When most people think about horse racing, they picture men in collared shirts, women in classy dresses and lots of horses. In reality, many horse race organizers don’t impose dress code rules anymore.

The focus is on providing immense entertainment to fans of all backgrounds. You could put on shorts, don a big hat and hold as many beer cans in your hands as you possibly can. All you need is to take part in the extravaganza.

In light of that information, this article delves on the basics of horse racing. What do you need to know before you become a fan? Can you bet on horse racing?

Horse Racing is Thrilling

Horse racing isn’t just one of the oldest sports in the world. It’s also one of the most exciting sports out there. It’s a sport that celebrates one of the most beautiful, most powerful and fastest domesticated animals known to man.

Although not all horses are fast, the quickest colts can run from zero to 60 kilometers per hour in a few seconds. That’s magical. It’s exciting, refreshing and nature at its best. Of course, the sport is mostly entertaining when enjoyed with friends.

You could be out sharing meals and drinks. But then you could turn the TV on and take turns predicting the winning horse. It’s not easy to select a winner by merely looking at different thoroughbreds. But that’s part of why horse racing is an amazing sport.

There are Four Major Types of Races

There are four major types of horse races. There’s endurance racing—it involves long distances. Then there’s flat racing—colts race on flat races for roughly one mile. Another race type is steeplechase/hurdle racing.  Finally, there’s harness racing, which involves horses pulling a driver in a cart. 

Like human athletes, horses compete in different races based on their strengths and weaknesses. Some breeds are genetically wired for short-distance flat racing. Others have the training and genetics required to excel in endurance racing.

That said, most horse race events feature two races only: flat racing and steeplechase racing. With both types, thoroughbreds compete on oval tracks. 

Horse Race Betting

A significant number of the people you find at horse racing events are punters. Yes, they love horses and cheer on them. Bu they also put their money where their mouths are at—they bet on their favorite horses.

In the UK, you can wager on horse races in two ways. You bet through fixed odds and win money based on the odds. Or you can participate in totalizer bets: all wagers are pooled together and winners share the bet handle.

You can find a list of the best horse race betting websites on this page. On top of that, you’ll find a guide for betting on the Chester May Festival. It is one of the biggest flat racing events in the country. 

That said, there are multiple horse racing events year-round. There’s the Kentucky Derby. Then there’s the Dubai World Cup. You can also bet on the Melbourne Cup but if you want to keep things local, look out for these races:

  • The Royal Ascot
  • The Cheltenham Festival
  • Scottish Grand National
  • Racing Post Trophy
  • Aintree Grand National

You Can Own a Race Horse

Becoming a part-owner of a sports franchise costs hundreds of millions of dollars, connections and lots of knowledge about a sport. In horse racing, anyone can become a horse owner. Truth be told, purchasing the best horses doesn’t come cheap. 

You need a decent cash reserve to buy shares in a top horse. All the same, you can do it. Some expertise in horse racing, a few advisors and a pedigree for taking smart risks are also necessary. 

Most people are more likely to purchase losers than winners. So, if you have a better use for the $1000 to $250,000 it takes to purchase a promising colt, then steer clear of the race horse ownership business.

As we mentioned, you can also become a co-owner. Over 60% of all race horses in the UK are purchased through joint partnerships. The benefit is that you receive access to event as an owner, which means you can also attend training sessions.

How to Become a Horse Race Expert

Becoming a horse race expert carries loads of benefits. It’s easier to bet on races. You can become a consultant for new horse buyers or you can own a colt of your own. To become an expert, however, takes time.

You need to know the difference between a maiden race and a graduation race. On the flip side, you should describe the difference between an exacta and a trifecta bet. It’s not impossible to know these terms.

Start by understanding races, lengths and horse types. For example, the maiden race is a horse’s first race. By comparison, a graduation race is an event that brings together colts that have won once or twice. 

 On the other hand, learn about the factors that influence winning. According to experts, an overweight colt, even by one kilo, could slow down by 2.5 meters or more. The ground’s surface, whether it’s a turf or a natural surface can also impact performance. 

Betting Tips for Beginners

If you’re a beginner punter, don’t rush into placing complex bets. Take one step at a time. Place small bets after doing in-depth research. Choose your races carefully. If there’s little information about the horses involved, then find an alternative race. 

Watching races is vital in horse race betting. Unlike football or basketball, you can’t rely fully on the data available before races. Sometimes you need to watch races to view the ground’s condition, how horses move, their trainers and jockeys. 

With that in mind, betting online is the most convenient option. Not only can you analyze events on your smartphone but you can also claim a free bet. What’s more, you get better odds and quicker payouts when you win. Finally, you don’t need to leave your comfort zone to bet on horse races.