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Horse Racing Betting

Betting and horse racing go hand in hand. In this guide to horse racing betting we explain the different types of bets, the betting odds and how you can improve your betting by using the tools available on irishracing.com

Betting in Ireland

Irishracing.com is a vast resource of free horse racing content which can help you to improve your horse racing betting knowledge and form study.

If you are betting in Ireland, our betting pages below will guide you through useful content on free bets, betting sites, existing customer offers and promo codes.

Betting in the UK

For those based in the UK, you can access all the best free bets and bookmaker promotions below.

Where To Bet on Horse Racing?

No actual betting takes place on irishracing.com but we provide links to all the major bookmakers’ sites.

Here is a list of some of the most popular betting sites with details of the latest sign up offers available for new customers

Boylesports
Bet €10 Get €50 + Free Bet If 2nd To SP Fav
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*IRE/NI new customers only. Min stake €/£10. Min odds Evs. Free Bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. Free Bets expire in 7 days. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment method restrictions. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&C's Apply. **18+. UK/IRE customers only. Max refund £/€20. Win or win part of e/w outright singles only. 5 or more runners. 1st bet on each race. Free bet expires after 7 days. Free/void/antepost bets don't qualify. Unnamed 2nd Favs don’t qualify. T&Cs apply. Dunlewey. org
Betway
Get up to €50 in Free Bets
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New ROI customers only. Min Deposit: €5. Maximum Free Bet: €50. Overall odds: 1. 50 (1/2) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ Dunlewey. org. Full Terms apply.
tote
Bet €5 Get €20 in Free Bets
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New customers online only. Place your first bet on racing pools for a minimum of €5 and win or lose you will receive €20 Tote Credit. €20 Tote Credit rewarded as €10 redeemable against racing bets only and €10 redeemable against UK and Irish placepot bets only. Tote Credit cannot be withdrawn, exchanged, or substituted and expires after 7 days. Qualifying bet is the first racing pool bet added to the bet-slip. Ten to Follow, virtual and football bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Dunlewey. org
LiveScoreBet
Bet €5 Get €40 In Free Bets
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*New members. Sportsbook only. €5 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1. 5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable €10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for full rules and exclusions. Dunlewey. org
bet365
Bet €10 Get €50 in free bets
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Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are 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. 18+ Dunlewey. org
Williamhill
Bet €10 Get €30 in Free Bets
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Bet €10 Get €30 in Free Bets. 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. Dunlewey. org #ad
Unibet
€40 Money Back as Bonus If Your First racing Bet Loses + €10 Casino Bonus
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18+ begambleaware. org. New customers only. Min deposit €10. Money back as bonus if first racing bet loses. Wagering: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1. 40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Full T&Cs apply.
BetVictor
Bet €5 Get €30
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18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet €5 at odds 2. 00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x €10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2. 00+ € Plus a €10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max €250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply Dunlewey. org | Please gamble responsibly
MrPlay
Bet €10 Get €15
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New Players only, This offer is available once per household. New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at a min. odds of 1/1 (2. 00) or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. T&Cs Apply. Dunlewey. org
888sport
€30 In Free Bets + €10 Casino Bonus
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A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least €10 • Min odds 1/2 (1. 50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s apply. Dunlewey. org
spreadex
Join Spreadex and bet €10 and get €30 Racing offer
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Place a €10 fixed odds single bet at min. odds of 1/2 and get 2 X €10 free fixed odds bets + 2 X €5 Free winning favourites spread bets. T&Cs Apply. Spread bet losses can exceed deposit. 18+ Dunlewey. org
Ladbrokes
Bet €5 get €20 in Free Bets
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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, stake not returned, restrictions apply. Dunlewey. org
CORAL.ie
Bet €5 Get €20
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Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first €5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x €5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cash-out, restrictions & T&Cs apply. Dunlewey. org
10Bet
50% Up To €50 Welcome Bonus
Claim Here
Use bonus code: PLAY50. New customers only. Min. deposit €15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Bonus amount is 50% of deposit up to €50; Offer can be claimed once per household; Wager the qualifying deposit and bonus amount 5x within 30 days to convert bonus winnings into real money; Wagers must be on min. odds of 4/5 (1. 80) on singles or combo bets with min odds. of 2/5 (1. 40) per selection to qualify; Max. stake contribution to wagering requirement is the value of your bonus. T&Cs Apply. 18+. Dunlewey. org
Betfair
Money Back As Cash Up To €20
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Max €20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. Dunlewey. org
PaddyPower
Money Back in Cash up to €20
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Limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is €20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. Dunlewey. org
BetitonSport
Bet €15 get €10
Claim Here
New Customers Only. Max One €10 Free Bet. Qualifying Bets Must Be Placed At Odds Of 1/1 Or Greater. Paid As Bonus Token With Min 4/5 Odds Req. Skrill, Neteller & Paypal Not Eligible. T&C Apply. 18+. Dunlewey. org
Casumo
Bet €10 and Get €20 in Free Bets
Claim Here
New customers only. Min bet €10 to receive €20 Free Bet (placed 10 days from registration). Min odds of 1. 6. Free Bet credited at qualifying bet settlement and placed within 10 days. T&Cs Apply. 18+. Dunlewey. org

How To Bet on Horse Racing Online

Once you have selected an online bookmaker and opened a new betting account you are ready to start betting online.

When looking at the horses running in a race on irishracing.com you can click on the price for a horse from your selected bookmaker and this will take you across to the bookmaker’s site where you can place your bet.

When placing a bet with a bookmaker you can either choose to take the price the bookmaker is offering at that time or instead opt to take the Starting Price (SP). Many bookmakers have a concession where they will give you BOG (best odds guaranteed). This means that if you take their current price and the horse wins they will pay you out at the SP price if that is higher than the price that was available when you placed your bet.

You can find information on different types of bets and how to place bets along with betting terminology and horse racing terminology below:

Horse Racing Events

Each year major horse racing events take place around the world. In this article we tell you when they are on and which are the big races to look out for, iconic events such as the Cheltenham Festival, Aintree Grand National, Galway Races, Melbourne Cup plus many more. All leading betting sites will bet on these races.

Betting on the Major Horse Racing Events

To find betting offers for the horse racing festivals, including Punchestown, the Cheltenham Festival, The Grand National and the Irish Grand National, see below:

Major Horse Racing Events in Ireland

Ireland is a country steeped in horse racing tradition and every year a number of major horse racing events take place throughout the country. Some of these horse race meetings last for as long as seven days. Below is a list of the biggest and best:

Horse Racing EventVenueTime of year
Dublin Racing FestivalLeopardstownEarly February
Irish Grand National FestivalFairyhouseEaster Weekend
Punchestown FestivalPunchestownEnd of April
Derby FestivalCurraghLate June
Galway RacesGalwayEnd of July
Irish Champions WeekendLeopardstown & CurraghMid-September
Listowel Harvest FestivalListowelMid-September
Christmas FestivalLeopardstown & LimerickEnd of December

Major Horse Racing Events in the UK

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports and in the UK there is a great heritage of horse racing events, some dating back over 200 years. Below is a list of the most iconic horse races taking place in the UK horse racing calendar:

Horse Racing EventVenueDate
Cheltenham FestivalCheltenhamMid-March
Grand National FestivalAintreeEarly April
Derby FestivalEpsomEarly June
Royal AscotAscotMid-June
Glorious GoodwoodGoodwoodEnd of July
Yorkshire Ebor FestivalYorkMid-August
British Champions DayAscotMid-October

Major Horse Racing Events around the World

Horse racing is a global sport and there are horse racing events to bet on in most countries. Listed below are some the biggest races held around the world each year:

Horse Racing EventVenueDate
Dubai Racing CarnivalMeydan, UAEEnd-January to End of March
Kentucky DerbyChurchill Downs, USAEnd of April
Prix de l’Arc de TriompheParisLonchamp, FranceEarly October
Breeders’ CupVarious tracks, USAEnd of October
Melbourne Cup CarnivalFlemington, AustraliaEarly November
Japan CupTokyo, JapanEnd November
Hong Kong InternationalSha Tin, Hong KongMid-December

Other Horse Racing Events

Horse races take place all year around in Ireland and the UK with race meetings scheduled for every day of the year except Christmas day. There are 26 racecourses in Ireland and 60 racecourses in Britain and on average four race meetings take place each day of the week with seven races per meeting.

The feature races of the week normally take place on Sundays in Ireland and on Saturdays in the UK.

Fixtures in Ireland and UK in next few days

DateMeetingFirst Race
TodayCurragh1.35
Goodwood1.10
Haydock1.25
Lingfield5.10
Musselburgh1.53
Stratford5.30
York1.40
TomorrowCurragh1.40
Fakenham1.50
Nottingham1.00
York3.30
Monday 23rd May Roscommon4.30
Huntingdon4.45
Leicester1.20
Ludlow1.30
Windsor5.10
Wolverhampton1.10
Tuesday 24th May Gowran Park5.20
Punchestown1.20
Bangor-on-Dee1.40
Bath1.15
Lingfield4.35
Newcastle5.00
Southwell1.00
Wednesday25th May Wexford5.45
Beverley1.40
Hamilton1.50
Newton Abbot1.30
Ripon5.25
Warwick5.00
Thursday 26th May Limerick5.25
Carlisle4.40
Haydock1.10
Ripon1.20
Sandown5.40
Yarmouth1.00

There are horse racing events to bet on in many countries worldwide and most betting sites will have daily odds for race meetings taking place in France, USA, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai as well as Ireland and the UK.

Other countries where thoroughbred horse racing betting events take place are Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Czech Republic, Chile and Canada.

FAQs About Horse Racing Betting

Can I win backing horses?

Yes you can win backing horses but it takes hard work, patience and discipline to win at horse betting in the long-term. To give yourself the best chance of winning when betting on horse racing you must study the form of all the horses inthe race, work out which ones have the best chance of winning and then determine if the odds available on those horses represent goodvalue. The one advantage you have over the bookmakers is that they have to price up odds for every race but you do not have to bet onevery race. Wait until the odds are in your favour is the best strategy for successful betting on horses.

It is important to be aware that the majority of horses will never win a race and over 90% of punters will lose in the long run. Keep your bets small initially, always only betmoney that you can afford to lose and keep a log of all your bets soyou can see which ones produced a return, and which ones didn’t.

Is betting on horses difficult?

Placing bets on horse racing onlineis very easy but winning is harder. All online bookmakers have built their websites to make the placing of bets as simple a process as possible, often a bet can be placed in just one or two clicks. Always ensure you understand the rules governing the bet you are placing.

Should I place single or multiple bet on horse racing?

When placing bets on horse racingyou can either place a single bet on one horse to win or include several horses in different races in multiple or combination bets. The single bet has a better chance of producing a return, but the multiple bets have the potential for much larger returns. Bookmakers prefer punters to place multiple bets which tells you all you need toknow.

How do I pick a winning horse?

The favourite or shortest-pricedhorse in a race has in theory the best chance of winning. The reason the horse is the favourite is based on the previous form of all the horses in the race and the amount of money that has been bet on each horse. Overall, around 40% of favourites win races. This percentage varies by individual race type – handicaps lower percentage of favourites win; maiden races higher percentage of favourites win –and by course and distance.

Horses that have shown previous winning form over the course and/or distance of today’s race and have previous winning form on similar going conditions are often worth considering when betting on horse races.

What are the major events to bet on?

Horse racing in Ireland and the UK is broken down into two basic seasons – National Hunt and Flat. The National Hunt season takes place from Autumn through to Spring and involves horses jumping over obstacles such as hurdles and fences. The Flat season takes place from Spring to Autumn and the races tend to be over shorter distances and there are no obstacles.

How do I work out how much my bet pay?

When betting on horse racing online your bet receipt will show the amount of money you staked and the potential return/winnings if the bet wins.

If you placed a combination bet such as a Yankee or Lucky 15 there are varying amounts you can win depending on how many of your horses win their races.

Here is a link to a bettingcalculator which will help you work out how much money you are due to collect

Should I bet on Horse races or other sports?

This is simply a matter of preference and knowledge. The more you know about something the better chance you have of predicting the outcome.

In standard football betting on a match there are three possible outcomes – Home win, Draw, Away win. With horse racing bets there are usually many more possible outcomes determined by the number of horses in the race. Because there are more possible outcomes to a horse race the bookmakers will price these contests differently and there is an opportunity to get better odds if you can pick the correct winning outcome.

What does odds-on mean?

In horse racing betting odds-on means that your potential winnings are less than the amount you bet. As an example, if a horse is 2/1 on it means that you must bet €2 to win €1. If the horse wins you get €3 back, your €2 bet plus €1 profit.

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