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“First Past The Post” Explained

“First Past The Post” Explained
© Racing Post / Grossick Racing
James Prosser
Friday 4th January 2019

What is First Past The Post?

First Past The Post is the name of a promotion by the bookmakers where they pay out on the horse which finishes first, even if that horse is then disqualified.

The most common occurrence is when a horse crosses the line first but is then demoted due to interfering with the horse in second following a Stewards’ Enquiry, with the horse which finished second being awarded the race.

As the bookmakers will also have to pay out on the official winner, First Past The Post means bookmakers pay out twice – hence why it is also known as “Double Result”.

Which bookmakers offer First Past The Post?

The list of bookmakers which offer First Past The Post doesn’t remain static, and is subject to change. The best way to find out if your bookmaker pays First Past The Post is to check the Promotions section, then the Horse Racing Rules section.

Most major online bookmakers will pay First Past The Post, but most shops won’t.

Do on course bookmakers pay First Past The Post?

No, on course bookmakers do not pay First Past The Post. Until the result is announced as “weighed in” at the course, the bookmakers will not pay out for any winning tickets.

When does First Past The Post not apply?

If your horse is disqualified for one of the following reasons, first past the post won’t apply:

  1. Jockey ‘weighed in’ carrying less weight than he/she was supposed to be.
  2. Disqualified for taking the wrong course.
  3. Antepost bet (bets placed before the “day of race” market opens – usually at least 2 days before).
  4. If the entire race is declared void.

Please note the above is not an exhaustive list and there may be other terms and conditions which apply.

First Past The Post – An Example

In December 2017, Min was sent off the 2/7 favourite for the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase (Grade 1). On the run in, he continually edged left, hampering Simply Ned severely who went on to finish beaten by half a length with Min the first to pass the post.

After a lengthy Stewards’ Enquiry, Simply Ned was awarded the race, and Min disqualified and placed in second place.

Online bookmakers paying First Past The Post paid out both Min and Simply Ned as winning bets, with the exception of antepost bets on Min being settled as losers. On course bookmakers would only have paid out on Simply Ned as the winner.

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