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Our Horse Racing Betting Hub - Ireland & UK

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.

Best Bookmakers Promo Codes

Other Bookmakers Offers

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

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.

Downpatrick 7 10 22 No Trouble and Kieren Buckley win the McGrady Financial Services Rated Novice Hurdle Healy Racing
© Photo Healy Racing
We have dedicated sections on our site for Cheltenham 2023 and Punchestown 2023 festivals, with betting offers, odds, tips and more.

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 Fairyhouse Easter Festival, 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

Featured Cheltenham Bookmakers with Free Bets

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
Chelmsford City6.30
Saturday 27th April Navan1.10
Sunday 28th April Bath1.50
Monday 29th April Naas5.20
Tuesday 30th April Punchestown2.30
Wednesday1st May Punchestown2.30
Thursday 2nd May Punchestown3.40
Friday 3rd May Punchestown4.15
Saturday 4th May Punchestown3.40

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.