The 5 Best Horse Racing Betting Strategies For 2024

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The 5 Best Horse Racing Betting Strategies For 2024

If you want to beat the bookies when betting on horses, the best horse racing betting strategies to employ are often the simplest. 

In this article, we'll look at some tried and tested horse racing betting strategies to level up your game.

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

Lay betting is one of those horse racing betting strategies that can allow for a higher win probability (when employed correctly). 

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 is to be selective.

Here are three effective lay betting strategies that will improve your chances of winning. 

1. It can be profitable to lay horses at short odds that have raced on the flat but are now making their debut over hurdles

Successful flat horses that are new to hurdles will still often go off short odds - especially if trained by one of the big names. Most, however, don’t take to jumping, especially on winter ground. 

2. Another good horse racing betting strategy involves opposing badly drawn horses. This is especially effective over distances where the field is on the turn early 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.

3. Lots of horses can handle a variety of ground conditions but many horses won't perform on extreme ground, like heavy and firm. 

In these scenarios, there are opportunities to oppose favourites that have previously shown they can’t perform optimally under extreme conditions.

Tip 2. Make The Most of Each-Way Betting 

Major race meetings are key battlegrounds for bookmakers. Cheltenham odds, for example, often come with extra each-way places as bookies compete for business.

It's always a good idea to compare the each-way places on offer from horse racing betting sites to find the best terms for the race you're betting on.

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 that have a short-priced favourite with 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 can be profitable - especially if it is a smaller yard whose runners often go under the radar.

The key to success with this horse racing betting strategy is getting in early, because a purple catch can often come and go in a three or four-week period. 

Keep a close eye on how horses from certain yards are performing, then use ratings to determine whether or not they are doing better than expected. 

Getting off the train at the right moment is also important, because following a trainer’s runners for too long can be a drain on the profits already banked.

Tip 4. Pay Attention to Sectional Times

Sectional times are a lot more accessible than they used to be. 

Digesting this data can be time-consuming but it's worth incorporating into your horse racing betting system. 

Sectional timings are most helpful when it comes to evaluating form. They can be used to determine which performances deserve marking up and which horses might be flattering to deceive. 

You might, for example, upgrade a horse that shows a late burst of speed to overcome poor positioning and pass better-placed horses. 

Conversely, you should 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 form study and will help you refine your horse racing betting strategy.

Tip 5 – Back Big-Priced Outsiders on Exchanges

If backing outsiders is your bag, then you should be backing them on the exchanges instead of conventional bookmakers, as you will nearly always get a better price

Even after paying commissions to the exchange, you'll be significantly better off than you would be if you went the conventional route. 

Winners will be few and far between, so maximising the returns on a winning selection is vital to a profitable horse racing betting system that includes backing long-shots.

If the exchange isn't for you, make the most of free bets to reduce risk when backing horses at big prices. 

Key Takeaway: Create Horse Racing Betting Systems

  • Successful horse racing betting strategies should be combined into an overall horse racing betting system
  • For example, an each-way bet against a vulnerable favourite at strong extra-place terms (tip 2) would be enhanced greatly if the horse was representing a ‘hot’ stable (tip 3).
  • Your horse racing betting strategy must evolve with time. Keep thorough notes and records and run the rule over your system at the end of each season.
  • It takes time to evaluate your horse racing betting strategy - one good month doesn’t automatically put you on the path to riches. 
  • Always compare the latest horse racing odds before making selections.


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