Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in the UK 2022

Whether you’re a once-a-year punter who enjoys a flutter on the Grand National or someone who bets on daily meetings, we’ve found the best horse racing betting sites in the UK for you.

We list the leading horse racing betting sites by category, and our comprehensive guide covers everything you could possibly want to know about betting on horse racing, including:

  • The different types of bets in horse racing
  • Horse racing betting tips to help you win
  • Major horse races in the UK and beyond

Join one of our top-rated horse racing betting sites and claim your welcome offer.

Top UK Betting Sites for Horse Racing - May 2022
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Find the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites for You

No longer must you travel to a high street bookmaker, scribble your selection on a piece of paper and join a long queue to process your bet. Nowadays, millions of punters choose the more convenient option of joining one of the best UK betting sites. You can skip the queues, click a few buttons and bet on the latest horse races in seconds.

But not all horse racing betting sites are created equal, and we understand the importance of certain features varies from punter to punter. For instance, getting the best horse racing betting odds might be your only concern. Live streaming or virtual horse racing may be the priority for someone else.

Our table below lists the best UK horse racing betting sites by category, making it quick and easy for you to find your ideal site.

Best UK Horse Racing Betting Sites by Category

🏆 Best Horse Racing Betting Site
🎁 Best Horse Racing Betting Offers
🆕 New Horse Racing Betting Site
📱 Best Horse Racing Betting App
🏅 Best Grand National Odds
🔝 Top Royal Ascot Betting Site
🔝 Top Cheltenham Festival Betting Odds
🥇 Best Virtual Horse Racing Software

New Horse Racing Betting Sites in the UK

You may see an advert for a new horse racing betting site and dismiss it immediately. After all, why take the time to open an account with an unknown brand when you already have accounts with the heavyweights of the online betting industry? Well, there are several reasons to consider joining one of the newest horse racing betting sites in the UK.

With so many daily races in the UK and beyond, it takes a significant budget to hire competent horse racing odds compilers. Therefore, you can take confidence in new horse racing betting sites; they invest substantial sums to gain a foothold in the horse racing betting industry. They want to offer the best horse racing betting service possible.

New horse racing betting sites also offer attractive bonuses to entice new customers. You can take advantage of horse racing betting offers such as free bets and deposit bonuses, and concessions such as best odds guaranteed and faller insurance ensure you feel rewarded long after opening an account.

Bet £25, Get £25 in Free Bets

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Valid for new customers aged 18+. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. No wagering required with Free Bet winnings. Maximum win with Free Bets is £500. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs apply.

Best UK Horse Racing Betting Apps

Whether you’re at a racecourse, in your local boozer or watching all the action from the comfort of your home, the best UK betting apps for horse racing make it quick and easy to bet on mobile. Although virtually every horse racing betting site utilises HTML5 technology to ensure the site is responsive and optimised for mobile devices, dedicated horse racing betting apps offer an enhanced experience.

The best UK horse racing betting apps work seamlessly across all the main mobile operating systems, including Android and iOS. You can quickly swipe between races and meetings, tap the screen to add selections to your bet slip, and even watch all the action via live streams. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection (mobile data or Wi-Fi).

100% up to £50

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Valid until further notice. New players after 30.09.2020. Valid on first Sports bet. Min. dep. £10 req. Min. £10 wag. on the first bet with min. total odds of 3/4 to qualify. Bet must be settled. Bonus Wag. req.1x on min. 2-fold Acca bets (min. 1/4 odds each selection) with min. final odds of 4/5. Virtual and cashed out bets do not qualify. One-time offer. Bonuses credited following working day. T&Cs apply. 18+

Horse Racing Sites With Live Streaming

If you aren’t attending the racecourse in person, the race isn’t live on ITV, or you don’t pay a monthly subscription for dedicated racing channels such as Sky Sports Racing and Racing TV, then you might not get to watch your selection romp to victory – or fall at the first fence. Betting sites with live streaming solve this issue. You can watch all the action live in high definition on desktop, tablet or mobile.

The best horse racing betting sites with live streaming let you tune in as soon as the horses begin making their way towards the start line. However, you may have to meet certain conditions to access the stream. Although some horse racing betting sites allow you to watch races with no restrictions, others typically require a minimum bet of £0.50 to £1 per race.

Bet £10 Get £30

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Min deposit £10 with promo code: CHEL22 • The offer valid until Monday 23:59:59 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 on horse racing • Min odds 1/2 • €10 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus credited upon qualifying bet placement • £30 in Free Bets for the Cheltenham Festival split across three days during the event, log in required to receive €10 per day • Free Bets are valid for 3 days • Free Bet stakes are not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 60 days • Restrictions apply to withdrawals, payment methods & countries. Full T&Cs

UK Racing Sites With In-Running Betting

When you think about in-play betting, horse racing might not be the first sport that comes to mind. However, advances in GPS technology and data transmission times mean it has never been easier to bet on horses during races. The best live betting sites for horse racing present data on the position of every horse with an accuracy of no worse than 10cm, and a maximum time lag of 0.1 seconds.

Before you log in and bet on the latest race, it’s important to understand how different types of horses can be profitable for in-running betting. Front runners, hold up horses and strong travellers often present valuable live betting opportunities. For instance, if you know an outsider is a good front runner and the horse is dictating the tempo of the race, then you might back the horse to win during the race.

100% up to £50

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Valid for new customers aged 18+. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and full T&Cs apply.

Virtual Horse Racing: Bet on 3D Races

The demand for virtual horse racing betting sites has exploded in recent years. Races at UK meetings typically run 30-35 minutes apart during a four-hour window, whereas virtual horse races begin every minute and run 24/7. Fusing sophisticated software with absorbing animations, fictional jockeys navigate their horses around pixel-perfect racecourses as a fun alternative to betting on actual races.

Virtual horse racing software varies from bookmaker to bookmaker. One constant is that random number generators decide the outcome of each race. Bet365 is one of the best virtual horse racing betting sites, home to detailed racecourses such as Trentham Park and Aintree Park. Speaking of Aintree, Virtual Grand National betting has become an annual tradition for many punters.

100% up to £50

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Valid for new customers aged 18+. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and full T&Cs apply.

How to Bet on Horse Racing Online

Want to bet on horse racing online for the first time, but don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry, we’re here to show you how easy it is to have a flutter on one of the latest UK horse races. Follow our step-by-step guide below to join a horse racing betting site and pick a winner:

  1. Open Your Account
    Join a Horse Racing Betting Site
    Compare our top-rated UK horse racing betting sites and visit the site that ticks all your boxes. Choose to create an account and complete the registration process by entering personal details such as your name, address and date of birth. We also recommend completing the verification process at this stage.
  2. Find the Cashier
    Make Your First Deposit
    Access the banking section to view a list of accepted payment methods. The top horse racing betting sites in the UK support debit cards, e-wallets such as Skrill and PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, paysafecard, wire transfer, and more. Confirm your deposit amount and complete the transaction.
  3. Choose Your Deposit Method
    Browse Racecards

    Now you have a funded account, it’s time to navigate to the horse racing section and browse racecards. You can view the latest racecards, or click ‘Ante Post’ to bet on future races. Horse racing betting sites display everything you need to know about each race, including the jockey, going, and latest odds.

  4. Choose Your Deposit Method
    Pick a Horse to Win
    Take time to assess the runners and riders in the race and pick a horse to win. Click the horse’s odds to add the selection to your virtual bet slip. Remember to click the E/W checkbox if you want to bet each way. Next, enter your stake and confirm your bet. Now it’s time to cheer the horse to victory!

Horse Racing Betting for Beginners: Win or Each Way?

If you’re a newcomer to horse racing and want to learn more about the sport of kings before betting, we suggest starting with our introduction to horse racing.

Once you’re familiar with how British horse racing works, it’s time to join one of the best UK horse racing betting sites. But should you bet win or each way?

It ultimately depends on your selection’s price and your confidence in whether they will win or place. However, it’s important to know when to bet on a horse to win and when to bet each way, so let’s discuss both options.

What Is a Win Bet?

A single win bet is the most straightforward bet you can place at horse racing betting sites. You are simply betting on one horse to win a given race. To win, the horse you back must pass the post ahead of all the other horses in the race. If the horse fails to win, you lose your stake. If you’re new to horse racing betting, we recommend starting with single win bets before moving on to doubles, trebles and accumulators.


You bet £10 on Horse A to win at odds of 4/1. If Horse A wins, you get £50. Horse racing bookmakers calculate your return as £10 x 4 = £40, and you also receive your original stake of £10.

What Is an Each Way Bet?

Often written as EW or E/W, an each way bet is essentially two separate bets. Half your stake backs the horse to win, while the other half goes on the horse to place (the number of places is dependent on the number of horses in a race). All UK horse racing betting sites have an each way checkbox in their bet slip, making it easy to double your stake and get some insurance when betting on horses at longer odds.


You bet £10 each way (£20 total) on Horse A at 4/1: £10 to win and £10 to place. If Horse A wins, you win both bets for a return of £70.

Bookmakers calculate the win portion of your bet as £10 x 4 = £40, and they return your £10 win stake for a total of £50. As the place portion of your bet pays a quarter of 4/1, you also win £10 for the horse placing and the bookmaker returns your £10 each way bet for a total of £20.

Types of Bets in UK Horse Racing Betting

Now you know the difference between win and each way betting, let’s discuss some of the most popular bet types you can choose at the best UK betting sites for horse racing. Below we explain how to place a double, Lucky 15, Lucky 31 and Yankee. Once you understand how these popular horse racing bets work, you may consider experimenting with more adventurous bets such as a Goliath or Super Heinz.

And if you want to know your returns before the horse racing betting site settles bets, use our bet calculator. You can quickly and easily calculate returns for 32 different types of horse racing bets.


Once you get to grips with singles, the next logical step is to place a double. It’s simply a bet on two different horses in two different races. Both horses must win or place (if you bet each way) for your bet to be successful, and you’ll win more money than if you were to back each horse as a single.


You bet £10 on two horses (both at Evens) to win their respective races. If both horses romp to victory, you win £40 for a profit of £30, as opposed to £20 if you were to back each horse as a single.

Lucky 15

A Lucky 15 is a bet on four horses in four different races. As the name suggests, it involves 15 bets in total, broken down as follows: four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold. The inclusion of singles means it only takes one winner to guarantee a return. It may take a couple of wins and places to cover your stake (depending on the odds), but a Lucky 15 can be extremely lucrative.


You select four horses to win at 2/1 and stake £1 on each of the 15 bets for a total of £15. If all four horses romp home in first place, you receive the maximum payout of £255. If two selections win, you receive £33.

Lucky 31

If you receive several horse racing tips, why not pick five horses and place a Lucky 31? A Lucky 31 comprises 31 bets in total: five singles, ten doubles, ten trebles, five four-folds and one five-fold. Again, one winning selection guarantees a return, but the profit from a single winner won’t always cover the cost of placing a Lucky 31.


You select five horses (all at Evens) to win in five different races. You bet £1 on each of the 31 bets for a total outlay of £31. If all five horses win, you get £242 for a total profit of £211.


Another popular bet at horse racing betting sites is a Yankee. It’s a multiple bet that involves 11 betting combinations: six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold. As there are no singles, at least two of your four selections must win to guarantee a return. It’s a riskier bet than a Lucky 15, but it’s also cheaper.


You bet on four horses (all at Evens) to win in four different races. You bet £1 on each of the 11 combinations for a total outlay of £11. If all four horses win, you receive £72 for a total profit of £61.

Horse Racing Betting Offers for UK Punters

From free bets and enhanced odds to best odds guaranteed and non-runner no bet, the best UK betting sites for horse racing know how to reward new and existing customers. Below we discuss six of the most popular horse racing betting offers, complete with examples to help you understand how each offer works.

Best Odds Guaranteed

It’s important that you join a horse racing betting site offering best odds guaranteed (BOG). This concession means you can take the early price on UK and Irish horse races with zero downside.

If your selection’s starting price (SP) is greater than the price you take, the best horse racing betting sites settle your bet at the bigger price. If your selection’s price shortens, bookmakers calculate your return based on the initial price. In essence, BOG means you get the best odds on every horse in every race.

Example: £10 on Horse A to win at 5/1
If the odds drift to 6/1 at post time and your selection wins the race, horse racing betting sites with best odds guaranteed pay you at the better odds of 6/1. That’s an extra £10 in your pocket.

Horse Racing Free Bets

The best horse racing betting sites in the UK offer free bets to attract new customers. Many betting sites issue free bets to thank you for signing up, while others award free bets following your first deposit.

Free bets come in many different forms: risk-free bet, matched free bet, bet refunds, qualifying free bet, stake returned as a free bet, stake not returned, etc. However, it’s important that you understand how free bets work. There are strict terms and conditions to follow when you claim horse racing free bets.

Example: £25 matched free bet
Where a horse racing betting site offers a matched free bet, it means they match your bet to a certain amount. In this case, you qualify for a £25 free bet when staking £25 or more on a horse to win a race.

Non-Runner No Bet

Non-runner no bet (NRNB) has become a popular promotion at the best horse racing betting sites in the UK. If you back a horse and it doesn’t run in the race, the bookmaker returns your stake.

Bookmakers typically offer a non-runner no bet for same day racing, although some have extended their NRNB policy to the evening before race day. Non-runner no bet is particularly beneficial during winter months and major racing festivals, when adverse ground conditions can lead to several withdrawals.

Example: £10 on Horse A to win at 10/1
You bet £10 on Horse A to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup at 10/1. It favours firm ground, but torrential rain means the going is heavy. The trainer withdraws Horse A from the race, and the bookmaker returns your £10.

Extra Place Offers

Extra place offers pay up to seven places rather than the standard two, three or four places. Although this will affect the horse racing betting odds, it might give you an extra reason to back a longshot.

The best bookmakers for horse racing run extra place offers for competitive handicap races and those with large fields such as the Grand National, Ayr Gold Cup and the Northumberland Plate. With additional places on the standard each way terms, this is your chance to profit from a longshot placing.

Example: £10 each way on Horse A to win at 50/1
You bet £10 each way on Horse A to win the Grand National at 50/1. Let’s say the bookmaker is paying six places with odds of 1/5. Your selection places, securing a return of £110 for a healthy profit of £90.

Enhanced Odds

Enhanced odds, also known as price boost, is hands down one of the best horse racing betting offers. This promotion means the bookmaker increases the odds of a certain horse, or horses, in a given race.

The best betting sites for horse racing offer enhanced odds to attract new customers. For instance, they may offer 20/1 on a 2/1 shot for all new customers – with strict terms and conditions, of course. Many bookmakers also offer enhanced odds to reward existing customers, although offers aren’t as extravagant.

Example: Horse A goes from 2/1 to 20/1
As a new customer, you back Horse A to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup at 20/1 (its true odds are 2/1). There may be a max bet to avoid bonus abuse, but it’s still a good excuse to open a new betting account.

Faller & Fail to Finish Insurance

How many times have you watched your selection pull up or fall at a fence? It’s one of the most frustrating aspects of betting on horse racing, but faller and fail to finish insurance offers some protection.

Faller and fail to finish insurance means bookmakers return your stake should your selection pull up or fall. This is particularly useful when betting on races with large fields such as the Grand National, where famous fences create chaos and result in multiple horses pulling up, falling or jockeys taking a tumble.

Example: £10 on Horse A to win at 10/1
You bet £10 on Horse A to win the Grand National at 10/1. Unfortunately, your horse falls at Becher’s Brook. With faller and fail to finish insurance, the bookmaker returns your £10 stake.
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Horse Racing Betting Odds Explained

In layman’s terms, horse racing betting odds are the mathematical representation of how likely a horse is of winning a race. In theory, every horse has an equal chance of winning any given race; each horse has four legs and can pass the post in first place. But factors such as horse and stable form, ground conditions and the level of opposition all influence the likelihood of which horse will triumph.

Horse racing betting sites employ competent odds compilers to set the odds for every race. They study ratings, statistics, form lines and various other factors to price every horse in every race. Although nothing is guaranteed in horse racing, the horse with the shortest odds is the most likely to win. In contrast, the horse with the longest odds is the least likely to win.

Horse racing odds can appear in various formats, although UK horse racing betting sites provide odds in fractional format by default. Decimal odds are more common at European betting sites, but most betting sites allow you to seamlessly switch between fractional and decimal odds.

But how does each odds format work and how can you calculate your winnings? Find out below.

Fractional Horse Racing Odds

Fractional odds are the default odds format used by horse racing bookmakers in the UK. As the name might suggest, fractional odds represent the probability of a horse winning a race as a fraction, such as 1/2 (odds on) or 4/1 (odds against). The number on the left is the amount you stand to win, while the number on the right represents how many units you must bet to win the number on the right.

Here’s an example to explain how to calculate fractional odds:

Example: £1 on Horse A to win at 4/1

The number on the right (1) represents one unit of your stake. This could be any amount, but for the purpose for this example, we’ll say it’s £1. The number on the left (4) is what you win if you horse wins the race.

To calculate your return, multiply the number of the left with the number on the right (4 x £1). If the horse wins, you win £4. With fractional odds, you also win back your stake. Therefore, the final step is to add your initial stake to the return, in this case £4 + £1 = £5.

Decimal Horse Racing Odds

Decimal odds are even easier to calculate than fractional odds. Decimal odds represent the probability of a horse winning a race in decimal format, such as 1.5 or 5.0.

The important thing to remember when using decimal odds to bet on horse racing is that your initial stake is included in the number.

Here’s an example to show you how to calculate decimal odds:

Example: £1 on Horse A to win at 5.0

Using our fractional odds example again, 5.0 is the decimal representation of 4/1. You bet £1 on Horse A to win, with decimal odds of 5.0 meaning you stand to win £5 in total. Of this total, £1 is your initial stake and £4 is winnings.

Now you know that fractional odds of 4/1 and decimal odds of 5.0 are in fact the same thing. Apply the same logic to other horse racing odds, and it won’t matter which odds format you are presented with.


Rule 4 in Horse Racing Betting

Rule 4 of the Tattersalls Rules of Racing is an industry-wide deduction rule designed to protect horse racing bookmakers when there are non-runners in a race.

Trainers withdraw horses from races for various reasons; sickness, change of track conditions, starting position, and more. In the event of one or more withdrawals, the odds for all bets on remaining horses are adjusted, as fewer runners in a race increases the probability of each remaining horse winning.

Ultimately, the application of Rule 4 depends on which horse is withdrawn from the race and the depth of the field. For instance, it’s unlikely Rule 4 would apply in the case of a 50/1 shot being withdrawn from a field of 40 runners in the Grand National. However, were the 2/1 favourite to withdraw from the Queen Mother Champion Hurdle and leave just six runners, then Rule 4 applies.

When horse racing betting sites apply Rule 4, they always leave a note on settled bets and confirm the total deduction. Our Rule 4 deductions table below indicates how the rule may affect your payout.

Price at Withdrawal
% of Winnings
1/9 or shorter
2/11 to 2/17
1/4 to 1/5
3/10 to 2/7
2/5 to 1/3
8/15 to 4/9
8/13 to 4/7
4/5 to 4/6
20/21 to 5/6
Evens to 6/5
5/4 to 6/4
8/5 to 7/4
9/5 to 9/4
12/5 to 3/1
16/5 to 4/1
9/2 to 11/2
6/1 to 9/1
10/1 to 14/1
Over 14/1
No deduction
No deduction

Flat Racing v National Hunt: What’s the Difference?

If you’re new to betting on horse racing, it’s vital that you understand the differences between the two main codes of British horse racing: Flat and National Hunt racing. They both involve horses, jockeys, owners and shrewd horse racing punters trying to predict the outcome of races. However, each code tests different characteristics of a racehorse, and there’s various factors that can affect how you bet on horses online.

For instance, the shortest Flat race in the UK horse racing calendar is over one mile shorter than the quickest National Hunt race. It’s important to know this in case you fancy a flutter but are short on time.

Here’s more information on Flat and National Hunt racing in the UK.

Flat Racing

Flat racing is the shorter and faster code in British horse racing. Flat races test the speed and stamina of a horse, and the skill of the jockey in the saddle; jockeys must act decisively to position their horse, as split-second decisions can be the difference between winning and losing in the world of Flat racing.

Flat races are run on flat terrain over distances of a minimum of five furlongs (1,000 metres) and nearly two miles and six furlongs. Although most Flat races in the UK are run on turf, six all-weather tracks (Kempton, Chelmsford, Lingfield, Newcastle, Wolverhampton and Southwell) ensure there’s no shortage of Flat racing betting in the winter months – with evening races run under floodlights.

The Flat season traditionally begins in early April as the National Hunt season draws to a climax. The Lincoln Handicap, run at Doncaster Racecourse, is the first feature race of the season, which ends in style with Champions Day at Ascot in mid-October.

National Hunt Racing

National Hunt racing, also known as jumps racing, is the ultimate test of stamina and jumping ability. The strength and endurance requirements of jumping fences and ditches means horses that enter National Hunt races are typically bigger and older than the speedsters which compete in Flat races.

Most horses begin their career by competing in National Hunt Flat (NHF) races, also known as bumpers. A bumper horse race is designed to introduce inexperienced horses to racecourses with noisy crowds.

The best horses eventually graduate to hurdles, which run no further than three-and-a-half miles and require horses to jump over three-and-a-half foot hurdles. Successful horses progress to steeplechases, with obstacles including fences of at least four-and-a-half feet, open ditches and water jumps.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National are the flagship races in the National Hunt racing calendar.

Bet on the UK’s Most Popular Horse Racing Events

Horse racing is the second largest spectator sport in the United Kingdom. Over six million people pass through the turnstiles at British racecourses each year, and many millions more watch all the action live on dedicated horse racing channels such as Sky Sports Racing and Racing TV.

The UK is home to 59 racecourses; 19 flat courses, 24 jump courses and 16 mixed courses. Racecourses stretch from Perth in Scotland to the historic market town of Newton Abbot in Devon. From famous horse racing venues such as Aintree and Cheltenham to more quaint racecourses such as Fakenham and Ludlow, races take place across the country almost every single day.

Whether you enjoy a day at the races or prefer to follow all the action from the comfort of your home, ensure you take advantage of the best odds at one of the best UK horse racing betting sites.

Here’s an overview of the biggest events in the UK horse racing calendar:

Cheltenham Festival Betting

Considered the Olympics of National Hunt racing, the Cheltenham Festival attracts enormous crowds from all over the UK and Ireland. First held in 1860, the four-day festival takes place every March at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire, South West England. Feature races include the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Champion Hurdle, with the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup run on the last day of the festival.


Grand National Betting

First run in 1839, the annual Grand National takes place at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. It is one of the most famous and unpredictable races in the world, with horses required to jump 30 fences over two laps for a total distance of about 4 miles and 2½ furlongs. Famous fences include Becher’s Brook and The Chair, while notable winners include Red Rum and Tiger Roll.


Royal Ascot Betting

Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, Ascot Racecourse attracts the Queen and other members of the royal family every June for Royal Ascot. The Queen’s own horses have won races at Royal Ascot a number of times, including top-class thoroughbreds like Estimate and Whitechapel. The five-day festival features 13 Group 1 races each year, including the prestigious Gold Cup and Coronation Stakes.


Glorious Goodwood Betting

Officially known as the Qatar Goodwood Festival, ‘Glorious Goodwood’ is one of the undisputed highlights in the British Flat racing calendar. The annual five-day festival is held in July at arguably the world’s most beautiful racecourse, Goodwood Racecourse in West Sussex. The biggest races of the week are the Goodwood Cup, the Sussex Stakes, the Nassau Stakes and the Stewards’ Cup.

European Horse Racing Betting

Besides the UK, horse racing betting is extremely popular in European countries like France and Ireland. Half of the European horse racing venues are in France, with over 250 racecourses in operation. There are 26 major racecourses in the Emerald Isle, which host over 350 race meetings each year.

Prix de Diane Betting

Run at Chantilly Racecourse over a distance of 2,100 metres, the Prix de Diane is often referred to as the French Oaks. The Group 1 race is open to three-year-old thoroughbred fillies and takes place every year in June. Only six horses have completed the Prix de Diane/Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe double. The honours list includes Trève, Zarkava, Pearl Cap, Nikellora, La Sorellina and Allez France.

Galway Races Betting

Ireland’s biggest racing festival begins on the last Monday of July every year. The seven-day festival takes place at Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit, providing a mix of Flat and National Hunt racing. The Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle are two of the most prestigious races of the week. In addition to racing action, Ladies Day sees stylish ladies compete for Best Dressed Lady and Most Elegant Hat titles.

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Betting

Also known as the Arc, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the richest horse race in Europe. The 2,400-metre turf race takes place on the first Sunday in October every year at the ParisLongchamp Racecourse in Paris. Eight horses have won the Arc twice, including Treve and Enable. French trainer Andre Fabre is known as the king of the Arc, as seven of his horses have won the race.

Bet on US Horse Racing

The United States is home to the highest concentration of horse racing tracks in the entire world, with more than 75 located across the country. American racing is famous for its Triple Crown, a title awarded to a three-year-old thoroughbred that wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Kentucky Derby Betting

Almost always held on the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville. Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, the first leg of the Triple Crown is run on a dirt racetrack covering 1 1⁄4 miles. Secretariat, arguably the greatest racehorse of all time, won the race in a record-breaking time of 1 minute, 59.4 seconds in 1973.

Preakness Stakes Betting

First held in 1873, the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown takes place on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races, run over just 9.5 furlongs. Secretariat set a still-standing record of 1 minute, 53 seconds to win the race in 1973 on his way to becoming the ninth Triple Crown winner in history.

Belmont Stakes Betting

The third and final leg of the Triple Crown usually takes place on the first or second Saturday in June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Nicknamed the “Test of the Champion”, the Belmont Stakes is the longest leg of the three races, covering a distance of 12 furlongs. The one and only Secretariat clocked a record time of 2 minutes, 24 seconds in 1973 to win the race by 31 lengths.

Breeders’ Cup Betting

First run at Hollywood Park in 1984, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships has established itself as the season-ending championship of Thoroughbred racing. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is the highlight of two days of racing. The Classic is the richest horse race in North America and considered the fourth leg of horse racing’s Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing.

Pegasus World Cup Betting

First run in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes is held in January at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The invitation-only race is run over dirt at a distance of 1 1⁄8 miles (9 furlongs). The Pegasus World Cup once offered $16 million in prize money and was the richest horse race in the world, but the purse has been $3 million since 2020.

Bet on ROW Horse Races

Horse racing betting is also popular outside of the UK, Europe and the United States. Meydan Racecourse is home to the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup. Australia’s greatest race is the Melbourne Cup. And over 21,000 races are held in Japan each year, including the prestigious Japan Cup.

Dubai World Cup Betting

Held annually since 1996, the Dubai World Cup is known as the “richest day of racing” on the international racing calendar. The Group 1 race is contested at the Meydan Racecourse, with previous winners including Prince Bishop and Thunder Show. The race was created by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and owner of Darley Stud and Godolphin Racing.

Japan Cup Betting

Japan’s flagship race of the year is contested annually on the last Sunday of November. The race takes place at Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, Tokyo, with a maximum of 18 horses competing across a distance of 2,400 metres. The Japan Cup was inaugurated in 1981 and is renowned for producing some of the most memorable finishes in recent history. Notable winners include Almond Eye and Gentildonna.

Melbourne Cup Betting

The “race that stops a nation” takes place on the first Tuesday of November each year. First held in 1861, the richest two-mile handicap in the world is held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Kingston Rule holds the record for the fastest Melbourne Cup win, crossing the line in just 3 minutes, 16.3 seconds. Other notable winners include Makybe Diva, Think Big, Rain Lover and Peter Pan.

Saudi Cup Betting

Boasting a $20 million purse (with $10 million set aside for the winner), the Saudi Cup is the world’s richest horse race. First run in 2020, the 1,800-metre race is run on the dirt track at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh. The $20 million race completes two days of exhilarating racing, with a full undercard of international races ensuring spectators witness several dramatic finishes.

The Everest Betting

With a purse of $15 million, The Everest is the richest horse race in Australia and the world’s richest turf race. The weight-for-age race was first run in 2017, with a maximum of 12 horses running over 1,200 metres at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. It has an unusual entry fee structure. Twelve slots are sold for $600,000 each, with the slot holder having the right to race or sell their place in the gate.

Other Forms of Horse Racing Betting Explained

Horse racing betting sites aren’t the only way you can bet on UK and Irish races. You can also try your luck at Tote betting, exchanges and spread betting.

Let’s discuss each form of horse racing betting and explain when and how you might want to consider each option versus traditional horse racing betting sites.

Tote Betting

The Tote is different from traditional bookmakers. Instead of picking horses for a fixed odds return, the Tote is a form of pool betting, also known as parimutuel betting. You pick horses and your stake goes into a cumulative pool, with every winning ticket sharing a percentage of the pot.

Pool bets offered by the UK Tote Group include Win, Place, Exacta, Trifecta, Quadpot, Placepot, Jackpot, Scoop6 and Swinger.

The Tote Placepot is one of the most popular pool bets in the UK, as you can win a substantial amount for a relatively small outlay. You select six horses to place in the first six races of a UK or Irish meeting. The Tote updates how many winning tickets remain after each race. The fewer punters who back your horse, the greater your share if it wins.

Horse Racing Exchange Betting

The main difference between horse racing bookmakers and betting exchanges is who you bet against. With online bookmakers, they set a price and you bet against them on outcome. Horse racing betting exchanges are platforms in which you can trade on the outcome of events. You can act as a bookmaker by setting the odds for an event, or act as the customer by backing the odds set by a fellow punter.

When you bet on something happening, you ‘back’ it. When you bet against something happening, you ‘lay’ it. Unlike fixed-odds horse racing betting, you aren’t limited to a certain price. You can set whatever price you like, and it’s up to fellow punters to choose whether to accept the price or not.

Many successful punters win at horse racing by betting on races as they happen. There are many benefits to betting in-running on horse racing, as opens up a plethora of opportunities to ‘trade’ horses. The main strategies for trading in-running on horse racing are to back and lay. There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches, but the aim remains the same – to ‘green up’ and lock in a profit.

Horse Racing Spread Betting

Another alternative to accepting fixed odds at UK horse racing betting sites is spread betting. Although this form of gambling is more closely associated with financial trading, spread betting on horse racing isn’t as complex as it may first appear.

Spread betting companies create markets for each horse racing meeting every day, and your challenge is to predict whether the outcome will be higher or lower than predicted. If you think the outcome will be higher, you ‘buy’. If you think the outcome will be lower, you ‘sell’.

For instance, a horse racing spread betting company may offer a Jockey Index in which you can bet on the performance of a jockey over a meeting. They may award 25 points for each win, 10 points for each runner-up finish, and 5 points for a third-place finish. If the jockey’s spread is 34-37, you can choose to buy or sell. However, you can incur losses with spread betting. It’s important to have a staking plan for betting on horse racing to avoid heavy losses.

Horse Racing Betting Tips to Help You Profit

Betting should always be fun, but it’s even more fun when you profit. It is estimated that only 2% of punters profit in the long term from horse racing betting. You may experience a winning streak and bank a few quid, but it takes time, strategy and discipline to profit from horse racing year in, year out.

If you want to enjoy UK horse racing and bank a few quid at the same time, read our tips to becoming a better horse racing punter. To give you a little taste of what to expect, here’s three of our top horse racing betting tips.

Tip #1: Get the Best Horse Racing Odds

Odds compilers at different bookmakers often have contrasting views on the chances of horses in each race, and horse racing is one of those sports where there are often big discrepancies in odds.

For this very reason, you should create an account with a few of the best horse racing betting sites in the UK and shop around for the best price on each race. With easy access to multiple horse racing betting sites, you can quickly compare the odds and lock in the best price.

Besides opening as many accounts as possible and shopping around for the best racing odds, we must reinforce the importance of joining a horse racing betting site with best odds guaranteed. This concession can enhance profits significantly, as you get the bigger of the price taken or starting price.

Tip #2: Identify Steamers and Drifters

Horse racing betting odds can change in the blink of an eye in the moments leading up to post time. If there is a lot of money coming in for a horse, its odds decrease. Likewise, if there is little interest in a certain horse, then its odds will increase to a price which becomes attractive to punters. But just how important are market moves when betting on horse racing online? Very important, actually.

A steamer is a horse whose odds continue to contract. It means there has been a big influx of money on the horse, and bookmakers shorten their prices to try and control their liabilities should the horse win. A drifter is the opposite – a horse whose odds are getting bigger from their opening position. Horse racing betting sites combat this by increasing the odds to attract more bets on the horse, with the aim of balancing their books.

We strongly recommend watching the horse racing betting odds in the moments before a race. Steamers and drifters can tell you a lot about the state of a horse. For instance, a well turned out horse may impress onlookers so much that they all rush to back it. On the other hand, horses who act up on their way to the start may scare off potential backers and their odds drift as a result of their behaviour.

Tip #3: Follow Horse Racing Tipsters

Walk into any high street bookmaker and it is odds on that you’ll bump into a so-called horse racing tipster. They’ll advise you to put your house on a ‘cert’ in one of today’s races. Should you trust their judgement, or assess the race yourself?

It takes a lot of time to assess races, which isn’t ideal for those with a busy schedule. However, horse racing tipsters seem to be everywhere nowadays. Many tipsters have a large following on social media, suggesting they pick more winners than donkeys, and their tips may be the perfect solution if you want to back a few horses without investing too much time analysing the races.

You can follow horse racing tipsters for free on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They have dedicated pages, where they tell you their hottest tips of the day, share winning bet slips from followers, and much more.

The internet is also awash with premium horse racing tipping services. These tipsters operate professional websites, where subscribers pay for access to their horse racing tips. Some of these tipsters are serious players who have strong connections with horse racing trainers and jockeys.

If time is on your side, you can always make your own horse racing predictions. Check out our list of the best horse racing betting resources to take your knowledge to a new level and pick more winners.

Factors to Consider When Betting on UK Horse Racing

It’s not easy to win at horse racing. If you want to be a successful horse racing punter, you must put in the time to assess each race. Our checklist of what to consider when betting on horse racing outlines the various factors that must be scrutinised before making your selections.

Here’s eight of the main factors to consider when betting on horses:

Current Form of the Horse

In horse racing, form is a record of a horse’s performance in previous races. Form figures indicate whether the horse is on a winning streak, placing but failing to notch a win, posting inconsistent results, or running so badly that you know its only making up the numbers. However, form only shows historical results. Horses can fall from grace or improve exponentially from one meeting to the next.

The best UK horse racing betting sites show form figures in the racecard, alongside other details such as the horse’s name, jockey, trainer, age, weight, and current betting odds. Form figures read from right to left, with the rightmost number indicating the horse’s most recent result. Using ‘342211’ as an example, this means the horse has two wins and a second-place finish from its three most recent outings.

Trainer Nuances and Behaviours

Racehorse trainers are responsible for the daily care and conditioning of all the horses in their stable. Owners pay trainers substantial sums to get their horses in prime condition to win races. If you watch a lot of racing, you will appreciate the importance of understanding trainer nuances and behaviours. No two trainers are the same; each have their own methodologies and knowing this can help you profit.

How sharp are their young horses on debut? Does the trainer have a good record at this time of year? Does the trainer have a good strike rate at a particular racecourse? These are all questions you should ask before betting on a race. Horse racing betting sites always tell you who trains each horse, so learn everything you can about racehorse trainers in the UK and you might spot a value bet or two.

Ground Conditions

Horse racing is a year-round sport in the UK, with races taking place in a variety of weather conditions. The weather impacts the ground conditions, and it is one of the biggest factors that affect a horse’s performance. The clerk of the course is responsible for publishing a TurfTrax GoingStick reading on the morning of the meeting. The best horse racing betting sites in the UK state the going in each racecard.

The going is the description of ground conditions at a racecourse. Descriptions include soft, heavy, good to soft, good to firm, firm, and hard. Firm ground is common in summer months, with a dry surface creating fast racing conditions. Heavy ground is the result of significant rainfall, creating slow and unpredictable racing conditions. The going plays a significant part in the pace of a horse race and shaping the betting odds.

Race Types and Handicapping

If you haven’t grown up in racing circles, then we suggest learning how race types, class and handicapping affect races. In the UK, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for assigning an official rating to each horse. This rating determines whether a horse is eligible to run in certain races. Flat racing and National Hunt racing have different scales and a different number of class divisions.

The best UK betting sites for horse racing state the classification of each race in the racecard. But how can you use this information to profit from races? If a horse has been successful in Class 3 company but is stepping up to Class 2 company for the first time, then it might struggle against tougher opposition. However, the handicap system ensures the horse carries less weight than if running in a lower grade.

Track Direction

Not all races are run in the same direction. Most UK horse races are run left-handed (anti-clockwise), including those run at Chepstow, Newbury and Southwell. However, some racecourses have right-handed (clockwise) tracks, such as Ascot, Goodwood and Kempton Park. But why should you care about the track direction when betting on horse racing? Well, there’s a few reasons.

In Flat races, track direction can pose a problem for hoses running in a different direction for the first time. The horse may run wide at the bend, which can be the difference between winning and finishing last in sprint races. In National Hunt racing, not all horses jump straight. If a horse veers right when jumping on a left-handed racecourse, the horse ultimately covers a greater distance than its rivals.


Why should you care about a racehorse’s parents? The genes of the sire (father) and dam (mother) alone determine the traits of their offspring. Knowing the horse’s pedigree can give you an advantage when betting on horse racing online, especially in those early career starts. Since retiring to stud, Frankel, one of the greatest horses of all time, has sired superstars such as Adayar and Hurricane Lane.

Successful horse racing punters consider the influence of the sire when betting on young horses. Sire statistics include distance, ground, age and ability to win on debut. But what about the dam? There is a common perception that female horses are inferior to males, as they are generally smaller and weaker. This is known as female gender bias. However, Azeri and Zenyatta were female superstars of the sport.

Draw Bias

Flat races in the UK utilise starting stalls. They are the horse racing equivalent of starting blocks used by sprinters in athletics. Stalls ensure all horses start at the same time, avoiding any of them getting an unfair advantage. A draw takes place to determine which stall each horse starts the race from. But with racecourses varying by shape and size, it’s vital you understand the impact of the draw in horse racing.

Each racecourse exhibits varying degrees of draw bias. For instance, Chester Racecourse is one of the oldest and smallest racecourses in the UK. A low draw is advantageous because it’s the equivalent of running a bend, whereas a high draw is the equivalent of running further. Horse racing bookmakers include the draw beside each horse’s name and number, so use the information to your advantage.

Horse Racing Odds

You must understand how to measure value in horse racing to be a profitable punter. As horse racing betting odds can move significantly in a short period of time, you must be able to identify what odds represent value for each runner in the field – and remember that favourites don’t always win. One lucky punter won £3,000 by putting their faith in He Knows No Fear to become the first-ever 300/1 winner in horse racing at Leopardstown in August 2020.

Of course, you may come across multiple runners whose odds you believe are under-priced. Multiple value in horse racing means it can often be profitable to back more than one runner. Your mission is to identify horses whose odds exceed their true chance of success. Circumstances in which multiple value is likely to exist include large flat races, front runners and hold up horses, and those unknown on the ground.

Effective Horse Racing Betting Systems

Although horse racing betting systems aren’t a sure-fire way to make money, there are a few effective racing systems that may help you pick more winners and win more money. Whilst many horse racing systems exist, here’s more information on two of the most effective systems used by successful punters.

The Dutching System

Arguably the most famous sports betting system, dutching involves betting on multiple outcomes in the same event as opposed to just one. Basically, you spread your chances of winning across multiple selections with the aim of winning the same amount, regardless of the winner of the race. Therefore, we recommend using a dutching calculator to ensure you bet the correct amount on each horse.

For instance, you might want to win £30 from a race. You bet £7.50 on the favourite at 3/1 and £10 on an outsider at £2.50. Your total outlay is £10, and a win for either horse means you receive £30.

Beaten Favourite System

The favourite-longshot bias is a theory which suggests punters will be more profitable backing short odds runners as opposed to longshots. However, favourites don’t always win. Who remembers Tree Of Liberty becoming the shortest-priced loser in horse racing history in 2018 as a 1/20 shot in the three-runner Alfa Aggregate Novices’ Chase at Ludlow? Many other odds-on favourites have lost.

But favourites losing can also present an opportunity. When a red-hot favourite loses, there may be less money behind it for its next race and it may have longer odds at UK horse racing betting sites. This often results in classy horses being under-priced (their odds are longer than they should be), and you can take advantage by capitalising on the bigger odds.

Join One of the UK’s Best Horse Racing Betting Sites

Now that you’re an expert on horse racing betting, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.

Open an account with one of the best horse racing betting sites in the UK to claim a generous welcome offer and bet on the latest races.

Bet £25, Get £25 in Free Bets

T&Cs Apply.

Valid for new customers aged 18+. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. No wagering required with Free Bet winnings. Maximum win with Free Bets is £500. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs apply.


Yes! Horse racing betting in the UK is legal under the Gambling Act 2005. You can bet at racecourses, high street betting shops, or choose the more convenient option of horse racing betting sites. For further peace of mind, we only recommend bookmakers with a valid Gambling Commission license.

It’s difficult to pick one site, so we’ve compiled a list of the best UK horse racing betting sites. We take many factors into consideration before recommending a bookmaker. We analyse everything from how competitive the odds are and what markets are available to betting offers and mobile compatibility.

Every horse racing betting site worth its salt shows horse racing live. You may have to make a qualifying bet to view the horse, but once you do, the live feed begins when the horses make their way to the start. You get to watch all the action live in HD, and you even get to listen to the commentary.

If you’re new to horse racing betting, we suggest sticking with single win and each way bets. Once you have bet on a few races, you can broaden your horizons and place more adventurous bets such as Lucky 15s and Yankees. After this, you can explore more ambitious bets such as a Goliath or Super Heinz.

It’s not easy to win at horse racing. You must consider numerous factors before adding a selection to your virtual bet slip. Assess the race and analyse everything from the form of each horse and their stable, the weather and ground conditions, track direction and the horse racing betting odds.

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