An Introduction to Horse Racing Betting

by Abi Moses on Friday 27th July, 2018

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Horse racing has been a hugely popular pastime in the UK since the Middle Ages and today remains one of the most popular sports for betting fans across the country. But, still to this day the sport’s unpredictability remains one of its greatest attractions. 

Whilst we at Betting Sites understand that there is no such thing as a dead cert when trying to pick a winning horse, we believe that following a few simple hacks will improve your odds considerably. 

Here are a few easy steps to boost your chances of picking a winner. 

Follow the form 

Alright, this may seem an obvious one but if you back a race’s in-form horses you seldom fail. Each racecard will include an in-depth insight into a horse’s previous runs and the importance of this information should not be underestimated. 

Don’t be afraid to back the favourite if it has displayed far superior form to its rivals. Many horses go their whole career without ever winning whilst a select few will never taste defeat. 

Luck of the draw  

Certain races can be won and lost as soon as the stalls are drawn. Try to follow trends, check if the success rate is considerably higher from a low or high draw or perhaps horses drawn down the middle are dominant. A great example of this would come at Chester Racecourse. Tight left hand turns at the Chester track make horses drawn low far more effective. 

History makers  

There’s a reason the phrase ‘horses for courses’ was created. For as long as racing has been around there have been many horses, trainers and jockeys that have thrived at certain courses and this should not be underestimated. Jockey, Frankie Dettori, has become synonymous with Ascot whilst you cannot mention Red Rum without thinking of Aintree. 

Knowing if any horse, trainer or jockey has an exceptionally high strike rate at one particular course will certainly give you an edge. This information can often present you with a big-priced winner. 


To put it simply, some horses or born to race, others are bred to win. Galileo was a great race horse in his own right, winning six of his eight races including The Derby and King George VI Stakes and since retiring his legendary status has been confirmed. 

Following Minding’s victory in the 2016 1,000 Guineas, Galileo has now sired a winner in each of Britain’s five Classics. His offspring have now won a staggering 71 individual Group One or Grade 1 winners worldwide. 

Now, it’s fair to say that Galileo, is a one off, an exception. The Irish thoroughbred is the sire of Minding, Frankel, Winter, Churchill, Order of St George and New Approach to name just a few. But, his success as a sire further highlights the importance of a strong bloodline. 

Looking out for a horse with a strong pedigree is particularly useful when betting on juvenile horses. When you have no form to help you pick out the next potential superstar a quick pedigree check is advisable. 

Trainer tracking 

Available on most racecards, information on how far a trainer has travelled can give a great insight into a horse’s chances of winning. In layman’s terms, a Scottish-based trainer would not go to great expense to take a horse to Brighton unless they felt it had an excellent chance of winning. 

Look out not just for trainers travelling a long distance but also for those taking just one horse to a meeting. It may be that they’ve put all their eggs into one horse-shaped basket. 

Jockey’s choice 

Picture this, Aidan O’Brien has two horses in the same race, one is a short-priced favourite and the other a rank outsider. First choice jockey, Ryan Moore, opts to ride the outsider, why do you back? 
You can consider everything we’ve discussed above, from a horse’s form to its pedigree but you have to assume the stable’s jockey will have the inside track. Often the favourite will still win but every now and again you can pull out a big win by following this useful tip.
Watch your weight 

Some horses can be victims of their own success. A comfortable win may see the handicapper push them so far up the weights that their form alone can no longer help them. Likewise, a horse can show no form at all and plummet down the weights. The lower weight will work to a horse’s advantage and see him first past the post, often at a big price. 

Increase your horse racing odds with Betting Sites  

If you are thinking of placing a bet on a horse then you will want to make the most of your chances. This is why many increase their winning odds by making use of free deposit bonuses. 

Here at Betting Sites, we provide you with a live update of the free bonuses available to you. Having partnered with some of the most reputable online betting sites in the world, we can help your money stretch further. 

In our opinion, the below sites are currently offering the best bonuses to use on horse racing betting. And remember, you can register and claim your free bonuses through this very site. So, sign up with any of the below and place your first horse racing bet a risk-free one!  

For more horse racing betting tips, race previews and updates on free betting bonuses and promotions, keep up-to-date with the Betting Sites blog.