Horse racing is an exhilarating sport to watch, with powerful animals and talented jockeys either sprinting on the Flat or risking life and limb over obstacles.
It is even better when you have money on a horse and so it is essential to know the main betting terms involved in racing.
There are many ways to place a wager, with bets to win or ‘on the nose’ popular but it is also possible to back a horse ‘each way’.
You will need to outlay double your stake as you are backing it to either win or be placed (usually the first three or four home in a race).
If the horse wins then you will be paid out for the win and the place (a quarter or fifth of the winning amount) while a placed horse will see you receive just the latter.
The favourite, or ‘jolly’, is the horse the bookies expect to win and will have the shortest odds while the ‘outsider’ will have long odds but it much less likely to land the spoils.
Watch out for a horse that is ‘on the drift’ with its odds lengthening, as there is little money being placed on it and the bookmakers feel confident it will not win.
When a market has just opened up on an upcoming race, it is common to see a ‘bar’ price, which refers to the odds of those runners not quoted with a price during early betting shows.
An ‘accumulator’ is a multiple bet when you place money on the outcome of two or more races, with two selections termed a ‘two-fold’, etc.
The winnings from the first race roll over to the next, and so on, meaning a successful accumulator can be very profitable, although it is tough to pick just one winner, let alone two or more.
Prior to race meetings there will be tips from the racing experts and a NAP of the day is the selection that racing correspondents feel is their strongest of the day.
Check out this NAP of the day if you fancy a flutter, while a horse termed a ‘banker’ is one that is expected to win.
A horse that goes off at ‘even money’ means that you will get back the value of your stake plus of course the stake should your selection win, while one that is ‘odds-on’ is fancied to do well and the pay-out will be less that the initial outlay, plus your stake.
You might sometimes hear a favourite referred to as a ‘Bismarck’ and this is a horse that bookmakers expect to lose or be ‘sunk’ and they are happy to accept bets for.
It is important to check out the ‘form’ of a horse before deciding which one to bet on, while the ‘going’ – the condition of the racing surface – should also play a part in your selection as some horses favour quick, dry ground and others enjoy the mud.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to land a winner, you will be keen to learn the SP (starting price) as this is the one that will determine how big your return will be.