The excitement of horse racing is hard to beat and having a bet on the action goes hand in hand with the ‘Sport of Kings’.
There is plenty of choice when it comes to making the most of your stake, but the key thing is to have some knowledge of the runners and riders and that’s where FindBets comes in.
We have a team of vastly experienced tipsters and experts who can point you towards the horses that are showing form and likely to make the most of course and distance, as well as the crucial under-hoof conditions.
The options of where to lay your stake are amazing, with race meetings held throughout the year as part of a multi-billion pound business that keeps punters on the edge of their seats.
The main meetings are famous throughout the world. Here is a quick guide to those marquee events:
Horse Racing Free Bets
March sees the staging of what many see as the sport’s premier event, the Cheltenham Festival at the stunning course in a natural amphitheatre just below England’s Cotswold Hills.
For four days the very best British and Irish horses battle it out for National Hunt glory, with Grade 1 races the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champions Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and World Hurdle drawing great crowds and vast interest around the world.
And with the occasion normally corresponding with St Patrick’s Day, the atmosphere sampled on the course and via television is unbeatable.
The two courses, old and new, are particular to Cheltenham, with the undulating ground a feature that surprises many when they arrive for the first time.
To win there takes staying power and, of course, good jumping ability.
In 2008, Sam Thomas steered 9/4 shot Denman to a sensational victory over reigning champion Kauto Star in a classic Gold Cup tussle.
The Irish-bred horse, nicknamed ‘The Tank’, showed his true power to eat up the heavy ground and cruise to a famous win.
The Grand National
The legends of Aintree are revered, none more so than Red Rum and trainer Ginger McCain who claimed three victories in the 1970s.
Famously put through his paces on the beaches at nearby Southport, the striking bay thoroughbred captured the public imagination like few other horses and remains indelibly linked to the famous race in Liverpool.
The four-day Grand National meeting in April features a host of other top races, but it is the Saturday afternoon highlight that sees the bookmakers do some of their best business of the year, with punters queuing up outside betting shops to make their selection and often making their choice based solely on name.
But those in the know, like us here at FindBets, can guide you to make a more informed choice and get the edge on the bookmakers with expert advice and tips.
With Her Majesty the Queen in attendance, June’s Royal Ascot flat racing extravaganza well and truly lives up to its reputation for grandeur and high-class action.
Behind the lustre of finery and titles there are an astonishing eight Grade 1 races to sink your teeth into over the five-day festival.
The pick of the bunch is the Gold Cup, which provides one of the stiffest tests in the sport over its monstrous two miles and four furlongs course. Which means stamina is the key to success so you’ll be looking to back a ‘stayer’ that can handle the task.
Last year Big Orange held off favourite Order of St George to take the title, showing his strength and stride to hang on by a short head.
Other key races over the festival include the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
With plenty of free bets on offer, Royal Ascot can be one of the most enjoyable events for the horse racing punter.
How to bet on horse racing
As you can see, there is plenty of choice when it comes to horse racing betting – but how do you go about laying your wager?
Here are the main choices you have:
The most straightfoward pick is to back a horse to be first past the post. Simply make your selection and, hopefully, watch them romp home.
This is a very popular choice as it gives you two chances to win – one if your horse finishes first and another if it goes on to ‘place’. That normally means coming in the top three, but many bookies offer places down to fourth, especially at big meetings.
The latter part of the bet obviously does not pay as well as a winner, normally a quarter of the odds.
One thing to factor in is that because you are backing two possible outcomes, an each-way is basically two bets – and that means doubling your stake.
For example, if you have £10 each-way on a 4/1 shot, it will cost you £20 to lay the bet.
If your horse wins you have successfully predicted both outcomes – first place and inside the top three or four. That means you would get 4 x £10 for the win and a quarter of that (1 x £10) for the place. You also get both stakes back, making a grand total of £70 in your pocket.
Each-ways bets are great fun and often a good choice when opting for a long-odds horse you think will feature at the front of the race.
That’s the single bets out of the way, now for the multiples which can offer terrific value if you make the correct choices.
The options here are vast, but here are some of the main ones that are popular with both bookies and punters.
A double involves staking on two separate races. If you are successful in your first pick, the winnings will go onto the second event.
For example, if you put a £10 double on a 3/1 shot and a 2/1 shot, the first win would net you £30 plus your £10 stake (£40) which would then be carried over as the stake for the 2/1 priced horse.
A victory in the second race would mean doubling that to £80.
Trebles work on the same principle.
Multiple bets are often referred to as ‘accas’, short for accumulators, with the number of races involved stretching to four, five and six races… and sometimes beyond.
There are also combination bets available, such a Yankee which features 11 bets in total – six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold.
You need at least two of your selections to come in to get anything back, while the stake is multiplied by 11 as it is basically 11 different bets.
Other options include:
Straight forecast – Also known as a US or Exacta, you have to pick the top two horses in the right order.
Reverse forecast – Top two horses but in any order.
Tricast – You must select the top three horses in the correct order. If you manage to do this the rewards can be huge.
Horse racing is traditionally the main sport for betting and the industry is awash with chances to make some serious money.
FindBets can discover the best offers for your wager and give you the lowdown to make the correct choice.