The 5 Best Horse Racing Betting Strategies for 2023

The 5 Best Horse Racing Betting Strategies for {{ "now" | date('Y') }}

If you're the kind of horse racing bettor that wants to make informed decisions rather than blindly following tipsters, then your focus should be on building out effective horse racing betting strategies and profitable horse racing systems.

When it comes to actually winning money on the best UK betting sites, the best horse racing betting strategies are often the simplest. With that said, the most successful bettors are constantly looking to evolve their approach. Let’s take a look at some tried and tested horse racing betting strategies to level up your game.

Tip 1. Opposing (The Right) Short-Priced Favourites

Lay betting is one of those interesting horse racing betting strategies that can allow for a higher win probability (when employed correctly). Through betting exchanges, punters can oppose individual horses via the ‘Lay’ button. The key to making this a successful horse racing system is having set rules in place. Around 50% of even money chances win (as the odds suggest) so there is little long-term value in laying every even money bet in the hope of making a long-term profit.

The key here is to be selective. For example, it can be profitable to lay horses at short odds that have raced on the Flat but are now making their debut over hurdles. Lots of former Flat horses, no matter what their ability on the level, don’t take to jumping - especially on winter ground. They'll nearly always go off short odds, especially if trained by one of the big names.

Another successful horse racing betting strategy involves opposing horses that are drawn badly. This is especially effective over distances where the field is on the turn early on in the race. The handicapper can often put paid to a horse’s winning run by hiking his handicap mark, so keep a close eye on this value.

Lots of horses can handle a variety of ground conditions but many horses will not operate on extreme ground, like heavy and firm. In these scenarios, there are opportunities to adopt horse racing betting systems that oppose short-priced favourites who have previously shown that they can’t perform optimally under the prevailing conditions.

Check Out Popular Horse Racing Event Offers:

Tip 2. Each Way Betting

Each way betting can be an effective strategy to use at horse racing betting sites.

Bookmakers fall over themselves to offer extra places nowadays - especially in big-field events. In many cases, it's difficult for the layers to offer that number of places without being vulnerable in terms of their overround (bookmaker edge). Seeking out these opportunities can lead to a profitable horse racing betting system despite the fact that there will be a high number of blank days.

Another way to cash in with each way bets is to seek out what bookmakers refer to as ‘bad each-way races.’ These are normally maidens or novice races in which there is a short-priced favourite that has an obvious potential weakness. In such a circumstance, backing the second or third favourite each-way is often the shrewd play.

Tip 3. Following In-Form Trainers

Latching onto an in-form trainer early on can be one of the most profitable horse racing betting strategies going - especially if it is a smaller yard whose runners often go under the radar.

The key to success with this horse racing system is getting in early and placing your bets with or favourite bookie or through our recommended new betting sites. Why? Because a purple catch can often come and go in 3-4 weeks. 

It's always a good idea to keep a close eye on how horses from certain yards are performing before using ratings to determine whether or not they are performing better than expected. Getting off the train at the right moment is also important because following a trainer’s runners for longer than necessary can be a drain on the profits already banked.


Read More: Most of the best bookies have great betting apps that make it quick and easy to bet on the go


Tip 4. Sectional Times

Sectional times are a lot more accessible than they used to be. Making the most of this data can be time-consuming but anyone that follows racing closely and wants to develop successful horse racing betting systems should have a good understanding of sectional and overall times. Sectional timings are extremely helpful when it comes to evaluating which performances deserve marking up and which horses might have been flattered by what they achieved.

An example of a horse that deserves upgrading is one that is poorly positioned in a slowly run race yet still shows a late burst of speed to pass horses that were better placed. Conversely, be wary of horses that were beneficiaries of the way a race panned out, for example, a horse that was held up off a strong pace.

Sectional times, used in conjunction with overall times, are invaluable when it comes to such form study and they have become a hugely important weapon in many profitable horse racing betting strategies.

Tip 5 – Backing Big-Priced Outsiders On Exchanges

If backing outsiders is your bag, then you should be backing them on the exchanges because they will nearly always be a bigger price in that domain than with a conventional bookmaker. The nature of this beast is that winners will be few and far between, so maximising the returns on a winning selection is vital if you want a profitable horse racing betting system.

Exchange bettors need to factor in commission rates but even after paying commission, anyone betting outsiders on these platforms will be significantly better off than they would have been had they played their selections in either a shop or via a betting app. 

If you prefer to stick to more conventional betting sites, a popular low-risk strategy is to make the most of free bets and welcome offers at trusted bookmakers. 

Key Takeaway - Create Effective Horse Racing Betting Systems

It's crucial that anyone looking to build a profitable horse racing betting strategy needs to be able to combine multiple methods/systems. This doesn’t have to be complicated, indeed any of the above strategies could overlap on any given occasion. 

  • For example, an each way bet against a vulnerable favourite would be enhanced greatly if the horse was representing a ‘hot’ stable (see Tip 3).
  • Similarly, sectional times are going to regularly throw up short-priced favourites that are worth taking on. Instead of laying the favourite, you might prefer to back one of its rivals that you feel has a particularly strong chance.  In order to maximise any profitable horse racing betting strategy, it's crucial that it evolves with time.
  • For example, you may notice that a particular trainer can be ‘hot’ with a certain type of horse, like those that prefer certain ground conditions or hurdlers as opposed to chasers. You might also notice that the configuration of a track has changed and that is affecting sectional timing calculations. There are a million things that could change during a season and it is important to keep on top of your strategies.
  • Finally, it takes time for a horse racing system or any combination of horse racing betting strategies to show their true worth. One good month doesn’t automatically put you on the path to riches. Keep thorough notes and records and evaluate your Horse racing betting systems at the end of the season.

Best of luck!

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