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March 09, 2020

6 Reasons People Love to Bet on Horse Racing

Why is horse racing betting so loved?

Lion Pride

Horse racing is one of the most popular betting markets in the world. But why?

Unlike other sports, where people can just watch the sport for a pure form of entertainment, it’s exceedingly rare to find people who are passionate horse racing fans but don’t like to bet on the outcome. It really is unique in this regard. Betting is at the very core of the sport.

Indeed, it’s fair to say that horse racing is synonymous with betting – and has been for centuries.

In the following sections, we’ll take a look at the reasons why people love horse racing betting so much.

1) You’re Part of the Show

Whether you’re watching horse racing live at a track or following the action on your TV, smartphone or computer screen, everything about each upcoming race is geared towards betting. The commentators talk about the favourites and the outside shots, with the latest odds appearing across the screen at all times.

While betting forms a part of other sports (e.g. football), in horse racing betting is at the very core of the excitement and this makes you really feel part of the action.

By placing a bet on the race, you’ll be cheering on your runner and the determined jockey as if it were your best friend. And it may well be your best friend if they help you win your bet.

2) Big Odds and Returns

Another unique feature of horse racing betting is just how common big outsiders win races.

While this can make betting outcomes seem a little volatile in terms of pure results, if you like to go for big odds, there’s probably no better sport than horse racing.

Indeed, ahead of the Grand National in 2020, five of the past eight winners have been at odds of over 25/1. The 2013 winner, Auroras Encore, also went down in history by defying his starting price of 66/1 – ensuring anyone who had a bet on him enjoyed a hefty return.

At almost every meeting, you’re likely to see at least one outsider scoop a surprise win with odds of over 20/1 and that’s why so many people love horse racing. Whether you prefer to follow the form guide and back the favourites, or shoot for glory with a rookie, there’s always a horse that will likely catch your attention (even if it’s just the name).

3) Excitement

Whether taking in the action at a racecourse or watching it on a screen, there’s a unique thrill that comes with betting on horse racing and then watching the action unfold – with no-one really knowing what’s about to happen.

And the excitement doesn’t wain while watching a race until a horse has finally gone past the post. Even if a horse sails into a seemingly unassailable lead, you never know if it’s gone off to fast and might burn out, or whether another is saving their energy for a big finish. Likewise, some horses look like they’re completely out of it, only to turn the burners on and sail past the other runners for a dramatic photo finish.

As they say: it’s not over, ‘til it’s over.

4) Fun with friends

Horse racing is also an incredibly social pastime. Whether it’s going to a meeting and enjoying the company of your friends, or merely watching the races together and try to outdo each other’s bets, racing can certainly bring people together.

And, as unlikely as it seems, certain races are engrained into popular culture. Take the Grand National in the UK, for example. You’ll find people of all ages and backgrounds placing bets on this annual race in Aintree – even if they never place another bet on anything all year.

It really is a family activity, with Mums, Dads, Aunties, Uncles and even Grandparents all getting in on the action and reading about each horse in the national newspapers which cover the event in massive detail. You’ll also struggle to find a workplace that doesn’t have some kind of Grand National sweepstake running too. It’s a cultural phenomenon.

5) Enhance Your Sporting Knowledge

Some people pride themselves on their wealth of sports knowledge and it certainly serves them well in pub quizzes.

By following horse racing, they can add another string to their bow and continue to wow their friends with their encyclopaedic knowledge of sport. Previous Grand National and Gold Cup winners are always good to know for any quiz.

6) Each-Way Betting – Spread Your Bets

Another interesting aspect of horse racing betting is that you can back multiple horses and have them all win you money.

This is achieved through each-way betting – i.e. backing a horse to either win or “place” (finish in the top two to five positions, depending on the number of runners).

Each-way betting is especially interesting for people who like to back outsiders, as, although you only receive a fraction of the odds for placing (normally 1/4 or 1/5 of the winning odds), this can still equate to big wins if you’re backing horses at more than 20/1.

When you place an each-way bet, you double the value of your winning stake – essentially placing half of your total stake on the horse to win and the other half on the horse to place.