How to Make Money from Horse Racing: A Comprehensive Guide for the UK Market 

 August 21, 2023

By  Philip Borrowman

Horse racing, while a thrilling sport, can be a goldmine for those who take the time to navigate its complexities.

This guide delves into the world of horse racing betting, offering tips to enhance your chances of reaping rewards.

By the time you've taken in this guide's wisdom, you'll be better equipped to challenge the bookmakers on their own turf and answer the question "how to make money from horse racing".

Getting Started

Let's establish some ground rules.

You should already have a handle on the basics of horse racing lingo and the ability to interpret a race card. Understanding horse handicapping is also a bonus.

With these foundational skills in place, as well as a grasp of betting/trading basics, you're set to dive deeper.

However, always remember: Identifying a favourable bet with good odds is paramount. If the odds aren't right, long-term profits will remain elusive.

We have a fantastic guide about "Value betting" which you can use to secure great odds on horses.

Spotlight on Jockeys and Trainers

The bond between jockeys and trainers is pivotal.

Established trainers possess deep insights into their stable's capabilities. Monitor trainers who consistently perform well, and note their choice of jockeys—a reflection of their confidence in a horse's potential.

Similarly, jockeys can shed light on a horse's prospects.

They may offer insights into a horse's potential in a race or share experiences from previous rides. If a star jockey is racing a horse amidst multiple entries from the same stable, it signals their deep confidence in that horse's potential.

Also, watch out for jockeys covering long distances for a single race.

Given that jockeys often foot their own travel bills, this indicates a strong belief in the horse's chances. The synergy between jockeys and trainers is a vital tool in your betting arsenal.

For those looking for an edge, bookmakers occasionally offer a 'leading jockey' market, assigning points based on performance. Backing a favoured jockey in this market can yield high returns.

There is an amazing in-play horse racing strategy you can us if the favourite does not run well. As a beginner, this one would work well for you.

Deciphering Trial and Form

The history of a horse's performance, including barrier trials, can be illuminating.

For novice horses, factors like pedigree, purchase price, and familial successes are noteworthy.

For seasoned horses, it's not solely about victories.

Gauge their performance against strong competitors. Did they thrive against top-tier competition? If so, they could outperform in a less challenging race.

However, be wary of horses with recent wins. Scrutinise their competitors—if their recent victories were against lesser opponents, it might be an anomaly.

Dedicated punters recognise that detailed form guides are the Holy Grail. Mastering them sets you apart, enabling you to find value where others can't.

Course Conditions and Layout

The track's condition, influenced by weather, is crucial. Some horses excel on damp tracks, while others favour firm grounds.

Familiarise yourself with a horse's past performances on various track types. Avoid betting too early, especially if you're unsure of the track's condition.

Research the track's layout. Consider elements like inclines, bends, and the track's direction. This can help predict how a horse might fare.

Moreover, consider the race type. Whether it's a flat race or a jump race, understanding the nuances can be the difference between a win and a loss.

Navigating Betting Markets

The outright victory market is a favourite among seasoned bettors, promising long-term rewards. Each-way betting, on the other hand, covers multiple positions but is most beneficial for high-odds selections.

When placing bets, always lock in the offered odds rather than the 'Starting Price'. Over time, this ensures better returns.

If you're feeling adventurous, consider multi-bets like trebles or Lucky 15s. These don't demand outright victories for returns but do come with their risks.

Diving Deeper: Advanced Strategies for Betting

Race Selection and Strategy

Not every race presents an equal opportunity. Choose your battles wisely. Certain races, owing to their prestige, attract more seasoned horses and jockeys, making the competition fierce and predictions harder. On the other hand, smaller local races might offer better insights into horse performances based on past data.

Keeping Records

A professional always keeps track. Maintain a record of your bets, including the rationale behind each choice, the odds, the amount staked, and the outcome. Over time, this will highlight patterns, showcase where you excel, and reveal areas of improvement. This can become your secret weapon.

Embrace Technology

The digital era offers an array of tools for bettors. There are apps and platforms dedicated to providing real-time insights, statistical data, and predictive analytics based on historical data. Subscribing to such services or tools can provide you with a competitive edge. Popular software include BetAngel and Geekstoy.

Networking

Engage with other punters. The UK has a vibrant community of horse racing enthusiasts. Being part of this community can be invaluable. Exchanging tips, discussing strategies, or just getting a heads-up on a potential winner from a local race can make a difference. Forums, online communities, and racing events are excellent networking avenues. Some popular forums include BetAngel Forum and Betfair Forum.

Managing Your Finances

Always set aside a budget for your betting activities. It's essential to keep emotions in check and avoid chasing losses. Betting more than you can afford or trying to recover losses in a hurry can lead to undesirable outcomes. Consistency and patience, coupled with strategic betting, are hallmarks of a seasoned bettor. 

We have a great guide on "Common Staking Pitfalls" and how you can mange you banroll. If you are new, then this is a must read.

Stay Updated

Horse racing is dynamic. Jockeys change, horses age, and trainers move stables. Regularly update your knowledge. Whether it's a horse recovering from an injury or a jockey switching trainers, staying abreast of the latest developments can influence your betting decisions.

Ethical Considerations

Lastly, always remember the ethical dimension. Support races and stables that treat horses with care and respect. The sport's beauty lies not just in the thrill of betting but in the majestic creatures that grace the tracks. Advocate for their well-being.

In Conclusion

Venturing into the world of horse racing betting in the UK can be both exhilarating and profitable.

While there's no foolproof strategy guaranteeing consistent wins, arming oneself with knowledge, staying updated, networking, and leveraging technology can tilt the odds in your favour. As with any venture, there will be highs and lows, but with dedication, research, and a bit of British grit, you'll find your stride.

How To Get Started Right Now & Make Money From Horse Racing

We have a lot of posts about various strategies on trading on Betfair. There are also very helpful tips about bankroll management and trading hacks you can use to make money on the horse racing markets.

Here are a few guides to get you going:

Philip Borrowman


I am a full-time marketer and part-time Betfair trader. I have over 10 years of experience in the pre-race and in-play horse trading markets and spend my days writing guides, tips and tricks to help beginner Betfair traders find their way to a profitable second income. Read my story of trading on Betfair.

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