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The Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in the UK

For UK punters, horse racing is one of the most popular sports to bet on, bar none. The Sport of Kings attracts professional and casual punters alike and on this page, you will find all the information you need to bet on the horses. Most importantly of all, our racing experts unveil their top horse racing online betting sites for new customers.

On this horse racing page, you will also discover a treasure trove of information on all of the biggest horse races. We discuss flat racing and national hunt horse racing and we look at various different aspects of betting on both disciplines. Simply put, whether you are a horse racing betting novice or a seasoned veteran, this guide to the best horse racing betting sites in the UK is well worth a read.

The Top Online UK Betting Sites for Horse Racing

Bookie Bonus Play
Paddy Power Review Paddy Power Review £20 Money Back Offer Visit
New customers from the UK or Republic of Ireland only • The minimum deposit is £20 • Only deposits made with credit/debit cards and PayPal are eligible • Only sportsbooks bets qualify • Your first ever bet will be counted as the qualifying bet • Maximum refund is £10 • Refund will be processed within one hour after the qualifying bet has been settled as a loser • Customers registering through this offer are not eligible for any other sign up promotion • 18+ • Full T&Cs Apply
bet365 Review bet365 Review Up to £100 in Bet Credits Visit
Open Account Offer • 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.
Betfair Sportsbook Review Betfair Sportsbook Review Up to £100 in Bet Credits Visit
New customer offer • Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets • Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus • Min odds 1/2 (1.5) • Exchange bets excluded • Full Betfair T&Cs apply.
William Hill Review William Hill Review Bet £10 Get £30 Visit
New online customers only • Min £10 stake • Win only • Min odds 1/2 • Free bets paid as 3x £10 • 30 day expiry • Free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply • Full Terms Apply • 18+ • begambleaware.org
Unibet Review Unibet Review £40 Money Back Offer Visit
18+ • Deposit £10 • Wager bonus money 3x at min. at odds of 2/5 or greater in Sportsbook • If you use your sports bonus on casino – wager bonus money 25x on casino games • Bonus expires after 7 days • £10 casino bonus credited next working day • 35x wagering on casino bonus • 1 bonus can be used at a time • Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before casino, unless bonus has been forfeited • Further T&Cs Apply • begambleaware.org

Here at My Betting Bonus, we pride ourselves on producing impartial, in-depth and totally unbiased reviews on the top UK online bookies for horse racing. We are confident that we can point you in the direction of the best in the horse racing betting business.

When our experts compiled this list they took a number of different factors into account. User friendliness, welcome offers, betting bonuses and trustworthiness are some of the most important characteristics we look for in horse racing betting sites. Check out our top online betting sites for horse racing below…

Betting on Horses at William Hill

William Hill is a bookmaker that has a close association with horse racing. They sponsor some of the big races in the horse racing calendar, including the Ayr Gold Cup Festival in Scotland and the William Hill Handicap Hurdle at Ascot, which they've sponsored since 2006.

Their horse racing suite is top notch and live horse racing streaming is available for UK, Irish, US, and some French racing. Unfortunately you can't yet bet in running with William Hill, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see this feature appear in the not too distant future. Live streaming is available for a wide range of other sports too.

William Hill are one of the first bookies to offer prices on the next day’s racing, an important feature for early value hunters. Hills are one of a few bookies whose odds are featured on the Racing Post site as soon as they become available for a meeting. They are also best odds guaranteed, so if you back a winning drifter you’ll get the final SP. Extra place promotions are a regular occurrence, while the only negative is the lack of any ‘Justice Payout’ type offers if a horse refuses to race or unseats leaving the stalls.

Bookie Bonus Play
bet365 Review bet365 Review Up to £100 in Bet Credits Visit
Open Account Offer • 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.

Horse Racing Free Bets and Promotions

William Hill Horse Racing

Let’s face it, a shiny and generous horse racing free bet offer or promotion is always likely to grab your attention. That is why it is so important to recognise horse racing promotions that are more substance than style.

Some specials will boost returns and if you are serious about profiting from horse racing punting, every penny counts. Bookies regularly change their horse racing promotions, but most stick to a similar formula when coming up with specials. Below you will find a list of some of the horse racing promos worth taking advantage of.

Horse Racing Promotions

  1. BOG (Best Odds Guaranteed) – Make sure to use BOG bookies if at all possible. You’d be surprised how many drifters win, and if you are on with a best odds guaranteed bookie, you get the best price.
  2. Winning Distance Specials – Some online horse racing betting sites boost your odds if your horse wins by more than a certain distance.
  3. Money Back Specials – Most money back specials are given as a free bet rather than actual cash. Examples include money back if 2nd to the Favourite, or money back on all losers if a certain horse wins.
  4. Odds Boosts – Get enhanced prices on certain horse racing bets. William Hill even let you boost the odds on any horse you like, so choose wisely!
  5. ITV Racing promotions – Some bookies run promotions for horse racing meetings shown on ITV. These include a free bet if you back a winner at 4/1 or bigger or get a free bet if you finish 2nd.
  6. Bet To Get – If you place a bet of a certain value on a race, you are given a free bet on another race, usually matching the value of your original stake on the first race.
  7. Free Bet Loyalty Bonus – Many betting sites reward loyal horse racing punters with frequent free bet offers. The size of your free bet usually depends on your staking levels.

Don’t forget, it is very important to read the small print before taking advantage of these great horse racing promotions. Always read the terms and conditions closely, as quite often wagering or turnover restrictions may apply.

Horse Racing Odds – Get the Best Price!

The more you bet on horse racing, the more you will notice the variation in odds between different bookies. This is the case for all sports betting and it is absolutely imperative that you get the very best odds possible for every single bet you place.

Horse racing odds comparison sites can be useful but pick one that has rapidly updating software and a big selection of bookies. Stick to using betting sites with best odds guaranteed for horse racing. And most importantly, get the best price to ensure you get maximum returns when you do back a winner.

The key is to have as many options as possible, so having a good spread of betting accounts make sense. If you can consistently locate the best odds, you will dramatically increase your chances of turning a profit from horse racing betting in the long run.

Live Racing Via Horse Racing Betting Sites

In the past few years, the vast majority of major UK bookies have provided live racing streaming. That’s right, not only can you bet on racing online, you can also watch every race you bet on! Live betting on horse racing is also an option on the Exchanges.

Check out our in-depth and impartial bookie reviews to see if the bookie you are interested in offers live streaming of horse racing events. Chances are, they will but it makes sense to double check before signing up.

You get nothing in this life for free though, and most bookies have wagering requirements that must be met before you can stream horse racing live. This is usually a minimum bet on a horse in the race and ranges from £0.50 to £2, depending on the betting site.

Top 3 Betting Sites for Live Streaming Horse Racing

Bookie Bonus Play
William Hill Review William Hill Review Bet £10 Get £30 Visit
New online customers only • Min £10 stake • Win only • Min odds 1/2 • Free bets paid as 3x £10 • 30 day expiry • Free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply • Full Terms Apply • 18+ • begambleaware.org
888Sport Review 888Sport Review Bet £10 Get £30 Visit
New UK customers only • You must enter 888sport bonus code 30F when depositing for the first time • Min deposit is £10 • Qualifying bet must be at odds of 1/2 (1.5) or higher • You must place your first bet within 30 days of registration • You’ll receive 2x £10 free bets and 1x £10 mobile free bet once your qualifying bet has settled • You have 7 days to use the free bets before they expire • Full 888sport T&C's apply
bet365 Review bet365 Review Up to £100 in Bet Credits Visit
Open Account Offer • 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.

Horse Racing Mobile App Betting

If a bookie hasn’t got a mobile app or web app, it isn’t worth considering. However, all of the top horse racing bookies we listed earlier have mobile betting apps or web apps. Having the option of betting anywhere at any time is a must, and a number of different factors go into enhancing the mobile betting experience.

The software must be sound of course as this makes mobile betting apps easy to use. It shouldn’t take too many clicks to get where you want to go, as time can be of the essence if you are trying to get on before the price of your horse shortens.

Also, look out for mobile-focused welcome offers or promotions and take full advantage of any quality ones you come across.

Top 3 Best Horse Racing Apps for Betting

Bookie Bonus Play
Ladbrokes Review Ladbrokes Review Bet £5 Get £20 Visit
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 7 days on sports • Free bets stake not returned, restrictions apply • Full Terms Apply • begambleaware.org
bet365 Review bet365 Review Up to £100 in Bet Credits Visit
Open Account Offer • 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.
Betfair Sportsbook Review Betfair Sportsbook Review Up to £100 in Bet Credits Visit
New customer offer • Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets • Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus • Min odds 1/2 (1.5) • Exchange bets excluded • Full Betfair T&Cs apply.

Horse Racing Betting – A Beginner’s Guide

In the UK there are two main disciplines of horse racing. National Hunt, more commonly known as jump racing, dominates the Winter/Spring program. The Flat season climaxes during the summer months and finishes off in the Autumn.

If you are starting out betting on horse racing, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with some of the most common terms and phrases. It can be daunting for beginners, but our simple and easy to follow guide should have you picking out the winners in no time.

Horse Racing Betting – The Jumps

The British and Irish public love having a bet on ‘the jumps’. In fact, some of the biggest horse races in either code are run over jumps. The Grand National is famous all around the world and is one of the biggest betting events on the sporting calendar. Cheltenham is another highlight in March. Below you can check out some useful info that may influence your thinking for betting on jumps racing.

Betting On National Hunt Racing – Top Tips

  1. The Ground – one of the single most important factors when placing a bet. Back horses with form on soft when it rains, while good ground horses flourish on a faster, firmer surface.
  2. Form – Always check the formbook. Look for previous course form, last run, form at the distance and form on the ground. If those boxes are all ticked, you might have found a winner.
  3. Race Class: Is the horse stepping up in class? Or is it taking a drop? Get to know the difference between pattern, handicap and selling races.
  4. Pedigree – More important with younger flat horses, especially first time out 2yos. Look for horses with proven sires and dams that have won or produced previous winners.
  5. Jockeys – As you watch more racing you will learn just how important a good jockey is. This is something you learn quickly after jockeys cost you winning bets!
  6. Owners And Trainer Stats: Is a yard hitting form? Look at results for a trainer in the past fortnight. Also check if an owner has winning form at a track. If they do it might be somewhere they target.
  7. Distance Travelled: Has a horse made a long journey to run in a race? If so, it usually means that connections mean business.
  8. Market Signals: Watch the market for moves – both in (gambles) and out (drifters). Often it can be a sign of expectations, but tread carefully because blindly following gambles is a sure fire route to the poorhouse.

The Cheltenham Festival, in particular the Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle, and the Grand National are the jewels in jump racing’s crown. There is top quality racing throughout the season though with betting opportunities aplenty.

Betting on Flat Racing

In late Spring the flat emerges from its winter slumber and from April to October, the top races come thick and fast. The Epsom Derby is the most important race from a breeding point of view, but for punters Royal Ascot is probably the highlight.

On the level race distances are shorter and the action is faster and more furious. The Epsom Dash is run over 5 furlongs and on quick ground it is over in less than a minute. The 2000 and 1000 Guineas are the first two classics of the season, with the St Leger closing the classic show at Doncaster.

Other top flat courses include York (home of the Ebor), Sandown (Coral Eclipse) and Newmarket (Guineas). The Curragh and Leopardstown are Ireland’s leading flat tracks, so you have no shortage of chances to bet throughout the season.

Horse Racing Betting – Top Flat Races

 

Race Date Racetrack
1000/2000 Guineas April/May Newmarket (Rowley)
Epsom Derby June Epsom
Epsom Oaks May/June Epsom
St Leger Stakes September Doncaster
King’s Stand Stakes June Ascot
July Cup July Newmarket (July)
Champion Stakes October Ascot

 

A Brief Guide To Betting on Novice Races

Novice hurdles can be potential minefields for punters, but shrewd judges can turn them into goldmines. In jump racing there are two types of novice –  novice hurdlers and novice chasers. A novice hurdler is a horse yet to win a hurdle race when the season begins. The same principal applies to novice chasers, except they haven’t won a chase.

Prohibitively priced favourites are usually a feature of novice races, even at the Cheltenham festival. The bigger yards tend to dominate the novice divisions, but if you spot a talented novice from a less well-known yard, you will usually get very nice odds.

To further muddy the water, a lot of horses run in novice races in order to get a handicap rating. Once they have run three races over hurdles, the handicapper awards a mark and this allows lower rated horses to compete against horses of similar ability. So, non-triers can be common in novice races too. Unless you strongly fancy one, we think Novice races are best left alone.

How To Bet On Maidens in Horse Racing

Simply put, a maiden in horse racing is a horse that hasn’t won a race. Maiden races are usually very hard to read as many horses will be making their first appearance on the racecourse. As a result, those who use form as a guide are at an instant disadvantage as no form exists!

2yo Maidens on the flat are usually difficult to solve, with trainer form and pedigree two of most reliable methods to narrow the field. Sometimes breeding gives clues as to whether a horse will handle certain ground or be best at a certain trip. Watch out for horse racing market moves on maiden races too for clues.

Betting on Handicap Races – How To Make A Profit

In jumps and flat racing, handicaps are the most attractive from a punting perspective. Big fields are the norm, as are extra place each way specials, and studying form closely can reap massive rewards. So, what is a handicap? A handicap in horse racing is a race that allows horses of a certain rating compete against each other. The higher a horse is rated, the more weight they carry.

In theory, if the handicapper has got it right then the final result should be a dead heat between every runner. However, you often find horses that are well in, or ahead of the handicapper, which means they are actually better than their rating.

The mission when betting on handicap races is locating well-handicapped horses. Young, improving horses can be ahead of the handicapper. However, older more seasoned handicappers can become well treated after a sequence of poor runs. Horses with this profile can be worth backing if they are returning to a favoured track, ground or trip.

You should have no shortage of angles when betting on handicaps, choosing the right one is the key. If you develop a knack for spotting well-handicapped horses, you should be able to make a profit in the long run.

The Biggest Horse Racing Betting Events

cheltenham festival

Every weekend is a racing weekend throughout the year. In the summer and autumn months, the major flat meetings take centre stage. Newmarket Guineas weekend, the Epsom Derby Festival and Royal Ascot are probably the three most important flat meetings in the UK.

On the jumps calendar, one meeting stands out like a sore thumb and that is Cheltenham. Held every year in March, it is where legends are made in national hunt racing. The Aintree Grand National is the other race that really matters.

We briefly look at each of the biggest national hunt races and race meetings below, keep on reading to find out more.

Betting On The Cheltenham Festival

Every year in March in the Cotswolds, there is an invasion of race fans from around the UK and Ireland. The reason for this massive movement of people? The Cheltenham Festival, aka the Olympic Games of Horse racing. Thankfully, unlike the Olympics, Cheltenham rolls around every year!

This is the meeting where jumping champions are crowned, with Grade 1s galore throughout the week. The prize money is top class, but more importantly, the glory of owning, training, riding or even backing a winner at Cheltenham means a lot more.

UK horse racing betting sites usually pull out all the stops when Cheltenham arrives, throwing a multitude of betting promotions at existing customers. You will often encounter inflated sign up offers too. Below are some of the key promos and specials you should keep an eye out for:

  • Money back as a free bet if 2nd to the SP Favourite.
  • Money back on all losers if a certain horse wins a race (e.g. money back if Faugheen wins).
  • A boost on returns if your selection wins by more than a predefined distance.
  • Free bets for backing a winner over a certain price.
  • Tailor-made promotions geared especially towards Cheltenham.
  • Odds enhancements and boosts on certain horses and races.
  • Money back if your horse falls at the final or first fence.

The key to locating the best Cheltenham betting promotions is research. You can be sure that the vast majority of betting sites will have Cheltenham promotions, the key is to work out which are the best ones for your betting needs.

Tips are treacherous at Cheltenham too. You can almost be guaranteed every horse is going to be trying, so usually, form stands up. Inside information can obviously be useful, but at the big meetings it is better to back horses because of their form and not because you got a ‘hot tip’.

Betting on the Grand National

The Grand National is one of the final big races of the National Hunt season and arguably, it is the biggest race of all. With a prize fund of over a million, 40 horses and 30 fences, it is no surprise that this is a race that attracts interest from around the world.

The Grand National has been an institution in the UK and Ireland since the mid-19th century. It is one of the biggest betting events of the year and every man, woman and child usually have their only bets of the year on the race. Grand National sweepstakes are popular too in households and workplaces in Britain and Ireland.

Stamina is at a premium in this race as it is over 4 miles long and your horse will need to be able to jump like a stag too. A brave jockey is required and it is a race where odds don’t really matter. There have been recent winners as big as 80/1, so placing a winning bet takes as much luck as it does skill.

Choosing what horse to back is down to each individual. The usual stuff like course form, age, and overall form can be used, but many people use very different methods to try and find the winner, as you can see below.

  • Name of the horse (plenty of Arthurs would have backed One For Arthur in 2017)
  • Favourite Jockey (some ignore the horse completely and just back their favourite pilot).
  • Colours: Plenty of punters back on the colour of silks (those who like maroon have been quids in the past couple of years with Tiger Roll).
  • Lucky Number: Back a horse that is carrying your lucky number.
  • Birthday: Plenty back horses with the same number as their date of birth.
How do I bet on the Grand National for the first time?

If you are placing your first ever bet on the Grand National, don’t worry. It isn’t as hard as it looks. If you follow the simple steps outlined below, you will be betting on the Grand National like a pro in no time:

  1. Have a look at our extensive horse racing betting site reviews.
  2. When you find one you like, sign up.
  3. Head to the deposit page (and if applicable opt-in for your welcome bonus).
  4. When you decide on your stake, make a deposit of that amount.
  5. Head to the ‘Sports’ section.
  6. Find the ‘Horse Racing’ tab and locate the Grand National betting page.
  7. Scan the page to find your selection and click on it.
  8. A bet slip will appear where you can enter your stake and bet type (win or each way).
  9. An each way bet will cost double the stake (£5 e/w will cost £10 to place).
  10. Click on ‘Place bet’ once you are happy with your selection, odds, and stake.
  11. Watch the race and if your horse wins, start dreaming of how to spend your windfall!

Horse Racing Markets and Betting Terms Explained

Getting to know the different markets and betting terms associated with horse racing is very important. Before you even think about having a horse racing bet, familiarise yourself with some of the key horse racing betting terms below…

Horse Racing Betting – Ante Post

In horse racing, an ante-post bet is a long term bet placed well in advance of a race. Ante-post betting is available for the biggest Group and Grade 1 races sometimes almost a year before they are scheduled to be run.

You will often find some excellent value in the ante-post markets, much better than if you wait until final declarations to place a wager. There is a catch though and prices are bigger for one main reason. If you back a horse in the ante-post market and it is a non-runner, you wave goodbye to your stake.

Horse racing is a very unpredictable sport and injuries to horses during races or training are common. This is why you should never risk too much money on an ante-post bet.

For the big meetings, like Royal Ascot and Cheltenham, some betting sites go ‘Non-Runner No Bet’ a couple of weeks before the festivals start.

This is an ideal time to place an ante-post bet as it is now treated the same as a bet placed after declarations are made. If your horse doesn’t run it is treated as a non-runner rather than a loser and you will get your original stake back.

Horse Racing Betting – Win Bet

A horse racing win bet is self-explanatory. You bet on a horse to win the race and if your selection wins, you get paid at the odds you placed the bet at. The exception to this is if your horse drifts out to a bigger price. If you placed your bet with a Best Odds Guaranteed bookie like Bet365, you will get paid at the bigger odds.

Win bets are best placed on horses at shorter prices in small fields. The bigger the field, the more competition there is and the bigger the chance is your horse will lose. In big fields, each way betting is the way to go and you can find out more below…

Each-Way Betting

So, what is an each-way bet on horse racing? When you place an each-way wager you are basically betting on two markets. Half your stake goes on the win market, while the other half goes on the place market. The terms of an each-way bet depend on the race type and the number of runners in the field.

The win part of the bet is settled at the win odds, while the place part is settled at either 1/4 odds or 1/5 odds. As an example, say you placed a winning £10 each-way bet on a horse at 12/1 in a handicap with 17 runners.

The win part of your bet would amount to £10 x 12/1 which equals a profit of £120. The place part of your bet would be settled at 1/4 odds, so £10 x 3/1 which amounts to a profit of £30. Including your stake, total returns would be £170 for a £20 initial investment.

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for daily enhanced each way specials. They have become very common and are well worth taking advantage of.

Horse Racing Each Way Betting Terms Explained

Below is a table outlining the different each-way betting terms for horse racing. One thing to note, enhanced each way offers usually pay 1/5 odds no matter what the size of the field or race type.

Race Type No. of Runners Each Way Terms
Any Race 5-7 runners 1/4 odds, 2 places
Maiden 8 or more 1/5 odds, 3 places
Novice 8 or more 1/5 odds, 3 places
Pattern/Graded 8 or more 1/5 odds, 3 places
Handicap 12-15 runners 1/4 odds, 3 places
Handicap 8-11 Runners 1/5 odds, 3 places
Handicap 16 runners or more 1/4 odds, 4 places
Any Race Less than 5 runners Win Only

 

Forecast/Tricast

Forecasts and tricasts are wagers that require you to not only pick the winner, but also the placed horses. A forecast is a bet on the first two home. A straight forecast requires you to pick the 1-2 in the correct order and is a single bet. A reverse forecast allows you to bet on the 1-2 in any order, but it instead counts as two bets. Consequently, a £5 reverse forecast costs £10 to place.

A tricast operates along the same principles. With a straight tricast, you are placing a single wager on the 1-2-3 home in a race in the exact order. A combination (or reverse) tricast is a bet on the 1-2-3 in any order. The combination tricast consists of 6 separate bets, so a £1 reverse tricast will set you back £6.

The returns on forecasts and tricasts can be very lucrative, particularly if you find a couple at big prices. The longer the odds of the selections in your bet, the bigger the profits will be.

Horse Racing Betting Sites FAQs

Yes, it is legal to bet online on horse racing in both the UK and Ireland. The UK Gambling Commission issues licenses, but betting sites can also operate with licenses from other jurisdictions too, including Malta and Gibraltar. Make sure your chosen bookmaker has a valid license from a respected source before signing up.

In the past few years a huge amount of online betting sites have procured rights to stream horse racing live. It is now more common for a betting site to have live horse racing streaming than not and usually a wager ranging from 0.50p to £2 must be placed on a race before you qualify for live horse racing streaming. In play punters beware though, as streams can be delayed by a few seconds.

We can never emphasise enough just how important it is to find the best horse racing odds. It makes such a big difference to potential profits in the long run. For early prices, Bet365 are usually up there with the best, though Betfair and LeoVegas are not far behind. Make sure you find a bookie that is best odds guaranteed on horse racing bets too.


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