Horse racing takes place over 360 days of the year in the UK and Ireland. On a busy Saturday, there can be as many as eight meetings. Therefore there is never a shortage of opportunities if you want to be a place a bet on the sport.
There are two types of horse racing across the year. One is flat racing. This typically takes place between April and October when the weather is fair. The horses run on a flat course at distances between five furlongs and two miles, four furlongs. The Derby, won by Harzand in 2016, is the most prestigious flat race in the UK.
The other type is national hunt racing, where horses are required to jump obstacles. These can either be hurdles or fences across the season, which runs from October until April. The most famous race in the world is the Grand National, run over the marathon trip of 4m4f over big fences, won in 2018 and 2019 by Tiger Roll.
So what are the types of bets you can place in horse racing?
The most common and straightforward way to bet on horse racing is to choose a horse to win a particular race. You can either take the odds on your horse winning at the time of striking your bet, or opt to take the starting price.
The shorter the odds, the better chance your horse has of winning, in theory. If your horse is the favourite in the betting, it often means it is the best horse in the race on paper or it has the best current form.
There are many different factors to consider when selecting a horse, such as the ground, distance, and weight it has to carry. If you require any advice or tips, though, there are a number of different sites available to help you select a winner.
Looking at the likes of TimeForm or the Racing Post will give you a good guide as to which horses could potentially run big races.
An each-way bet basically means you are betting on the horse to win and betting that it will place. So it’s two bets in one. It covers more bases and gives you more chances of getting a return on your money.
Because an each-way bet is effectively two bets, it will cost you twice as much. So if you wanted to place a total bet of £10 on each-way, that would be £5 on the win and £5 on the place.
It is important to check the place terms. They are based on how many runners are in the race. The more runners, the more places. And by ‘place’ we mean 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th place.
Some bookmakers offer enhanced place terms on certain races, so it is always best to shop around before having your punt.
A forecast is a great chance to win big from a small stake. In order to be successful, you need to select both who places first and who places second in your race.
If you place a straight forecast, you have to get the right order. However, a reverse forecast allows you have the horses in any order as long as you choose the ones that finish first and second.
In certain cases in horse racing, you will be allowed to place a match. This is where you take a horse to finish ahead of another horse in the same race.
It does not have to win the race at all. Your horse only needs to cross the line ahead of your opponent for you to win the bet.
This is popular when two horses have similar odds, like Santini and Lostintranslation in the Gold Cup. Both are great horses and either could beat the other. As long as you pick which one will finish ahead of the other, you win.
Betting on horse racing is one of the most exciting sports to take a punt on. You have more options than most sports and a range of bets and even horse racing games to choose from. Good luck with your selections.