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Horse racing and betting have always been closely intertwined. Throughout its existence, if there was a horse race, people were betting on it. Even today, this remains true, with numerous daily horse racing meetings taking place across the UK and Ireland, each featuring multiple races available for betting. Whether it’s a major event on the weekend with live coverage from ITV cameras or a quiet evening on an all-weather track, each horse racing fixture offers unique opportunities for gambling.
Horse Racing New Customer Betting Offers
Upon registering with a new betting provider, you may be presented with a welcome bonus. These bonuses aim to kick-start your betting experience on a high note, and can encompass a variety of perks. Here’s an overview of some potential incentives you might come across when creating a new account for horse racing wagers:
Our Top Recommended Bookmakers For Horse Racing Free Bets
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Deposit £10 Get £30T&Cs Apply
NEW CUSTOMER OFFER
Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is €/£10. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply
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Get £10 in Free BetsT&Cs Apply
NEW CUSTOMER OFFER
18+ only. New customers only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card deposits only (exclusions apply). Free bet will expire 7 days after the 1st deposit. 18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way. Full Terms apply
Bet £10, earn £30
18+ Please Gamble Responsibly. Click ‘Claim Bonus’ to view full terms and conditions
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Get £10 Get £30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino BonusT&Cs Apply
NEW CUSTOMER OFFER
Min deposit €10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least €10 • Min odds 1.50 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days • Bonus valid on selected Casino games only • Bonus wins capped at €500, excluding Jackpot wins • You must wager Bonus amount x40 – this requirement varies by game
Bet £10, earn £30
18+ Please Gamble Responsibly. Click ‘Claim Bonus’ to view full terms and conditions
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One of the most widespread horse racing welcome promotions is the free bet, which grants you a specified sum to wager, provided you fulfill the offer's criteria. Typically, this involves creating an account, making an initial deposit that meets the minimum requirement, and placing a qualifying bet. Once completed, you may receive a free bet or multiple free bets to use on your subsequent horse racing wagers. Keep in mind that these often come with an expiration date, so be sure to review the terms and use them before they expire to avoid missing out on this opportunity.
Bonus Funds / Bet Credits
An alternative prevalent promotion involves obtaining bonus funds or credits for your new account. The advantage of this offer over free bets is that you can distribute these bonuses across multiple wagers, making it more suitable for small stakes players or those who enjoy placing small accumulators on horse races. This allows you to maximize the use of your bonus funds across various bets. Keep in mind that these bonuses may also come with an expiration date and wagering requirements, so be sure to review the terms and conditions carefully.
This kind of promotion may not be as prevalent as the previous two, but they tend to appear more frequently leading up to a significant race or event. These offers provide you with boosted odds when registering and betting on a specific horse to win its forthcoming race. For instance, a horse with even odds for a major race might be available at 33/1 through this promotion. The winnings from this bet will typically be credited to your account as bonus funds.
Horse Racing Existing Customer Offers
The landscape of horse racing promotions is evolving, with increasing emphasis on both existing customer offers and enticing welcome bonuses, as bookmakers recognize the importance of customer retention. In the past, bookmakers often created generous welcome offers to attract new customers, but failed to provide ongoing promotions, resulting in customers moving to another provider with a similar welcome deal. Today, the leading horse racing bookmakers are focused on offering more benefits to their existing clientele. As a bettor, when selecting a bookmaker for your horse racing wagers, consider not only the welcome bonus but also the ongoing promotions available after the initial bonus is used. Keep an eye out for the following types of offers:
- Money-back specials: Get a refund on your bet if your horse finishes second or meets specific conditions.
- Best odds guaranteed: Receive the highest odds between the time you place your bet and the starting price.
- Enhanced odds: Get improved odds on selected races or events for a limited time.
- Accumulator bonuses: Receive a bonus on winnings when you place multiple bets or accumulators.
- Loyalty programs: Earn points or rewards for consistent betting activity, which can be redeemed for free bets or other perks.
By taking advantage of these ongoing promotions, you can enhance your horse racing betting experience and potentially increase your overall returns.
Best Odds Guaranteed
Securing the most advantageous horse racing offer is crucial, and it's essential to choose a bookmaker that provides this feature. Typically, this applies to bets placed on races during a specified window, often on the race day itself. When placing your bet, be sure to lock in the odds for your chosen horse. If the odds decrease later, you've already secured the better value. Conversely, if the horse's odds drift and result in a higher starting price (SP), the bookmaker will pay you at the more generous SP. This win-win situation is why it's critical to select a bookmaker that offers such a benefit.
Consolation Money Back Offers
Various types of promotions exist, each with unique advantages. Some will refund your stake if your horse loses by a small margin, typically a head or less, while others provide money back if your horse finishes second to the starting price (SP) favorite. Other offers, such as faller insurance, refund your stake in specific races if your horse falls. Additionally, some bookmakers may feature a 'run for your money' promotion, which refunds your bet if, for instance, your horse fails to exit the stalls in a flat race. These diverse promotions cater to a range of betting preferences and enhance the overall betting experience.
Free Bet Offers
While free bets are often linked to welcome offers, some bookmakers also extend them to existing customers. These free bets can be awarded for various reasons, such as backing a winner at a featured meeting, supporting a winner in a race broadcasted on ITV at specific odds, or placing a bet of a certain value or in a particular race. Although not as prevalent as other ongoing promotions for existing customers, free bets are worth seeking out, as they provide an additional opportunity to enjoy your betting experience without risking your own funds.
Price Boosts and Bonuses on Multiples
Price boosts present an excellent opportunity to secure higher odds on the selections you prefer. While these boosts are typically offered around major events, they can provide more attractive odds than initially anticipated. Some price boosts may be time-sensitive, such as a
Cheltenham happy hour, where specific selections' odds are enhanced during a designated period on the festival's morning.
Many bookmakers also provide bonuses on multiple bets, so if you enjoy placing these wagers, be sure to shop around for the best deals. These bonuses could range from an extra payout if all your selections win in a multiple bet, a consolation prize for having just one winner, or an accumulator boost that awards a percentage of the return when all selections are successful. By exploring these various promotions, you can maximize your betting experience and potential returns.
Enhanced Place Terms
Many bettors enjoy placing each-way bets on significant races, often seeking value and aiming to find a long-shot winner. Enhanced place terms offer an additional place payout on each-way bets. Some bookmakers apply this to major races, while others may select one race per day to enhance, giving you daily opportunities to benefit from this promotion. Although enhanced place terms don't benefit win-only bettors, they are certainly worth considering for those who prefer each-way betting.
For example, if your current bookmaker offers three places on a race you bet on and your selection finishes fourth, your bet would be a loss. However, another bookmaker might have extended the place terms to pay out on four positions in that race, turning your bet into a winner if placed with them. When a promotion can make the difference between winning and losing, it's undoubtedly worth leveraging to your advantage.
Placing your Horse Racing Free Bet
A horse racing free bet functions like any other free bet, allowing you to use it as you wish while adhering to the attached terms and conditions. For free bets awarded upon opening a new account, the terms may vary, but the free bet typically appears in your account within 24 hours or sometimes instantly.
When placing a free bet, most bookmakers follow a similar process. After selecting the horse you want to back, it will appear in your bet slip. On this page, you should find an option to select or check a box to use the free bet token or bonus credits available in your account. Using these will deduct the amount from your bonus balance rather than your main balance. However, keep in mind that most free bet offers do not return the stake as part of the winnings.With daily horse racing meetings occurring, you won't have to wait long to use your free bet. Choose from upcoming races, or if the free bet has a longer time limit, you can wait for a big race during the weekend to place your wager.
Horse Racing Betting Markets
The simplicity of horse racing betting makes it an appealing option for many. With fewer complicated betting markets and options than some other sports, horse racing betting is easy to navigate. The most straightforward way to bet on horse racing is with win singles. Choose a race, pick a horse, and bet on that horse to win. If it wins, you receive your payout based on the odds; if not, you lose. It's as simple as that. For those looking to explore further, more markets are available, with each-way betting being the most popular.
This market is typically used by bettors who back longer-priced selections, covering the horse to place as well as win. An each-way bet consists of two separate bets: one on the horse to win and one on the horse to place. If the horse wins, both bets pay out; if it places but doesn't win, only the place bet pays out; and if the horse is unplaced, both bets lose. Place terms in horse races depend on the race type and number of runners, ranging from win-only (no each-way betting) to up to four places. Occasionally, bookmakers may enhance place terms on major races, paying out on five or even six places.
These offers are worth considering, as they can determine whether you have a winning or losing bet. Another popular betting market for horse racing is betting without the favorite. This market is ideal when you believe the favorite will win, but its odds are too short to back. You bet on the race with special prices that exclude the favorite. Regardless of the favorite's finishing position, your bet is settled as if the favorite didn't participate. For instance, if you bet on this market and your horse finishes second to the favorite, your bet is settled as a winner since your horse beat the rest of the field.
Winning distances are gaining popularity among bettors, and this market is best used when a race has a strong favorite. In such cases, bookmakers often allow you to bet on the winning distance the chosen horse will achieve. This adds value to your bet if you want to support the favorite; instead of merely backing them to win at short odds, you can back them to win by more than a specified number of lengths, which offers more attractive odds. Betting on horse racing is relatively simple, and you can utilize markets such as:
- Race winner
- Each-way (EW) bet on the race, covering both win and place
- Your selection to place only
- Match betting - one horse in the race against another
- Winning distance
- Number of finishers in the race
- Betting without the favorite - useful when there's a short-priced favorite
- Overall winning distances at a meeting
- Overall winning favorites at a meeting
- Match betting between jockeys and trainers
These various markets provide diverse betting opportunities, allowing you to tailor your bets to your preferences and knowledge of the sport.
UK Jump Racing
The jump season's highlights are undoubtedly the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival, which are the primary focus for many top horses in training. These prestigious events are the ultimate dreams for owners, trainers, and jockeys at the beginning of each season. Numerous significant races lead up to these meetings, offering a preview of the thrilling action to come in the big Spring events.
The Grand National meeting lasts three days, featuring many Grade One races. However, the event centers around the renowned Grand National, a challenging handicap with a distance of over four miles and larger-than-average obstacles. A special horse and jockey are required to win this race, and with 40 runners, it often takes an exceptional punter to predict the winner! The Cheltenham Festival spans four days, from Tuesday to Friday, with seven races each day.
The festival encompasses nearly every discipline and race type, providing a significant end-of-season target for horses in training. Four feature races stand out as the meeting's championship races. The first is the Champion Hurdle on the opening day, testing speed and hurdling ability over the minimum jumps distance of two miles. The second day features the Champion Chase, another test of speed and jumping, but over fences.
This race is often packed with drama, as evidenced by recent years. On day three, the Stayers Hurdle takes center stage, showcasing the staying power of horses over three miles while requiring excellent jumping skills and error-free performance. The final day culminates in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the most prestigious of all.
This race has produced numerous memorable moments over the years and is not for the faint-hearted. Spanning three miles and two furlongs, the challenging Cheltenham Hill awaits at the end, ensuring every participant gives their all. Horses defeated in the Gold Cup may struggle to regain form, as the race can be physically and mentally demanding. Meanwhile, Gold Cup winners are etched in history alongside the sport's greatest legends.
UK Flat Racing
The flat racing season is highlighted by two main aspects: the five classics for three-year-olds and the Royal Ascot meeting in June. The five horse racing classics consist of the 1000 & 2000 Guineas, the Derby, The Oaks, and the St Leger, testing the best three-year-olds over various distances. In June, the world's finest horses gather at Royal Ascot, a meeting that emphasizes both on-track action and off-track glamour. The Queen's daily visits and the glitz of those attending the event contribute to its charm. This five-day festival features top-quality Group One races, attracting international runners from Japan, Australia, and the USA, showcasing the quality of UK racing. Horse racing free bet offers often increase leading up to major horse racing meetings. The flat season features prestigious meetings like:
- The Derby and Oaks at Epsom Downs
- The 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket
- Royal Ascot
- Glorious Goodwood
- York’s Ebor Festival
- The St Leger meeting at Doncaster
These are some of the most famous and popular meetings in the UK. International events like the Breeders Cup and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe also draw attention from punters and feature many British runners. Key jump racing events to look forward to include:
- The Grand National at Aintree
- The Cheltenham Festival
- The Boxing Day Meeting at Kempton
- The Betfair Million - The Betfair Chase at Haydock, the King George at Kempton, and the Gold Cup at Cheltenham
The eve of these major meetings is an excellent time to look for horse racing betting offers, such as free bets or enhanced prices on favorites. The Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot meetings typically provide the most free bets for punters. Be sure to check back for the latest offers and promotions during these events.
Racing Around The World
The UK indeed has some of the best horse racing in the world, but other countries also offer top-quality horse racing action. Dubai, Australia, Hong Kong, France, and America are countries that host significant racing events, attracting British and Irish horses and international competitors. In France, the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe in October is the headline event of the Arc meeting. British horses have won this race in the past, and many British runners participate in the supporting races throughout the two-day event.
The Breeders Cup meeting in America is a two-day event featuring the best horses from the continent and around the world. It includes dirt and turf races, sprints, and staying races, catering to various racing interests. British runners have been successful at this meeting, so it's wise not to overlook them when assessing the form. Australia's Melbourne Cup, known as "the race that stops a nation," is one of the country's most significant sporting events. This high-quality handicap race attracts global interest and boasts substantial prize money. In Dubai, Meydan is the focal point of horse racing.
The Dubai Carnival takes place at the start of the calendar year, with racing every Thursday. This leads up to the Dubai World Cup night, featuring the World Cup race and millions in prize money. British runners participate in the Dubai Carnival and the Dubai World Cup night, making the expensive trip for the chance to compete for the lucrative rewards. Overall, exploring international horse racing events can be both exciting and potentially profitable, as British and Irish horses often participate and succeed in these major races.