There is one thing that all horse racing punters can agree on – horse racing betting is always much more enjoyable when you are backing winners. This is why pages like this, that help you find winning wagers are so important to bettors.
We do this, as well as giving you a list of the top UK horse racing sites. You’ll also find out where you can watch horse racing live, where you can access live betting on horse racing and who has the best betting apps for horse racing.
7 Best Horse Racing Bookmakers
More articles on this topic:
- Breeders' Cup
- Queen Mother Champion Chase
- Hennessy Gold Cup
- Stayers' Hurdle
- bet365 Gold Cup
- Ryanair Chase
- Epsom Derby
- 2000 Guineas
- 1000 Guineas
- Epsom Oaks
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Royal Ascot
- Dubai World Cup
- Cheltenham Festival
- Kentucky Derby
- Champion Hurdle
- Racing Post Trophy
- Betfair Chase
- Melbourne Cup
- King George VI Chase
- Arc de Triomphe
- British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes
- St Leger Stakes
- British Champions Sprint Stakes
- Grand National
Top 3 UK Horse Racing Betting Sites
As you can see from the list above, in our opinion bet365, LeoVegas Sport and Unibet are the top 3 horse racing betting sites in the UK. They all have strong and weak points when it comes to betting on the sport of kings but overall, they are definitely the three best horse racing bookmakers for UK punters. From horse racing betting apps to markets and odds, below you will find out exactly why bet365, LeoVegas Sport and Unibet are the leaders of the pack for betting on horse racing.
Our number one bookie for betting on horse racing has to be bet365. This is a horse racing betting site that is an excellent choice for serious and casual horse racing punters alike. Pro-punters will appreciate the quality of horse racing odds and the availability of live horse racing betting at bet365 is a massive plus too. Live streaming of all major UK, Irish, French and International race meetings is also on the menu at bet365.
There are lots of horse racing markets to choose from and each-way players will love it at bet365 too. Extra places each-way are a regular occurrence for the biggest races like the Grand National and Epsom Derby. Bet365 also have a facility that allows you to set how many places you want to bet on each-way with adjusted odds. There is no doubt about it, bet365 is one of the best online horse racing betting sites around.
While it was no surprise that bet365 and Unibet made our top horse racing bookies UK list, the presence of LeoVegas Sports might be surprising to some. However, our experts all agree that LeoVegas Sports is one of the best horse racing betting sites. They more than deserve their place in this illustrious list and one of the main reasons for their lofty position is the quality of their mobile apps.
Easy to navigate and well designed, you can find all the key horse racing betting markets on the LeoVegas Sports mobile app. Also, live streaming of US horse racing can be accessed at LeoVegas Sports on both desktop and mobile. Hopefully, UK and Irish horse racing streaming will be on offer soon too. LeoVegas Sports’ horse racing odds are decent, ante-post betting is available for all the biggest races and Timeform Spotlight information is available for every race too. All things considered, is easy to see why LeoVegas Sports is one of the top horse racing betting sites in the UK.
Unibet has become one of the UK’s most popular horse racing betting sites. As is the case with most UK online bookmakers, horse racing is a key focus for them. Unibet make online horse racing betting easy with loads of markets, competitive odds and regular horse racing specials and betting promotions. The Unibet mobile apps are up there in terms of quality in comparison to most of their industry rivals and you can watch horse racing live at Unibet too.
You can access live streams of every UK and Irish horse race daily once you place a £1 bet on the race. Live streaming of French, Australian, American and South African racing is also available. The Unibet horse racing blog is another valuable resource with news and views from some of horse racing’s biggest names, including regular contributions from the likes of Nicky Henderson, Richard Hannon and Jamie Spencer. Unibet most certainly deserve their place in our list of the top 3 horse racing betting sites.
How to Bet on Horse Racing
Once you have chosen your favourite horse racing betting sites you will then need to learn how to bet on horse racing. There is no doubt about it, horse racing is one of the most difficult sports to crack when it comes to betting. You should check out our section on how to pick winners later on if you are looking for inspiration. Some punters swear by following market moves while others are students of the formbook. Below we list some of the key points for beginners to consider when it comes to horse racing betting and seasoned punters might benefit from having a look it too…
- Get The Best Odds: This is the number one priority when betting on horse racing (and on other sports too). If you want to maximise your returns when you back a winner the only way to do that is to locate the best price. Horse racing odds comparison sites are useful when you are trying to find the best odds or alternatively shop around to find the horse racing betting sites with the best prices for every bet you place.
- Choose The Correct Market: Another key component of making horse racing betting a success is picking the right market at horse racing betting sites. You should always consider what market is most likely to generate a profit. Always pick the market that gives you the best chance of winning and don’t be tempted by fanciful accas or combi bets with massive odds if you want to make money consistently from horse racing betting.
- Look Out For Promotions: The vast majority of horse racing bookies online run regular horse racing promotions and free bet offers. If you are having an each-way flutter don’t forget to check if any horse racing betting sites are offering extra places. Acca boost and acca insurance offers can come in handy for horse racing punters too. Any offer or promotion that gives you an edge is always worth taking advantage of.
The Different Types of Horse Racing Bets
Most horse racing betting sites have a huge range of wager types to pick from. In this section we look at the different types of horse racing bets that are most likely to land you some winners. Later on we look at some of the most popular horse racing markets. Most punters will be familiar with single and each-way bets but if you want to win big for small stakes there are plenty of multi and combi bets that will give you the chance to do exactly that. To find out more about the many different types bets you can place at horse racing betting sites check out the next few sections…
This is the simplest type of bet that can be placed at all horse racing betting sites. You bet on the horse you think will win the race and to get a return your selection has to finish first. The only exception is if your horse finishes 2nd and gets promoted to 1st in the event of a stewards’ enquiry. Some bookies pay out on horse’s that lose a race in the stewards’ room so make sure to check the small print before you have a bet.
This is a wager that consists of two separate bets. A £5 each-way wager will actually cost you £10. The £10 is split evenly with £5 going on the win market and £5 going on the place market. Each-way terms for handicaps are usually 1/4 odds for 3 places when there is 13 runners or more. If there is 16 runners or more you’ll get paid on 4 places while if there are between 5-7 runners you get paid on 2 places. Each way terms can vary depending on the horse racing betting site so shop around for the best deal.
Doubles are an extremely popular choice with many horse racing punters. You pick two horses and you can back them in a win or each-way double. If you go for the win double you’ll need both horses to win. An each-way double will generate a return if both horses place and it contains two separate bets on the win and place doubles. If one horse in an each-way double wins and the other places you only get paid on the place double and the win double returns as a loser.
A treble works exactly the same as a double except it consists of three selections instead of two. You can also place win or each-way trebles with the stake split on the win and place trebles in the case of an each-way treble (2x bets). If two of your selections win and one is placed you will only get a return on the each-way part of your bet. You need all three selections to win in order to get maximum returns.
An accumulator or ‘Acca’ is a multiple bet that contains 4 selections or more. Some punters enjoy picking out a number of short priced favourites and combining them in acca bets. Another approach is to place an each way acca as at least you will get a return on the place part of your wager if one of your legs finishes 2nd. If one of your legs is unplaced then your entire bet is returned as a loser. Accas are a risky proposition and the more legs you include the more likely it is that one will let you down. It is always worth checking to see if any horse racing betting sites have acca insurance or acca boost offers.
These are multiple bets that contain 4/5/6 selections respectively. The name of each bet reflects the number of separate wagers contained in it. For example, a Lucky 15 consists of 4x single bets, 6x doubles, 4x trebles and 1x accumulator. A win Lucky 15 will generate a return if only one horse wins (or places in the case of an e/w Lucky 15) but to get the maximum payout you need all your horses to win. Lucky 31s (5 selections, 31 bets) and Lucky 63s (6 selections, 63 bets) work exactly the same.
The Best Horse Races to Bet on
In this section we will discuss the best horse races to bet on in Britain. UK punters have no shortage of options as there are lots of top class flat and jumps races held throughout the season. During the Summer and Autumn months the best of the flat racing takes place, while in Winter and Spring the jumpers come to the fore. Below we list some of the best horse races and meetings to bet on, including the Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival.
This is the pinnacle for national hunt horses (jumpers). The Championship Races for each discipline and distance are run at the festival every March. The biggest races of the week at the Cheltenham Festival are the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Watch out for Cheltenham betting offers and specials if you are having a bet at the Cheltenham Festival.
Aintree Grand National
This is the most valuable handicap chase with a prize fund of over a million quid. The Grand National is run at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool every year, usually in early April (learn more on our Grand National page!). Run over a marathon distance of 4 miles+ and 30 fearsome fences, this is a race that captures the imagination of the British public. When betting on the race you should always go each way and make sure to get as many extra places as you can.
For the breeding side of the industry this is the race that really matters. Run every year (usually in June) this 12f contest for 3yos at Epsom Racecourse is viewed as the ultimate test for a flat racehorse. A horse needs balance, stamina and speed to succeed in this race and the winner usually ends up having a long career at stud. Just like we recommend in our guide to the Epsom Derby, always consider pedigrees when betting because more often than not, the best bred horses come to the fore.
This is the flat equivalent of the Cheltenham Festival. Held at Ascot racecourse every summer, the Royal Ascot meeting is a favourite with horse racing fans not only in the UK but around the world. With Group races galore and some high class heritage handicaps, there is something for everyone over the six days at Royal Ascot. Don’t be afraid to chance big priced horses each way at the Royal Meeting, especially in the 2yo races and big field handicaps. And like we recommend on our Royal Ascot page, look out for extra places each way at horse racing betting sites.
Live Horse Racing Betting
In the not too distant past no horse racing betting sites had in-play or live horse racing betting. It was only really possible to get live bets on via betting exchanges. That has all changed now though and more and more traditional sportsbooks are beginning to facilitate in-running horse racing betting.
One of the first to introduce live horse racing betting was bet365. Betting is available up until the final couple of furlongs of every race and you can even get each way in-running bets on in the early stages of each contest. This is another reason why bet365 are widely considered to be one of the best horse racing betting sites around.
Where can I watch the races?
If you want to stream UK and Irish horse races live you will have loads of options. Most of the horse racing betting sites we list on this page have live streaming of horse racing. With bet365 you’ll qualify to watch live horse racing streams if you have a positive balance OR if you have placed a bet in the previous 24 hours. Unibet have live horse racing streams from the UK, Ireland, France and all the biggest meetings around the world. To qualify for live streaming at Unibet you need to place a minimum £1 bet on the race you wish to watch.
Betting Apps for Horse Racing
So, which bookie has the best apps for horse racing? Well, if you want to be able to bet on racing and then watch the race unfold on your mobile device then the Unibet and bet365 mobile apps have got you covered. The LeoVegas Sports App is probably one of the best of its kind out there, but the big negative for racing fans is the lack of live UK and Irish horse racing streams. So, if you are looking for a horse racing betting app that covers all the bases then check out the Android and iOS Apps on offer from Unibet and bet365, two of the UK’s best online horse racing betting sites.
Horse Racing Betting Markets
As we stated earlier on in our how to bet on horse racing section, choosing the right market is one of the keys to success when betting on the horses. It is usually a case of risk vs reward and in most cases, the bigger the odds the less likely it is that your bet will win. Below we look at a couple of interesting horse racing betting markets that can be accessed with all of the best bookies for horse racing mentioned on this page…
Betting Without The Favourite
When there is an odds on or very short priced favourite horse racing betting sites often form ‘betting without the favourite’ markets. The favourite is excluded from the newly formed market and also excluded from the result of the race. So, if you back a horse in this market and it finishes 2nd to the favourite your bet will be returned as a winner. This is a simple market to understand and is an ideal starting point for beginners.
Winning Distance Betting
A winning distance wager is placed on the margin you think a horse will win by. Usually winning distance markets are formed by horse racing betting sites when there is a hot favourite in the race. If you think the fav is a certainty and you want to get a bet on at better odds, you can back it to win by a certain distance. This market usually consists of two choices. For example, Altior to win by up to 2 lengths or alternatively to win by 2 lengths or more. This is a market best left to more experienced punters.
Match betting in horse racing is a popular market with both beginners and professional punters alike. It is a low risk option where the horse racing betting site pairs two horses together and you bet on the one you think will achieve the best finishing position. It doesn’t matter whether the horse you bet on wins the race, once it finishes ahead of the horse it is matched against you will win your bet.
How to Pick Winning Horses
This is a must read section for anyone with ambitions of backing regular horse racing winners. Obviously, we cannot guarantee that the below advice will deliver you winning bets every time but if you follow it you will dramatically improve your prospects of consistently picking winning horses. We can sum it up in three easy points:
- Study the form
- Know your pedigrees
- Don’t just bet on favourites
Study The Form
Past performances are a good indication of how a horse might run in the future. By studying a horse’s previous form you will learn lots of useful information. Some horse racing betting sites like bet365 even have video replays you can look at. For example, past performances will give you an idea of a horse’s favourite ground type and trip. If you study a horse’s form and it has won and placed on soft ground and struggled on good to firm, then you’ll know only to back it when the mud is flying. You can check out the latest going reports on the BHA official site.
Know Your Pedigrees
If you are serious about making horse racing betting pay then you should try to learn as much as you can about pedigrees. Breeding is massive in horse racing and you can learn a lot about whether a horse is likely to stay a certain trip or handle certain ground by studying his or her pedigree. Some sires are stamina influences and others inject speed into their offspring. In 2yo races and bumpers where form is thin on the ground, the breeding of a horse can give an indication of how it might perform. The Weatherbys bloodstock reports site is worth checking out for those keen to learn more about pedigrees.
Don’t Just Bet On Favourites
Some horse racing punters blindly follow favourites when betting on the horses. However, this is not a viable approach if you want to make money in the long run. Generally speaking, only around 1/3 of favourites win races so if you want to turn a profit you’ll need to learn how to spot value bets. Once a market move has happened the value is usually gone from that horse and the key to success is spotting potential market moves before they happen. If you can master this you will have a much better chance of turning a profit over time.
Horse Racing Betting Sites FAQs
What is the safest bet on horse racing?
There is no such thing as a completely safe bet on horse racing given the unpredictable nature of the sport. However, if you are looking for a wager that gives you the best chance of landing a return we recommend sticking to single win or each-way bets or else single match betting wagers. Keep it as simple as possible if you want to win consistently when betting on horse racing and read our section on the different types of horse racing bets to learn more.
What is the best horse racing betting site?
There’s definitely a reason that bet365 is at the top of our list of best horse betting sites. They have very competitive odds, a superb selection of markets and you can pick your own each- way terms for every race (up to 10 places for the biggest races). You won’t find any better horse racing betting sites in the UK.
What are the best horse racing bets?
In our opinion you can’t beat each-way single bets on horse racing. With each-way horse racing bets you’ll still get a return if your horse is narrowly beaten into the places and in the biggest races where there are massive fields it is a lot easier to find a horse to place than to win the race outright. Remember to shop around because each way terms can vary at different horse racing betting sites.
How can you tell a winning horse?
It is hard to tell a winning horse before a race but there are a number of ways you can narrow the field. By studying past performances you can find out what a horse’s ideal trip is, whether they have won at the track before and most importantly, whether the going (ground) suits. Take a look at our expert advice on picking winning horses above for more information. The more of these boxes a horse ticks, the more likely it is to win.
What is an ante-post bet in horse racing?
Ante-post markets are formed by horse racing betting sites months before some of the biggest flat and jumps races. An ante post bet in horse racing is a bet placed long in advance of the race and it is risky wager. If your horse is not declared for the race for any reason (injury/going/poor form) then you lose your stake. On the plus side, you will usually get very generous odds when placing ante-post bets in comparison to when the line up of the race is finalised. Learn more about how to bet on horse racing above!
Where can I watch the races that I’ve bet on?
If you want to watch the races that you have bet on then use a horse racing betting site that has live streaming. Both Unibet and bet365 have live horse racing streaming available for UK customers on desktop and mobile. Plenty of other horse racing betting sites have live streaming too so pick the one that suits your punting habits best.
What is the Triple Crown in horse racing betting?
In the UK the triple crown concerns three races. The true triple crown is the 2000 Guineas (8 furlongs), the Epsom Derby (12 furlongs) and the St Leger (14 furlongs). Not many horses have the versatility to succeed at three vastly different trips at the highest level. The closest any horse has come to winning the Triple Crown in recent years was Camelot who won the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby in 2012 but lost in the St Leger. Nijinsky was the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 1970.