Horse racing is one of the most traditionally popular sports betting markets around, with all major bookmakers now delivering a range of options in this area. Whether it be action from the UK, US, Australia or elsewhere, the ability to back your favourite runners and riders is hugely exciting, with horse racing being different from any other discipline.
This guide will discuss everything that there is to know about betting on horse racing, including everything from available markets to some of the biggest events to look out for. Let’s start by taking a brief look at the history of horse racing.
About Horse Racing
Horse racing has existed since as far back as the 5th century, however it is in modern times where the sport has really taken off. The sports betting industry is now worth an estimated $150 million, with events such as the Grand National and Kentucky Derby attracting interest from punters across the world. Horse racing is now hugely popular in India too, with racecourses including Bangalore and Mahalaxmi having grown massively over recent years.
How to Bet on Horse Racing?
There are a number of different ways in which punters can bet on their favourite runners and riders, with races being categorised into three different sections, including flat, jump and endurance. The three are discussed below:
The most common form of horse racing, flat racing is held at courses across the globe. Tracks in this area are normally oval in shape, apart from in the UK, where they tend to be a little different. Runners and riders involved must cover distances between 400m to 4000m during an individual race, with short races being called sprints, whilst longer ones are named routes. In conditional races, horses must carry the same weight in order to ensure for fair competition.
Jump racing is often believed to be trickier due to the fact that runners must overcome obstacles along the way. Jump racing can divided into two categories, known as steeplechase and hurdling. The differences between the two come in the shape and form of obstacles, with horses having to overcome panels which are at least 3.5 feet in hurdling, while steeplechases have the additions of ditches.
This form of racing tests the endurance of runners to the maximum, with tracks in this area ranging between 16km – 160km. A natural terrain is used, while veterinarians are on hand to check on the health of horses throughout. Horses can continue races if they pass fitness tests.
Horse Racing Betting: Understanding the Rules
Standard sports betting rules generally apply when wagering on horse racing too, however it is still important to check out the terms and conditions set by individual bookmakers before placing bets. Having done so, select your preferred type of bet, horse and stake.
Horse Racing Betting Markets
With horse racing betting having been around for so long now, it perhaps comes as little surprise that there are a huge number of markets available to customers. In the modern era, the following markets are among the most popular found on major betting sites:
This is the simplest form of betting on horse races, with customers betting on a single horse, with several bets of this type being available for each race. As a result, a straight bet can come in the form of the following:
As the name suggests, this form of bet is when punters back a particular horse to win a race. Winnings will be made if this horse finishes ahead of the rest of the field, with bookmakers offering odds for such an outcome. The bigger the field, the more difficult it becomes to pick the winner.
Rather than betting on the winner of a race, punters can also bet on horses to finish in a placed position, which will range from bookmaker to bookmaker. Also known as an each-way bet, placed finishes are normally inside the top three, however this can increase depending on the betting site. Winnings will be effected by which place they ultimately end up finishing in.
Single-Race Exotic Bets
Horse racing fanatics may well wish to use their knowledge in order to bet on something a little different, which is where exotic markets come into play. The odds from such markets are generally heightened due to their difficulty to predict, with the following exotic bets being available with a large proportion of bookmakers today.
Here, you must predict the first and second horses to finish, as well as their correct order of finishing. Undoubtedly, this is a tough job to do and thus comes with great prizes. However, you don’t need to put too much at stake to win an exacta bet. For all these reasons, it is the most common exacta bet among gamblers. If you like the concept of such bets but don’t wanna risk too much already, you can decide for boxing an exacta bet. This means you are predicting the first two horses to finish but without an exact order. As a result, the rewards will be half than the original amount. These boxed exacta bets are also called Quinella.
This one takes the bar even higher by asking you to predict the four horses to finish the race, along with their exact order of crossing the finishing line. Boxing for a superfecta is available but not recommended since this might cost you a lot without leaving many rewards.
Correctly predict the first five horses to finish in a race and you will go home winning the Hi-5 exotic bet rewards!
Multi-Race Exotic Bets
These exotic bets deal with more than one race at a time and thus are a little trickier to win. They have two variations called daily double and pick n (n can be any number starting from 3). For winning a daily double bet, you need to correctly predict the absolute winners of two consecutive races. Do the same for three or more races to win the pick n bets.
Horse Racing Major Events
The horse racing calendar is dominated by a range of major and more regional meetings, which attract varying degrees of interest from both fans and betting customers. When it comes to flat racing, meetings including the Dubai World Cup and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe are well worth keeping an eye out for, along with the Melbourne Cup and Kentucky Derby. In terms of endurance races, the Tevis Cup and the Grand National are among the standout events.
Horse Racing Betting Tips
Whether you are new to the world of horse racing betting or consider yourself something of an expert, it is well worth taking on board the following tips, which have been put together in order to help maximise winnings and minimise losses.
- It is much safer to box on the exacta and trifecta bets than to go the other way. The halved rewards should not be much of a headache since your chances of landing those rewards will double up.
- If straight bets are more up your street, be sure to always place these bets on more than one horse. Making only one straight bet targeting a single horse will not end in enough profitable results.
- Get to know the previous records of all participating horses, as well as where they have been successful and where they have struggled. Such information may well give an idea about their potential performance in an upcoming race.
FAQ’s Betting on Horse Racing
There are quite a few popular horse races, although the Dubai World Cup generates some of the largest profits. Other notable races include the Kentucky Derby and Melbourne Cup.
Horse races are categorised into three different sections, including flat, jump, and endurance. Flat races tend to be oval in shape with a flat track. Jump races are further divided into steeplechases and hurdles, where the horses must jump barriers and ditches.
A stallion refers to an uncastrated adult male horse. They are considered the best of the racing horses and is promoted to a “stud” after winning a large number of races.
Racing horses can get scratched for a number of reasons. If the one you had bet on gets scratched, any standard sportsbook would get you a refund of that amount. To make sure you’re treated fairly, choose a sportsbook wisely in 2020.
To place online bets, you’ll need to visit an online sportsbook you trust. Choose an upcoming race and visit the bookmaker to fill out a betting slip listing your markets and wagers.
The best horse racing market for a beginner is a straight wager, ideally a show bet. A show bet allows you to pick a horse you believe will finish in the top three positions. You don’t have to select where in those three positions the horse will place.
Due to the quick nature of races, you are not able to place live bets. Instead, you need to wager on your preferred markets before the race begins.
There are three categories of racetrack conditions. These are used to denote the amount of moisture on the track, and there are about 10 categories. Most horses perform best on a fast track, which is completely dry and even.
Of course. While fast tracks are preferred by a majority of punters, wet fast tracks (recently rained on) and wet tracks (accumulating moisture quickly) can also lead to better results for some horses.
Horse racing is a year-round sport. It occurs all over the globe, in both the northern and southern hemispheres, so you’re never too far away from an upcoming race.