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What you need to know before betting in horse racing

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From turf to synthetic surfaces, horse racing is one of the most anticipated sports because of its exciting and fast gameplay. Since the early times, horse racing has been a favourite sport across civilizations, and to this day, it’s still one of the most anticipated competitions in the world.

Get to know more about this sport and how to bet on your favourite tournaments! 

What’s horse racing?

Before you start betting in horse racing, first learn its basics to know what to look forward to when matches or tournaments begin. 

Horse racing is a type of horseback riding sport (equestrian) wherein two or more horses are ridden by jockeys and races over a certain distance. In this sport, jockeys try their best to reach the finish line by riding their horses as fast as they can. 

Horses don’t gain fame by winning just one match, they have to join several others and be consistent to become famous. Horse racing matches vary in format and practices across different countries, and for certain breeds, running over obstacles.

History of horse racing

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in history dating back to ancient Egypt, Greece, Syria, and Babylon. This sport was also mentioned in several myths and legends.

In ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine, chariot racing was one of the most anticipated contests. The Greeks were fond of both chariot and mounted horse racing back in 648 BC Greek Olympics., while in Britain, horse racing became popular in the 18th century.

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Variants of horse racing 

Horse racing has a lot of variants across different countries, each with its own rules and traditions. Here are the different types of horse racing that you can watch and bet on:

Jump racing 

In jump racing, horses have to jump over obstacles to test the horse’s ability and stamina. Horses in jump racing are also known as hurdlers and chasers. Horses that compete in jump races are either bred specifically for Jump racing or have previously participated in flat races.

Jump racing is divided into two sections:

Hurdles 

A hurdle race is where horses jump over barriers that are thinner than walls and have a height of at least three and a half feet. 

Steeplechases

In steeplechases, horses also known as chasers jump over diverse fences and ditch obstacles. The obstacles can vary from plain fences, water jumps, or water jumps.  These races span 2 to 41/2 miles.

Flat racing

Flat racing is the most popular type of horse racing. As its name implies, flat racing takes place on a flat, levelled surface and doesn’t include any obstacles. This type of racing usually spans 1 to 3 miles to measure the horse’s speed and stamina.

In the United Kingdom, flat races are usually run on grass. There are also races that take place on synthetic or all-weather tracks.

Harness racing

Harness racing involves horses racing while pulling a two-wheeled cart also known as a sulky. It’s usually referred to as a gig, bike, or spider and is attached to the saddle. 

In harness racing, horses must trot without breaking stride. If they gallop, the horses are penalized or forced to slow down in the middle of the competition.

Endurance racing

Endurance racing involves running longer distances that range from 50-700 and take up to to 10 to 12 hours. This race measures the endurance and longevity of the horses, and the main focus during endurance races is the horses’ ability to be consistent and not fade over larger courses.

Quarter horse racing

Speed is a huge factor in Quarter Horse racing. This is a less common form of horse racing and only covers short distances in straight courses. As its name suggests, this type of horse racing refers to a quarter of a mile or less. 

Horses participating in Quarter Horse racing are known for their skill in sprinting on the field.

Maiden racing 

In Maiden racing, there are no restrictions on the track, obstacles, and distance of the race. This race involves horses that have yet to win a race.

Graded stakes racing

In Graded Stakes racing, the race is assigned a particular grade like I, II, or III. This helps determine which horses are the most competitive in the field.

Allowance and Claiming racing

Horses in Claiming races are offered for sale and sold to eligible buyers for a specific price.

In Allowance racing, horses must qualify for the race conditions that are set.

Stakes racing 

This is considered the highest classification in horse racing because owners have to pay a nomination, and an entry or a starting fee for their horse to be eligible for the competition. 

Stakes races highlight the best horses in a specific group such as a group of three-year-olds, three-year-old-fillies, or the winners of the select races.

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Breeds

In horse racing, there are several types of breeds that are specifically bred to meet the competitions’ requirements. Here are the types of horses used in racing:

Thoroughbred

Thoroughbreds are the most popular type of horse used in horse racing, and they weigh 1,000 to 2,000 pounds. These horses are known for their speed and stamina, making them ideal for flat racing. In thoroughbred races, jockeys ride exclusively on thoroughbred horses. 

Standardbred

Unlike thoroughbred horses, standardbred horses are larger, longer, more muscled and heavier which makes them the ideal horse for harness racing. During these races, the horses trot while pulling the cart where the jockey is sitting. 

Quarter horse/Arabian

Quarter horses are excellent when it comes to running short distances because they are faster compared to thoroughbreds. However, when it comes to stamina, thoroughbreds are stronger. Due to their stamina, you won’t see them running in long-distance competitions also called sprinting races because they end quickly.

Tracks 

There are different types of surfaces used in various horse racing competitions. The tracks play an important role in the performance of the horses because this will determine what surface they’re comfortable with and it will also affect their performance. You can consider this if you want to make sure you’re betting on the horse that can handle the tracks.  

Here are the most common tracks used in horse racing:

Turf

Turf is the most common type of track because it provides a cushion for horses to land on when they jump over fences and other obstacles. However, this surface is also unpredictable because the outcome depends whether the ground is soft or hard. 

Dirt

Dirt tracks are popular in North & South America and in Japan. Dirt is used in areas with dry climates wherein grass is hard to grow. A blend of sand and mud is what makes up the dirt surfaces. 

Synthetic 

Synthetic or artificial surfaces replicate either turf or dirt tracks but are designed to be safer and more weather-resistant. For this reason, synthetic tracks are also referred to as ‘all-weather surfaces.’

Popular tournaments in the world 

There are numerous horse racing tournaments in the world with hundreds of fans during every competition. Get ready to place your bets when you watch these tournaments! Here are the world’s most popular horse racing tournaments you should look forward to:

Kentucky Derby 

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular in the world, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. The tournament is a Grade I race at a distance of one and a quarter miles for three-year-old Thoroughbreds that lasts no more than 2 minutes. For this reason, this tournament earned the reputation as the ‘Greatest 2 Minutes in Sports.’ 

The Kentucky Derby is dubbed ‘The Run for the Roses’ because at the end of the match, the winner is draped with a blanket of roses. 

Nakayama Grand Jump

Another famous horse racing event is the Nakayama Grand Jump in Funabashi, Japan. This is a steeplechase race held annually in the Nakayama Racecourse during mid-April involving four-year-old and older thoroughbreds. This competition is run at a distance of 4,250m (2 ⅝ miles + 84 feet).

The Royal Ascot

The Royal Ascot is a week-long racing competition run by thoroughbreds and attended by approximately 600,000 people annually. It is located in Ascot, Berkshire where the first race in 1711 was held. 

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe or simply the Arc, is a Group I flat horse racing event that is run by three-year-olds or older thoroughbreds at a distance of 2,400 metres (1½ miles). It is held every year during the first Sunday of October at the Longchamp Racecourse. 

The Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is a thoroughbred Grade I horse race that is run at a distance of 9.5 furlongs. It is held annually every third Saturday of May at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. This race is referred to as ‘The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans’ because at the end of the race, the winning colt or filly will be draped with a blanket of yellow flowers across the withers.

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Begin betting on horse racing

Betting on horse races is not limited to only one sportsbook. Nowadays, you’ll find thousands of online sportsbooks that offer bets on horse racing. Before you start wagering on horse racing matches, make sure that you’re on a legitimate site. 

Follow the steps on how to start betting on an online sportsbook:

Choose a sportsbook

There are tons of bookmakers or casinos that offer betting on horse racing, but it’s difficult to find the one that suits your preferences. At Sportsbet,we provide the best services and a user-friendly interface to ensure our users have a hassle-free betting experience.

Currencies to use   

There are plenty of currencies you can choose to bet with  such as EUR, USD, JPY, MXN, and more. You can also use cryptocurrencies like BTC, LTC, ETH, and others. 

Deposit options

Before you can begin using the site, you must first deposit money into your account. You’ll find different deposit options such as e-wallets, cryptocurrencies, and debit & credit cards. I

Cryptocurrencies

These are digital currencies used in online transactions like purchasing items or paying for services. It is preferred by many people because of its lower fees and strong encryption that makes it nearly impossible to be tampered with. 

E-wallets

E-wallets let you store your money for safekeeping and help you transfer easily when purchasing items or trading online. Some of the popular and trusted e-wallets include Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz, PayPal, and more. 

Credit/debit cards

The use of credit and debit cards is one of the most common types of deposit options because it’s easy and fast. Depositing your money is instant and the amount you transferred will immediately reflect on your account.

Types of bets 

There are different ways you can bet on your favourite team or league. Learn each one below so you can form a betting strategy to maximize your potential to win:

In-play
In-play is the most common type of betting. This type involves betting on a sport while the match is taking place, wherein the odds change throughout depending on the game’s progress.
Next 24 hours
This bet is for matches that will begin in the next 24 hours. You can take a look at the odds of the match to give you a better idea on who to bet on. Once the tickets are available, you can also purchase them in advance.
Outright betting
Instead of betting on single matches, in Outright betting, your bet is placed on the outcome of the entire tournament or league.
Future
In Future betting, you can take a look at the tournaments or matches that will begin soon. The schedule for these tournaments are already set, which is visible alongside the names of the teams that will compete. You can also purchase the betting tickets in advance once it’s available.

Payment methods you can use

There are different payment methods you can use to place your bets. Choose the one that will work for you:

Fiat money – You can use different currencies to place your bets, so no matter where you are, you can continue betting on your favourite team. 

E-wallets – E-wallets are digital wallets where you can store your money. You can choose from a wide range of trusted e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, and more. 

Cryptocurrency – Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that you can use to pay for online purchases and other services. You can use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and others.