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Tips for Horse Racing Betting

Tips for Horse Racing Betting

While sports betting in general has seen a huge explosion over recent years with more and more sportsbooks popping up, there’s one form of wagering that has been popular for a long time.

Betting is so closely tied in with horse racing that one really couldn’t exist without the other. It also offers one of the most entertaining and potentially rewarding ways to place a wager on a simple outcome. It’s just a question of picking the runner, or runners, that you think will do well in a race.

That’s not to say that there isn’t quite a lot to take into consideration if you’re going to be successful at horse racing betting – but these tips should help.

Favorites Don’t Always Win

Every race has a favorite – the horse with the shortest odds signifying that the sportsbooks believe that it has the best chance of winning out of all of the field. You might think that this makes it a fairly safe bet – but stats show that it’s only in about 30% of all races that the favorite actually wins.

This is useful information to have – but what can you do to maximize your chances of placing winning bets? The answer is to study all you can about the horses in a particular race that you’re planning to bet on – and there’s a great deal of data to absorb and digest. It’s also important to choose which races you’re going to bet on.

Pick the Right Races

This is a skill to develop over time and as you gain more experience. You want to avoid races with too many runners as, statistically, it is much harder to identify the eventual winner. Similarly, races with just three or four horses are unlikely to offer very good odds although you will have a better chance of winning. So look for fields of between around ten and fifteen runners which hit the sweet spot of a reasonably small field and potentially good odds for the winners or placed horses.

Check Out the Form

It’s impossible to emphasize this one too strongly. Every horse in a race will already have a great deal of information about it. This includes its lineage, how it has performed over its most recent outings and details of other horses that it has beaten, or been beaten by, in the past.


To make things even easier, every horse racing today will have a points ranking showing how it compares with every other horse. While this is never going to be a failsafe method of predicting its chances in a race it’s a good indication of the quality of the horse that you’re planning to back.

Get to Know the Trainers and Jockeys

Besides the horse itself, there are two people who are going to have the greatest influence over how a horse performs in race – the person who’s trained it and the one who’s going to be riding it.

A simple Google search will soon show you which trainer and jockey combinations are hot at any one time – and if they’re on a winning streak you could be too. Some trainers are also especially successful on certain race courses. A good example is the Irish trainer Willy Mullins who has notched up 100 winners at the UK’s Cheltenham festival.

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Jockeys also do particularly well at certain courses – Tyler Gaffalione has enjoyed exceptional success over the years at Churchill Downs picking up 26 winners and $2.8 million in prize money in the process.

Course Conditions Count

Just like some tennis players perform better on clay than they do on grass, horses are the same. So it pays to know whether the one you’re pinning your hopes on will be happiest when the ground is dry, firm and fast or if it’s a mudlark that is happy to gallop ahead on heavy ground.


So keeping an eye on the weather forecast is another essential tip if you want to make the most of your betting opportunities.

Look for the Signs of a Winner

If you can resist the urge to place your bet too early then it’s often a good idea to hold off until the last minute. That way, you’ll get the chance to examine the horses as they parade before the race. A horse that looks calm, alert and well turned out will be likely to perform well. Warning signs are if the horse looks nervy or is starting to sweat before they’re even at the starting post. Another advantage of waiting until just before the off to bet is that the odds you get are unlikely to change.

So armed with these tips you should be well-placed to bet more effectively on horse racing. So get under starter’s orders to put them to the test.