Horse Racing Betting

Horse Racing Betting

Horse Racing Betting Explained

When you think horse racing you can’t help but this of some of the greats that have graced this magnificent sport. Lester Pickot, Richard Dunwoody and A.P McCoy are names that even the non-betting public has heard of over the years.

Horse racing is broken up into two different codes, flat and jumps racing. Flat racing is predominate held during the summer months with races ranging from a 5-furlong sprint to the stamina-sapping 2 miles 4-furlong trip.

With all the hard work done during the depts of winter the hopes and dreams of every owner and trainer that they can produce the next superstar still in tacked. Flat racing is more of the business side of racing as the majority of the colts do not be gelded because of their potential value at stud after their racing career, and join the great sires like Saddlers Wells, Galileo and the most recent superstar Frankle who is already stamping his name a top sire.

Races like the Guineas, Derby and St. Ledger add huge value to the winning horse as a stallion prospect.

From a betting point of view meetings like Royal Ascot and Breeders Cup have a huge betting turnover in the UK alone. With many of the top horse from Europe and America competing in both meeting, it is a great chance to expand your bank balance with betting profit.

Jumps racing is run over two disciplines, hurdles and fences. Unlike flat horses, it is very rare that you will find a jumps horse that has not been gelded by the time he jumps a hurdle. Betting wise you can get attached to a particular horse year in year out as most jump horse will stay in training into their teens. The likes of Kauto Star, Hurricane Fly, Red Rum but to name a few help to add to the great storeys over the years.

From a betting standpoint, the markets for jump racing are wildly more available with the likes of the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National ante-post market being one of the most popular on the worlds leading sportsbook.

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Top Horse Racing Meeting


Cheltenham Festival (Jumps)

The Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is by far the biggest betting week of the year with around €172 million been spent on betting alone each year and is also the week when every person in Ireland and UK become horse racing experts. With 28 races to get your teeth stuck into you have no end of horses to try to turn the €/£10 into life-changing money.

One gamble in most recent years that sticks out in my mind is the then Karl Burked trained Hunt Ball, who himself started the season as lowly handicapper only to rocket up the ladder and end up running in the then Pulteney Lands Investment Novice Handicap Chase at the festival, and was back at prices as big as 66/1 on the months running up to the race and eventually went off 13/2 and duly obliging by winning by 8 lengths from White Star Line, sending lots of punters home with a skip in their step.

I can’t think of a better week in the year to start the week by smashing up the winner of the Supreme Novice Hurdle to get you off to a flyer. The months leading up to Cheltenham is like no other. As soon as the last race is run at the festival the talk and money starts to go down on the following season’s ante-post markets.

The Cheltenham Festival is by far the most active anti post markets when it comes to horse racing. Some of the leading bookmakers don’t miss a trick with the popularity of the Cheltenham ante-post markets with most of the big firms gone NRMB (Non-Runner Money Back) on the big 4 races at the festival ( Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and Gold Cup) and the Ryanair Chase. The one downfall with this is that nearly all horses in the non-runner money back races are clipped in in price. For example, the Willie Mullins trained Laurina was clipped into 7/2 from 9/2 with most firms, with the plusses obviously been that if your horse does not run in the race you have back him/her in when you will get your money back no questions asked.

Click here for the latest Cheltenham betting tips.

For all the latest Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Markets click the Paddy Power tab below.

Grand National (Jumps)

The race that stops a nation, the grand national is the single most bet on race of the year with around £150 million wagered alone on the race.

The 40 strong field gives everyone a chance to win big. From the local shopkeeper to your granny will more than likely have had a bet on the Grand National. The sight of 40 horses charging towards the first fence of the national draws a huge tv and track audience.

So, of the biggest gambles have been pulled off in this race, with the like of the Willie Mullins trained and Ruby Walsh ridden Hedgehunter where back off the boards into 7/1 like defeat was out of the question. There was never a moment worry when Ruby and Hedgehunter cruised to a 14-length success.

But the most famous gamble pulled off in the modern era of the National happened back in 2010, when Don’t Push got his head in front. It was backed from 25/1 into 10/1 favourite to give trainer Jonjo O Neill, owner J.P McManus their first win in the race. But what made this race go down in history was it was finally the race that A.P McCoy broke his national hoodoo at the 15th attempt.

Will we see another monster gamble again this year? Click here to find all the latest odds and betting tips for this year’s Grand National.

The Derby (Flat)


The Derby takes place every year at Epsom Downs the race every flat trainer, owner, jockey and breeder wants to win. Any winner of the Derby will go down in history as one of the great equine stars. Some of the names on the long list that you might recognise that have won the Derby such as Galileo, New Approach, Shergar, Sea The Stars, Golden Horn and most recently Masar.

The market is usually topped by the horse that set the pulse racing during his 2-year-old season. This year is no different with the Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber owned and John Gosden trained Too Darn Hot who is currently 3/1 market leader. As well as been named Too Darn Hot he has also been too darn hot for everything that was put before him to handle.

His nearest rival in the market is as big as 12/1 where you will find the Aiden O Brian Anthony Van Dyck.

In terms of the betting side of things, this is a race where the big players come out to play and invest big into the next star. Just before his final 2-year-old race at Newmarket I can recall a bet of £20,000 been placed on Too Darn Hot at odds of 6/1 to win the  Derby. Will that prove a good investment come May? I think there is a very good chance that he will be collecting form a downbeat bookmaker after the race.

The fillies also have their version of the Derby with the running of the Oakes the day before. This is also steep in history with winners such as wonder filly Enable, Snow Fairy, Sariska and Ouija Board amount the roll of honour.

The look of the market is much more open then the Derby with Iridessa the 14/1 current favourite.

Click here for the latest Derby and Oaks betting tips.

Royal Ascot (Flat)

Royal Ascot

The Cheltenham of flat racing, Royal Ascot provides you with the stars of the flat world coming together to battle over 5 days. This is the most prestigious meeting of the year where the Queen attends each day to witness the greatest horses that flat racing has to offer battle it out.

As like Cheltenham, Royal Ascot has year-round ante-post markets for most of their big races. So, if you see something that has caught your eye and fancy having a bet at big odds for Royal Ascot then there should be no problem in you getting on that soon to be winner.

Only 2nd to Cheltenham in terms of a betting spectacle, Royal Ascot is 5 days of top-class racing with top class horses. With 8 Group 1 races and another 19 Group races, there are plenty of top-class action to get stuck into. No day fails to live up to the hype and you can be sure to get great value for your buck on horses that

There is a new trend after hitting Royal Ascot when it comes to a huge gamble and it comes all the way from America. Wesley Ward is known for his point and shoot sprinters and when he aims them at Royal Ascot you better believe that they are speed demons. More likely then not you will be collecting from his star sprinter.

He has introduced us to superstars such as No Nay Never and Lady Aurelia in recent years.

If you have had one too many glasses of the bubbles then you could even be tempted to get involved in the ‘what colour the Queen wears’ betting market.

Click here to find all the latest betting tips for a Royal week of racing.

Betting Platforms

Have you ever wondered what markets are available when betting on a horse race?
Here is a guide on some of the most popular markets that are used on a daily basis and how they work.


Let’s start with the win or otherwise know as `On The Nose’. This is the most common way to bet and is as it sounds. You pick a horse that you think will win and sit back and watch the action unfold.

Each Way

The each way market is when you back a horse to finish placed in their respected race. For example, if you put €/£5 each way (total bet of €/£10) on a horse at odds of 10/1 and he/she places in the top 3 or 4 depending on the number of runners, then you will get 1/4 or 1/5 of the odds depending on the bookmaker you back with. But if you back each way and your horse goes onto win, then you will get your place money and the win amount as well.

Horse placed at 10/1 @1/4 of the odds = €/£17.50 return
Horse wins at 10/1 @1/4 off the odds = €/£72.50 return

Forecast & Tricast

Have you ever looked at a race and you’re split between two horses? Well, this is the market for you. Pick one horse to finish 1st and another to finish 2nd in the same race and if your prediction was to come in then you would be in for a healthy profit. For example, if your picks were to be correct and the winning horse won at odds of 7/4 and you pick to come 2nd came in at odds of 4/1 then you would collect €/£9.23 for every €/£1 you had placed on the forecast.

The same applies for a tricast bet. Pick the 1st, 2nd and 3rd in that order to in a race and you will find yourself picking up even a bigger profit than you thought. If you predicted the 1st, 2nd and 3rd in that order in the 2018 Gold Cup then you would have walked away with a nice €/£609.33 for every €/£1 you wagered.

You can also do reverse forecasts and tricast, which means you can pick 2 horses to finish 1st and 2nd in any order and the same goes for a tricast.

Distance Specials

A popular bet for races with odds on favourites. The distance specials give you a chance to get much better odds on a horse by predicting the winning distance.

You can also get prices on the winning distance of the race which takes out the trouble of picking the horse to do the winning for you.

Insurance Betting

Insurance bets are where you take shorter odds on a horse. For example, if the horse is 3/1 in the normal market you will be offered 2/1 under insurance betting.

This means if your horse wins you will be paid out on the odds taken under the insurance market, but if your horse places you will get your money back no questions asked.

Top Bookmakers That Offer All These Markets

Mr Green

The following exchanges also offer these markets



Here at BetOpin we have some of the best horse racing experts out there. So, any tips, reviews and odds that BetOpin offers up you can be sure that they are of the highest standard and will set you up to attack all the markets that sportsbooks have to offer.

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