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 in 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 code is national hunt racing, where horses are required to jump obstacles, either 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 last year by Rule the World.
The most common and straightforward way to bet on horse racing is to choose the 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. 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, including Oddschecker, for the latest daily horse racing tips from the likes of Andy Holding.
If you back a horse each-way, your total stake is split between a win bet and place bet. Those who like to play each-way appreciate that it gives them a better chance of picking up a return after the race.
Before you place an each-way bet, it is important to check the place terms, since how many placings each race pays out on can differ greatly. This will depend on the type of race and how many runners line up. 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 Cue Card and Coneygree recently in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, where Cue Card just got the better of his rival.
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 type of bets to choose from. Good luck with your selections.