Considering Horse Racing betting? Monsterbet is here to guide you through and explain the basics that you'll need to know to bet successfully on Horse Racing with your William Hill free £20 bet. The first port of of call for anyone considering placing a bet on a horse race, is obtaining the race card. The race card has all the information you'll need to know to be able to make your winning selection, from the details of the race, distance and ground conditions, to the form of the participants, the riding jockeys and for flat racing, the all important draw, but we'll explain everything below. Race card's that were traditionally only available in the Racing Post and other racing newspapers, are now freely available online through various websites.
To the right, is a typical race card which can be found on the Racing Post website. The details of the specific race can be found at the top of the card, in this example, you can see the time of the race (7.05), the racecourse and venue of the race (Windsor), and the name / type of race and entry requirements (Class 5 race for horses aged two-years-old).
Directly underneath the name of the race, you'll find more key information. From a betting perspective, the prize fund is somewhat irrelevant (£2,588), but the number of runners, distance of the race and going description are crucial factors in determining your selection. Our race at Windsor has 16 runners, 16 horses are set to line-up for this race, however due to various reasons, horses may be declared as 'non runners' and removed from the line-up, this at times can effect the betting.
The distance of the race is six furlongs (6f), horses are traditionally trained as specialists or excel in races run over a certain distance, from the minimal trip of five furlongs, to the longer trips for races over obstacles (Hurdles, fences etc). A single furlong is approximately 201 metres in length, which equates to 220 yards. So for our six furlong race at Windsor, the horses will be travelling approximately 1206 meters from start to finish.
The final piece of information that can be found at the top of the race card is the Going description. With turf racing, the weather has a huge affect on the ground the horses will be running on, from good fast ground (hard) to soft slow ground if it rains. Just like the distance of the race, the majority of horses will have a preference to the ground they run on, some like it fast, but others prefer to run on slow and soft ground. It's important to note, the ground description that is printed in your racing paper or shown online, might change depending on weather conditions. For example, the ground description for our race at Windsor is Good, however, if it rained at Windsor for a long period of time, the ground could change and become softer. You can keep tabs on the ground conditions of racetracks online at the racecourse's official website or with a bookmakers racecard preview, like on William Hill's horse racing page.
Moving onto the participants of the race, we'll focus on Smugglers Gold (Below). From left to right, you can see the horses race card number, for Smugglers Gold, he's number one on the card, and will be wearing this number on his cloth during the race for easy identification, along with the jockeys silks which are also printed on the card. Next to the race card number, you'll see a small number six, this is the all important draw / stall number Smugglers Gold will be starting the race from. The reason this is important, is races over certain distances and tracks favour horses drawn high or low. These advantages vary from track to track, also depending on the stalls position at the racecourse.
Underneath Smugglers Gold's race card number and draw position, you'll find his finishing positions in recent races, with the most recent starting on the right. Known as form figures, we can see that Smugglers Gold finished fourth in his last race, third the time previous, and won his race four starts ago. After Smugglers Gold's name, you'll see the small letter 't', this indicates the equipment the horse will wear during the race. Not all horses have these, but trainers tend to use special headgear to improve the performance of their horses.
Moving further right, you'll see the age of the horse, and as this example is of a race for just two-year-olds, you'll see that Smugglers Gold is a two-year-old. Naturally, other races may only feature three-year-olds or horses aged three-years and up, this information can be found at the top of each race card. Next door to the horses age, you'll find the weight the horse is carrying during the race. This of course is vitally important to a horses chances of winning, for example Smugglers Gold is carrying just over nine stone in this Windsor race.
Then we move to the jockey and trainer information. This gives us the details of who will be riding the horse during the race, for example, Smugglers Gold will be ridden by jockey Adam Kirby. We can also see who the horse is trained by, again, for Smugglers Gold, it's David Evans. Next to the trainers name, you'll see a figure (53), this won't appear on all race cards, but for punters using the Racing Post, this is the percentage of the trainers runners that have 'run to form' in the last 14 days, based on the Racing Post's ratings.
The Racing Post's ratings can be found for each runner on the right hand side, for example, Smugglers Gold has been given a rating of 82 by the Racing Post, as are all runners in the race, for example, Bandolier is rated 81, and Flying Kyte is rated 57. These ratings vary from the official ratings given to horses by the official assessor. On race cards, you may also find Top Speed figures for each runner. Smugglers Gold has been given a top speed figure of 79 for our Windsor race, this figure is another way of rating the participants based on their previous performances. The rating itself is a set calculation based on the time in which a race was run compared with standard times set from each race / distance at a certain track.
Now that you've got a grasp of the basics, it's time to pick a winner. Using our Understanding Horse Racing form guide, you would have learnt how to study a race card, and turn one of our free bets to winnings. Our Monsterbet site is stuffed with free bet offers, and we've even put together a list of our Top Recommend Bookmakers for free bet offers which can be seen above.
William Hill has an excellent horse racing section to their site. They cover a wide range of horse meets and often refund losing bets where the selected horse has come second to the SP favourite.
Additionally, feel free to take a look at our dedicated Horse Racing page, which has a breakdown of the most popular types of bets available for Horse Racing punters, the key terminology used in Horse Racing, and even more free bets.
So there's really no need to hesitate, turn one of our free bets into winnings today! Good Luck from the whole team at Monsterbet.