Top UK Horse Racing Bookmakers 

For decades, horse racing has been the bread-and-butter of British bookies, with thousands of punters betting on race cards from courses up and down the country. Football may have stolen racing’s limelight, but the Sport of Kings still holds a special place in our hearts. Read on for the PlayRight guide to horse race betting online, with everything you need to know, from the top races to how to place a bet. And, if you’re ready to start betting, check out the table below with our up-to-the-minute ranking of the very best UK betting sites for horse racing.

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PlayRight's Guide to Betting on Horse Racing

Horse racing has been the cornerstone of betting in this country for centuries, but the chances are that if you've never placed a bet on a race, you'll feel like there's a lot to learn before you'll be ready to start betting with confidence. So, let's get started.

How We Rate Horse Racing Betting Sites

On PlayRight, you’ll find some of the most in-depth betting site reviews online. When it comes to ranking the best horse race betting sites, we combine our writers’ impressions with tons of collected data to bring you a list you can trust. Here are some of the main things we consider:

Wide event coverage. Horse racing betting sites are plentiful, but they are by no means created equally. The huge difference between the biggest bookmakers is seen in event coverage. The very best sites offer a wide selection of races and markets, not just from UK courses, but from meets around the world. Paddy Power has a strong reputation for its range of events, with markets offered on meets from Bangalore to Tampa Bay, as well as all the events in the UK and Ireland.

Consistently competitive odds. Unlike other sports, insider information is rife within the world of horse racing, with some sites having the inside scoops on what’s going on, while others may still be in the dark. Your chosen bookmaker may not have the best horse racing odds all of the time, but you should make sure that they remain competitive more often than not.

Best Odds Guaranteed, meanwhile, is a feature available at numerous UK bookies, including Coral, Sky Bet and Ladbrokes. It ensures that if there’s a difference between the odds you take and the starting price, that you’ll always get paid out at the higher of the two. Don’t join a betting site that doesn’t offer this feature!

Ease of Use. When it comes to horse race betting, you’re going to be facing stats, form guides, percentages, and numbers in abundance. Because this is the case, the site you choose needs to have the power and functionality to handle all of this data, presenting it to you in an easy-to-understand fashion. From form to odds, it all needs to be fully incorporated into the UI, allowing you to know what’s what, and what’s not, when it comes to race day.

Live Streaming. When you placed a horse racing wager online back in the day, you did so with only live text updates to give you any idea of what was happening on the course. Thanks to live streaming, those days are behind us. The best sites put you in the box seat to watch the races you’re taking a punt on, usually at no extra cost. Live streaming may not be crucial for the big events like the Grand National but you it should be available on mid-size racing meets.

Specials and Enhanced Odds. The enduring popularity of horse betting means bookmakers are always looking to entice customers with special offers. These can range from ongoing promos, like Coral’s Fallers Insurance, which returns your money as a free bet if your horse fails to clear a jump, to one-time offers. Betfair, for one, has a long list of enhanced odds specials, ranging from daily meets to Cheltenham betting combos.

The Different Types of Horse Race Bets

When it comes to racing, the sheer choice on the betting front is enormous, and, frankly, a little difficult to comprehend for a beginner. So, it certainly pays to understand what’s out there. Let’s dive right into some of the horse racing bet types that might take your fancy.


Bet TypeDescription
SingleA single bet on a single horse to win.
DoubleA bet on two horses to win in separate races. Both horses have to win.
TrebleA bet on three horses to win their races. All three have to win.
TrixieA bet on three horses, a Trixie takes the form of three doubles and one treble for a total of four bets.
PatentA Patent adds to the fun of the Trixie with an additional three singles, bringing the bet total to seven.
YankeeWith a Yankee, there are 11 bets in total, broken down into a fourfold accumulator, four trebles, and six doubles. For a return, you’ll need at least two selections to come home.
HeinzIt gets its name from that 57 bet total. The ingredients? 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, six fivefolds and one accumulator.

How to Bet on Horse Racing

So you’ve done the legwork, found the perfect horse racing bookmaker, but now what? Well, it’s time to lay down a bet, and it really couldn’t be easier.

  • Step 1 – Load up your chosen bookmaker
  • Step 2 – Select “Horse Racing” from the list of available sports. It should be located on either the left, or at the top of the screen.
  • Step 3 – Select your horse (or horses) and select the bets you wish to place, and the amount you want to wager.
  • Step 4 – With your money on the table, just sit back, open the live stream of the race, and watch your chosen horse (hopefully) romp home for the win.

Horse Race Betting Systems

It is a term that is largely derided within the world of sports betting, but when it comes to horse racing it does hold some degree of weight. Betting systems are touted far and wide these days, with some actually having the stats to show that they’re effective.

Now, no betting system is perfect, and some may prove to be more hype than substance, but there are three that are worth taking an in-depth look at specifically. While we aren’t going to head into too much detail here, The Statistical Lay, Back the Beaten Favourite, and The Dutching System all have armies of followers.


Major Horse Races and Meetings

Whether you favour Flat Racing, or National Hunt Racing over obstacles, the calendar is packed with exciting events, both in the UK and around the world.

DateRace MeetingDateRace Meeting
March
  • The Cheltenham Festival, Cheltenham, England
  • Dubai World Cup - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
July
  • Goodwood Festival - Sussex, England
April
  • The Grand National - Aintree, England
October
  • Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - Paris, France
May

  • Belmont Stakes. Elmont - New York
  • Kentucky Derby - Louisville, Kentucky
  • The Preakness Stakes - Baltimore, Maryland
November
  • Melbourne Cup. Melbourne - Australia
June
  • Royal Ascot - Ascot, England
  • Epsom Derby – Epsom Downs, England

These events represent the crème de la crème of horse racing. That being said, there is plenty else out there in the form of smaller meets, which should help keep things interesting between the year’s biggest events.

Play the Ponies for Profit! Horse racing is the cornerstone of the sports betting world, and has been for the best part of a century. If you like to have a flutter, don’t put up with a mediocre bookie. Get great odds, more events to bet on from around the world, and the best enhanced odds and specials with PlayRight’s recommended horse racing betting sites.

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