Horse Racing Betting Sites in February 2023

In this article we look at everything there is to know about the bookmakers that offer horse racing bets and what you need to consider when placing them. We look at the different types of bets, the different things that affect a horse's chances, and the things that the best horse racing betting sites will have.

Top 20 Horse Race Betting Sites

Bookie Bonus Licence Opinions
38718
35944
54095
45322
39439
2927
39584
39173
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39576
These places are paid by the bookies

Horse Racing Betting Sites – Our Top Five

In our experience, based on our research and empirical data we have concluded the following betting sites are the best when it comes to horse racing betting.

Sky Bet

Welcome Bonus: Bet 5p on anything, and get £30 worth of Free bets.

Sky Bet are easily one of the best betting sites in the UK for horse racing in our opinion. They have the best odds boosts, loyalty club, extra place and refund "if" Free bet bonuses in the business. They are "Best Odds Guaranteed" as you would expect and also pay out on double result.

✅Pros:

Free bets valid forever.

Extra Places and Price Boosts every day.

All UK and Irish races streamed live if you have a funded account.

Betfred

Welcome Bonus: Bet £10 get £60 of Free bet stakes.

Betfred have an ever changing range of Free bet offers available in their promotions section, as well as enhanced place offers adding one and sometimes TWO extra places to selected races every day. They are one of the many sites in the UK that offer "Best Odds Guaranteed" on all UK and Irish races as well as streaming them live as well. They have a Rewards4Racing loyalty scheme offering "fantastic prizes and racing experiences". In 2021 115,000 tickets were purchased by Betfred customers, who saved a whopping £1.1m on tickets to the races!

✅Pros:

  • All winner bonus boosts: 10% bonus on Lucky 15/Yankee bets. 20% bonus on Lucky 31/Canadian bets. 25% bonus on Lucky 63/Heinz bets!

  • Best priced on several horses every year at the Cheltenham Festival.

  • More sports betting markets than any other high street bookmaker offer.

Geoff Banks

Welcome Bonus: Bet £10 get a £30 Free bet credit.

Geoff Banks are one of the last remaining "Gentleman" bookmakers, a family run firm who are not afraid to lay a decent sized bet. They have recently upgraded their website so it now has even more markets to bet on but still the same great value odds. There is also now a dedicated mobile App for both Apple and Android phones. They have some great horse racing offers, notably their headline £100 refund if 2nd, paid as Free bets!

✅Pros:

  • All UK races live streamed for anybody logged into their account.

  • Great horse racing existing customer offers.

  • Fantastic horse racing odds with high bet limits.

Unibet

Welcome Bonus: £40 money back and £10 Casino bonus.

Unibet have been around since the early 2000s and in that time have expanded to become one of the largest sports betting brands in Europe. They have recently upgraded their live streaming product, and are handing out increasing amounts of Free bets and Free spins for existing customers. They have a unique "15 to go" offer where a bet on the advertised ITV races in the 15 minutes before the scheduled start time and if you back the winner they will match your stake with a Free bet to the same amount. The Free bets expire after 7 days.

✅Pros:

  • Dedicated horse racing minisite.

  • Cashable bonus for new customers

  • Very competitive odds on nearly every horse

Betfair

Welcome Bonus: Bet £10 get £30 in Free bets.

With Betfair you have two options when it comes to betting on horses, you can use either the sportsbook or the exchange. If you are after great promotions, Free bets and odds boosts then the sportsbook is for you, it is also here that you can place your Acca bets. If you just want raw good value odds then the exchange is the way to go, and remember that you also have the ability to lay horses as well as back them!

✅Pros:

  • The ability to back AND lay horses.

  • The exchange has unbeatable odds on the outsiders

  • Three horse racing price boosts for every account every week

New Horse Racing Sites

There are not many new horse race betting sites that enter the market each year, and this is largely due to the fierce competition that already exists. Many of the larger operators enjoy economies of scale that a newer operator can not compete with and so any new horse betting sites accepting UK players have to offer unique and eye catching promotions in order to stand out.

Betgoodwin

Betgoodwin are one of the newest and the best horse racing betting sites.

Betgoodwin are the best new betting site for horse racing to have entered the industry recently. They began life in a retail unit some 25 years ago and after much planning launched “Betgoodwin” (their online sportsbook) earlier this year. Despite only relatively recently coming onto the scene but they are already making waves with a number of interesting offers all giving Free bet stakes for losing bets "If" certain things happen. They are "Best Odds Guaranteed" on all UK and Irish races and have better than average odds most of the time even before that promotion kicks in.

✅Pros:

  • £100 Free bet if you are second to a horse 50/1 or greater.

  • £100 Free bet if you are winning at the last fence but fall.

  • £100 Free bet if you are beaten by half a length or less.

How We Rank Best Betting Sites For Horse Racing

When reviewing a horse racing betting site we look at many factors to determine who is hot and who is not. We use our own empirical data to help with this, and use, test, and try out each bookmaker ourselves to help get the true overall picture. Some of the main criteria we use are detailed below.

Odds

The most important thing when it comes to betting is the odds, in the long run this is the only thing that can make your betting profitable, and if betting profitably is not possible for you then the best odds possible will at least mean you lose more slowly. No one bookmaker will always have the best odds on every horse, but some are consistently better than others and these are the ones we rank highly.

Range Of Markets

All online bookmakers cover UK horse racing but not all cover other countries, and so being able to bet on American, Australian, and Irish racing is a plus. Some even go as far a field as Japan, South Africa, and South America!

There are not usually many horse racing markets compared to most sports, you can bet on which horse will win and that is usually about it. Some of the better sites do offer a bit more though, such as will horse A beat horse B (regardless of who wins), and will certain horses win by a certain length if it is an odds-on favourite. The more betting markets the better, but there is only so much even the best horse racing sites can do here.

Welcome Bonus

The majority of online sports betting sites offer Free bets and other promotional bonuses to customers who join and make a qualifying bet. This can be very nice, especially if you are rewarded for doing something you were always going to do anyway. It should not be the sole reason you join and stay loyal to a betting site though. It is nice to start with but existing user offers are far more valuable, as are the average quality of the odds.

Existing User Offers

After the odds this is probably the next most important thing to consider, certainly if you are looking to profit in the long run, or even if you want to get the most value possible even if it is all just for fun. The most common and probably the best existing user offer is "Best Odds Guaranteed" which we cover in detail below. It is not the only thing though, first past the post, run for your money, and refunds "if" can all play an important part.

In Play And Live Streaming

It is great to be able to watch the races that you have bet on because horse racing can be one of the most exciting sports that there is. When there is a close run final furlong and a photo finish nothing can beat it. The majority of horse racing betting sites provide streaming of races on which you have bet, and the best horse racing bookies allow you to watch all races regardless which can be a huge benefit when tracking horses form and looking for extra information to give you an edge.

In-Play betting is not really a feature of horse racing betting unless it is on a particularly major race, such as the Grand National, or you are betting at a betting exchange. You can do it at some online bookmakers but the odds are terrible and really it is only worth considering at a betting exchange.

Mobile App

In the modern world being able to bet when you want and where you want is a standard thing, and mobile Apps help you to do just that. The best Apps can be navigated smoothly despite the limited screen size, and maintain all the functions of the full online betting site. Horse racing live streaming is especially useful here to make your horse racing betting as entertaining as possible.

Payment Methods

It is important to be able to get your money into, and equally as importantly out of the horse racing betting site that you want to use. If you can not do that then everything else becomes academic. The majority of online bookmakers offer several different deposit options including a range of E-Wallets, as well as speedy withdrawals and usually with no fee involved.

Live Streaming

The majority of horse racing bookies allow customers to watch all the UK and Irish racing after logging into their horse racing betting account and betting on the race they want to view. Some allow you to watch a race without having to make a qualifying bet but simply if you have a funded account. The best sites will simply ask you to log in and then you can stream everything with no conditions.

Live streaming is useful because it allows you to analyse the races and see not just the results but also why was that the result. How much was to do with the quality of the horse and how much was to do with bad luck, a poor jockey, or getting a bad start and never recovering. If you can eliminate the things that won't happen again (or should not happen again) you can compare and rate the horses based on what they will likely do in the next race, and this is what you need to know. The results are purely backwards looking, this is what happened. Watching the race closely allows a chance to predict what is going to happen next time.

Betting In Running

Betting in running involves placing bets on an event once the race (or game) has begun. With horse racing a race will turn "In-Play" (which is the technical name for in-running bets) once the starter lets the horses go and horse race betting sites will usually close the market with one furlong to go. On the other hand, an exchange will allow you to back or lay the winning horse all the way up to it crossing the finish line.

In our opinion betting on a horse race after it has begun is a very bad idea. If you are betting on horse racing online then in all probability you will have pictures that are at least a few seconds delayed, and there will be other people with faster streams who will know what is happening before you. Some people actually pay considerable amounts of effort in flying drones above the courses so they can have their own private pictures allowing them to see which horses are doing what and take the best odds before anyone else can.

Betfinder Tools

To help you find your bets there are a number of tools available on the internet, they are all essentially variations on paid tipsters from days gone by. Some are worth it, but the majority are not. It is incredibly hard to make a profit betting on horses and the % profit margins are so low that to pay for advice would mean your stake size to win that back alone would become silly. When there is a service that we feel does offer value for money we will bring it to you, but even then there are no promises. Nobody is psychic and every bet can lose. Until we have reviewed the best bet finding sites available we advise you to search for value bets yourself.

Best Horse Racing Betting Offers

The majority of sites in the UK offer Free bets that are valid on their horse racing betting markets. Some have specific horse racing betting promotions and we will look at the details of these now. 

Best Odds Guaranteed

Probably the best thing to happen for horse racing punters since the betting exchanges began, competition in the market has made almost every horse race betting site offer this promotion. It does not, repeat not, mean that the betting site guarantees to have the best horse racing odds! (We know that may appear strange). What it means is that if you take an early price from a bookmaker and the horse's odds drift so that when the race starts the official starting price is higher, then when it comes to the bet settlement you will receive the larger odds. This profit boost is paid as cash and has made the need to time your bets redundant, you can bet at anytime safe in the knowledge that your odds can only stay the same or get better.

Extra Places

One of the most common horse racing betting markets, after the "win" bet, is that a horse will win or place, and this is known as an each-way bet. We go into the details in this article a little below, but the principle is that all races have an official number of places paid which depends on the type of race it is and the number of horses running. This offer will see your horse paid as a winner on the place part where at a different bookmaker it would be a loss. No bookmaker offers extra places on every race but if you are ever betting each-way checking to see if any bookmakers are paying an extra place on the race you want is a very good idea.

Free Bets

It is possible to get Free bets when you are betting on horse racing for a number of different offers. These are generally known as "if" bets and are awarded, as the name suggest, "if" certain things happen in the race. This can range from if your horse falls at the first fence, to if your horse loses by less than a short head, through to if your horse finishes second. There are more than just this and different bookmakers all have their own "if" criteria but the best offer is probably from Geoff Banks, who offers money back as Free bets up to £100 if you finish second in any UK or Irish horse race.

Enhanced Odds

Some bookmakers are known to regularly take horses in one of the featured races of the day and boost (or enhance) their odds to make it the best odds available at any sports betting website. When they do this it is because it generates traffic for them and the hope is that your first bet may be on the enhanced odds choice but you will stay around and bet on other things later on. Beware that the enhanced odds do not HAVE to actually be the best odds on the market or are even any good. They are simply higher than that bookmaker was previously offering.

Best Priced (Price Promise)

When a bookmaker guarantees that their odds are the best in the market then this is generally called a "Price Promise", and they may advertise the fact that they are the best priced bookmaker. You will find several T&C's attached to this which are most commonly that they will be best priced on the morning of, or maybe in the hour before, or even the 15 minutes before one specific race and they will match only four or five other brands, not every bookmaker in the market.

Double Result & First Past The Post

It does not happen often but sometimes a horse hampers the chances of another horse, usually by getting in the way, and when this happens there is what is known as a Stewards Enquiry. This is when the officials responsible for the race review the footage of the race and speak to the jockeys concerned, and try to come to a decision on what the fair result should be. This decision can promote horses up the finishing order and also demote them down, even in some cases removing them alltogether. Once this has happened to you, and you have watched your horse win and celebrated and gone to collect your winnings only to learn the result has been changed will you understand the value of this offer. If you want to be able to celebrate with absolute certainty that you have won as your horse crosses the line then betting with a double result or first past the post bookmaker is essential.

Best 3 Horse Racing Betting Apps

If you intend to be betting on the go, and would like to be able to log in to check your bets, and maybe place new ones, anytime and anywhere, then you will probably be using a mobile App to do it. Three of the best Apps from sites in the UK are:

Ladbrokes

The Ladbrokes App is available for either iOS or Android devices and can be downloaded for free from the relevant app stores. The app maintains all the features of the website and is just as good. There are all the same betting markets, promotions, bet builder and cash out features.

Once you have downloaded the App you will have easy access to your account and receive push notifications so you never miss a thing. You can deposit will all the same payment methods that the website allows and this time there is the additional option of using Apple Pay if you have an iOS device. Using facial recognition technology you are not required to enter your card details each time and the deposit is charged directly (via your Apple) to your bank.

Ladbrokes mobile App race card.

SBK

Smarkets, who are easily one of the best online horse racing betting sites for odds found customers were being baffled by their exchange interface. To solve the problem they developed SBK which is their sportsbook available only via mobile App. It is a backing only version of the betting exchange Smarkets. It has carried over the unique financial trading look and feel but simplified it for ease of use on a standard mobile phone screen. The App is aesthetically pleasing, it functions flawlessly and has the odds of an exchange but with the simplicity of a bookmaker. The new customer offer of £30 worth of risk free bets is also great and these Free bets are valid for 90 days which is ideal and means you can plan your wagers carefully.

SBK mobile App horse racing betting card.

Bet365

The Bet365 App can be downloaded quickly and easily onto both Apple and Android devices. It is sleek, has excellent performance and allows access to the full range of sports and betting markets provided by the Bet365 website itself. There are around 30 sports for you to bet on, all have superb odds, and you can access every feature such as cashing out your bets and streaming the races live to your phone. Bet365 has a cracking Welcome bonus which is compatible with opening a new account on the App and also regularly throw price boosts and completely free, no deposit, Free bet credits to existing customers now and then.

Bet365 horse racing betting card.

Bookmakers With Best Mobile Apps For Betting

What are the different types of odds?

When you are betting on horse races (or Greyhound Races) you will often hear reference to the odds as either the starting price or the early price (also known as the board price). They are very different things, and we will explain why.

Starting Price

The starting price is a form of Tote betting, which for a long time had a monopoly over UK horse racing betting. The way it works is that all stakes are placed on the horses, and then at the end the total amount staked is divided by how much was staked on each horse, giving a ratio (after a deduction for running costs and profit) of how much will be paid to the winner. The downside of this type of betting is that you do not know exactly what odds you will get if your horse wins you are only given a guide. There are two advantages though, as well as going down it is possible for the SP to go up from when you placed your bet. The main advantage though, is that you can wager large sums on this without fear of being restricted by the betting sites.

At today's online betting sites you will mainly see SP offered for foreign races or those races happening over a day away where they have not had time to allocate odds compilers and make a book. A race card will look like this:

SP horse racing odds for an international race.

The above is from a race at Club Hipico in Chile. You can see when you place a bet on one of the horses you at this stage have no idea what your returns will be if it wins.

SP horse racing odds on a bet slip.

Placing horse racing bets using the starting price is quite an old-fashioned thing to do and not many of the younger generation use it unless you have no choice.

Early Price

The early price is odds which are fixed and can not change for your bet. They can alter throughout the day for everyone else but once your bet is struck at those odds then they are fixed. These days a number of bookmakers offer "Best Odds Guaranteed" which is a promotion where if at the start of the race the SP is higher than your odds you are paid at the SP anyway. This is a very good promotion and the best horse racing betting sites will all have it.

The early prices are known as board prices 15 or so minutes before a race begins, and it is these prices which affect the makeup of the SP but as far as the normal punter is concerned there is no difference.

Ante-Post betting

With most bets placed a day or two before a race they will be classified as NRNB, and this stands for "No runner, no bet". If your horse does not go down to the beginning of the race and be stood with the others when they are declared "under starters orders", then you will get your money back. This is not true with Ante-Post bets, where if your chosen horse does not win that particular race then your bet loses. These bets are usually longer term bets placed months in advance and the odds can be considerably better than waiting for the NRNB to come into play. You do of course run the risk that the horse is withdrawn and runs a different race instead and these bets are usually only for professional or certainly more advanced gamblers.

What Are Each-Way Bets?

Each-way betting is a type of bet which can only really be used for Horse Racing in the true sense. What you are doing is placing two different bets at once with half of your stake placed on your horse winning just like normal. The other half of the bet is put on your horse "placing" and this is a bit more complicated. If your horse does not win but does finish in the places then that half of the bet is a winner and you are paid 1/5 of the odds (it can be 1/4 sometimes). You can bet each-way on any horse but it is most common with outsiders who are unlikely to win but are going to finish a lot closer than the odds suggest. Quite how close to the winner you must finish to "place" will vary from race to race, but it will usually be the top two, three or four.

All betslips begin as win single bets.

Above you can see a normal bet, staking £1 and the "Each Way" box has not been ticked, it is still empty. The bet returns £5 because the horses' odds are 4/1 (Decimal 5).

If your online betting then Each Way bets are easy.

By ticking the "Each Way" box and nothing else, the stake amount inputted is still £1 you can see the total stake amount at the bottom has risen to £2 and now the potential return is £6.80. This is because the extra £1 is betting on the horse finishing either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd and will be paid 1/5th the odds if it does. So £4 divided by 5 is 80p, plus the £1 stake is £1.80.

If the horse wins the each-way bet your £2 stake returns £6.80 (£4.80 profit)

If the horse is second or third then your £2 stake returns £1.80 (£0.2 loss). Not as bad as it could have been but this is why most each-way bets are on outsiders of 5/1 or greater as a rule.

If the horse is 4th or worse, then the return is £0 (£2 loss).

Types of Horse Race Bets

There are several ways that you can combine your bets on more than one horse. Betting on each individually is simplest and these bets are known as singles. When you add more than one horse to the betslip it becomes an accumulator bet, and there are many permutations which can be used and we will explain them below.

Single

A single bet is the simplest type of bet, it is when you bet on just one horse to win the race, and that is it. Your return will always be either zero (if they do not win) or your stake amount multiplied by the odds (if they do win) which we show below:

A horse racing single bet.

In this example you stake £1 on the horse Winding Roe to win the 13:43 at Newton Abbot at odds of 4.5. If they win your returns are £4.50 (which is £3.50 profit), if they lose then you lose £1.

Double

If you want to bet on two horses you can do it as two singles like below:

A horse racing double bet.

Your total stake amount is £2 now, and if they both win then your return is £8 (£4.5 + £3.5) which is a £6 profit. It is worth noting here that you would make a profit if only one horse wins. However, some people would like a higher return from a smaller stake amount so they combine the bet into a double. What this means is that the stake and winnings from the first bet are automatically put onto the second race meaning if both horses win you get exponentially large winnings.

The odds of every horse racing bet is shown on the betslip.

In this example you can see that doing this raises the odds to 15.75 (Because this is 3.5 x 4.5) and now a £1 stake returns £15.75 which is a profit of £14.75. You can see instantly the massive profit increase and why Accas have such a strong appeal. The downside is that one horse can win but if the other horse loses, you will still get nothing and lose your stake amount.

Treble

A straight treble Acca is exactly the same principle as a Double bet only you have taken it a step further and added another horse.

A horse racing treble bet.

When you bet on a treble three horses are included in the bet, it is an extension of a double and this time all three horses must win for you to get a return, and the return is the maximum amount possible if you get it but you will get zero if just one horse does not win, even if the other two do.

Horse betting sites display the odds of each bet, in this case a treble bet.

The odds are beginning to really motor up now though, up to over 44/1 (Because this is 3.5 x 4.5 x 2.88) and now a £1 stake returns £45.28 which is a profit of £44.28. Despite all the horses we chose being favourites in the race the odds are now very high, and this is why people who place Acca bets usually add three or four legs (but there is no fixed rule to this).

Trixie

System bets require you to pick three horses to win the race (or you can bet each-way too) but this time your bet is split into many different lines. Not every online horse racing betting site will have the option to place system bets but the best ones generally will. Note that with all system bets you enter the amount you want to bet per line, but each one will have many lines and it is the stake per line multiplied by the number of lines which gives your total stake amount. A Trixie bet is one of these types and it is four bets rather than one. You have one bet on the treble, being Horses A, B, and C all to win. You then have three bets on the three possible doubles; A and B win, B and C win, or A and C win. This makes for a large payday if all three horses win still, you have four losing bets, but it has the advantage that if just one horse lets you down, you are still likely to make a profit. If you bet £1 per line on a Trixie bet, it will cost you a total of £4.

Patent

A Patent bet is another form of three horse system bet but this time split into seven individual bets. It is the same as a Trixie bet but this time there all also an additional three bets on each horse individually as a single. The total bets that you place are, Horse A to win, Horse B to win, Horse C to win, Horses A and B to win, Horses A and C to win, Horses B and C to win, Horses A, B, and C to win. Doing this means a large profit if all three horses win, some profit if two of the three win, and usually getting your money back if just one does but these figures will depend on the odds you get given. A bookmaker will only tell you the total return if all three horses win on your betslip, the amount you win if one or two horses win can only be calculated at the end once all bets settle.

Yankee

A Yankee bet is a slightly larger accumulator bet that now requires four selections. It is the same principle though in that you recieve a large profit if all four horses win but still something if one or even two lose. Your bet stake is split into 11 different bets, composing of 6 doubles, four trebles, and one fourfold! You are betting on the double bets: Horses A and B to win, Horses A and C to win, Horses A and D to win, Horses B and C to win, Horses B and D to win, and Horses C and D to win. You also have the four triples, Horses A, B and C to win, Horses A, B, and D to win, Horses A, C and D to win, and Horses B, C, and D to win. Finally you have the quadruple Horses A, B, C and D to win. As above it is virtually impossible to know your returns before all the races have been run but a bookmaker can tell you the maximum payout you recieve if all four horses win,

Super Yankee

A Super Yankee (also known as a Canadian) is just like the Yankee bet above only this time it involves five horses rather than four. As you would logically expect there are now more lines to bet on in total. It consists of 26 individual bets with ten doubles, ten trebles, four five-fold accumulators and one five-fold

Heinz

A Heinz bet can be placed when you have six different horses running in your Acca. Your bet is now split into a massive 57 separate bets. It is made up of 15 Doubles, 20 Trebles, 15 Four-Folds, 6 Five-Folds and a Six-Fold Accumulator.

A Heinz is one of the most complicated horse racing bet.

An example of a Heinz bet is above and you can see the total stake is £5.70, that was because the stake per line was 10p, and this is how £5.70 was arrived at. The total return of £741.61 is if all 6 horses win, should 4, or 5 horses win then it will be a lower amount but it is not possible to work out how much yet because we do not know which four or five horses it will be. If three of the picks (or less) win then the return in zero.

How To Bet On Horse Races

Again every bookmaker will be slightly different but you are very likely to see the next race, or races, to start displayed in detail on this page with the horses running and their odds visible, you can bet on those races from here! If (as is likely) the race you wants is further away then all the meetings today (and tomorrow usually) will be listed, and you click on that, and then you will see the six or seven races happening at that course on that day and you pick the start time of your race to view the details.

  1. In order to bet on a horse race, you must log into your racing bookies betting account balance available to use (if you do not then you must deposit some money).

  2. Once you have money in your account navigate to the horse racing section, all betting sites have a slightly different layout but most bookmakers prioritise it near the top of their sports lists, if it is not there then the lists are usually alphabetical so scroll down to "H" to find it. Click on this and open this area.
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  3. Again every bookmaker will be slightly different but you are very likely to see the next race, or races, to start displayed in detail on this page with the horses running and their odds visible, you can bet on those races from here! If (as is likely) the race you wants is further away then all the meetings today (and tomorrow usually) will be listed, and you click on that, and then you will see the six or seven races happening at that course on that day and you pick the start time of your race to view the details.

  4. Once you have clicked on the race you want then the display will look something like that below:
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    Every betting site is slightly different but it is likely that you will be shown not just the names of the horses but also their jockeys and trainers, and importantly if you will be watching In-Play their silk colours too. The best horse racing betting sites will add their weight, age, and current form as well. You will be shown the odds for each horse and this will even be a number if you are taking what is called the Early Price, and this days is very common and we recommend, but if ever you see the letters "SP" that means you are betting at the Starting Price and you will not know your odds until the race starts.

  5. On your betslip you need to enter your stake amount and also decide if you are going to be betting each-way or not. If you are then you need to tick the small box on the betslip near your stake amount but if you just want to bet on the win ignore it. Once your stake amount is entered you will be shown your total return if you win, if you are happy with everything that click "Place Bet"
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  6. As long as everything is OK (and the only real potential issue is that the odds have changed, in which case you need to resubmit at the new odds) you will be shown a confirmation screen.
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    You can make a note of this information if you wish but there is no need to really because it is all stored automatically in your account history.

Popular Horse Races Betting Events

The Grand National

When it comes to betting in the UK, nothing brings the nation together more than the Grand National. The spectacle typically draws in bets from around 13 million people, (roughly a third of the adults in the UK) totalling over £650m each year. It is not just the UK though, there are an estimated 600m people who watch on TV from around the World, it is by some distance the world's favourite horse race. It was first run in 1839 and it has a total distance of 4 miles and 2½ furlongs (very nearly 7km) making it the longest race in the UK. Not only this but its fences are higher and wider than a standard national hunt fence. Due to the difficulty of the course and the danger associated with it the modern event has been made considerably safer than before with fences lowered and modified, as well as the rules on remounting being changed. It is safer now and it is better for it, although unfortunately horses still regularly die, prompting protests from animal rights activists to have the race banned.

Cheltenham Festival

Not a race as such but a race meeting, commonly known as the "festival", the Cheltenham meeting is run over four days with seven races on each day, so 28 in total. That was up to now but there is serious speculation that it will be extended to a fifth day in 2023 with the Gold Cup taking place on the Saturday. Every race at Cheltenham brings together the best of the best and it is the dream of every jockey and trainer to have a Cheltenham winner. The main races to look out for that bring the best of the best together are the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Champion Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Stayers' Hurdle.

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe describes itself with the phrase "Ce n'est pas une course, c'est un monument" which translates as "It's not a race, it's a monument". The race is run at Longchamp in France over a distance of 2.4km and takes place every year on the first Sunday in October. Often referred to as simply the "Arc", it is mainland Europe's most prestigious horse race. The prize money on offer (in 2021 €5,000,000 with €2,857,000 to the winner) it is Europe's richest turf race.

Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is the most famous horse race in Australia. It is a 3200-metre race run by a field of 24 horses all of whom must be three year olds or above. It is run at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. It is the richest "two-mile" handicap in the world and one of the richest turf races. The event starts at 3:00 pm on the first Tuesday of November and is known locally as "the race that stops the nation".

The Kentucky Derby

Much like the Grand National in the UK, the Kentucky Derby has become a major part of the sporting year for the whole nation, not just those who usually partake in horse race gambling. Even people with no interest in horse racing stop to take notice of the Kentucky Derby. It is dubbed "The Run for the Roses" because of the roses traditionally draped over the winner. It is also known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" because of how long it takes from start to finish. It is almost always run on the first Saturday in May at the Churchill Downs dirt track in Kentucky.

Horse Racing Tips For Bettors

When you are horse racing betting there are a large number of factors that influence who is going to win the race. Some of them may play a large part, and some of them may only have a small effect, but they will all contribute in some way to the eventual outcome. It is important for horse racing punters to consider them all when attempting to analyse a race.

  • Form: Probably the most obvious thing to consider is the form, and this means how has this horse been doing recently. If he has won or placed in his last three starts then he is obviously not a donkey and should not be ruled out here. If the horse has finished 20 lengths back each race or been pulled up, then there is a good chance that the horse is just there to make up the numbers. Always look at the form closely and consider not just the finishing position but also look at who the horse had to beat and who it lost to, doing this will give an insight into the bigger picture.

  • Jockey: Having a great jockey riding your chosen horse will not guarantee you'll, but having a bad jockey can guarantee that you won't! It takes a lot of skill riding a horse to victory, firstly making sure that you can stay on for the whole race if it is jumps, and also knowing your horse's limitations and strengths, knowing how the other horses race, and being able to steer your horse to victory not being blocked on the way. Research your jockey as much as the horse, and make a note if the jockey only has one horse to ride that day, because they are unlikely to have travelled all that way if there is no chance of them winning. They might not win, but they are there to try!

  • Trainer: A trainer is responsible for a horse's performance and notably also its improvement from one race to another. Some trainers are better than others, some trainers you will learn only sometimes enter horses with the intention to win, other times it is just to give them a run and/or affect the handicap. Knowing when a trainer has been grooming a horse specifically for one race can pay dividends the day that race comes.

  • Horse Age: The age of a horse gives an indication of its likely stamina and also whether it is going to go faster or slower than its last run. Avoid horses that are too young as without experience they may bolt the start, or get stuck in the gate, but also be wary of horses getting older because we all have a sell by date!

  • Post Position: Some tracks, not all but some, have a different surface and/or a tight bend soon after the start. Sometimes where you are positioned at the start can be a big advantage or a big disadvantage. Each course will be different but if you see in the last ten races the horses drawn 1-5 have had the winner in, and those drawn in stalls 6-10 have never placed, where will you want your horse to be starting?

  • Going: The "going" refers to the condition of the ground and how soft it is. Some horses run better on softer ground than others, quite noticeably better. Softer ground favours horses who are plodders, slow and steady and will keep on going no matter what, they may not have a high top speed but they have stamina. Other horses may have a high top speed but can keep it up only on good ground, and they are nothing like as good when there has been rain overnight. Knowing the ground and crucially how each horse performs relative to that is essential in finding value bets.

  • Distance: The distance is useful when used in combination with the horse's form, and how they finished the last race. If a horse has come second or third but was gaining on the leaders over the last furlong and passed them not far past the post then a step up in trip will be an advantage. If a horse has won but only just clinging on as everyone clawed them back towards the line, then reducing the trip would be a positive, and going any further a definite question mark next to their name.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is a lot to take in when you start betting on horse racing and anyone just starting out should take it slowly whilst they find their feet. There is nothing wrong with joining several of the horse race betting sites with better sign up offers, for example Paddy Power has a completely risk free £10, and the SBK App gives £30 in Free bets. Use those to trial and error the different bet types to get a feel for things, use the live streaming services to watch the races and see what factors were involved in deciding the eventual winner. Use what you learn to make your future bets more shrewd and with any luck you will find your performance improving week after week. (But remember to always gamble responsibly)

The top betting sites are… 

Here at Legalbet we have also categorised the top betting sites and their features to make them easier for you to find. They are:

By Sport: Football | Tennis | Boxing | Cricket | Snooker | Golf | UFC | Darts | Greyhound  | Rugby | Horse Racing | Basketball | Baseball | Formula 1 | Ice Hockey (NHL) | Volleyball | Cycling

By Payment Systems: PayPal | Skrill | Klarna | Boku | Debit Cards | Apple Pay | Paysafecard | Neteller | Google Pay | Prepaid Cards

By Features: Cash Out | £5 Minimum Deposit | Minimum Bet Sizing | Live Streaming Betting Exchanges | Safest | Fast Withdrawal | Daily Free Games

By Events: Politics | Superbowl

By Esports: CS:GO | Dota 2League of Legends | PUBG | Valorant

Frequently Asked Questions

How to bet on horse races?

To bet on a horse race is no different to betting on anything else, you just navigate to the race you want, click on the odds of the horse that you want, enter your stake (and if it is an each-way bet click that box), and then submit.

Is horse race betting legal

Yes, horse race betting is legal in the UK as long as you are over 18 years of age and are gambling using your own money.

Who has best odds guaranteed in horse racing?

There are a large number of bookmakers who are "Best Odds Guaranteed" but when this applies will vary between them. It is safe to say that any bets placed after 10am will qualify for this offer though.

Which betting sites have horse racing live?

To watch horse racing live the majority of UK bookmakers show this but often you need a funded account or to have bet on the race. If you just want to watch horse racing Geoff Banks is the best because all customers can log in and watch for free.

Can a bettor place a bet on all the horses in a race?

Yes you can, and this is something that would be strongly encouraged by bookmakers. Because the horse racing betting odds have a built in margin doing this will just lose you money because the winnings from the horse that does win, will not cover the losses from the rest.

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