Horse Racing

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Betting on Horse Racing

Horse racing is the second largest spectator sport in Britain and with that brings a strong betting wave. Across the nation only football attracts more punters week-on- week, which provides an obvious opportunity for bookmakers. The betting angles have always been limited, with the most common being the obvious win, each-way & forecast/tricast selections. However, as online betting has developed bookmakers such as SkyBet have opened up betting on Horse Racing with markets such as: ‘place, not to win & win by x lengths’.

Popular Markets


The ‘win’ market is self-explanatory. As with any sport, you are simply betting on a selection to win. So, in horse racing, if you back a horse to win then you require it to be first past the post to receive any profits. If the result is declared a ‘dead heat’ then you will receive half of the initial price. So, for example, if you took 10/1 on the nose and a dead-heat is declared the bookie will pay you out at 5/1. The each-way market has more to it and can often confuse first-time punters. When betting e/w you are placing two bets, one for the win and one for the placing. They are also settled as two bets, with the place part being calculated at a fraction of the odds (1/4, 1/5, 1/6) dependant on the bookmaker. The place-part is dependent on them finishing within the frame, which is 1 st , 2 nd or 3 rd in a normal 8-runner race, but can often be extended to as many as 6 in the bigger fields.


The Forecast/Tricast Markets prove popular with small-stake punters as there can be some nice returns when successful. The Forecast requires you to pick which horse will first and second, with the tricast also offering the additional 3 rd place.

If you get a tricast right the payout can be massive!


To Place

A market which is becoming more and more frequent on bookmaker sites is the ‘to place’ market. This is a new alternative to e/w betting, where you can back a horse just finish within the frame at a shortened price.

Not To Win

Another market which has found itself on some sites is the ‘not to win’ market. In a similar fashion to laying a horse on the exchange, you are betting on a horse not to win the race. This is a nice betting angle if you are firmly against a favourite!

To Win By ‘’x’’ Lengths

Another market growing in popularity is a horse to win by a certain distance. When horses such as Altior and Douvan race at odds of 1/4 there is little value for your average punter, therefore bookmakers enhance the odds by offering them to win by a certain length. E.g – Altior to win by 6l+.

Rookies Guide

Horse racing in the form which we know has been running since the 17 th Century. However, many of the big races around today originated in the 1700’s, a time when horse breeding and the sport itself became regulated.

There is more than one type of horse racing. Firstly, flat racing, which is the simplest form with horses racing over shorter distances down a straight line or around a curved track. Secondly, national hunt racing. This is far more complicated, involving obstacles around the track which must be negotiated with by the jockey and horse.

National Hunt is split into two separate categories (Hurdles & Chase). The difference between the two is the size of the obstacles, with horses competing in steeplechases having to jump much higher and solid fences. The hurdlers jump much smaller hurdles, meaning they are in much less danger of a fall.

In both types of horse racing, each race is classified to determine the level, purse value and quality of the race. Group/Grade 1 is the top level for flat & national hunt, with the classifications going as low as 7 for your average weekday racing.