Horse Racing Betting Sites in the UK

This is really where betting began with a sport stretching back centuries. For many years, horse racing would spark a gentleman’s wager between two friends as to which animal would win and its popularity eventually led to the legalising of gambling in the UK, in the 20th century. Among new bookmakers, there is a bit of bias among operators who tend to stay away from ‘anything on four legs’ so it’s really left to the traditional companies to provide us with options. Those outlets such as Coral, William Hill and Ladbrokes continue to support the ‘Sport of Kings’ but thankfully there is a new crop of betting sites who are just as keen to get involved.

Betting Sites for Horse Racing

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  • Bet Bonus:£ 50
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsWelcome Bonus must be wagered 10 (ten) times on accumulator bets consisting of a minimum 3 (three) selections, minimum selection odds of 1/5(1.20), and minimum selections total odds 1/1 (2.00).
  • Free Bet:£ 10
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & Conditions£10 First Bet Insurance: New customers only. A qualifying bet is a losing first settled real money single bet of at least £/€10 or more (at odds of evens (2.0) or greater (or a multiple where each selection is at odds of 2/5 (1.4) or more. Only losing win single part of an E/W bet will qualify. free bet credited within 24 hours of qualifying bet settling and must be used within 14 days. free bet stake not included in returns. Full T&C’s here.
  • Bet Bonus:100 %
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsOpen Account Offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365.
    Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware
  • Free Bet:£ 20
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & Conditions18+, first deposit only, T&Cs apply. Free sports bet: Minimum deposit and stake £20 (min odds 2.0). Credited after all qualifying bets settled.
  • Bet Bonus:£ 10
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsExpires 31/12/19. Qualifying bet £10 on any sports double within 48 hours of registration - Min odds 1.7 per selection. Max free bet £10 to be used at odds 1.7 and above per selection. Free bets expire after 7 days. Skrill and Neteller deposits excluded. 18+ BeGambleAware. Full terms apply.
  • Bet Bonus:£ 50
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsThe minimum required age of the customer for this offer is 18. This promotion is open to all LV BET customers residing in the United Kingdom. A minimum of £10 (or equivalent in the currency of the account) real money deposit to the LV BET Sports Betting account is required to qualify for this offer.
  • Free Bet:£ 30
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsNew William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.
  • Current Offer:£ 30
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsNew customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30fb - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply - Full T&C’s apply
  • Bet Bonus:£ 50
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsNew customers only. Min Deposit £10. Deposit & bonus amount must be wagered 6 times (min odds 4/5) prior to withdrawing bonus funds and any winnings. Wins from real money bets withdrawable at any time. Bonus on sports betting only. T&Cs apply.
  • Free Bet:£ 10
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsOpt in. Min. Odds Evs, Max. £10 stake, Max. additional profit £100. Skrill and Neteller deposits are not eligible - See full terms
  • Bet Bonus:£ 100
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsNew customers only. Valid once per customer. Cash released in £5 instalments per £100 qualifying turnover. 30 days from reg to fulfil offer. min qualifying odds 1.6, Skrill deposits excluded. 18+ only. BeGambleAware
  • Free Bet:£ 30
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsNew UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Terms Apply
  • Free Bet:£ 15
    Bonus Rating:
    Terms & ConditionsMin deposit £10, Max stake £15, Min Odds 1/1 (2.0); Max free bet £15; New players only; +18; T&Cs apply

Benefits of Horse Betting Sites

The vast majority of UK focussed horse racing betting sites apply what is commonly known as a Best Odds Guarantee Scheme and this will generally link to all British and Irish horse racing. It means that when you back a horse at a certain price, the bookie involved will pay at the SP odds if they turn out to be higher.

Lots of promotions are tied into horse racing as well so look out for these from established bookies such as William Hill and Coral, and the newer betting sites including 888Sport, Winner Sports and Betway. Acca promos are very popular here so you may see price boosts if all your selections drop in or maybe a refunded stake if one leg of a straight line multi happens to let you down.

Enhanced odds specials may also appear at certain times and these could definitely come in for the big races such as the Grand National or any of the events taking place at the annual Cheltenham Festival in March. Horse betting sites could typically pick a horse from the field and greatly enhance its odds as a one off promo, subject to a number of terms and conditions. 888Sport, Coral and Paddy Power are among the horse racing bookies that frequently list this type of deal.

Alternatively, an operator may look at several races across one day and list a smaller price boost if they all drop in. William Hill and Ladbrokes are two of the more likely candidates for this sort of offer.

The future

Among the betting community, horse racing remains extremely popular in the physical world. There’s nothing like going to a meeting and feeling the excitement of placing a bet on course and watching the action develop in front of you. Betting shops can be busy too with certain punters preferring that type of atmosphere.

The rise in TV coverage has also helped the sport but undoubtedly, all the bookies have benefitted from the revolution in internet gaming. While some European focussed bookies stay away from the sport, traditional UK outlets continue to support it and with new players coming along all the time, there has never been a better choice of providers.

Value is there too in terms of strong prices and great promotions so the sport is thriving and if you are thinking of joining that betting community and getting involved, there has never been a better time to jump on board.


Betting on horse racing carried on in an unlicensed manner over many centuries, firstly as an informal deal between two punters and then with an on course bookmaker. Eventually, some of those operators were recognised by the Jockeys Club and in the first half of the 1900’s, we saw the big names of UK horse racing betting sites such as Coral and William Hill being established.

The next part of the revolution came in the 1960’s when licensed betting shops were finally allowed to be built on our high streets and that led to more familiar brands such as BetFred and Stan James being incepted.

At that point, horse racing was the most popular sport from a betting point of view with football a close second and although those positions may have switched in the last twenty years, punters still love a bet on the horses.

Major Horse Racing Events

  • Belmont Stakes (USA)
  • Breeders’ Cup (USA)
  • Cheltenham Festival (UK)
  • Dubai World Cup (UAE)
  • Epsom Derby (UK)
  • Kentucky Derby (USA)
  • Melbourne Cup (AUS)
  • Preakness Stakes (USA)
  • Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (FRA)
  • Royal Ascot (UK)
  • Scottish Grand National (UK)

Horse Racing Betting Sites Innovation

The Internet allowed new horse racing betting sites such as bet365 to come online for relatively small outlay, compared to the figures required in setting up a physical shop. Betfair appeared too as the first exchange and we started to see new innovation come into the world of horse racing.

bet365 are among the pioneers of betting in play which was introduced in 2002. Betfair not only gave us their exchange, they also were at the forefront of Cashout, a system that lets you collect money before an event has finished.

Despite these, horse racing remains very traditional with ante post still favoured by the community but the digital revolution has certainly brought about its rewards.
Whether you are a fan of the new innovations or you simple prefer to make you selections ante post, in the traditional way, this is a golden age for anyone looking to bet on horse racing.

Horse Racing Tips

Whether you’re an experienced gambler, or someone new to the pastime, the one thing that everyone looks for is some sure fire horseracing tips. As you get to the more advances stages of betting, there are some very complicated systems and strategies you can use but if you’re just starting out, there are some general hints that you can follow.

Find Your Favourites

Horse racing at Arlington Park 2007In the first instance it always pays to follow the experts: Keep tabs on the TV pundits and their predictions while checking the tipsters in the Racing Post, and the general sporting press. Over time, you can analyse how their tips fare and decide which of them you are going to follow.

A very basic method is to look at a term called draw bias: In a horse race, there is no such thing as a staggered start so the horses on the very inside of the track, have to run a shorter distance. Over the course of several furlongs, that advantage may seem very slight, but statistics indicate that a significant number of races are actually won by the horse on the very inside.

Be Careful

Newmarket RacecourseIf you’re attending a meeting for the first time, it’s wise to avoid anyone who asks you for money in return for tips. Courses have occasionally been plagued by individuals who promise ‘inside information’ in return for your cash. The best advice you can get in this instance is to steer well clear as in reality, the information you receive will be no better than that which you can widely obtain for free elsewhere.

Moving on to slightly more advanced systems, there are certain runners that you can fairly reliably rule out of any race. Firstly, if you spot that a horse hasn’t competed for four weeks or more, then it should probably be avoided from a betting point of view. The likelihood is that it is coming back from injury or illness and its trainer is just giving the horse a run out as it heads back to full fitness.

Similarly, if a horse is moving up in class, you may want to keep your money in your pocket here as well. The horse in question may prove itself at a higher level in time, but in the early stages it is more than likely to struggle.

Who to Follow?

So what horses can you look for in any race? Early front runners should be watched very carefully, particularly on wet ground. Research will show you which horses consistently take an early lead and if they are running on ground that can easily be cut up, it will make the going much harder for those runners following on behind.

One of the simplest tips when it comes to betting on horse racing or on any kind of sport is to follow your hunches. There is no worse feeling than to spot a horse that you fancy and to talk yourself out of betting on it before it sails home in first place. It’s actually much better to place a small gamble and then watch it lose.

Overall, betting on horse racing should be fun and it should increase your enjoyment of the race so do your research, look for some free tips and then sit back to enjoy all the action as it unfolds.