National Hunt Horse Racing Betting Guide for 2020
While Canada is better known for Flat horse racing, the jumps scene in the USA, UK, Ireland and even France is closely related. Many top National Hunt horses have been sired across the Atlantic.
This is our detailed guide to National Hunt horse racing betting. Here’s a brief overview of what you can find within it:
- Tons of National Hunt horse racing betting advice to help you get started
- An explanation of how National Hunt horse racing odds work
- Recommendations for the best National Hunt horse racing betting sites
An Introduction to National Hunt Horse Racing
Horses can race under National Hunt Rules from the age of three. This differs from the Flat where they can start aged two
In order to race one of their horses under Rules, a racehorse trainer must have a National Hunt license
There are rigorous drugs testing and anti-doping measures in place to prevent cheating
In order for the result of a race to become official, all jockeys complete with their saddle and tack must weigh in afterwards. This is to check that they have indeed raced with the allotted weight
Failure to weigh in is one of the conditions by which a horse may be disqualified under the Rules of horse racing as set out by The Jockey Club
If a horse has interfered with another horse in the closing stages of a race in such a way which may have influenced the result, then a stewards’ inquiry may be called
Stewards have the discretion to disqualify or even demote a horse from winning or placing in a race if they are judged to have interfered
There are four different types of National Hunt races: hurdle races, steeplechases, Cross Country and National Hunt Flat Races, colloquially called bumpers. These can be age restricted or limited to novices, have ratings caps or be handicaps
The minimum weight allotted to any horse under National Hunt rules is 10 stone. This applies even in handicaps where weights are based on official ratings
Horse racing authorities will give racehorses an official rating once they have completed at least two races under Rules. This rating helps to form the weights for handicaps
How National Hunt Horse Racing Odds Work
Now we’ve got some of the basics out the way, it’s time to discus just how National Hunt horse racing odds work. We’re going to work through a hypothetical example:
In this fantasy horse race, three National Hunt legends are racing. It’s common to have many more runners than this, but the principle is still the same.
As Tiger Roll has the smallest number next to his name, he is rated the betting favourite on the sportsbook. A $5 stake on him would return $25, $20 of which is profit.
Hedgehunter is the outsider of the three because his price is the largest. Betting $5 on him to win brings $40 in returns, of which $35 is profit. Remember, you always receive your stake back on a winner.
We’ve used decimal prices as these are the most common way of expressing National Hunt horse racing betting in Canada. You may also see fractional odds, which are popular on British and Irish betting sites, or even the American moneyline.
For more on the difference between these different ways of expressing prices, see our odds calculator below.
National Hunt Horse Racing Betting Options
There are many different types of National Hunt horse racing betting options open to you. We’re going to look at some of the most popular here:
Betting on which horse will win a race is the simplest form of gambling at the races.Eg:Tiger Roll5.00
Each-way bets are essentially two wagers in one. The first part is win only, but the second is for the horse to place. The exact place terms on offer depend on the type of race it is and how many horses are running.
There must be five or more horses for each-way betting to be offered. The place part of your wager will then be a fraction of the outright win price. This is usually either a fifth or a quarter. It allows you to still potentially turn a profit even if your horse doesn’t come first.Eg:Hedgehunter3.25
$5 each-way at 8.00 on
four places for a quarter of
the outright price.
There is nothing to stop you backing two horses in the same race. However, if you don’t go each-way then you can specify one to finish first and the other second. This is called an exacta.
Your exact return is far more difficult to calculate because and becomes more complicated still if you do not specify a finishing order. That is called a reverse exacta or quinella.Eg:Tiger Roll FirstRed Rum Second
You can even go one step further and have three selected horses in the same race. As with exacts, you can either specify a finishing order or back all possible permutations with your picks to finish in the first three in any order.
It’s worth pointing out that you need all nominated horses to finish within the places in order to receive winnings.Eg:Tiger Roll FirstRed Rum SecondHedgehunter Third
You can also bet on a horse just running into a place. You would probably only do this when you don’t think it can win and don’t want to waste money betting on the outright part of an each-way bet.Eg:Hedgehunter2.75
Ante-post or futures betting
Before a National Hunt race is finally declared, you’ll often find bigger prices available on horses. Betting on them at this stage is called ante-post, better known in North America, as futures betting.
As the horse isn’t guaranteed to run, if it doesn’t line-up in the race you lose the bet. There’s added risk to futures betting as a result, but for potentially greater rewards.Eg:Tiger Roll11.00
Non-runner no bet
In order to ensure you get your stake back if a horse doesn’t run in its intended race, you need non-runner no bet terms. Often abbreviated to NRNB, or NRMB (non-runner money back), this is a promise from betting sites to refund you if your fancy doesn’t line-up.Eg:Red Rum
Best odds guaranteed
Once a race has finally been declared, then the best National Hunt horse racing betting site should offer you NRNB and the best odds guaranteed.
This is another promise made on sportsbooks where if the price you take is smaller than the starting price, they pay out winnings at the bigger odds.Eg:Hedgehunter7.00
Top 5 National Hunt Horse Racing Betting Tips
- Make sure you know the place terms that betting sites are paying on a race before putting an each-way bet on
- Favourites do not always win. Sometimes, it pays to study the form closely and find an alternative
- In big field handicaps, always bet each-way. That way you may still turn a profit and mitigate the risk of losses incurred by win only bets
- Placing exactas and trifectas only work in races where you strongly fancy two or three horses in particular ahead of the rest of the field
- Always seek best odds guaranteed and non-runner no bet when possible
The 10 Biggest National Hunt Horse Racing Venues
- Aintree (Grand National and Festival)
- Cheltenham (Cheltenham Festival featuring the Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and more)
- Punchestown (Punchestown Festival, John Durkan Memorial Chase)
- Kempton Park (King George VI Chase, Christmas Hurdle)
- Leopardstown (Christmas Festival, Dublin Racing Festival featuring the Irish Gold Cup and Irish Champion Hurdle)
- Newbury (Winter Carnival featuring the Ladbrokes Trophy)
- Fairyhouse (Easter Festival featuring the Irish Grand National, Winter Festival)
- Sandown Park (Tingle Creek Chase, bet365 Gold Cup, Celebration Chase)
- Ascot (JLT Long Walk Hurdle, Clarence House Chase, Ascot Chase)
- Haydock Park (Betfair Chase, Peter Marsh Handicap Chase, Grand National Trial)
That is all the National Hunt horse racing betting advice we have for you. Racehorses over jumps can be even more exciting than the Flat, so check out this fascinating sport across the Atlantic right away.
If you have any questions, then some of the most common asked are answered below in our FAQs section.
National Hunt horse racing differs from the Flat in that most of the races held under its Rules involve jumping some form of obstacle. These can be hurdles or steeplechase fences.
You find a horse you fancy in a race and then add its name to the betslip. You can either take the current price or the starting price.
Top betting sites should give you the best odds guaranteed, which means you’ll get the starting price if its bigger than the one you took. You then enter a stake and place the bet.
To recap, these are some of the most popular National Hunt horse racing wagers placed:
- To win
- To place
- Ante-post or futures betting
- Non-runner no bet
- Best odds guaranteed
We’ve only put the most recommended sportsbooks for betting on horse racing on this page.
Yes, you can bet on horse racing in its many different forms from all over the world on your mobile and other digital devices.
Since 1969, it has been perfectly legal to place bets on all types of horse racing in Canada.
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