Horse Racing

 A common example of horse racing

What is Horse Racing?

Horse racing is one of the oldest forms of competition which exist today. The general idea is that races involve two or more horses which are ridden by jockeys. The goal of these jockeys is to get their horse around the oval racetrack and to the finishing line as quickly as possible. As such a widespread and popular sport there is a huge amount of variety when it comes to rules and traditions.

A large part of their ongoing popularity is not just the races themselves, but the gambling which is also associated with the sport. This review will deal with the common forms which you will see more often.

Basic Rules for Horse Racing

There are four main version which are popular, we'll cover the basic rules of each of these.

  • Flat Racing

In these races the horses compete in a simple point to point race. This can be in a straight line or around an oval track. Flat racing is the most popular form of horse racing.

Most of these tracks are made of dirt and follow the same basic design. The distances which are raced tend to sit between 400m to 4km. When In flat racing the shorter races are thought of as a test of speed, whereas the longer races are designed more to test stamina.

Generally the weight which the horses carry is equalised. This helps keep the races fair, though there are other races which forego this.

  • Jump Racing

Jump racing is more concerned with, you guessed it, jumping. These are usually separated into steeplechasing and hurdling.

In steeplechases the horses compete over a distance which includes ditches and fence obstacles. Generally this is a more naturally laid out race. These are around 3-4 km long.

Hurdling, on the other hand, refers to when the races have shorter hurdles. These are usually made of some type of brush. Generally these races include a minimum of 8 hurdles and cover a distance of 3km.

  • Harness Racing

In these races the horses pull a cart behind them in which sits the driver. This cart is called a sulky. When these races are performed they are run at two different gaits, these are trotting and pacing.

Generally these races tend to run between 1,600m and 3,140m.

  • Endurance Racing

Endurance racing in concerned with longer distance races. Generally these cover a distance of around 16-160km.

Due to the long distance and slow nature of endurance races they tend not to be especially popular when it comes to betting.

Important Horse Racing Information

Betting on horse racing can be quite simple. What it usually comes down to is the following steps:

  • Choosing a track
  • Selecting a race
  • Selecting your currency
  • Choosing a type of wager (this is important)
  • List the horse or horse numbers which you are betting on
  • Checking the results

This is made a lot easier by the supplying of odds related material from the place of betting, which helps the gamblers make more informed decisions. The only real confusing part for new players comes in understanding the different type of horse racing bets, and what they mean.  Have no fear, we have them listed for you!

  • Show

This bet wins out when the selected horse places 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Generally a moderate payout.

  • Place

This bet wins out when the selected horse places 1st or 2nd. Pays out better than a winning show bet.

  • Win

This bet pays out when the selected horse finished the race in 1st place. Actual money received depends on the listed odds.

  • Double Daily

This bet pays out when a players selected horses win two consecutive races. A difficult bet to win, with a good payout.

  • Pick 3

This bet pays out when a player selects the winner of three consecutive races. Lower odds than double daily so it comes with an even greater potential payout.

  • Pick 4

This bet pays out when a player manages to select the winning horses in 4 consecutive races. Pays out higher than pick 3.

  • Pick 6

A ridiculously tough bet to win. This bet pays out when a gambler manages to select the winner for six consecutive races. As the odds for this are so low the potential payouts are enormous on a winning bet.

  • Quinella

This bet pays out when 2 selected horses finish in 1st and 2nd place, in any order.

  • Exacta

This bet pays out when 2 selected horses finish in 1st and 2nd place in the exact order which was predicted.

  • Trifecta

This bet pays out when a player manages to successfully predict the horses in the first 3 positions, and their exact order. Odds aren't great for this, so it pays out well.

  • Superfecta

This bet pays out when a gambler manages to correctly predict the exact horses finishing in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. This can result in an enormous payout but it obviously a difficult win to achieve.

History of Horse Racing

The first recorded cases of horse racing come from around 4,500BC. It is thought to have begun with the nomads of central Asia. Ever since that point horse racing has remained an incredibly popular sport. From the Greek and Romans to the early America's, this has been a mainstay of human civilisation.

During the reign of Queen Annie in the early 1700's horse racing became an important professional sport to the English-speaking world. This is also thought to be the origin of some of the forms of gambling around the sport. To a large extent this gambling has kept the sport as popular as it is to this very day.

In fact, in many cases horse racing is the only legal form of gambling that some countries have. While there are a lot of given reasons for this, the general idea comes from its long and rich tradition among both the wealthier and poorer people of a society.

Where to bet on Horse Racing

Horse racing is a real life sport, and is not one which lends itself well to digital interpretations. Given the sheer size of the sport, and the money involved, getting involved as a gambling website can be difficult. Because of this it has become generally common for only the largest sites to be home to forms of gambling on horse racing. If you want a more direct list of websites which offer horse racing bets then check out our casino reviews below. All of these sites offer horse betting in some form.

Common Terminology

As with most betting sports, horse racing comes with its own collection of terminology which can easily confuse the new better. Check out our list below to get a head-start on all the lingo which you need to know.

  • Agent

This is the person who is given the authority to act on behalf of a stable owner or jockey. Generally this person can buy or sell horses for an owner.

  • Age of Horse

Interestingly, all racehorses are given the same birthday. This is used to simplify record keeping.

  • Bailed up

A runner which is racing to the inside of the other horses, waiting for some clear room to gallop.

  • Barriers

There are the starting gates which open when the race begins.

  • Birdcage

An area where the horses are displayed before the races.

  • Blinkers

The term given to the headgear placed on the horse to limit its field of vision to encourage it to focus.

  • Checked

When a horse experiences some form of interference it is said to have been checked.

  • Class

The grade of level of a given race.

  • Colt

The name given to young male horse which has not been fixed, or gelded.

  • Dam

The mother of a horse.

  • Derby

A common and classic race for horses which are 3 years old.

  • Dwelt

This refers to a horse which is slow to start.

  • Eased

This is a horse which has been deliberately slowed in order to pick out a better position.

  • Farrier

A specialist who deals with the hooves of horses.

  • Feature Race

This the term which is given to the biggest race of the day.

  • Filly

The term given to a young female horse when it is of 3 years of age or under.

  • Firm

    The given track rating.

  • First-up

A runner which is returning from a break from racing.

  • First Starter

When a horse is taking part in its first ever race it is called a first starter.

  • Foal

When a horse has just been born is it called a foal.

  • Front Runner

A horse which generally settles out in the front of the group.

  • Furlong

A standard scale used in horse racing. One furlong equals about 200m.

  • Going

This refers to the general condition of the racing track.

  • Handicap

When a horse is given weights to equalise the chances of all horses winning it is called a handicap.

  • Heavy Track

When a track gets messed up by the rain.

  • Hoop

Another term for a jockey.

  • Impost

The weight which is carried by a horse in a race.

  • Knocked Up

When a horse noticeably weakens in the later parts of a race.

  • Length

The general length of a horse from nose to tail, which is around 3 meters.

  • Maiden

A horse which has not yet won a race.

  • Mare

A female horse of 4 years and older.

  • Mudlark

A horse which does its best when it is racing on a wet track.

  • Odds

The chances of a horse to win a given race, based of information which is generally taken from previous races.

  • Off Side

This refers to the right side of the horse.

  • Photo Finish

An ending results which is so close that it requires the use of checking camera footage in order to determine the winner.

  • Post

Another term for the starting gate.

  • Punter

The term given to a gambler in horse racing.

  • Roughie

A horse with a low change to win which will generate a high payout if it does.

  • Scratched

This refers to when a horse is removed from a race for whatever reason.

  • Sire

The father of a horse.

  • Stallion

The term given to a male horse which has not been gelded and is highly desired as a sire.

  • Stayer

When a horse which excels in long distance races.

  • Strapper

Somebody who is employed by a trained to groom and take care of daily horse care.

  • Stone Motherless

The term given to a horse which has finished in a race dead last.

  • Swooper

A swooper is a horse which sticks towards the rear of the field before unleashing a burst towards the end of the race.

  • Under Wraps

When a horse is being held back it is called being kept under wraps.

  • Well-Held

A horse which has been easily beaten by the winner of a race.

  • Yearling

The term given to a horse which is between 1 and 2 years old, generally this is the age at which most horses and bought and sold.

Author: Steve Jackson

Pokie reviewer, casino reviewer, article writer and all around hilarious and humble Steve Jackson is one of the main writers here at With an interest in writing and games, Steve has worked for years as a freelance writer covering a wide variety of topics. From video-games to umbrella sales - the experience he has gained in his career, combined with his degree in psychology, help him cover what people want, and what they didn't know was important to them. Now together with, Steve and the rest of the staff work together to bring the reader a website which covers a wide range of gambling relating reviews and topics. From the standard pokie and casino reviews to tutorials on casino games and even fun stories on gambling relating topics, Steve has been first on the ground, helping shape the website into what it is, and what it will one day be. Despite knowing a great deal about gambling he has not yet won any major prize pools. If he did you could bet he would be bragging about them here.

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