Tips for beginners in horse racing betting

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

One of the biggest horse racing events of the year takes place in November, as the Breeders’ Cup brings together the biggest stars in the world. 

Betting on the event will be hugely popular over the two-day meet, but what tips should all gamblers follow in order to maximise their returns at Del Mar this year?

Find The Right Sportsbook

The first step that all beginners need to follow to stand the best chance of decent returns is by signing up for a leading sportsbook. Certain sites will offer better odds than the rest, and also offer other eye-catching promotions, such as money back bonuses and also extra places for some of the featured races taking place at the Breeders’ Cup.

All newcomers to betting should examine the sportsbooks’ website before signing up and depositing funds. Some of the leading sites will also offer live streaming, which means that customers can watch the action from their mobile device after making a qualifying bet.

Understand The Markets

Of course, some of the horse racing markets that are available are very easy to understand, with the win bet doing exactly what it says on the tin. Place bets are also very popular in races with big fields, as some sportsbooks will offer up to three places, meaning returns should your selection finish in those spots. 

However, markets such as forecasts and tricasts can be more difficult to understand. Here, gamblers must accurately predict the selections that finish first and second (forecast) and first, second and third (tricast).

Reverse forecasts and tricasts are also available, which allows customers to just bet on the horses that will finish in the top two or three regardless of exact positions. Insurance betting can also be done, but this is more prominent when it comes to jumps racing, as stakes will be returned should your selection not finish the race.

What To Study

If you have spent five minutes around anyone betting on horse racing, you would likely be aware that more work goes into betting on the sport than just picking a horse with the catchiest name. 

There are a number of important factors that should be examined before placing a bet, with the most important of those being the horses' form. 

Horses that have a proven winning record over certain distances will always have a solid chance of repeating that success, while those that often finish towards the back of fields likely struggle to contend with the pace. 

So, it’s important to check the previous results of upcoming events, like the Breeders' Cup Results and Replays by TwinSpires.

It is also important to look at the trainer and jockey, as those that are in-form will always stand a better chance of winning a race, as it will show that the stable is performing at the top of their level. 

Speed figures and official ratings should also be examined, as these indicate the horses that are in the best form given the tracks that they have run on.

Biggest Races

Newcomers to betting on the sport should also understand the difference between certain races throughout the season. The majority of races that are run at the Breeders’ Cup are Grade 1s, which means that horses that have won this type of race, or even Grade 2s, have a better chance. 

The graded races are the more prestigious races throughout the season, and have larger purses, which encourages the best horses to target them.

In America, below graded races, there are stakes contests, and below that, there are allowance, handicap, and allowance optional claiming races. Understanding that the classier horses compete in graded contests regularly is important to grasp when it comes to betting on all races throughout the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar this year.