Discover the Best Horse Racing Sportsbooks and Offers Online in 2021

Horse racing is one of the oldest betting sports in the world. From its origins as a sport enjoyed by Kings and Queens, it has grown to become a global betting sport, with millions of dollars wagered every day across the world. And, particularly in the UK, where the relationship between horse racing and bookmakers has a long and proud history, online sportsbooks have developed some of the most innovative markets in the industry to serve this dynamic betting sector.

On these pages, we’ve put together all of the key information that you need to get started in horse racing betting, including details of the types of markets you can bet on, the best bookmakers, and the range of bets that are available to the online horse racing punter.

BOOKIE DETAILS GB North America Others BET
888sport
  • Pre-match statistics
  • Fair Betting Lines
  • Betting Predictions
Yes
yes
Yes
Visit the site
888sport Review
Unibet
  • Unibet TV
  • Stats & Livescore
  • Horse racing
Yes
Yes
yes
visit the site
Unibet Review
bet365
  • Live Streaming**
  • Customer Support 24/7
  • Increased odds
yes
Yes
yes
Visit the site
bet365 Review
*Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. **Geo restrictions apply. Funded account or bet placed 24 hours prior to event required to access, #AD
*18+ T&C's apply

Top Horse Racing Betting Sites

Horse racing betting is available with most sportsbooks, particularly in the UK and Ireland, but some sites have a better product than others. Here are ten of the best.

bet365 Leads the Pack

bet365 is perhaps best known for its football coverage and its In-Play betting, but the site has one of the best horse racing platforms in the industry. While its coverage of markets and events is extremely impressive, the site is most notably for the bonuses and promotions it offers for horse racing punters. These include Free Bets if you find the winners of certain named races, Best Odds Guaranteed deals and Extra Places offers for each-way punters in big races.

Open Account

*#AD, 18+, T&Cs apply. New Customers only. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&C's apply.

BetVictor Horse Racing

One of the most familiar names in the online betting industry, BetVictor has a long-time relationship with horse racing, going back to when the company was known as Victor Chandler. The odds you can find on horse racing at the BetVictor site are some of the best around, which is one of the most important considerations for punters operating in the highly competitive modern horse racing betting markets, while their Best Odds Guaranteed Offer is also welcome.

Betfair Best for Horse Racing

When Betfair entered the betting industry, this innovative operator changed forever the relationship between punter and bookmaker, with their exchange model that allows punters to play bookmaker and lay horses as well as back them. Their fast-moving In-Play horse racing markets are hugely popular, and Betfair has become so influential within the horse racing betting world that many other small, independent bookmakers rely on Betfair to help set their own prices.

Open Account

#AD, 18+, T&Cs apply

Paddy Power

If there is one country in the world where horse racing rules the sporting agenda, it is Ireland. The sport of kings is widely followed throughout Ireland and many of the sport’s top jockeys, trainers and horses originate from the Emerald Isle. So, it is no surprise that Ireland’s leading bookmaker, Paddy Power, provides an in-depth horse racing betting product, complete with a wide range of markets, and generous Extended Place Odds offers on many events.

Horse Racing Betting at Totesport

The history of Totesport is closely linked to that of horse racing. At one time, the Tote was the only legal way for most people to bet on horses. The Tote is now part of the BetFred operation, but it remains a separate brand with a unique range of horse racing markets, particularly its Jackpot and Placepot markets that give punters the chance to win big rewards for small stakes.

Tradition and Horse Racing with William Hill

There are few bookmakers more often associated with horse racing than William Hill, which has long been one of the most well-known names in the sport. William Hill don’t have the same level of promotions and deals that you will find with other leading bookmakers, but their market depth on each race is second to none, and they provide some of the best odds in the sector.

Open Account

#AD, *New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. #AD, 18+, T&Cs apply

Bet with Betfred for Horse Racing

As mentioned above, Betfred have a connection with horse racing through ownership of the Totesport brand, but the company has also been involved directly in the sport, sponsoring a number of races over the years. Their coverage of markets is solid and will meet the needs of most punters, while they are one of the leading antepost market horse racing betting companies.

Open Account

#AD, 18+, T&Cs apply

Skybet Horse Racing Archive

Being able to watch replays of horse races is something that modern punters rely on for a lot of their analysis, and this area, Skybet are particularly strong. Their relationship with the Sporting Life website has enabled them to publicise their archive service, which enables any punter with a SkyBet account to watch the live replay of any UK or Irish horse race.

Live Streamed Horse Racing with Coral

Traditionally, horse racing punters would be able to watch the races they had bet on in betting shops, but online punters don’t always have that option. Fortunately, bookmakers such as Coral meet that need by offering Live Streaming of horse racing events. As long as you have had a minimum bet on a race, you will be able to watch the event itself through the Coral site.

Top Horse Racing Betting Markets in the UK

While horse racing is popular all over the world, the UK and Ireland remain the home of the sport, and it is in these nations where the link between betting and horse racing is strongest, dating back to the early 18th century when aristocrats would gather to bet on racing at Newmarket Heath.

The betting industry has come a long way since those days, and there is now a bewildering array of horse racing markets for punters to play in, including:

  • The Race Winner market which involves picking the winner of a particular race
  • Each Way Betting on a horse to win or to finish in the first three or four
  • Match Betting, allowing punters to be on one horse to beat another
  • Ante-Post Betting on big events months before they take place

The incredibly strong popularity of horse racing betting in the UK and Ireland means that along with these traditional markets, bookmakers are regularly developing new ways to bet on the sport.

Live Online Horse Racing Betting

Live Betting on horse racing

Live betting has been an area of rapid growth in the online betting sector in recent years, and horse racing is ideally suited to the Live Betting approach.

A horse race can last anything between one minute and five minutes, depending on the type of race, and the relatively short duration of the events make them a particularly dynamic and exciting type of medium for live betting. And, thanks to the advent of betting exchanges, In-Play punters can also lay as well as bet on horses during a race.

The key to Live Betting on horse racing is having access to live footage of the race, with minimal delay, which is why many bookmakers offer either Live Streaming of events or Live Radio Commentary, to help In-Play punters make their bets.

Variety of Horse Racing Bets

Given its long history and the popularity of the sport as a betting medium, it is not surprising that bookmakers have developed a variety of different horse racing bets over the years. But some remain more popular than others, particularly in the UK and Ireland:

The Single Bet

The single bet on a horse to win a particular race remains the most popular way for horse racing punters to bet on the sport, whether it is a small annual bet on the Grand National or the Derby, or a dedicated racing punter trying to find the winner of the next race on the day’s card. And the most professional punters always take the time to shop around looking for the best prices as bookmakers try to balance the need to attract customers with their risk exposure on every race.

The Horse Racing ACCA

This is another popular form of horse racing betting, particularly with small stakes punters, as it offers the opportunity to land a big prize for a modest stake. Combining a number of horses in an ACCA bet is a mainstay for many UK punters, and there are also more exotic multiple bets that have been developed for horse racing such as the Yankee or the Super Yankee, which combine a number of accumulators into one bet.

The Ante Post Single

Trying to pick the winner of a big race is a challenge that many horse racing punters like to take up, and this form of betting, in which you bet on a race weeks or months in advance, is also popular. Though it contains an element of risk, as you can’t be sure the horse you bet will start the race in question, it also offers the chance to back a leading contender at bigger odds.

Getting Your Horse Racing Bet on with Online Sportsbooks

The days of heading for your local betting shop to get your bets on are long over! These days, you can make your bets online, using the e-betting slips available on all sportsbook sites. These are designed to be simple and user friendly and usually involve clicking on the horse you want to bet on. The name of the horse then appears on the e-betting slip, and you then have the option of adjusting your stake, adding your bet to a multiple and checking your potential winnings.

Top Horse Racing Betting Events

Royal Ascot horse racing event

One of the appeals of horse racing betting is that it is an all-year-round pursuit. The calendar in the UK and Ireland is marked by particular festivals and events that are associated with certain times of the year, which make it possible to bet on horses from January to December.

Horse racing in the UK is divided into two forms. Flat racing, which features no obstacles, runs from late March to early November, although some flat racing, taking place on synthetic tracks, continues throughout the winter. There are a number of top Flat racing festivals, which attract a lot of punters, including Royal Ascot in June, the Guineas meeting in May and St Leger in September.

The other form of horse racing enjoyed in the UK is called National Hunt racing, which involves horses jumping over obstacles. The National Hunt season builds towards the big spring festivals, of which the biggest is at Cheltenham in early March, although there are also popular festivals at Aintree and Punchestown in April, and the Aintree festival includes the world’s biggest horse racing betting race, the Grand National, which is a spectacle enjoyed by millions globally.

Useful Horse Racing Betting Tips

Horse racing betting can be exciting and rewarding, but only for those prepared to put the work in. It can also be frustrating and extremely competitive. It is perhaps the toughest sport to bet on, but there are some tips you can follow to increase your chances of success.

Remember to Specialise

Horse racing is an all-year-round sport, with as many as six or seven meetings taking place each day. It is simply impossible for any punter to follow that much racing action in depth needed to make a success of betting. That’s why specialisation is essential. Some concentrate on just the big races, while others favour sprints or long-distance contests, in order to maximise their analysis.

Record Your Betting

There are many advantages to keeping a simple record of your betting activity. It can help you to keep track of whether you are winning and losing, and the extent of both. More importantly, it can show you where your strengths and weaknesses lie, enabling you to either adjust your strategy or to switch your focus and concentrate on races and markets where you have a record of success.

Ignore Inside Information and Pundits

Horse racing is notorious for rumours and gossip, and some punters feel they can’t get an edge without either getting access to inside information or following the advice of tipsters. But inside information is often already known by the bookmaker by the time the punter gets hold of it, while tipsters vary widely in their quality. A better approach for most horse racing punters is to make your own decisions and stand or fall by your own judgement.

Value First, Winners Second

It is natural to focus on wanting to find as many winners as possible, but that is the wrong place to start in horse racing betting. Finding winners alone will not make you a profit if the prices available on those winners are too short. Instead, concentrating on drawing up your own prices, comparing them with those available with the bookmakers and betting where you think the odds are wrong. In the long run, you will only make a profit from horse racing betting by consistently identifying value bets.

Recommended bookmakers

888sport
  • Pre-match statistics
  • Fair Betting Lines
  • Betting Predictions
gamblingcommission
essa
bet365
  • Live Streaming**
  • Customer Support 24/7
  • Increased odds
gamblingcommission
ibas
£100in bet credits
Unibet
  • Unibet TV
  • Stats & Livescore
  • Horse racing
gamblingcommission
egba
£40in free bets