Best Horse Racing Betting Guide For Beginners

by George Abebe
| 07/10/2021

Betting on Horse Racing has been a favourite of punters for decades. 

The short races and fast pace at which they are running creates huge excitement, especially when you have a wager on one of them to win. 

In recent years, online betting sites in South Africa and around the world have taken full advantage of this popularity, by offering betting markets on races taking place worldwide, with most of them providing customers with a live feed for each race.

This article will act as a beginner’s guide into betting on Horse Racing online, providing you with all the relevant information that is required when taking the first step into Horse Racing betting.  

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Race Meets For Horse Racing Betting In South Africa

Horse Racing takes place across the globe and all year round. While there are different climates around the world, punters can choose to delve into races taking place elsewhere if the local season has stopped due to winter etc.

The Horse Racing season takes place in South Africa across an entire calendar year, with meets nearly every day. This provides us, bettors, with huge opportunities to win money across a whole year.

We will detail a few different Race meets that take place in South Africa that attracts big attention from the betting population within the country.

  • Sun Met – this premier race is held at the Kenilworth Racetrack in Cape Town. It is the biggest race in the South African calendar and attracts thousands of locals and tourists. With prize money of 5 million Rand, it is also the most lucrative race. 
  • Champions Challenge & South African Derby – these two Group 1 races are the highlights on the days racing card at the Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg. Punters from across the globe like to place heavy wagers on the best-thoroughbred talents taking part in each of these races.
  • Durban July – this race is one of the oldest in South Africa. It has taken place each year on the first Saturday in July since its inauguration in 1897. The same racecourse is the venue for this prestigious race – the Greyville Racecourse in Durban. It has the second-largest prize money being offered to participants, a very impressive 4.25 million Rand.

South Africa has been known for its Horse Racing since the early 1800s. There are many more superb meets that take place annually, so keep an eye out when you are looking to place a wager or two on the upcoming meet.

How To Bet On Horse Racing Online

Wagering online is easy to do but you must sign up for the best available sportsbook. Choosing the best sportsbook can be an arduous task, so here at Africa-Bet, we have carried out all the work for you. We have provided a list of the best available sportsbooks for South African bettors, so please choose from our list of the best sports betting site reviews for South Africans.

Your sportsbook should offer all the markets for Horse Racing and have the best available odds. Most local ones should have markets for all races taking place in South Africa, but you will want them to provide markets on others taking place across the globe to help increase your chances of winning.

Find Best Horse Racing Predictions

You can find a lot of tipsters on sports programmes, in newspapers and online that offer insight into each race taking place in South Africa. If this is the route for you, then please spend time researching their previous tips to make sure they have a good win percentage which will increase your chances of making money.

One format for excellent insight into each race is the Racing Post. They provide all the relevant information behind each horse, jockey and track. It is a world-renowned website and an important starting point when betting on Horse Racing online.

If you would like to carry out your own detailed research before picking a winner, we have a few tips below that will help you on your way:

  1. Horse Form – how they have performed in their previous races, at the same racecourse and on a similar going.
  2. Jockey Form – their recent results (including races on the same horse), how well they have performed at the upcoming racecourse and how well they manage to control the horse on a particular going.
  3. Going – this is extremely important when horses are racing on grass. All-weather tracks won’t have much of an effect unless the horse in question has been racing on grass recently.

Keep all of these in mind when carrying out your research.

Horse Racing Markets Explained

Horse Racing doesn’t have the conventional betting markets that you would see with other major sports such as football and rugby. The markets for Horse Racing are tailored specifically for that type of sport. Below is a brief explanation of the two most popular markets. 

  • Winner – here you choose which horse will win the race. The odds are usually favourable to the punter due to the level of competition in the race.
  • Each Way – this market involves backing a horse to finish in the top 3. The pay-outs are lower if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd, but this reduces the risk as the horse doesn’t have to win. Sportsbooks will offer an increased number of places the horse can finish in depending on the size of the field competing in the race.

You can also place Exacta and Trifecta bets which we cover in extensive detail throughout our Horse Racing betting types article.

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