Nowadays, football gets the vast majority of marketing campaigns and general attention when it comes to sports betting. The original major betting sport, however, was horse racing, and you’d better believe that the ‘sport of kings’ is still alive and well today. It’s by far the second-biggest betting market, with British punters alone wagering an estimated £4.2 billion per year on it. 

It’s no surprise, therefore, to see that just about every bookie around has a variety of horse racing promotions on offer at any one time. Keep reading to learn about all the major types, the best places to find them, and plenty more besides.

Best Sign Up Offers For Horse Racing Betting (June 2020)

Types of Horse Racing Offers

Betting on horse races in the UK goes back to the early 1600s, but – thanks to the sheer variety of horse racing offers out there right now – there’s never been a better time to get involved. These are the main types that you should get acquainted with.

Best Odds Guaranteed

This is perhaps the most common type of horse racing offer you’ll find, with most major bookies offering it in one form or another. The reason for its popularity is that it solves what had been one of the biggest frustrations for bettors.

How it Works

Previously, if you placed a bet on a race, then you were stuck with those odds. If they improved at any point after that placement… well, tough luck! Best Odds Guaranteed solves this fundamental problem. With it, you can stick a pre-race Win wager down as normal, and – if the price does get better before the race – you will be given that price. If the price stays the same or gets worse, you simply keep your original odds.

This might sound simple, but it really does solve a massive headache for punters. Even better, everything is calculated for you automatically, meaning that you can just place the bet, sit back, and know that you’re going to get the best possible odds.

Extra Places

There are two main types of horse racing wagers: regular Win bets, and Each Ways. With the latter, your wager is actually split into two parts: Win and Place. The Win part delivers a higher return, but the Place part offers you some excellent insurance. It means that if your horse finishes within a certain range – depending on the number of runners – you’ll still get your stake back plus a small profit (Place odds are usually 1/5).

It’s absolutely worth placing Each Way bets, even without any special offers attached. An Extra Places promotion, though, will significantly improve your chances of making a return.

How it Works

As the name suggests, this offer type increases the range for the Place part of your Each Way. If it would normally have covered 2nd, 3rd and 4th, for example, Extra Places can extend this to include 5th position as well. In a typical field of only eight or 10 runners, that one extra spot can end up making a massive difference.

It’s no surprise that this has become one of the most popular horse racing promos out there. It’s easy to understand, greatly increases the value you get, and comes with no strings attached.

This might sound simple, but it really does solve a massive headache for punters. Even better, everything is calculated for you automatically, meaning that you can just place the bet, sit back, and know that you’re going to get the best possible odds.

Enhanced Odds

This is another promotion type which manages to be extremely straightforward, while still delivering excellent value to the bettor.

A bookie’s regular starting odds are calculated using a combination of sheer probability and competitor prices. Naturally these change over time depending on the amount of action the market receives, with prices fluctuating more violently as the race grows closer.

How it Works

With Enhanced Odds, however, the bookie is choosing to artificially improve the odds themselves, and hoping to drive additional action on that market in the process. Usually, they will apply to multiples bets rather than singles, with a common example being that you bet on two horses to win separate races.

Perhaps the most important thing to know about these horse racing specials is that they are extremely short-term. They might appear the day before the race at the latest, but will usually be posted much closer to the off. Thus, they’re bets that you must evaluate quickly – in the moment – rather than planning ahead about how and when to use them.

Non Runner No Bet

Speaking of solving age-old horse racing problems… this takes care of another one! Back in the inferior old days, if you placed a Win bet on a horse and it ended up not running (usually due to injury), you lost your bet. Your money was simply gone, through no fault of your own, which is just about the most frustrating thing that can happen to a bettor.

How It Works

With Non Runner, No Bet, this is thankfully an issue of the past. If your bookie offers it, then you can rest assured that – if your chosen runner fails to actually enter the race – your stake will be returned to you in full. As with Best Odds Guaranteed, everything is handled for you automatically if this happens, meaning that worrying about injuries – before the race, at least – is a thing of the past.

This is another of the more common horse racing betting offers out there, and most major sportsbooks should offer it for major events nowadays. If yours doesn’t… it’s probably time to find one that does, for that added peace of mind!

Free Bets

As you surely know, the standard way to place horse racing bets is with cash (i.e. real money). And in fact, the only real alternative is to use free bets. 

The best way to think of free bets is as virtual tokens. They can’t be withdrawn to your real money bank account, unlike cash, but they can be used as stakes when it comes to placing your bets. That applies to just about every bet type, regardless of the sportsbook, although free bets are ineligible for triggering certain other offers. 

Apart from not being able to withdraw them, the only other difference between free bets and cash is that the former will not be returned to you with your winnings. Your actual profits will still go into your account balance as cash, but the token will have been used now. 

There are a few different ways to get your hands on free bets. Most major bookies will offer them as rewards for triggering horse racing promotions, whether they’re for new customers or ongoing deals. Given that you’re basically getting a risk-free wager when using a free bet, we’d highly recommend seeking such deals out!

Bet Builders & Horse Racing

While multiples bets are more often associated with football, they are absolutely still a popular option in horse racing too. If you like taking on a little extra risk in return for a significantly bigger return, these wagers are probably the way to go.

Bet Builders are tools which make multiples betting easier than ever before. They provide you with a curated list of popular markets, you add the selections that you like to your bet, and the odds update accordingly. Once you’re happy with your picks, you simply set a stake and place the wager.

When it comes to horse racing bet builders, different sportsbooks will have their own particular versions:

  • Ladbrokes have an excellent ‘Build A Racecard’ feature, for example, which lets you easily combine selections from up to 10 races from British, Irish, and international courses.
  • Betfair and Betfred have ‘Horse Finder’ and ‘Betfinder’ tools respectively, both of which allow you to add a few filters, bring up a list of eligible horses, and quickly add them to a multiples bet.

Whatever the specifics of how they work, all horse racing bet builders have the same benefits. They make it straightforward and effortless to build multiples, and give you an unprecedented amount of control regarding what goes into them.

Best Bookies For Horse Racing Betting

With horse racing such an enormous betting market, it’s no surprise that there are dozens, if not hundreds of promotions out there for it. Some horse racing specials are certainly more special than others, though, and in this section you’ll learn about the very best of the best which are available right now.

Paddy Power – Review & Offers

Paddy Power are most famous for their cheeky marketing campaigns, but they execute the fundamentals brilliantly too. They’re also hugely committed to horse racing, as displayed by their sponsorships of Cheltenham and the Dublin Racing Festival. 

Paddy Power £10 Risk Free First Bet
Paddy Power New Customer Offer
Register a new account with Paddy Power using promo code YSKA00 and make a single...Show More
Register a new account with Paddy Power using promo code YSKA00 and make a single sportsbook bet of £10. If your bet loses, your bet will be refunded in cash. T&Cs apply. Show Less

Ongoing Promotions

The Paddy Power horse racing specials actually change by the day, with the latest versions displayed at the top of the section. You’ll invariably find extra places on various races, though, with both pre-match singles and multiples eligible. They also offer Power Prices each day – their take on Enhanced Odds – which significantly boost the prices on certain markets.

Perhaps best of all, Paddy Power actually offer free bets on certain markets… just for the sake of it! At the time of writing, for example, users can claim a £5 free bet to spend on the 14:25 at Newmarket. There are no restrictions on minimum odds, bet type, or anything else for that matter.

Finally, you can also use the £10 Risk Free Bet welcome offer on horse racing. To do so, simply place a £10 wager on any racing market. If it wins, you keep your winnings as normal. If it loses, your entire stake will be refunded in cash.

BoyleSports – Review & Offers

While not as well-known as Paddy Power, BoyleSports are the largest independent sportsbook in Ireland. They’re actually a worthy match for their compatriots in most areas, with horse racing promotions being one notable example.

BoyleSports New Customer Exclusive
BoyleSports New Customer Exclusive
Get up to £25 free bets as a new customer. Sign up at BoyleSports and bet £10 to get a...Show More
Get up to £25 free bets as a new customer. Sign up at BoyleSports and bet £10 to get a £5 free bet min. odds 1/2. You can then get up to 4 more £5 free bets for a total of £25 free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50 percent average of each three qualifying bets. T&Cs apply. Show Less

Ongoing Promotions

Perhaps the best of the bunch is their 2nd Place Refund. In short, if the horse you’ve bet to win ends up finishing second, your whole stake – up to a generous £20 – will be refunded as a free bet. This offer is available for many of the biggest events, which are clearly displayed on both the Promotions and Horse Racing pages, and applies to both Win and Each Way singles bets on those races.

Elsewhere, the BoyleSports racing specials include a whole lot of Extra Places offers, plus Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK and Irish races. There’s also a nice Fair Play Free Bet promotion, in which – if the horse you’ve bet on doesn’t start – your stake will be refunded as a free bet. Finally, there’s the All Sport Acca Loyalty promotion, which rewards you with a free £5 accumulator bet for every five accas of £5 or more you place (including on horse racing).

William Hill – Review & Offers

As one of the most prestigious names in the industry, it’s no surprise to see that William Hill also have an exceptional range of horse racing promos on offer.

Leading the way is their excellent ‘Bet £10, Get £30’ welcome offer, which is one of the best available right now. To qualify you simply need to deposit and bet £10 at 1/2 or greater on a sports market, including horse racing. Do so, and you’ll be rewarded with two £15 free bets, which can also be used on racing. 

New customers who register, deposit & bet via Mobile only, min £10 stake, win only...Show More
New customers who register, deposit & bet via Mobile only, min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets credited as 2 X £15 (30 day expiry), promo code P30, free bet/player/payment method/country restrictions apply. Show Less

Ongoing Promotions

There are plenty of William Hill Extra Places offers available, with races across the UK and Ireland eligible each day. You’ll find one of the most generous Enhanced Odds deals around here too; William Hill users get not one, not two, but three Bet Boost tokens to use on horse racing singles, every single day. With stakes of up to £20 eligible, this gives you a chance to seriously increase your profits.

Finally, there’s also a Money Back 2nd offer, in which a stake up to £10 will be refunded – in cash – if your chosen horse finishes second.

Bet365 – Review & Offers

Bet365 are arguably the defining success story in modern sports betting, so it’s no surprise that they’ve hit a home run with their horse racing section too.

Bet365 Open Account Offer
bet365 Open Account Offer
Sign up with Bet365 and deposit at least £5 into your account. Your qualifying deposit...Show More
Sign up with Bet365 and deposit at least £5 into your account. Your qualifying deposit will be matched in Bet Credits up to £100 when you place qualifying bets to the same value and those bets are settled. T&Cs apply. Show Less

Ongoing Promotions

Arguably the most exciting promotion here is the Bet365 ITV Racing offer, which ramps up the excitement on some of the biggest televised races around. To enter, you simply place a Win or Each Way bet on any horse in an ITV race, at odds of 4/1 or greater. If it wins, you’ll be given a risk-free bet matching your stake (up to a hefty £50), to use on the very next race on ITV Racing. Win that… and you’ll be given another risk-free bet for the next race! 

In addition to that, Bet365 really do cover every major base. Best Odds Guaranteed is naturally included, and the Price Promise offer matches the top prices on a given market from a series of other major bookies. The Bet365 Extra Places deal is also one of the best around, with Each Way Extra actually allowing you to manually increase or decrease the places on your bet, and adjust both your chances and the price itself accordingly.

Betting Offers for Major Horse Racing Events

One of the great things about horse racing is that it’s always happening. Flick on the TV, or pop onto your sportsbook of choice, and you’ll almost certainly find races happening somewhere!

With that said, the racing calendar is undoubtedly dominated by a few major events. In this section we’ll explain what those events are, and the types of offers you can typically find for them.

Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham has the second-most total prize money out of any British event, and – thanks to its timing – marks the unofficial start of the racing calendar. It takes place across four days in the spring each year, with 2020’s edition running from March 10th-13th, and 2021’s planned for March 16th-19th.

As the first event of the year Cheltenham naturally generates a lot of excitement, and bookies love capitalising on this by offering specific Cheltenham Festival betting offers.

Some are welcome offers, designed to entice new customers into signing up. In 2020, for example, 888sport alone offered a whole range of sign up offers; some offered outrageous odds on certain horses, while others gave you a series of free bets to spend on the day’s races.

Existing customers are certainly catered-for with Cheltenham betting offers too, though. Some major bookies – including Bet365 – will offer Best Odds Guaranteed and Non Runner, No Bet on every single race at the Festival. Many others will give you Extra Places on your Each Way bets… but make sure a race is eligible for the offer before placing your bet!

Grand National

In terms of sheer size and spectacle, the Grand National stands atop the pile of British horse racing events. The prize fund of £1 million is the largest in Europe for a jump race, and it reportedly attracts some 500-600 million TV viewers from around the world each year. It’s held at Aintree near Liverpool, and takes place over three days in April, with the 2021 edition scheduled to run from the 8th-10th.

Seeing as it’s the biggest festival in the country, it’s no surprise that sportsbooks large and small go all-out with their Grand National betting offers.

You certainly won’t find it hard to find a free bet or two to use, with many bookies almost giving them away. In 2019 alone, for example, Paddy Power, Bet365, William Hill, Betway and Coral all had Grand National offers – either for new or existing customers – which dished out free bets. Others paid out Extra Places on some of the biggest races, with Ladbrokes excelling in this area. There are also an absolute ton of Enhanced Each Way (and other Enhanced Odds) deals each day of the festival, so be sure to keep your eye out for those!

Royal Ascot

While it’s not quite the biggest event we’ve looked at, Royal Ascot might be the most eye-catching. The Ascot Racecourse is situated only a few miles from Windsor Castle, after all, and is attended by members of the Royal Family each year, including Queen Elizabeth II. It happens over five days in mid-June each year, and Royal Ascot 2021 is currently intended to take place from June 15th – 19th.

With its unprecedented amount of pomp and ceremony, bettors in both Britain and abroad love wagering on this event. As with the others we’ve looked at, sportsbooks service these customers with an enticing range of Royal Ascot betting offers each year.

Many will provide ongoing promotions like Best Odds Guaranteed on all races across the five days, including – of course – the prestigious Gold Cup. Others provide shorter-term, but still excellent, sign up Royal Ascot offers. Unibet, for example, have given money back as a bonus of up to £40 if your first bet Ascot loses. 888sport, if you bet at least £10 on the day’s first race, have offered a mighty six £5 free bets on the subsequent six races.

Bottom Line

If you’re an experienced horse racing bettor, you know exactly how fun it can be. If not, it’s high time to give the sport of kings a shot. It truly is one of the most exciting, exhilarating betting markets around. There’s a huge amount of information out there to help you too, from expert betting tips, to incredibly useful guides on the basics… like this one!

Once you have gotten started, remember to use as many horse racing betting offers as possible. They’re there to give you extra value and generally make your life easier, so – whether you’re wagering on a smaller-scale event or the Grand National – always check to find out what deals are available before you bet.