Horse Racing Guide : Betting Apps + All You Need To Know About Betting On Horses

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Best For Horse Racing: bet365

bet365 app

Our Rating:
9.6/10

Our rating comes purely from the horse racing rankings for UK apps. bet365 has a number of great horse racing features. 

App Screen Shots

Why Use bet365 for racing?

People have been betting on horse racing for hundreds of years.

Today it continues to be a sport that thrives both on the track and in the bookmakers. The Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival are 2 of the biggest betting event of the year.

If you’re new to horse racing, knowing where to start can be tough. That’s why we’ve combined our efforts and pulled together this ultimate Horse Racing Betting Guide, bringing you all you need to know…


What You Will Find On This Guide



A Brief Intro To Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world, with it thought that even the Ancient Greeks took part as early as 700 BC.

When it comes to betting, the sport has an equally rich history with betting has taken place for generations.

Today, the sport has advanced to a stage where millions of wagers are placed across the world.

You’ll find horse racing in the UK is split into two main forms, Flat Racing, and the National Hunt format.

Flat Racing is fairly self-explanatory. Taking place during the summer months, it involves horses racing around a track with no fences or jumps, the winner being the horse that crosses the line first.

National Hunt races involve a number of hurdles and fences horses must navigate through. There may also be open ditches and water jumps, testing the horse’s strength and stamina.

This form of racing usually happens during the winter and early spring months when the ground is softer, making jumping less dangerous.

How you bet on horse racing varies, with a range of different markets available to bet on, suiting both experienced punters and novices.

Here at Betting Apps, we make sure we provide the finest horse racing tips across both forms of racing, as well as covering a range of markets and what we think provides the best value.


Best Horse Racing Betting Apps

So how do you bet on the horses? Well, these days it’s easier than ever before with dozens of brilliant apps ideally suited to horse racing.

Below you’ll find some of our favourite betting apps for horse racing:


Rank App Rating Bonus Get App & Bonus Ts & Cs Read App Review
1 – William Hill William Hill 9.8

BET £10 GET A £50 WELCOME BONUS*

Get the app

*18+. Play safe. New customers using promo code M50 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€20 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply. Full terms apply.

Read Review
2 – bet365 bet365 app 9.7 UP TO 100% IN BET CREDITS* Get the app

New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.

Read Review
3 – BetVictor BetVictor app 9.5

BET £5 & GET A £30 BONUS*

Get the app

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly

Read Review
4 – Betfred Betfred app 9.3

BET £10 GET £30 + 30 FREE SPINS*

Get the app

New UK & NI customers only. Promo code SPORTS60. Deposit and place first sports bet of £10+ in one transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0)+, settled within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 30 Free Spins on Blue Wizard at £0.10 per spin. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply.

Read Review
5 – Paddy Power Paddy Power app 9.2

Bet £20 & Get It Back As Cash If It Loses*

Get the app

*New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any market and if it loses Paddy Power will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.

Read Review
6 – Ladbrokes Ladbrokes app 9.0

BET £5 GET £20 IN FREE BETS*

Get the app

*18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.

Read Review
7 – Coral Coral app 9.0

BET £5 GET £20 IN FREE BETS*

Get the app

18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.

Read Review
9 – Betway Sports Betway Sports app 8.8

GET UP TO £10 IN FREE BETS*

Get the app

New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Terms apply

Read Review

Paddy Power

Paddy Power offers a brilliant mobile betting app for both iPhone and Android and has a huge horse racing market.

It’s easy to navigate between today’s races and ante-post betting as well as having a live streaming service. All you have to do is bet £1 on the race you wish to watch and you can watch your horse come in and celebrate in style.

It’s an app blessed with offers, with regular non-runner no bet and best odds guaranteed offered by the Irish bookmaker.

Ladbrokes

The Ladbrokes iPhone app is up there with the best and has a wide range of features that’ll help with your horse racing betting.

You can actually use your Ladbrokes account with the Racing Post app, but its own offering is just as good.

There are always great betting promotions on offer, and you’ll find races to bet on all over the world including the USA, Dubai, Australia and of course the UK.

William Hill

William Hill is synonymous with horse racing and has one of the best apps on the market for betting on the sport.

Much of the app’s focus is targeted to the horses and it never fails to deliver.

Its simple navigation makes looking through the day’s races easily and you’ll also find live streaming and live radio features to keep you up-to-date with all the action.


How To Bet On Horse Racing

Betting on horse racing is easy to get the hang on, with most wagers basically involving a horse getting first past the post, or certainly placing highly.

Every bookmaker will offer horse racing as one of its main sports and have races to bet on every day, in many cases being broadcast live via their betting apps too.

How to bet on horse racing is very much dependent on the market in which you want to play.

The Best Horse Racing Markets

Over the years horse racing betting has expanded incredibly to offer a huge number of markets, both simple and complex.

Below you’ll find some of the more popular markets offered across the Ladbrokes and William Hill application, alongside how you play and win them.

To Win

The To Win market is the easiest horse racing bet to understand and place, with you simply having to back the horse in which you think will win the race.

In order to win the bet, that horse must then finish in first place.

Each Way

An Each Way bet is also another incredibly popular market for punters and can usually be placed in your betting slip by clicking E/W.

What this does is break down your bet into two. One part of the bet being a To Win bet and the other being for the horse to place. It’s important to note when playing Each Way, it will double your stake.

A horse placing usually involves it finishing in the top three, although this can vary from bookmaker to bookmaker and race to race.

In order to win, your horse must at least place to receive a payout. Should the horse win the race, you’ll, of course, win the full bet. However, if it only places, the To Win side would lose and you’d win for it placing. In this case, you’ll be paid out a fraction of the odds, which varies depending on who you play with.

Double and Treble

Double and Treble bets are the next step really when it comes to learning to bet on horses. What they involve is using one stake on multiple selections, so in the instance of a double, this would be two selections. A Treble being three.

In order to win, all selections must come through. So if you placed a Double bet on two horses to win during the Wednesday of Cheltenham, both horses would have to win for you to earn a payout.

Tricast

Predicting the winner of a race can sometimes be tough, but many punters like to take it a step further and bet on the top three finishers of a race.

A Tricast is exactly that and offers some pretty big money. To win you must correctly predict the order of the top three horses of a race. You must pick the selections in the exact order and the only way you’ll see a payout is by doing so correctly.

Accumulator

You’ve likely heard of an accumulator. It’s a wager that’s popular in both football betting and horse racing.

It’s ultimately an extension of a treble and involves placing one stake on selections of four or more. This will boost odds significantly as every selection must come through for you to win the bet. Should just on lose, your entire bet loses.

Lucky 15

A Lucky 15 is certainly one for the betting experts and is a complex bet designed for you to receive a maximum possible payout.

In order to play you’re required to choose four selections which are then placed into 15 bets ranging from single bets right up to a 4-fold accumulator. A Lucky 15 consists of:

  • 4 Single bets
  • 6 Double bets
  • 4 Treble bets
  • 1 4-Fold accumulator

It’s designed to receive the best payout. So if all four selections win, you’d receive a full payout, whereas if just two did you’d receive winnings for two Single bets and a Double bet.


How to read the racecard

We’ll start with the race card. When reading a racecard there are a large number of abbreviations and numbers found and they all represent different things whether it be form, information about the horse, and further details about the racecourse and its condition.

Below you’ll find the various abbreviations broken down for you to check back on when viewing a racecard.

The Going

The going is the condition of a racetrack with various abbreviations highlighting how hard or soft it is:

  • f or fm: Firm
  • hd: Hard
  • g or gd: Good
  • s or sft: Soft
  • hy or hvy: Heavy
  • stand: Standard AW

The Horse

There are many things to note before backing a horse, whether it be how they’ve performed over similar distances in the past, to it pulling up or even what a horse is wearing.

A Horses Form:

Below you’ll find the abbreviations that offer insight into a horse’s form:

  • 1-9: Previous finishing positions
  • 0: Horse finished outside top nine in a race
  • : An indicator of the turn of a year
  • / : Separation of seasons.
  • P: Horse pulled up in a race and wasn’t able to finish.
  • F: Horse fell in the race
  • R: Horse refused to race or wouldn’t take a fence.
  • U: Horse unseated the rider during the race.
  • BD: Horse was brought down during the race.

Horse Information:

Below you’ll find the abbreviations which represents whether a horse has raced over similar distances or on the same courses before:

  • C: Horse has won on the same course before.
  • D: Horse has won over the same distance before.
  • CD: Horse has won a race over the same course and distance.
  • OR: Horse’s official rating supplied by the BHA.
  • BF: Horse has previously been a favourite but was beaten.

Horse Headgear:

This lets punters know of any headgear a horse will be wearing during the race.

  • h: Hood
  • b: Blinkers
  • v: Visor
  • e: Eye hood
  • t: Tongue-tie
  • p: Cheekpieces
  • Ht: Hood and tongue-tie.
  • e/c: Eyecover
  • e/s: Eyeshield

The Race

There will be an indication of what sort of race you are betting on with a number of abbreviations reflecting this, including:

  • AW: All Weather
  • Ch: Chase
  • Cls: Class
  • Div: Divisional
  • Gd: Grade 1, 2 or 3 in jump racing
  • Gp: Group 1, 2 or 3 in flat racing
  • Hcap: Handicap
  • H: Hurdle
  • List: Listed
  • Mdn: Maiden
  • NHF: National Hunt Flat
  • Nov: Novice


Horse Racing Terms

Below you’ll find a number of common terms used in horse racing betting, alongside their definition.

Antepost

This is a bet on a race that is taking place in the future and the full confirmation of runners and riders hasn’t yet been submitted.

Broke Down

This means that a horse has suffered an injury during the race and didn’t finish.

Brought Down

Brought down is when a horse falls as a result of another horse bringing it down. This often occurs following the jumping of a fence.

Blinkers

Blinkers are a piece of headgear a horse will wear to alter the vision of a horse and ensure they are only looking forward. This is to avoid them being distracted by the field and crowds around it.

Boxed In

Boxed in is a term used across many racing sports and essentially means a horse has been trapped in by other horses and is unable to pull out and overtake.

Back Straight

This is the straight of the racecourse on the far side of the grandstand. 

Classic

Classic races are among the more prestigious in the UK and involve five flat races held across the season. You will likely have heard of most of these:

  • 2,000 Guineas
  • 1,000 Guineas
  • The Oaks
  • Epsom Derby
  • St Leger

Three of the Classics also make up the Triple Crown, which are the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and the St Leger.

Distance

Distance is a term often used to describe the length in which a horse has won.

Dam

A horse’s mother.

Damsire

The maternal grandfather of a horse.

Each-way

A type of wager that involves you betting on a horse to win or place. Half of your stake goes on the To Win market, with the other half on To Place. If the horse wins, both sections of your bet pay out. If it only places you lose the To Win stake but earn winnings on the To Place aspect.

Flat Racing

A form of racing that doesn’t include fences, jumps or ditches and is ran over flat ground.

Furlong

A measure in horse racing. It’s exact measure is 220 yards.

Favourite

The horse most likely to win according to what the bookmakers are saying.

Filly

A young female horse. The age of the horse is under the age of four.

Going

The going of a race track is essentially a description of its condition. 

Handicap

A handicap is given to a horse in a number of races. This essentially involves giving them weights dependent on how they are rated.

Juvenile

A juvenile is the name of a horse that is under the age of two-years-old.

Mare

The name to describe a female horse that is five-years-old or older.

Non Runner

Non runners are horses that originally appeared to be racing but pulled out. Betting apps will regularly offer non runner no bet offers which mean you will receive your stake back should the horse no longer be running.

National Hunt

National Hunt is the type of racing found in the UK that involves fences and jumps. The season takes place in the winter and spring when the ground is softer, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National being among the most famous National Hunt Races.

Stallion

A Stallion is the name of a male breeding horse.

Starting Price (SP)

The Starting Price (or SP) is the odds of a horse when it is on the start line. Best odds guaranteed will compare the SP against the odds you bet on and pay out the best odds should you win.

Sire

The stallion which fathered the horse.

Trainer

The trainer is the person or team behind the training and day-to-day caring for a racehorse.


Horse Racing’s Biggest Races

Throughout the year there are a ton of great races that you can earn a fantastic prize pot. In many cases, the entire sporting world halts to a standstill and descends on the most renowned racecourses on the planet.

Below you’ll find some of the most popular races for 2022 alongside when they take place.

Cheltenham Festival

Date: Tuesday, March 15 to Friday 18th Match 2020

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the centerpiece of the Cheltenham Festival in mid-March and is one of the most popular horse racing events on the planet. The race takes place on Friday.

In the weeks building up to the festival,  Cheltenham festival apps will be offering a whole host of offers, enhanced odds, and much more. It really is the perfect time of year for betting on horses.  Here’s Native Rivers win in the 2018 gold cup, one of the most amazing races in Cheltenham History – it is very rare for a horse to lead start to finish in the Gold Cup, especially with the race favourite breathing down its neck for the last third of the race!

The Grand National Festival – Aintree

Date: April 7-9th

You really don’t need us to tell you about the Grand National. The yearly event held at Aintree is perhaps the most famous horse racing event and continually breaks records on the amount wagered on the race.

It’s estimated that 500 million people watch the Grand National each year, the vast majority looking to secure a win for themselves. 

2,000 Guineas

Date: Saturday 30th April

A British Classic race, the 2,000 Guineas is always a fast and furious race over a mile-long track.

It’s the opening race of the Triple Crown and always proves to be one of the highest quality races of the year, having in the past welcomed the likes of Frankel, Saxon and Galileo Gold.

Epsom Derby

Date: Saturday 4th June 2022

The Derby at Epsom is the Triple Crown’s second race of the year and takes place just a month after the 2,000 Guineas.

It’s taken place in Epsom since 1780 and is raced over a mile and four furlongs.

In the past legends of the sport Shergar, Sit Percy, and Galileo have all been Champions at the Derby.

St Leger Stakes

Date: September 10th, 2022

St Leger at Doncaster is the final Triple Crown race of the year and takes place in the final weeks of summer in September.

The Grade 1 race was first run back in 1776, with the flat track having been won by the likes of Nijinsky, Bob’s Return and Kew Gardens, last year’s winner.

Ascot Gold Cup

Date: Thursday 16th June 2022

Royal Ascot’s biggest event of the year is Gold Cup week in which sees the Queen turn up for a day at the races.

The event dates back to 1807 and is run across just over two miles.

Other Major Meets

Of course, there are many other major meetings across the year at racecourses all over the world.

Some of the more popular include:

  • Prix de l’arc de Triomphe
  • Kentucky Derby
  • Goodwood Festival
  • Ebor Festival
  • King George Chase


Frequently asked questions

In our opinion, the best way to bet on horses is to build a knowledge of the sport over time and learn how to find value bets. 

An estimated 33% of favourites win. Some research by Bet Victor showed that the favourite has won the Grand National 16% of the time. 

If you have made a to place bet then the winnings are the same regardless of the position it finished in the places.  It is only an each-way bet where you win more if the horse wins. 

The 1/4 is a reference to the returns if the horse places. It means you will receive 1 fourth of the odds. This is the same if you see 1/3, 1/5 and on some big races 1/6. 

This is the general rule

  • Less than 5 horses – no each way
  • 5 to 7 horses – 2 places – usually 1/4 odds
  • 8 to 11 horse – 3 places – usually 1/5 odds
  • 12+ horse – 4+ places – usually 1/6 odds

This does vary by book maker and race. For bigger events, they will often pay more places.

An each-way bet is basically 2 bets. One on the horse to win and one on the horse to place. The simplest way to calculate your returns is on the betting calculator app

An each-way double is a backing 2 bets, in separate races, as a double. This forms a double bet on the horses to win and a double bet on the horses to place. 

This makes 2 bets, one to win and one to place. For both to win all the horses have to win.