenham from various bookmakers so there is plenty of time to take advantage of Andy’s knowledge as a professional punter to identify horses that fit the profile of what it takes to win a race at Cheltenham and build your own NRNB portfolio.

Click this link to view his services and benefit from his considered opinion