A Beginner’s Guide to Horse Racing
Horse racing is an extremely prestigious sport.
12:45 01 July 2020
And not only that, but it serves to strengthen the relationship between men and their horses that has been seen throughout history, whether it’s riding a horse into battle, pulling a chariot or simply the only way to get around.
Horse racing has developed into an extraordinary sport which is one of the most watched in the UK, and if you’re tired of sitting on the sidelines and want to get more involved with understanding how things are done, then read on.
What are the Types of Horse Racing?
There are two main types.
This is exactly what it says on the tin. Flat racing means horses run on a flat, direct piece of ground, which could be around a curved track on in a straight line, and the first past the post is the winner. Simple!
The National Hunt
This type of horse race adds more complexity with obstacles and a track which must be navigated by both horse and jockey. The categories under the National Hunt are hurdles and steeplechases.
A race with hurdles offers simple barriers for horses to jump over.
A steeplechase is more demanding and interesting, as it has more complex barriers for horses to jump over, as well as offering the opportunity for ditches and water jumps.
What About Betting on a Horse Race?
The culture of horse racing has seen huge excitement based around betting alone. The majority of people interested in horse racing aren’t just in it for the pleasure of watching – they’re in it to win, and there’s nothing like spurring on the horse you’ve placed a bet on. No matter the sport, whether it’s placing a bet on football or looking how to bet on basketball, it's clear that betting on a game makes it significantly more interesting.
You can place a bet on horse racing purely for the fun of it – perhaps you just liked the name of a particular horse – but if you’re looking to get more serious about it, then you’ll need to understand the odds. Each horse will have its odds of winning stated. For example, if this is 8/1 then the amount you bet will be multiplied by 8 if your horse wins. If you place a bet of £1, then you will receive £8 back.
You also have the option to place a bet on each way instead of winning outright. This means you’re betting for the horse to place rather than win – for example, expecting it to come in second or third.
What to Consider
Successful horse racing depends on many things, including the jockey, the age of the horse, the conditions of the race and whether the horse’s odds have changed. However, if you have a huge love for horses and are passionate about sports in general, horse racing offers an extremely enjoyable pastime even simply to watch if you are not placing a bet.
Whether you’re watching at home or on the TV, or have decided to attend one of the many popular racing events in person, you’ll never be bored with horse racing.