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Horse Racing Betting Online

Horse racing has been around for a long time and continues to provide much fun even today. It's exciting to know that there's more than one way to bet on horse racing at the various online betting sites available. However, choosing the best among the several online bookmakers can take time and effort. As a result, we recommend sportsbooks that offer fantastic betting options and services. In this article, we will inform you of everything you should know to enjoy a seamless betting experience. Stay fixed on this guide to learn about the best horse racing sites in this year.

Written by

Patrick Meyer
Patrick Meyer
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🎖 Top 10 Sites to Bet on Horse Racing in 2024

How We Choose Best Bookies

Let's look at the main factors we used to select the best betting sites for horse racing in South Africa. 

We expect a first-class experience from the betting platforms optimised for use on mobile devices.

The bonuses offered should be lucrative enough with fair terms and conditions. The average sportsbook offers enticing welcome bonuses, but we also expect to see promotional rewards for returning players.

 The bookies should provide customers with various reliable and secure payment options, including e-wallets and conventional banking services.

We look for sites with licences from respectable gambling authorities such as Curaçao, MGA, and Gibraltar.

The sportsbook should be a safe zone for you. There should be technologies put in place to protect your personal and financial information.

Reputable gambling sites should offer extensive customer support resources to their players. We love to see options such as Live Chat, Phone, Email and a FAQ section. 

How Does Horse Betting Work? 

Pari-mutuel wagering is used in horse racing. This implies that the public bets against each other rather than the house. The money is pooled, and the more money wagered on a horse to win, the lower the payout for that winning bet. 

The same logic applies to exotic bets like exactas and trifectas, as well as place bets and show bets. The odds on display to you at the time of your wager may also experience a significant shift due to additional money added to the pool. That is, if you placed a bet on a horse with ten minutes left to the post and the odds were 4-1, those odds may change before the end of the race. 

How to Bet on a Horse Race

The following guideline is all you need to start a successful gambling adventure.

  • Choose from one of the online horse racing betting sites that we have recommended.
  • Create an account on the site and input all the necessary information.
  • To make a deposit, go to the "cashier" or "account" page and then select the "Deposit" option from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose the mode of payment that works best for you. Then, input the amount you want to deposit. 
  • Go to the “horse racing” section and then look for a race or a market that interests you.
  • Next, add the stake to your bet slip, then enter the stake and place your bet.
  • Your rewards will be added to your account if your wager is successful.

Live Horse Racing Betting vs Simulcast Racing: What’s the Difference?

Bets placed during live horse races offer one of the most exciting opportunities. This allows you to bet on current live events. The live horse racing betting option gives access to various intriguing markets and odds. At the top sites for horse racing betting, gamblers may take advantage of the many in-play betting choices available.

On the other hand, simulcast horse racing refers to watching broadcasts from various racetracks, most of which are live but some of which are delayed. If you cannot attend the event itself, this is an excellent method to keep track of what is happening there. Therefore, while live horse racing betting allows you to watch live events, simulcast racing enables you to watch broadcasts.

Horse Racing Classes: 4 Main Categories

The four broad categories of horse racing are: 

Maiden Races

A maiden race is for horses that have never won a race before. They are categorised into two classes: maiden claiming and maiden special weight races. You should know that horses that compete in maiden claiming races are of lower quality than those competing in maiden special weight event

Claiming Races

These are races where all the horses competing are up for sale. They are up for grabs so that the races can be more competitive by pairing horses according to the worth of the sales price. Claiming races is a good way to get started in the horse racing business. Not only do they provide the opportunity to acquire a horse that is already competing, but they are an excellent way to acquire a broodmare.

Allowances Races

Out of all the types of races, Allowance races offer the most variation. These horses are not available for purchase and must bear a specific load. The weight's purpose is to level the playing field between horses with varying degrees of success. Past performance and how well the horse has performed in similar races are factors that influence how much weight a horse carries.

Stakes Races

Stakes races feature the most intense competition in horse racing. Stakes competitions are reserved for the best horses and often offer the richest rewards. The majority of racetracks hold two-stake races throughout the racing season. However, stakes races are held weekly at a few of the most prestigious courses.

Horse Racing Bet Types

There are several horse racing bets available online, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Win Bet - A Win Bet requires the bettor to choose just one horse to back in the event of a race. Whoever is the first to cross the finish line wins. 
  • Place Bet - A Place Bet entails selecting a horse from a racecard to finish either first or second and when they finish in the top two positions, you get a payoff.
  • Show Bet - When you choose a Show Bet, that means you’re wagering on a specific horse to finish in the top three in a given race.
  • Exacta Bet - This bet has the simplest structure of all the exotic horse racing bets. You give your vote to the horses you think will finish first and second in the precise order.
  • Quinella Bet - Quinella is a type of bet that involves picking the top two finishers in a race regardless of their actual order.
  • Trifecta Bet - The Trifecta involves selecting the horses that will come in first, second, and third, in the specific order they will cross the finish line.

What Is the Best Bet on Horse Racing?

When gambling on horse racing, the Win Bet is the best option. It requires the least amount of mental effort to comprehend. The win bet is the go-to market for many people, and you’ll easily find it at the most reputable sportsbooks. It is also the market that is the simplest to understand for those placing their first bets on a sport. A winning bet must be placed on the horse to emerge victorious from their competing race. 

What Is the Minimum Bet on Horse Racing?

The betting unit for all bet types is R1, and the minimum bet amount is R6 per bet - which means that if you win, you get the payout six times. The Swinger is the only exception to the R6 minimum bet rule, whose min bet is usually R2.

The Best Horse Racing Events to Look Out For

Below is a list of the top five horse racing events worth keeping an eye on.

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby, held at Churchill Downs, is a prestigious horse racing event worldwide. It is a Grade 1 stakes fixture for 3-year-old thoroughbreds and is the first leg of the Triple Crown. It usually takes place on the first Saturday in May.

Dubai World Cup

The Dubai World Cup has been played since its inception in 1996. Participants come from different continents to take part in this event. It is a true spectacle and has one of the enormous rewards in the world.

Saudi Cup

The Saudi Cup is a festival of international horse racing. It is held over two days and was first held in 2020. The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia organises the event. The Saudi Cup is sometimes referred to as the most valuable race in the world. The staggering total prize pool for the 2022 Saudi Cup was $20 million, with $10 million going to the tournament's victor.

Durban July

The Durban July takes place on the first Saturday of July every year. It has been held annually at Greyville Racecourse in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, since 1897. The Durban July Handicap is held on the turf course and is available to horses of any age. It now offers a purse of R5 million, making it the most important horse racing event in South Africa. 

SA Horse Racing Betting Odds Explained

Fractional Odds

In fractional odds, the second number is the amount of money you would need to wager to win the first number. If the odds are 4/1, you will win R4 for every R1 you wager. Bets that win always recover the original stake, which brings the total return to R5.

Decimal Odds

When dealing with decimal odds, the value of the number indicates the overall payment rather than the profit. The fact that your bet is already factored into the decimal amount makes the calculation of the total payout simpler. The payout for odds of 9.0 can be computed as (9 x R10 stake = R90) minus your R10 stake equals R80 winnings.

Horse Racing Odds and Potential Payouts on a R100 Wager

To help you figure out how much you can earn from a winning bet, we will walk you through an example. In this case, we will be computing your R100 win price. So, if you’re betting on a horse race, take the odds of your horse and multiply the first number by 100. Then, divide that by the second number. Finally, add the value of your bet - RXXX, and that’s it!  

The list of payoffs at various odds we’ve created for you will help you better understand how the odds work. The potential payout includes your original stake.


Potential Payout


Potential Payout









































Best SA Horse Racing Tips

Gambling does not assure you of winning at all times. However, to increase your chances, we’ll provide tips and tricks to help you maximise your wagers.

In horse racing, reading the form is essential to understanding how a market will develop. It is necessary to understand the current condition of the horse, as well as its historical performances at a given track and distance.

Maintaining composure and making intelligent wagers are both beneficial. It will help you avoid making emotional wagers like trying to chase losses or betting everything on a gut feeling.

Bookmakers frequently provide incentives, which can be used to your benefit while betting, provided that the bonuses are compatible with your overall strategy. 

Focus on the form of the game and study just one or two types of bets that you can gradually analyse and track for returns. Stakes that are straightforward and have a high probability of winning are preferable to large exotic bets.

How to Choose the Best Horse Racing App

The finest horse racing apps for iPhone and Android ensure you are always up to speed with the latest information. These apps supply gamblers with extensive information regarding the horses competing in the race. This could contain the age, weight, previous records, preferred track surface, and a great deal of other helpful information. Some important factors to consider while choosing the best horse racing apps are discussed below.

User Interface

As visual creatures, an app's aesthetics may have a significant impact on whether or not it is downloaded. It is essential to choose an app with a well-designed user interface. A horse racing betting app should be easy to navigate, even for newbies.

Odds and Betting Markets

The finest mobile betting applications for horse races provide users with some of the best odds. In addition, they offer multiple betting markets for punters who are looking for various betting opportunities.

Secure and Quick Payments 

The best horse racing apps provide several reliable payment options that facilitate transactions securely and expediently. You should only choose apps that offer your preferred payment options.

Live Streaming

The importance of watching your favourite horse races via an app cannot be overstated. As a result, offering legal in-app live broadcasting is a fantastic incentive. You can also watch free online horse racing from around the world, every day.

Glossary of Horse Racing Terms

Our glossary will assist you in comprehending some common horse racing terms.

  • Across the Board: A wager that covers a horse to finish in the top three in the race.
  • Furlong: This is equal to one-eighth of a mile. The numbered posts on British race tracks count the furlongs back from the winning post.
  • Going: The condition of the racecourse, which ranges from heavy to firm.
  • Grade: The level of the competition, with Grade 1 being the highest.
  • Handicap: Horses are allocated different weights in Handicap races to make the race more competitive.
  • In Running: Refers to events that occur during the course of a race.
  • M/L: Morning line opening odds. These are the odds set by the track's handicapper before wagering begins.

Bet on Horse Racing Online FAQs

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What Is horse racing betting?

Horse racing betting means staking money on a horse. The bet wins if it comes to first place in the race.

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Is horse racing betting legal?

Yes, horse racing betting is legal in South Africa. However, you have to use licensed operators.

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Is horse racing betting profitable?

Horse racing betting can be risky, but you can earn a fortune with the right bets.

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Can I bet on horse racing online?

Yes, you can bet on horse racing online.

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Where can I bet on horse racing?

You can bet on horse racing on any of the best horse racing sites recommended in this guide.

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How to place a bet on horse racing?

You have to first choose your odds, then select your bet type and place your wager.

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What are the bets on horse racing?

The bets on horse racing include Exacta bet, Quinella Bet, Trifecta Bet, and Superfecta Bet.

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What are the odds in horse racing?

The odds in horse race betting are the return you may expect if your wager is successful.

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How do I pick a winning horse?

Keep an eye out for a horse with a gleaming coat, a neatly arched neck, a spring in his stride, and an alert, animated disposition. Horses that display any nervous behaviour will use up too much energy before the race begins.

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What is a tote bet in horse racing?

Tote betting is a pool bet on horse racing. It operates like a lottery. This means that the money received from all bets is put together, and then every winner gets a share.

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What is ante-post betting?

This is betting on a horse before the betting market opens.

Author Patrick Meyer portrait
Patrick Meyer

Product Owner and Editor

Patrick is the face of Onlinegamblingsa.co.za - he joined us years ago as a freelance writer and came up through the ranks to become an indispensable part of ...continue reading

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