What is the best bet to place in horse racing

A question commonly asked by horse racing fans who are new to the game is “what is the best bet to place in horse racing?”, it’s understandably an open-ended question and one that has various answers depending on the person asking it. In fact, the answer can change depending on ground/weather conditions, the type of race (such as whether it's a steeplechase or flat race), the relative form of the competing horses, the jockeys and the trainers involved, and of course the amount of money that you're comfortable betting.

Horse racing is one of the most popular and watched sports in the country and there’s a particularly keen affection for National Hunt racing amongst gambling enthusiasts, who regularly watch the latest racing action either in traditional bookmakers’ shops but probably more often these days on either their phone or tablet via online streaming or betting sites.

The following are all types of bets that you might want to consider after poring over the relevant factors mentioned above:

1) Outright win bet

If there’s a horse that is a clear favoured by race conditions; a horse that is in good form, is used to running in the prevailing conditions on the day, and is only being asked to do what he has already proved he can do before, you might want to maximise your returns by betting it outright to win. However, remember that outright favourites don’t always offer great odds and if it doesn't win you'll lose everything you've staked!

2) Each-way betting

An each-way bet essentially places two bets on the same horse. Half of your stake is on the horse to win, and the other half is for it to “place” (in other words, to finish within the number of places bookmaker agrees to pay out for that race). The place part of an each-way bet is paid out at a fraction of the winning odds. The place terms are:

  • 4 places paid on 16+ runner handicaps and above
  • 3 places paid on 8+ runner races and above
  • 2 places paid on 5+ runner races and above
  • win only on less than 5 runner races

3) Multiples

More experienced horse racing punters seeking a larger pay-out in comparison to their stakes might want to try their hand at combining several horses in permed multiple bets. This involves betting on two or more horses in different races to win or place. This can be a useful way to boost returns when there are several short favourites competing in different races at an event.

The best multiple bet strategies:

When a top jockey combines with a top trainer with an established record at a given meeting (such as Cheltenham Festival) or in a particular race (such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup), multiples and accumulators really come into play. An example of this is Frankie Dettori’s “magnificent seven” win at Ascot back in 1996. The odds of Dettori riding seven winners were over 25,000/1 prior to racing and the bookies got one of their worst-ever canings!

While there’s no hard and fast rule to betting with multiples, the best way to bet on horse racing seems to be to place bets early in the day and place of statistically proven jockey/trainer pairings in a multiple for the highest possible return on your investment.

Related links:
What do the form numbers mean in horse racing 
can you make money from horse racing,
how are bets calculated?