Horse Racing Betting Tips

Declaration Of War (L) wins The Juddmonte International Stakes. (credit: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
A handy guide to help you make the most from betting on the sport of horse racing

Horse racing is the sport most associated with fixed-odds betting, with punters having placed wagers on National Hunt and Flat racing for centuries, while it continues to be a popular pastime in the modern age.

Quite simply, the betting markets totally shape the sport of horse racing and there are very few enthusiasts who don’t enjoy a flutter on the popular meetings on the calendar such as the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.

Why bet on horse racing?
There are several reasons why people enjoy a bet on a particular race. They might be attending a meeting and there’s nothing like boosting your excitement levels by having a runner in contention as the race approaches its climax.

Similarly, with so many race meetings televised and being live streamed by the bookmakers, there’s nearly always a chance to watch your horse in action when you place a bet on any day of the week, with several operators now having a Bet and Watch service where a race can be enjoyed from start to finish.

Many people bet on horse racing because they’re passionate about the sport and sometimes an advanced knowledge helps customers make a regular profit when it comes to placing wagers. 

In order to make a profit on horse racing, it is generally advised to have a staking plan and bet on selected races rather than through the card, backing your strongest opinions unless you are simply looking for some entertainment from a particular wager.

What types of horse racing bets can I have?
There are several different betting options available when it comes to horse racing and here are just a handful of options:
  • Win – pick a horse in any race and back it to win 
  • Each-Way – back your selection to win and place (you win on both bets if it wins)
  • Double – pick a horse in two different races and boost the odds
  • Treble – the same as a double but three horses this time
  • Accumulator – a multiple bet that involves four or more horses 
  • Placepot – pick a horse to place in the first six races of a meeting
  • Lucky 15 – pick a horse in four different races and combine them in doubles, trebles and an accumulator as well as singles
Make sure you get Best Odds Guaranteed
Several bookmakers now offer Best Odds Guaranteed when it comes to betting on the sport of horse racing. Quite simply, if your bookie doesn’t have this offer available, you are missing out on potential profit every time you back a winner.

By claiming Best Odds Guaranteed on a race, you can take a price about a particular runner knowing that you will be paid out at SP should the latter be available at bigger odds. For example, you might take 8/1 about a runner and then see the horse drift out to 10/1 at the off. If the selection wins, you will be paid out at 10/1 rather than 8/1.

Make sure you get Best Odds Guaranteed for all your racing bets.

Shop around for the best bookmaker offers
Best Odds Guaranteed is just one of several horse racing offers available across the bookmaker websites and it’s worth hunting around to see what other promotions are available, especially for the big meetings.

For a meeting such as the Cheltenham Festival or Royal Ascot, the bookies are in fierce competition with each other and this often means you can enjoy some generous price boosts such as even money about Sprinter Sacre winning the 2013 Champion Chase with Coral despite it generally being a 1/4 chance.

Similarly, Paddy Power might offer to refund losing bets on a race like the Champion Hurdle if a particular horse wins and it makes it a no-brainer to ensure you have an account with this bookmaker so you can count on a great form of insurance should your horse fail to win.

Some bookmakers will offer a particular bonus on a particular race and you should be aware that bets such as Lucky 15 will pay out at double odds if you pick one winner out of the four selections. This means that if you pick four horses at odds of 8/1, you only need one to win in order to claim a profit.

Watch where the money is going for each race
By all means, back your own judgement when it comes to horse racing, although the market often talks and it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for the daily movers. A horse might open at 20/1 on the morning of a race before the bookmakers shorten the odds to 14/1 or shorter, suggesting there is a substantial amount of confidence behind the runner.

Such ‘gambles’ don’t always pay off, although a bookmaker shortening the odds when it comes to any sport is a classic indication that they are worried about certain liabilities, while betting exchanges are also a useful barometer when it comes to assessing horse that have been backed and also runners that are drifting.
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Horse Racing Betting Tips

A handy guide to help you make the most from betting on the sport of horse racing

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