One of the biggest sports for betting in the United Kingdom in terms of tradition, number of fans and excitement is, and always has been horse racing. While football is certainly the most popular sport for betting on the planet at this time, it certainly hasn’t been in preference tops forever. This is also due to the fact that some games have appeared much before it, and have had a good level of fans over the years.
Deeply rooted in the UK sports betting scene, horse racing betting was also one of the first sports which developed a betting market. When analyzing the competition, it quickly becomes clear that we’re looking into a piece of British history, both regarding practicing and betting. But can we know how big the betting scene really is?
Best Online Bookmakers For Betting On Horse Racing In 2020
Choosing The Best Betting Site For Horse Racing
Speaking of betting sites, there aren’t that many which have placed a priority on horse racing as you might think. As a rule of thumb, the newer a bookmaker is to the UK betting scene, the less likely it has good offers for horse racing betting. There are some notable exceptions, though, since some new betting sites on the UK gambling scene are convinced that horse racing betting has an enormous potential which really must be exploited.
A Short Guide To Horse Racing Betting
Thankfully for horse racing enthusiasts, betting on these events is much simpler than in case of other sports. Obviously, there aren’t a lot of different outcomes in a horse race, except for the final position of each of the competitors. Of course, there are niche bets like backing a horse to fall or a jockey to break a leg, but the vast majority of horse racing bets can be divided into a few distinct categories:
Betting to win. You’re backing a horse to win the race. If the horse had odds of 9/1 (we use British odds since they are most common for horse racing) and you bet 10 pounds, you will win 90 pounds. Very straightforward.
Each-way betting. Simply put, your wager here is double a normal one and consists of two parts: the first part wins if your horse wins the race, and the second part wins if the horse gets placed. The payout for a placed horse is usually one forth or one-fifth of their payout to win. “placed” means the following: For 2-4 horses, only the first place counts. 5-7 horses means the top two horses are placed, 8-15 means top three, and over 16 means top four. Here is an example:
In a race with six horses, you place an each-way bet of 10 pounds on a horse with odds 4/1 to win. If your horse wins, you win 40 pounds, like a simple bet. If your horse comes second, and the payout for placing is ¼, you win ¼ * 40 pounds, which are 10 pounds. Since the each-way bet mostly consists of two 10-pound bets, you end up losing 10 pounds. This is why each-way bets on horses with odds under 5/1 are usually a bad idea.
Accumulators. These work vastly the same as with any other sports, and can be researched in one of our in-depth betting guides.
Forecasts and Tricasts. In these cases, you must correctly predict the top two horses in a race (forecast) or top three (tricast). Riskier, but worth the payout.
Scoop 6. On any given Saturday, you can place a 2-pound stake on the winner of 6 different races. Of course, this sounds a lot like playing the lottery, and it usually is.
Horse Racing Types
First things first, we have to point out that there are two main forms of horse racing in the UK. Flat racing is the more common and simple one, and has tracks running between 5 furlongs (roughly 1 km) and 2 miles, 5 furlongs and 159 yards. National Hunt Racing, on the other hand, involves several obstacles in the racing course. These courses are usually between 2 miles and 4 and a half miles and challenge the horses to jump hurdles, fences and other types of obstacles.
There is a niche category called National Hunt Flat Racing, which essentially has the same length as normal National Hunt Racing, but features no obstacles. Bear in mind; these are all official horse racing rules – there are plenty of amateur/ad-hoc competitions and races going on.
Major Horse Races In The UK
Speaking of official races, we have to mention the biggest horse racing events in the UK, most of which take place on a yearly basis. The season starts around March, with the Cheltenham Festival and the Blue Square Winter Derby in Lindfield. April and May have a good number of traditional races installed, but June is the home of arguably the biggest and most famous of them all: the Epsom Derby race.
The Royal Ascot race also takes places in June, while July is the home month of the Coral-Eclipse meeting race. The Grand National horse race takes place in April each year, while the autumn season is focused around the Ascot Champions Day (October) and the Paddy Power Open in Cheltenham (November). The horse racing calendar, as you can see, is a mix of traditional races which have been going on for centuries and new competitions, which have mostly arisen due to multiple bookmakers sponsoring new races.
About Horse Racing
Nowadays, horse racing betting generates just below 4 billion pounds in the UK economy. It’s the second most viewed spectator sport in Great Britain and has been around for centuries. Historically, horse racing was born in Roman times, when thousands of people gathered on hippodromes to watch both horse racing and chariot racing.
During the dark ages, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the sport was overlooked for a few centuries, returning to British soil in the 16th century, when several horse breeding laws were passed. The sport grew in popularity ever since, with numerous clubs and breeding grounds appearing all over the island.
The sport’s success is closely tied to the betting industry as well. The two complement each other perfectly – for example, the betting industry is currently the biggest source of funding for horse racing in the UK.
To sum up, it’s very clear that the British are gigantic fans of horse racing. There are tons of bookmakers which pay very close attention to the sport, and the overall sensation is that the betting scene around horse racing will only continue to go. Bear in mind that sports betting can be very addictive, and there have been quite a few records of people betting out their entire fortune on a horse winning a race. If you have patience and discipline, horse racing betting can provide quite an enjoyable experience, and more than decent profits.