Avoid the Favourite
If you’re simply looking to get a few solid wins behind you, tipping the favourite may seem like the obvious choice. However, in the event of success you’ll get very low returns and the chances of a win aren’t as high as you might expect. It seems no-one has told the horses that they’re expected to win easily as the favourite comes first in less than a third of all races!
When placing a bet, you’re looking for a horse that provides good value. This means that not only do you think it could win or get placed, but the odds will give you a decent return. This doesn’t mean you should go out and pile all of your money on the horse with the highest odds; it’s about finding the horse that offers a balance between good pricing and a genuine opportunity to win or be placed.
This doesn’t mean taking a short sleep to regain some energy. A Nap is the horse that is most fancied by any tipster on any given day. If you are following a particular tipster then you may be tempted to only bet on their nap, given that it’s the horse that they feel most confident about. If you do this, don’t expect your results to look anything like that of the tipster you are following. Naps lose almost as frequently as other tipped horses do and when following a tipster it’s about the long game over a long string of bets. You may find that a lot of horse racing tipster’s profits come from a few horses that aren’t naps, that are priced at 15-1 and above.
Tom Segal from the racing post, produces a daily column known as pricewise. Pricewise tips have known to perform particularly well over a number of years, partly because of the favourable odds that he gets on these horses. A number of bookies will still honour pricewise tips prices in the morning for 15 minutes or so in the morning, so if you decide to follow pricewise you need to act fast to get the best odds. See this list of bookmakers that honour Pricewise tips prices.
Combing Horse Racing Tips With Offers
Most UK bookmakers run horse racing offers every day, so it’s a really good idea to see what offers are available for each race that you want to place a bet on. Several excellent offers include betfair 3-1, bet365 4-1 and 10bet 5-1 offers, and 2nd place refunded as cash from William Hill. Ladbrokes also give money back as a free bet on all losers from a nominated race and Coral offer free bets for lengths, where you get a £1 free bet for every length that your horse wins by. These offers, no matter how small, can help to give that extra advantage when placing your horse racing bets.
Best Odds Guaranteed
A lot of bookies in the UK offer best odds guaranteed and if you are betting on horses, especially in the morning, you want to be placing your bet with a bookie that offers BOG. Best odds guaranteed means that if you place a bet on a horse at a particular price and it goes of at a bigger price and wins you get paid at the bigger price. If you are interested in BOG, take a look at our list of bookmakers that offer best odds guaranteed.
During the horse racing season there are major meetings that all owners, trainers and jockeys aim to win races at. Races before these major festivals may be treated as prep races leading up to the big one, so bear this in mind when placing your bets. We have dedicated pages for Cheltenham, Aintree and Ascot, providing all the latest free bets, offers and tips for these major festivals.
Extra Place Races
When looking at horse racing tips, if there are any that recommend each way bets, be sure to look for bookies that offer extra places. Typically bookies will pay 2 places with up to 7 runners, 3 places with up to 15 runners and 4 places for 16+ runners in handicap races. However bookmaker will select at least one race per day when they pay more than the standard places (5 instead of 3 for example) and this can help you sneak a place in competitive races, increasing your chance of a win.
Look at Proofing
If you are planning on following a horse racing tipster over the long term, you need to make sure that they have a track record. Proofing is the publishing of their bets so that the results can be tracked. Most tipsters suggest bets using a points system, for example Altior win 2 points. Proofing then looks at these results based on the odds and the number of points staked. A tipster wants to be profitable over the long term, showing consistent returns.
Get a Gut Feel
If you’re physically present at a race, you can get an extra advantage before placing your bet. Rather than taking the early odds, wait until the horses are in the paddock and head over to take a look.
A horse that looks like a nailed-on bet on paper could present a very different picture on the day. If the runner you were planning on backing is anxious, sweaty and using up a lot of energy pre-race, you might want to pick a different horse. Getting a glimpse before you bet can be extremely valuable.
Keep the betting exchange markets open pre race. A lot of pro punters use betting exchanges to place their bets and you will see the ods shift quickly just before the off if something is awry with one of the horses in the parade ring. Similarly pro punters will also lay horses that they think have no chance of winning and a lot of these decisions are made within minutes of the race starting. In the simplest terms, if a horse is drifting (odds lengthening) on the exchange, then the pro punters are laying it as they think it will lose. If a horse is steaming (odds are shortening), the pro punters like what they see and are backing it.
Understand the Surface
Weather conditions can play an integral role in horse racing by altering the surface. This can fundamentally affect how well a horse is likely to race on the day.
Ground which is very dry and hard is known as “good to firm” or “firm”. There is one classification higher - “hard” - but this is not generally used as it’s considered to be too dangerous to race on. Wetter ground is known as “good to soft”, “soft” or “heavy”.
Daintier horses usually prefer the fast speeds of a firm surface while horses that tend to hit the ground harder benefit from it being softer.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the surface as it could completely change the horse you should be backing. When doing your research, look at how the horse has performed on similar grounds in the past and what type of going it prefers. The effect the going has shouldn’t be underestimated; if your horse usually wins on firm surfaces and the going is soft or heavy, there’s a very good chance it won’t perform well.
Check out the Jockey…
With all the focus on the horse and its track record, it’s easy to overlook the role of the jockey. However, just like horses some jockeys are better suited to certain types of races than others. Knowing the jockey’s history at a certain event can help too. For example Ruby Walsh has a good record at Cheltenham, while at Ascot, Ryan Moore leads the field.
Keeping a close eye on the jockey also provides an indication of how the trainer views the horse. Every stable has a pecking order of jockeys and the top jockey will be put on the horse which the trainer believes has the best chance of a win. Quite frequently there may be multiple horses from the same trainer in a race so this can be a good way to whittle them down.
…and Don´t Forget the Trainer!
Just like the jockey, the trainer is an important factor and each has their own particular strategies to win. A trainer who knows a track well may base the preparation for that specific course.
If you want to know how confident a trainer is at a track, look how many entries there are from the stable. Multiple entrants from the same trainer is typically a sign that they feel assured at the course.
The trainer’s record can also provide clues as to the likely outcome; at some tracks they may perform well and at others, do badly. For example, at Cheltenham, retired trainer Henrietta Knight won the prestigious Gold Cup three years in a row, as did Paul Nicholls.
Just because a trainer has a poor record at a certain race doesn’t mean you should completely write them off. For example, the very successful Willie Mullins had struggled to make his mark on the Gold Cup but in 2019 his horse Al Boum Photo came in first at 12/1.
Knowing the Lingo
As well as the above factors there are some phrases you might hear bounced around which could help you back a winner. These include:
- Easy last time out winners. It’s fairly common for horses to enjoy a string of 2-3 wins in a 5-race streak so identifying one on a hot streak is useful. Look for horses that won easily in their last race and seem ready to match the performance again.
- Bouncing back. Conversely, horses coming off a bad run of form could offer a big price. If there’s evidence to suggest their fortunes have changed, such as the surface conditions or the horse’s fitness, this bet could offer value.
- The bounce factor. Similarly, horses that haven’t run for a while may perform really well on their first run back, only to run poorly on their next run. This is known as the bounce factor.
- Good rating figures. A horse that notched up a personal best last time it ran is one that stands a good chance of doing well.
Find Today´s Horse Racing Tips at Yesbets
With a team of expert tipsters, you can trust Yesbets to give you the best horse racing tips around. Check in before you place a bet to check the stats and find out which horses we think are the hottest.