Home Betting Best Horse Racing Betting Sites UK 2023
Jamie Clark

If you’re betting on the sport of kings, then only the best horse racing betting sites will do. Finding out what those are with so many to choose from can be tough. This detailed guide tells you what the top horse racing betting sites are with tips and strategy for beating the bookies, plus the promotions and offers available.

Best Horse Racing Betting Sites UK

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Top 10 Horse Racing Betting Sites in the UK

According to the table above, these are the best bookies for horse racing in the UK today.

  1. Betfred – The Bonus King bookmaker
  2. QuinnBet – Range of horse racing offers
  3. 888sport – BetFeed and BetFinder features
  4. The Pools – Daily Bet & Get free bets
  5. Spreadex – Spread betting and fixed odds
  6. Fitzdares – Up to 25% bonuses on multis
  7. BoyleSports – Free Bet if 2nd to SP Fav deal
  8. BetUK – Free to view horse racing & Acca Club
  9. Virgin Bet – 3/1+ Winner free bet promo
  10. BetGoodwin – Money back as free bet deals

Reviewing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in the UK

Sorting the wheat from the chaff, we asked our experts to review the top online bookmakers for horse racing in the UK. We take a look at five of the top 10 horse racing betting sites out there:

1. Betfred – The Bonus King Bookmaker

The conversation about the best horse racing bookie online will always include Betfred. Colloquially called The Bonus King, that is more than a mere advertising gimmick. It’s a nickname they have earned. Betfred pledged to do more for horse racing punters and now claims to offer more Extra Place Races for each way betting than any other mainstream bookie.

While proving or disproving that would be something of a manual task for our experts, what’s not in doubt is they cater well for those who like this type of wager. If you enjoy combination and system bets, meanwhile, there are bonuses available you won’t get on other horse racing betting sites in the UK.

Betfred horse racing betting sites

These include All Correct Bonuses and One Winner Bonus deals. Those are paid in cash rather than free bets. Speaking of those, Betfred also offers your stake back as a free bet up to a set amount if your horse finishes second in selected UK and Irish horse races. Fred’s Daily Double includes two horses together in a price boost that traders want to push.

There are also good ante post and daily international betting sections. With live streaming available on UK and Irish horse races you bet on, Betfred ticks a lot of boxes. It’s a good measuring stick against all other horse racing betting sites out there, that’s for sure.

What we like:

  • Loads of Extra Place Races
  • Great choice for system bets
  • Daily horse racing specials
  • Free Bet if 2nd promotion
  • #PickYourPunt for requests

What we don’t:

  • No free live streaming of horse racing
  • Could offer more international markets

2. QuinnBet – Range of Horse Racing Offers

Another of the best online bookies for horse racing is QuinnBet. They have plenty of offers tailored specifically to this sport in order to attract punters. From the Acca Bonus deal that adds a percentage of additional winnings on as a free bet to a series of refund promotions like Beaten A Head or Less, Fallers Insurance and Fail to Finish, QuinnBet provides every incentive to bet.

Depending on the race or other terms, there are also free bets available on second place, finishing second to the SP favourite, or third or fourth on the market leader. Each of these subtly different deals amounts to the same thing, compensation in the form of a free bet if you hit the crossbar with your fancies.

QuinnBet horse racing betting sites

QuinnBet also have Extra Places on selected races, following other leading horse racing betting sites in this regard. There are Future Races for ante post betting, some specials and Virtual racing, as well as markets for today, tomorrow and the day after. Coverage extends to several countries, so there’s so much to bet on.

What we like:

  • Lots of free bet offers available
  • Acca Bonus promo includes horses
  • Look out for Today’s Extra Places
  • Bet on races in multiple countries
  • Live stream horse racing for free

What we don’t:

  • Most deals are only refund offers
  • Only a few horse racing specials

3. 888sport – Racing Search Filter in BetFinder

Yet another of the top horse racing bookies online is 888sport, who have some handy features that help you find the right bet for you. Discover trending and popular bets across multiple sports with BetFeed. There is also a specific horse racing search filter with the BetFinder tool. Whittle down big fields by choosing winners or placed horses last time out or on recent starts, previous course and/or distance winners and more.

It’s not just this that makes 888sport among the best horse racing betting sites UK punters can wager with either. Their Each Way + promotion not only offers extra places but enhanced terms. That means you could end up with a third of outright odds instead of a quarter on selected races. A 4/1 Winner bonus of a £5 free bet at 888sport applies to horse racing too.

888sport horse racing betting sites

Boosted doubles, trebles and specials are also available during major meetings. 888sport is a great destination for horse racing live streaming. Watch & Bet covers Australian, French and US action, besides domestic races in the UK and Ireland. They also pay out on Double Results in the event that a stewards’ enquiry sees places change. There’s plenty going on for horse racing fans at 888sport, that’s for sure.

What we like:

  • Each Way + promo for extra places
  • BetFeed feature for trending bets
  • BetFinder tool helps you find punts
  • Watch & Bet with live streaming
  • 4/1 Winner bonus for a free bet

What we don’t:

  • Cluttered layout to sportsbook
  • 4/1 Winner bonus once a day

4. The Pools – Daily Bet & Get Free Bets

One of the new horse racing betting sites UK punters can gamble on, The Pools provides bet and get free bet deals every day. These offers include a free bet if the favourite wins selected races and. On that and other conditions, there is a sliding scale of value. Bet £5 for a £1 free bet, £10 to get £2 and £20 to receive £5. These are available on featured race meetings every single day.

There are Price Boosts and Extra Place Races on offer too, so you can see what horses The Pools traders like to push and identify opportunities for an each way bet. Look out for the Acca Boost on any £10 fivefold and upwards accumulators, including horse racing. This is perfect for combining your big meeting or festival fancies in one wager.

The Pools horse racing betting sites

With horse racing markets on events in multiple countries, The Pools punches above its weight with other more established horse racing betting sites in terms of what’s on offer. There’s a Loyalty Club, Virtual Racing and a good range of ante post wagers for those who like to bet long-term. The Pools has more going for it than you might expect.

What we like:

  • Bet & Get free bets if conditions met
  • Daily Price Boosts available
  • Offers some Extra Place Races
  • Acca Boost includes horse racing
  • Loyalty Club rewards regular punters

What we don’t:

  • Lack of free bet refund deals
  • No live streaming of horses

5. Spreadex – Spread Betting & Fixed Odds

If the concept of horse racing spread betting sitting side-by-side a regular fixed odds service intrigues you, then Spreadex is well worth checking out. They offer both wagering types, but you do need to know the risks involved. We’ll touch on that more later. Almost unique among horse racing betting sites with what’s available, you can choose between buying or selling spreads or sticking to the traditional bets.

Spreadex runs a 2nd to a Rag Insurance deal that refunds losing stakes as a free bet if your horse finishes second to a 33/1 or bigger outsider. They also pay out on first past the post and any amended result. Besides betting on the action at home or in Ireland, there are markets for races in Europe, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and Asia.

Spreadex horse racing betting sites

One area in which Spreadex improved recently, taking it into the conversation of best online horse racing betting sites is live streaming. This is available for almost all the races they markets on, so you can even bet and watch international events. Spreadex makes for a highly interesting alternative and unique gambling experience to established fixed odds horse racing bookies online.

What we like:

  • The masters of spread betting
  • Fixed odds markets available
  • 2nd to a Rag Insurance offer
  • Good international coverage
  • Strong for live streaming

What we don’t:

  • Very limited ante post betting
  • No Best Odds Guaranteed deal

Key Features of the Best Horse Racing Online Betting Sites

While reading our reviews of the best UK horse racing betting sites, you may have noticed some aspects common amongst them. While every bookie offers something slightly different to the competition, there are certain elements each must provide. The table below highlights key features of UK horse racing bookmakers and whether their service includes these things or not:

UK Horse Racing Bookmakers Acca Promos Best Odds Guaranteed Each Way Specials Enhanced Odds Live Streaming of Horse Racing Money Back as Free Bet Offers
Spreadex logo
BetUK logo

Ranking the Top Horse Racing Betting Sites

When it comes to ranking the established best and new horse racing betting sites out there, it’s not just the table above that our experts use to decide. There is more to it than that. We thought we should ask them about key criteria that determines what the best bookmakers for horse racing in the UK are. This is what they came back to us with:

Top Prices

At the end of the day, betting sites for horse racing can offer all the deals they want but it’s not about gimmicks for some punters. The overriding factor is value for money. That doesn’t come through promotions alone but competitive odds. We’re not talking about Best Odds Guaranteed here, but top prices. The bigger the odds, the greater the potential profit. All the best horse racing bookmakers UK punters use are industry leaders. It’s why Betfred have the confidence to push certain runners.

Horse Racing Events Covered

We’re dealing with a truly global sport, so the best horse racing betting sites need to ensure their coverage reflects that. Any British bookie is concerned first and foremost with UK and Irish action, but there are some big races abroad throughout the year that feature horses trained on our shores. Punters that follow these globetrotters want to be able to bet on them running overseas. Our experts were particularly impressed with Spreadex for coverage of international events.

Range of Bets

Variety is the spice of life as the old adage goes. If you want to take the favourite out of the equation, either because there’s no value in backing that horse or you really fancy something to finish second, then you need to have the option to do that. Most existing and new online horse racing betting sites provide different markets to a straight win. We’ve got a list of the popular types of bets punters make below too. The range of bets at BoyleSports impresses our experts.

Horse Racing Offers

If there’s one thing that can make or break your decision whether to take a punt or not, then it’s promotions. All of the best online betting sites for horse racing will have some offers. These act as incentives to wager on a particular race. As we’ve seen from the reviews and will be discussed below, these can take many forms. Two horse racing betting sites in particular stand out in terms of offers to our experts. Those are The Pools and QuinnBet but any on the toplist have their merits.

Extra Features

Anything extra that the best betting sites for horse racing can offer you is also welcome. Whether it’s free or qualifying access to live streaming of the action, or handy tools to help you track down potential punts, these add to the overall gambling experience. Among the best horse racing bookmakers UK punters use, 888sport has its fabulous features in BetFeed and BetFinder, with the later tailored specifically to the sport of kings to help eliminate runners from big fields.

New Horse Racing Betting Sites UK

The UK is a busy place for gambling. You may have already signed up to some of the established horse racing bookmakers best known in it. What about fresh races in the industry, though? There are lots of new online horse racing betting sites out there too. We only put forward trusted bookies, so you don’t have to worry about their reliability. Check out the new kids on the block in the table below:

Top New Horse Racing Betting Sites

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Horse Racing Betting Sites with Bonuses & Offers

It’s obvious that the best betting sites for horse racing must all have some promotions. Now is as good a time as any to look at popular bookmaker offers in more detail, though. These types of bonuses and deals are regularly available through top online horse racing bookies in the UK today:

Acca Deals

thepoolsAccumulators have their place on both horse racing and football betting sites but the promotions available should cover these and other sports at standard. We’re not just talking about Acca Insurance here but deals that reward you when you get things right. The All Correct Bonuses with Betfred are one example of this on system bets that contain accumulators of different legs in combination.

Something simpler for punters to work with is the Acca Boost on fivefold and upwards accumulators when you stake £10+ on them with The Pools. This is additional winnings paid as cash, not free bets. The percentage bonus applied depends on the number of legs in the acca with 5% for a fivefold, increasing increments to 30% for a tenfold. If you have 11 legs, there’s 40% winnings and 12 or more awards the maximum bonus of 50%.

Best Odds Guaranteed

boylesportsIf there’s one thing that the top established and new horse racing betting sites UK punters wager with almost all have in common, then it’s Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG). It’s a very simple offer once you break it down. From a certain time, typically the morning of the race, if you take an early price and the horse ends up at a starting price (SP) that is bigger, then your bet is settled at the greater odds.

Thanks to BOG, nobody feels like they miss out. While this won’t apply to any ante post betting you’ve done on a race, or events outside of the UK and Ireland, there are some rare examples of the offer applying early. We’re talking about BoyleSports here, who don’t wait for the day of the race to offer you Best Odds Guaranteed. They’re prepared to bring it into effect the day before, so you can take the overnight price and still get a bigger SP!

Bet Boosts / Odds Boosts / Price Boosts

888sportPlenty of the best online bookies for horse racing run Bet Boosts, Odds Boosts and Price Boosts. They may use these names or another title which amounts to the same thing. Additional value either on horses their traders want to push or alternatively put you in control by letting you increase the odds for a runner of your choice. The latter approach is what established heavyweights like Betfair with My Odds Boost and William Hill courtesy of the Daily Bet Boost do.

It’s often equally interesting to see what the bookie put forward themselves in Price Boosts and enhanced doubles and trebles. Don’t ignore 888sport on this as they target big meetings with such specials. In order for these doubles and trebles to be worthwhile, punters need to genuinely fancy both or all legs involved but it’s still an aspect that contributes towards them being among the top horse racing betting sites out there.

Each Way Specials

betfredThe most common special offers for each way betting are Extra Place Races. There are industry standard rules governing how many places online bookmakers for horse racing must pay, depending on the type of race and number of horses running. Extra Place Races go above and beyond that, mainly in handicaps but sometimes in conditions contests too.  Instead of three places, you get four and so on.

That is an attractive incentive to back something each way on the best horse racing betting sites. As noted in our above review, Betfred offer more Extra Place Races than ever before. This includes the Super Extra Place Races promotion where you may get five and even six places paid out sometimes. The Betfred Extra Place Races deal does require a set minimum of numbers coming under starter’s orders, though, or terms may revert to industry standards.

Money Back as a Free Bet Offers

quinnbetGetting a refund as a free bet (or even better in cash) mitigates the potential for losing your stake. Many of the best bookmakers for horse racing run this type of deal. Up to a set amount, stakes get returned to punters in the form of a bonus, so you don’t have to risk further capital on your next wager. The most common money back as a free bet deal throughout the industry is when your horse finishes second to the SP favourite.

There are a whole range of offers returning stakes in bonus funds available at QuinnBet right now. In selected races, they have promotions giving you money back as a free bet if your horse finishes second, third and/or fourth; is beaten by a head or less; falls or fails to finish. The maximum refund, whatever the specific offer, is set at £10. There may be minimum runners or other terms applying across these deals.

Horse Racing Betting Exchanges

As well as regular fixed odds betting through the best online bookies for horse racing, you can also gamble on the Exchanges. These operate differently. It is peer to peer betting on a platform like Betfair, where a small commission fee is charged for providing this service. All you need to do is find another punter who will take the bet you propose.

Betfair Exchange


Whether you decide to back or lay a horse, it needs matching by another person. You’re in control of setting the odds, though. In spite of the commission to pay win or lose, you could end up with a greater profit than on fixed odds horse racing betting sites, but there are additional risks. Unlike when wagering with a bookmaker, you could lose more than just the stake and end up owing the person who matched your bet some money.

What is a Lay Bet in Horse Racing

When you don’t fancy a horse to win, it could be worth considering placing a lay bet. That is essentially betting on it to lose. You won’t find lay bets on regular fixed odds services provided by the best bookies for horse racing but on the exchanges like Betfair. Search through the backer’s odds and enter a stake that you’re prepared to risk on the horse losing.

Horse racing lay bet

Once you’ve matched an existing back bet on the exchange with a lay bet, it’s time to wait and see about the outcome of the race. If the horse loses, then you’re quids in. However, should it win then you must pay out to the person who backed it for victory at the odds and stake you matched. Despite this additional risk, it is always worth considering laying horses because around two-thirds of favourites don’t win on average.

Most Established UK Horse Racing Betting Sites

We can’t talk about the best bookies for horse racing without a mention for the big boys. These established betting sites are industry leaders and even the most casual punter will probably have heard of them. Regular gamblers like as not already have online accounts with these industry heavyweights. They can also be considered among the top horse racing betting sites with bonuses too, so here’s a breakdown of what each major player has to offer on this sport:

Betfair Horse Racing Betting – Bet £10 on Sportsbook & Get £30 in Free Bets

We’ve already seen that Betfair has more to offer than just fixed odds betting. They are industry innovators and provide the premier Exchange betting product. This has turned them into a powerful bookie with wider reaching influence on the market than many ordinary punters realise. On-course bookmakers mostly follow the Betfair Exchange in pricing up races now. However, it’s not just about backing horses to win and laying them to lose.

Betfair also boasts its own series of race sponsorships, predominantly in the National Hunt code. This includes big events like the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park and Ascot Chase. As well as feature Grade 1 steeplechases, they also partner big betting handicaps like the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot.

Three or more My Odds Boosts specifically for horse racing are available every single day. Betfair increases these during major meetings, so they let you increase the odds for more bets than any other bookie. Couple that with a healthy dose of Extra Place Races, plus their Each Way Edge and Acca Edge deals, and it’s easy to see why they are one of the leading and established horse racing betting sites in the UK today.

Coral Horse Racing Betting – Bet £5 & Get a £20 Free Bet

Coral logpAs long-standing sponsors of the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, Welsh Grand National at Chepstow and Scottish Grand National at Ayr, Coral have evolved from trackside bookie into betting shops and now the digital age. Unlike their competitors, they also partner a big betting handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in the Coral Cup. Long-term loyalty to these horse races has paid off.

Coral go Best Odds Guaranteed from as soon as traders price up events following final decs. They also offer Fallers Insurance during the core jumps season, while during the Flat turf campaign they pick a selected meeting every day to refund losing stakes as a free bet if your horse is Beaten by a Length or less. That applies to every race on the card. There are occasional Odds Boosters for horse racing too.

Extra Place Races are also regularly available at Coral, who also have the Racing Super Series prediction game that is free to play. This makes them unique among horse racing betting sites with football a more popular sport and choice for predictors. Help yourself to a daily prize on offer through the Coral Rewards Grabber too. There are boosted doubles, other specials and ante post markets besides daily horse racing bets from around the globe.

Ladbrokes Horse Racing Betting – Bet £5 & Get £20 in Free Bets

Ladbrokes logoAnother trackside bookie and betting shop outfit turned online bookmaker, Ladbrokes are sponsors of the Winter Carnival at Newbury. The feature horse racing event there is the Ladbrokes Trophy, formerly the Hennessy Gold Cup. This big betting handicap chase over jumps is an annual highlight. Ladbrokes also partner some important Irish National Hunt events during the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.

Owned by the same parent company as Coral, Ladbrokes run similar offers. They too are Best Odds Guaranteed from the moment prices go up after final decs. Ladbrokes’ Extra Place Races often mirror those offered by Coral as well. There is a daily Odds Boost, however, that allows you to increase the price on one bet of your choice.

As well as this guaranteed price boost, the Ladbrokes new customer offer is also slightly different to Coral. It awards £20 in free bets as 4x £5 rather than one bonus for those who sign up and bet £5. When comparing the odds between horse racing betting sites, though, the prices offered by Ladbrokes and Coral match. This is because they use the same traders for the markets.

Paddy Power Horse Racing Betting – £10 Risk Free Bet

Paddy Power logoIrish bookmakers Paddy Power have made quite a splash in the UK. This is no small part down to their horse racing sponsorships, which include some big events over jumps. They currently partner the Stayers’ Hurdle and Mares’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, plus the Paddy Power Gold Cup – the feature handicap chase and big betting race of the November Meeting. It almost goes without saying that they regularly sponsor events in both National Hunt and on the Flat in the Emerald Isle.

Still enjoying a betting shop presence in towns and cities on both sides of the Irish Sea, the profile of Paddy Power has surged in the digital age. There are daily Extra Place Races and regular Money Back as a Free Bet promotions during big meetings. Like Ladbrokes and Coral, Paddy Power happens to be part of the same gambling group as Betfair. Despite common ownership, these horse racing betting sites could hardly be more different.

This goes right down to what the sign up offer for new customers is. At Betfair, it’s a bet and get deal, but Paddy Power provides a risk-free bet for your first wager after signing up. They are also a lot cheekier with their PR and social media posting. There are good daily specials and strong ante post betting markets too, so Paddy Power are far from jokers. They use the same traders as Betfair, so that’s why their odds for horse races are similar.

William Hill Horse Racing Betting – Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

William Hill logoThe origins of William Hill are just like those of the other established big boys of British betting. On-course bookmakers, then High Street betting shops and now an online sportsbook. Although less committed to long-term sponsorship than their peers, William Hill pick up and partner big races all the time. Over the years, their portfolio has included the Grand National Trial at Haydock Park, St Leger Festival at Doncaster and Ayr Gold Cup.

There’s a Top Price Guarantee in effect at William Hill, which pledges to match the odds offered by other leading horse racing betting sites out there. This works in conjunction with the Best Odds Guaranteed that comes into effect from 10am on the day of the race. William Hill also run their Pick Your Places and Lengthen Your Odds promotion that gives you control over each way betting. The choice is yours whether you take fewer places for a better price or not.

William Hill do have Extra Place Races on top of this as well. There is even a daily Racing Bet Boost, which can be used on either horses or greyhounds, and even applies to accumulators if you wish. The ante post betting section under Future Races is split into The Week Ahead, Flat, English Classics, National Hunt, International, Cheltenham Festival, Grand National and Royal Ascot so, everything is neatly compartmentalised.

Something else that the best online horse racing betting sites UK punters use should all have is a good range of market options. It’s not enough to simply offer win only wagers these days. Here are the common bet types that you’ll find available with the bookies:

  • Win
  • Each Way
  • Place
  • Ante Post
  • Accumulators
  • Combination and System Bets
  • Distance Betting
  • Match Betting
  • Without the Favourite
  • Specials

Some of these markets are self-explanatory, but let’s take a look at each of them in more detail:

Win Betting

Pretty much what it says on the tin. Where you simply back a horse to win the race it’s running in. This single bet only pays out if your runner is first past the post or promoted to winner following a stewards’ enquiry.

Each Way Betting

Essentially two bets in one. This wager is where you back a horse both for an outright win and to finished place. Your unit stake doubles. Precise place terms vary depending on the type of the race and number of runners.

These can be enhanced if the event is one of the Extra Place Races that horse racing betting sites now regularly offer. Even if the horse doesn’t win, an each way bet still pays out something – a fraction of the outright odds – in the event it runs into the places.

Place Betting

You can also separately back a horse just to be placed. Provided there are more than four runners, markets will at least be available one two places (finishing first and second). If there are eight or more horses in a race, then three places (first, second and third) is also an option here. In big field handicaps, look out for place betting on four places.

Ante Post Betting

Any wagers placed on horse racing events prior to final declarations, which happened around 48 hours before events in the UK and Ireland, are called ante post. You aren’t guaranteed a run for your money as these bets don’t fall under Non-Runner No Bet terms. The upside with ante post betting, for all that increased risk, is usually better odds. These can be lively around major meetings.


Called an acca for short, an accumulator is where you bet on two or more horse to win different races on the same betslip. Each leg must be successful in order for the bet to pay out. It’s tougher finding multiple winners of horse racing events but the reward is the odds accumulate, that means multiply from leg to leg creating bigger returns.

Look out for Acca Insurance and other accumulator bonuses on the best betting sites for horse racing today. These may not cover Doubles (two legs) and Trebles (three), but look out for deals involving 4+ legs.

Combination & System Bets

Mitigating the high risk of an accumulator losing, more complex wager types are available. These are called combination and system bets. Instead of putting four horses in a straight acca, why not go for a Yankee or Lucky 15? The former is 11 wagers in one covering all permutations of doubles and trebles as well as the fourfold.

A Lucky 15, meanwhile, is 15 bets on a single betslip include each of the four horses as win singles, plus all the multiples and accumulator. Here is a list of the combination and system bets on offer:

  • Trixie
  • Patent
  • Yankee
  • Lucky 15
  • Canadian
  • Lucky 31
  • Heinz
  • Lucky 63
  • Super Heinz
  • Goliath

Distance Betting

With some exceptional horses or red-hot favourites, it’s not a case of if they will win but by how far? That is where distance betting comes in. Some of the top horse racing betting sites provide markets on the jolly winning by so many lengths. It’s a way to get more value into backing favourites. A distance betting wager pays out provided the horse wins by at least the margin of victory specified.

Match Betting

Sometimes called head to heads, match betting is where you bet on one named horse to beat another. They don’t have to win the race in question. The only requirement is that they finish in front of the other horse. This can be a value betting angle when two old rivals meet off different terms to the previous encounter.

Betting Without the Favourite

Instead of going down the distance betting route, you can take favourites out of the equation entirely. There is the option of betting without them. If the market leader is odds-on, then you can’t even double your money. There isn’t much value in backing them. However, a livelier market could well be betting without the favourite. Such a wager pays out if the chosen horse finishes second to the favourite or wins the race outright.


There are any number of special novelty and season wagers you can place on the best UK horse racing betting sites right now. From odds on the trainers’ and jockeys’ championship to long-term propositions like a horse going through the campaign or it career unbeaten, there is plenty to choose from. Specials are always worth a look at around major meetings and festival if you’re searching for a fun bet or bit of value.

Effective Horse Racing Betting Strategy

Approaching your punts on top horse racing betting sites strategically makes all the sense in the world. There should always be some thought or thinking behind every gamble you take. This reflects the calculated risks involved with wagering on horses. Follow this general horse racing betting strategy for starters, and you’ll at least make better decisions:

Each Way Bets All the Way

Betting each way can soften the blow of your horse not winning a race but still finishing placed. Provided the odds are over a certain threshold based on the fraction of the outright price paid out and you can break even from the place part, then why not do it? Each way betting is a no brainer, especially in more competitive races where many horses are in with chances.

Although this type of wager isn’t available in races with fewer than five runners, and small field sizes have become an issue in the UK, there are still plenty of opportunities. The pressure is off slightly with an each way bet compared to a win only wager. You do have to get your fractions right, avoid non-runners reducing place terms and imposing Rule 4 deductions on your bet, but the latter would impact an outright win anyway.

Follow Beaten Favourites Next Time

Did you know that on average favourites only win about a third of horse races? However, it could prove foolish to write one off just because it didn’t meet market expectations. There are any number of excuses that can be made to forgive a horse a poor performance. Perhaps the stable wasn’t in form at the time, or it was a first race after a long break from the track and it needed the run. Maybe the horse had no luck in-running with gaps not appearing until it was too late.

It may have been conceding lumps of weight in gender allowances, penalties or what they call weight for age to younger types. Forecast rain didn’t arrive, or did and hampered their chances. The upshot of this is a beaten favourite could well be priced up more generously on horse racing betting sites next time out. Take a close look at the race conditions or terms, the trip and going. More elements may be in their favour, so always be prepared to give that horse another chance.

Try Dutching for Size

There is absolutely stopping you from hedging your bets. In fact, in a competitive sport like horse racing, it should be encouraged. This is where what they call Dutching comes in. Create a stake plan and split the total wagered across two or more bets. You’ll need to work out how much to put on each runner in order to roughly get the same return. Ensuring your make a profit regardless of which horse wins is also important, or such strategy is fatally flawed.

This is a wise approach to wide-open races where you can make a case for a few runners. As rough averages, the favourite wins about a third of the time, the second-favourite around a fifth and the third in the market approximately 15%. If there’s a way of Dutching all of these, then you’ve got two-thirds of statistical outcomes covered. Combining this strategy with your each way betting could also prove very smart.

Best Betting Sites for Horse Racing Live Streaming

Many of the leading online horse racing betting sites in the UK provide access to live streams from all tracks in the British Isles. It doesn’t matter whether the races are National Hunt over jumps, or on the Flat or All-Weather, this should be available. The very top online bookmakers for horse racing will provide this free of charge without even needing to bet. There’s more in the table below:

Horse Racing Betting Sites Live Streaming Requirements Visit Bookie
quinnbet Log in and watch horse racing from the UK, Ireland, France, Australia and USA for free. Watch Now
888sport Watch & Bet on horse racing in the UK, Ireland, France, Australia and the USA with free access to live streams. Watch Now
Spreadex logo Log in to a funded account to view all UK and Irish meetings, plus selected overseas horse racing. View Now
William Hill logo Log in to see live streams of UK and Irish horse racing broadcast on Betting TV 1 and 2. Watch Now

Glossary of Horse Racing Betting Terms

Newcomers to this sport will benefit from having horse racing betting terminology and jargon explained to them. Check out our experts’ guide for beginners below:


Horse racing meetings and race that don’t take place on turf (grass) but artificial surfaces. Dundalk in Ireland; and Chelmsford City, Kempton Park, Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Southwell and Wolverhampton in the UK have All-Weather tracks at them.


Within race terms, horses may be given allowances for age or gender that take weight off their backs. Mainly for conditions races, these rules can also apply to handicaps in certain circumstances. Weight for age is common for younger horses taking on their elders. Fillies and mares receive a 3lb sex allowance in a conditions races on the Flat, and 7lb in National Hunt events of a similar nature.

Black Type

A black type race is one with Listed, Group or graded status. While not so important in National Hunt horse racing, they matter more on the Flat. When looking back over a horse’s career on the track, the more black type they have, then the more valuable they are as stallions at stud or broodmares in the paddocks depending on their gender.


One of the many types of headgear in the tack available to racehorse trainers, blinkers can sharpen their runners up as it shuts out what’s going on in their peripheral vision.


Similar to blinkers, cheekpieces are less intrusive to a horses’ peripheral vision but still block out what other horses are doing. They can aid concentration.


A claimer is a jockey who, due to a lack of experience, can take additional weight beyond what is allotted off a horse’s back. This rule doesn’t apply to black type races. Claiming jockeys can be amateurs or conditionals, and start by taking 10lb off, then after riding so many winners this is reduced to 7lb, 5lb, 3lb and finally no weight at all.


Five British horse races on the Flat are called Classics and these have significance for the future of the thoroughbred. Each event has been run since at least the time of the Napoleonic Wars, more than 200 years ago. The Classic races, open only to three-year-old colts and/or fillies are:

  • 2000 Guineas at Newmarket (May), 1m
  • 1000 Guineas at Newmarket (May), 1m
  • The Oaks at Epsom Downs (June), 1m 4f 6y
  • The Derby at Epsom Downs (June), 1m 4f 6y
  • St Leger at Doncaster (September), 1m 6f 115y


A colt is an entire male horse aged between two and four. Once they reach the age of five, they are simply known as a horses.

Conditions Race

A conditions race is one where the weights are set based on the qualifying horses’ previous performances within a set time period. Such events may add penalties for victories at the same or a higher level, or provide allowances in weight for age for younger horses against their elders or sex allowances for fillies and mares from colts and geldings. Conditions may prohibit horses of a certain type, gender or age from competing in the race too.

Dead Heat

In the event that the judge cannot split two (or more) horses in a photo finish and determine an outright winner, that is called a dead heat. If this happens, the horse racing betting sites settle all wagers at half of the stake gambled to the full starting price (SP).


Off-course, there are peer to peer betting services called Exchanges where punters can back horses to win or lay them to lose with other people taking the wagers. Exchange operators like Betfair charge a small percentage of commission for facilitating these services.


The horse with the shortest odds for a race is said to be the favourite. This is because they have the highest implied probability of winning. Remember, two-thirds of all favourites don’t win horse races on average.


A filly is a female horse aged between two and four.

Fixed Odds

Markets offered by UK horse racing bookmakers are called fixed odds. This is because a percentage is built into the market (or book) which, no matter the outcome of a race, should ensure at least some profit for the bookies setting the prices.


The traditional measurement of horse races in the UK and Ireland is in furlongs. There are eight of this unit in a mile. There are furlong markers, placed every 220 yards back from the winning post on British racecourses.


Any male horse, regardless of age, that has undergone a gelding operation is called a gelding. They cannot have a career at stud after their racing career due to these changes to their anatomy.


Any horse race where the weight carried relates to the sport’s governing body and their official assessment and rating is called a handicap. These can have conditions attached to them, such as restricting age or gender, but sex allowances aren’t usually given. Weight for age in handicaps still exists and penalties can also apply. Even though some have set ratings ceilings, they may at the race organiser’s discretion be open to horses rated just above the threshold.


A piece of headgear designed to shut out noise rather than aid a horse’s concentration is called a hood. Those wearing a red hood indicate they only have it on until the start of a race. Hoods contain padding around the ears, so that nervous or excitable horses remain calm in the preliminaries such as when parading in the paddock in front of the crowd of racegoers.


On the Flat, a juvenile is any two-year-old horse for the entire year. Over jumps in the National Hunt code, meanwhile, juveniles are three-year-olds in the autumn and winter at the start of the core season that become four-year-olds midway through the campaign.


A mare is a female horse aged five and up.


Horses that are declared to run in a race but don’t come under starter’s orders and jump off are deemed non-runners. Withdrawing a horse just moments before the off can happen based on vet’s advice, them being upset in the stalls or refusing to go into them in a Flat race, or refusing to race generally. A non-runner may result in a Rule 4 deduction to any bets placed following final decs.

Photo Finish

When the naked eye of judge watching the finishing line and winning post cannot make out whether a horse has won or not, they use a photo finish to determine the outcome.


When a racehorse makes their first start after a long break or since the start of the new season, they are said to be making their reappearance. Some horses strip fitter for their return to action, while other are best caught first time out on the track as they go well fresh.

Rule 4

A Rule 4 deduction applies to all bets on a race placed after final declarations in the event that a horse priced at 14/1 (15.00) or shorter is withdrawn at any point before the race begins. The shorter the odds of the horse taken out of the event, the larger the deduction. For example, any horses withdrawn at Evens (2.00) incur a 50p to £1 deduction, so punters don’t want short-priced runners being withdrawn.

Starting Prices (SPs)

The Starting Price (abbreviated to SP) are the odds for a horse when they come under starter’s orders. You may hear people refer to the SP as the price horses are returned at with these now confirmed based on the off-course market rather than on-track betting after the race finishes.

Tongue Tie

A tongue tie is a piece of tack and equine equipment designed to stop the tongues of horses lolling out whilst running and thus aid their breathing in a race.

Top 10 UK Meetings on Horse Racing Betting Sites

With horse racing meetings on almost every single day of the year in Britain and Ireland, there is always something to bet on. Let’s take a look at the most important events in the calendar every year, both from a gambling perspective and for fans of this great sport:

Race Meeting Type Course Feature Race(s) When
Cheltenham Festival Jumps Cheltenham Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup March
Grand National Festival Jumps Aintree Grand National April
Guineas Weekend Flat Newmarket 2000 Guineas, 1000 Guineas May
Derby Festival Flat Epsom Downs The Oaks, Epsom Derby June
Royal Ascot Flat Ascot Ascot Gold Cup June
Glorious Goodwood Flat Goodwood Goodwood Cup, Sussex Stakes, Nassau Stakes, Stewards’ Cup July
Ebor Festival Flat York Juddmonte International, Yorkshire Oaks, Nunthorpe Stakes, Ebor Handiap August
St Leger Festival Flat Doncaster St Leger September
British Champions Day Flat Ascot Champion Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes October
Boxing Day Jumps Kempton Park King George VI Chase December

Cheltenham Festival

Four four days in the middle of March, Cheltenham becomes the centre of the sporting universe as the best National Hunt horses race there. The Cheltenham Festival is horse racing’s cash cow with a host of red-hot handicap hurdles and chases supporting 14 Grade 1 events including the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Grand National

There arguably isn’t a more important single race to the best horse racing betting sites UK punters wager with than the Grand National. Called the world’s most famous steeplechase with good reason, this feature handicap chase at Aintree captivates the British public’s attention like no other event. A maximum field of 40 horses cross 30 fences in the ultimate stamina test.

Epsom Derby

In terms of significance to the future of the thoroughbred, you won’t find a more important race in the UK than The Derby. Not only is it the most valuable horse racing event in Britain, but the winner effectively has a guaranteed career at stud as a stallion once their days on the track are done. The Derby is also referred to as the Epsom Derby to distinguish it from other events.

Royal Ascot

There are lots of big Flat racing meetings over the summer, but they don’t come any bigger than Royal Ascot. For five days in the middle of June, thoroughbred racehorses come from all over the world to compete in front of royalty. Big races include the Queen Anne Stakes, King’s Stand Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, Ascot Gold Cup, Coronation Stakes, Commonwealth Cup and Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

Horse Racing on Boxing Day

There isn’t a busier day in the British horse racing calendar than Boxing Day. On top of the start of Christmas Festivals in Ireland at Leopardstown and Limerick, plus a meeting at Down Royal in Northern Ireland, there are eight courses hosting cards on mainland Britain. The highlight race  among those is the King George VI Chase, one of three Grade 1 events at Kempton Park.

Biggest International Horse Racing Betting Events

Besides the domestic British and Irish action, the best UK horse racing betting sites need to have markets on major events overseas. It’s a global sport after all with thoroughbred racing on dirt and/or turf across the Channel in mainland Europe, over the Atlantic in the USA and Canada, in the Middle and Far East, and even as far away as South Africa and Australia. The table below contains 10 of the best horse races that take place abroad:

Race Surface Distance Country Course When
Pegasus World Cup Dirt 1,800m USA Gulfstream Park January
Saudi Cup Dirt 1,800m Saudi Arabia Riyadh February
Dubai World Cup Dirt 2,000m UAE Meydan March
Kentucky Derby Dirt 2,000m USA Churchill Downs May
Durban July Turf 2,200m South Africa Greyville July
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Turf 2,400m France Longchamp October
Melbourne Cup Turf 3,200m Australia Flemington November
Breeders’ Cup Classic Dirt 2,000m USA No fixed venue November
Japan Cup Turf 2,400m Japan Tokyo November
Hong Kong Cup Turf 2,000m Hong Kong Sha Tin December

Best Horse Racing Betting Tips

We’ve a few more tips and pieces of advice for you when gambling on the best online betting sites for horse racing out there. As with any helpful hints, there are no guarantees. Our expert advice is prescriptive but could help you reach better and more-informed decisions when taking a punt:

Follow the Form

It’s probably not what people looking for easy answers want to hear, but there’s no substitute for studying horse racing form. Getting to know as much as possible about the runners when deciding which one to bet on should help you make that choice. Some punters choose to rely on tipsters and experts to do the legwork for them, but it’s better if you’ve got the time to take a look into trends, stats and form yourself.

Pick & Choose What to Bet on

They say in life you should pick your battles. It’s a good philosophy to take into wagering on horse racing betting sites as well. Some days are busier than others on the track. If it’s a Saturday and there are lots of meetings on, then you need to be selective. Modern life is hectic and that means you may not have to study everything going on in depth. The golden rule is choose something to focus on. It might be handicaps or Group and graded races, but it can pay to specialise.

Don’t Be Afraid to Bet Early

When market gambles or steamers suddenly happen, it can be difficult to get your bets on before the bookies react. To avoid missing out on the value in the market, get studying and come to your decision early. All UK and Irish horse racing events declare 48 hours beforehand now; so, provided there are odds available, there is nothing to stop you going in and placing your bets once the traders put the prices up. You’re more likely than not to beat the SP.


You should have a pretty good grasp of online horse racing betting sites UK punters gamble on now. We’ve looked at what they have to offer in terms of service and promotions, plus some hints, tips, advice and strategy for betting on this great sport. You also what the big events both domestically and worldwide are. All that remains is get wagering on the best bookmakers for horse racing today. Gamble responsibly and here’s a reminder of our number one site:

The Top Rated UK Horse Racing Betting Site

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Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark has worked in the sports betting and related industries for more than a decade now. Best known as the sports editor of Coral bookmakers' digital platforms over three years before their merger with Ladbrokes, he's a horse racing expert that grew up in a strong betting environment. Jamie also has a passion for track and field athletics, but covered all major sporting events with a gambling focus from World Cups in football and rugby to Grand Slam tennis tournaments, Ashes, Test and international cricket, and even the Olympics since 2012.