Horse Racing Trading in 2022 – In-depth Guide

Horse racing trading guide from TheTrader

Everything about Horse Racing trading in one place.

You’ll find out:

  • What it is and how it works?
  • How to trade horses?
  • What is the best horse trading strategy?

Here we go!

Harry TheTrader 8 minutes

Are you interested in horse racing and looking for tips and the right strategies to start making money?

Or are you a newbie and want to learn more about horse racing trading methods?

We can help you with both!

So sit back, relax and enjoy this article where you’ll learn exactly what horse racing trading is, what it looks like pre-match and in-play, as well as the top money-making strategies we have prepared.

If that wasn’t enough, we’ll share important tips to follow while trading, and we’ll reveal which software improves the whole process. All this and more are right here in this article! 

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Chapter 1

What is Horse Racing Trading?

What is Horse Racing Trading?

Learn the basics:
• What is horse racing trading?
• How does it work?
• What are the differences between betting and horse racing trading?
Let’s get started!

For beginners, trading is the process in which a punter backs a horse at high odds before laying the same horse at lower odds, or vice versa, in order to make a sure profit.

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Have you heard about Back and Lay bets for the first time? No problem! Here you can find the article which has to help!

What is the difference between betting and trading in horse racing?

The main difference is that you’re not just betting money on the winner of a race.

In trading, you can also make money if your horse finishes second or third, and very often, we will go for that.

Trading is all about profiting from the movement of the market; when the odds change, new opportunities open up.

Therefore, effective horse racing trading entails understanding when to react.

Chapter 2

How to trade horse racing?

How to trade horse racing?

We take a look at the trading process!
• How to choose a good market?
• How does pre-race trading work?
• What does in-play trading involve?
Let’s go!

Choose the right betting exchange

In general, all popular betting exchanges have good options for horse racing betting and trading, but there are some, that focus, especially on this kind of sport.

To your comfort, we’ve made our list of the best horse racing betting exchanges.

Look at the horses

Before the start of the races, the horses parade in front of the public, sometimes doing a lap.

Take a good look at the horses, watch their body language.

Look for energetic horses with shiny coats that don’t expend too much energy before the race.

Horses that sweat profusely or exhibit any kind of nervous behaviour may not be able to produce the optimal effort needed during the race.

Compare their results

It is crucial to review previous races records. The ‘Q-Speed Figure,’ which indicates how fast they ran in previous events, is highlighted in the official programme.

Comparing the numbers of horses competing in a race is a valuable tool when selecting a winner.

Pay attention to whether the horse has had good starts in previous races, which significantly impacts the final result.

Be sure you do this before you make your choice!

Look for the leaders

Every track has favourites to win the race. So keep an eye on them as the leaders are more likely to finish in the top positions.

Not always, of course, but it is important to keep this in mind.

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You might also like: Horse racing matched betting guide

Chapter 3

Pre-Race Horse Trading

Pre-Race Horse Trading

Move on to Pre-race horse trading. We’ll answer to following quesions:

• Is it a good market to trade?
• What are the advantages?

Let’s find out!

Pre-race horse racing markets are particularly desirable to traders due to the consistent volatility and intensive betting that happens right before the start.

Horse racing schedule on Betfair

You can also trade in-play, although the potential is very different than in pre-race trading. Almost 90% of the money on the races is matched right before the race starts.

Horse racing market on Betfair

The final betting display takes place before the start of the race, usually in the last 10 minutes.

Given that this is the busiest time, it makes sense to concentrate your efforts on making a profit. The advantage is that markets are less efficient at earlier times.

Finding a profitable transaction isn’t difficult; scaling it up and controlling risk is.

The critical aspect of pre-race trading is that you want to find scenarios where the market is inaccurate, erratic, or out of line with where it should be.

No delay on bet submissionsUsually requires trading software
Lack of outside influencesRequires a decent bankroll to make a profit from a single tick
Less volatile, allowing for larger betsEasy to make mistakes

Chapter 4

In-Play Horse Trading

In-Play Horse Trading

We’re going to describe In-play horse trading next.

Key questions here are:

• What is it about?
• Is it profitable?
• What are advantages and disadvantages of live trading?

Let’s dig in!

Once a race starts, prices might fluctuate wildly. For example, some horses constantly run in front, and their odds tend to drop rapidly. If a horse has a good lead, its odds may fall somewhat; yet the reverse may occur if it does not get off to a strong start.

In-Play horse racing market on Betfair

Over longer races, this is less significant because they have the opportunity to make up for a good or poor start. 

Then, at the end of the race, you can see if the jockey has put the horse in a better position to cross the finish line and win the race.

The odds in live racing can change dramatically. The biggest underdog can become the favourite right from the start.

Just look at the example below:

Bettor copagoodone Price/Volume over time

We won’t see this kind of turn of events pre-race.

Such fluctuations can create trading opportunities and the possibility of making much more money than pre-race, but also correspondingly with more risk.

Better opportunitiesHigher risk
Higher earning potentialUsually requires trading software
Fast races – can handle multiple events per dayRequires fast reactions

Chapter 5

Profitable horse racing trading strategies

Profitable horse racing trading strategies

• Do profitable strategies exist?
• What are the techniques for beginners?
• Strategies for advanced players and the lowdown on why they’re for pros.

Let’s find out!

Horse racing markets provide some of the most profitable Betfair trading techniques.

With so many races to choose from, day after day, week after week, a little average return is all it takes to become a successful trader.

Luckily, unsatisfactory results can be avoided with careful planning and a well-thought-out approach.

Sports trading on Betfair is much like trading in any other market.

You just need to be prepared and follow a sound strategy: understand which races provide the best and most consistent results for you, know which tactics and strategy to apply in those races, and which staking plans work brilliantly for you.

To help you become a better trader, we’ll be giving you some strategies for making a profit.

There’s something for everyone as we’ll cover a few strategies for beginners and also those who already have some knowledge of horse racing trading.

Low-risk trading strategies for beginners

First, we’ll discuss strategies for beginners.

You will find techniques that require little financial investment and carry minimal risk.

Regardless of your experience, they’re actually great for everyone. You shouldn’t have any problems with them, especially since we’ve explained them in detail.

Take a look and see which one will suit you!

Lay the favourite

Lay the favourite horse trading strategy example

First up is one of the easiest horse race trading strategies with very little risk.

The situation is as follows: It is best to look for events in which there is a clear favourite to win the race (maximum odds 1.30) and also events in which there are a sizable number of other horses.

Theoretically, the greater the number of participants, the higher the chances of success are.

For example, the image above shows that we can place a lay bet on the favourite.

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Keep in mind that it would be best to place lay bets 0.01 lower than the market indicates in the hope that it will be matched.

If it doesn’t happen in the next few minutes, we can return to the original LAY price.

Laying a bet on Horses

As mentioned earlier, most bets are placed in the 10 minutes leading up to the race.

This is when the markets are most popular, and we have the best chance that our lay bet will be fully matched at the chosen odds.

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What to do if the bet was partially matched or even unmatched and how to avoid it? In this guide you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for!

Let’s say that we managed to place a lay bet at odds of 1.26 for £100. If the favourite doesn’t win the race, we gain £100.

However, if he wins, we lose our liability – in this case, it’s £26. After a simple calculation, we can conclude that even if we lose three races with a lay bet on the favourite at similar odds but win the fourth race, we’ll still end up trading at a profit.

Remember, the lower the odds on the favourite, and the more other horses in the race, the better.

Advantages of the strategyDisadvantages of the strategy
Risking little moneyHigher risk
Requires just one LAY bet and nothing more till the end of the raceA losing streak may occur
Really easy strategy 
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Especially for our readers: Detailed guide to Laying Horses Strategies

Swing Trading

This strategy is also simple, and it requires a single bet as well.

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Swing trading is essentially looking for larger price movements and profiting from these market swings.

Let’s look at the image below for an example.

Swing Trading example

If you see that the horse is being backed, you need to follow the movement of the market and back him as well.

If you placed a back bet at 10, and then after a few hours, the odds went down to around 7, you can make a significant profit from that.

That’s it!

Simple as that.

You just need to follow the market movement and keep an eye on the odds.

It’s important not to get too greedy. Swing trading is about making a small but guaranteed profit. If you wait too long, the odds can change.

You can use the same method in the other direction. If you see that the odds on a particular horse are going up, you can place a lay bet.

But in this case, the risk is much greater as the odds can be very high, and you can lose a lot more.

Advantages of the strategyDisadvantages of the strategy
You can use small stakes and make a profitSmall profit
You have ample time to make decisionsRequires an understanding of the market and pricing behaviour

Horse racing trading strategies for the experienced players

Now we’ll take a look at strategies for the more advanced players. These are more complex as you may need some of the following:

Front Runners

This strategy requires thorough research and more. It entails hunting for horses who like leading races.

The odds for such a horse will usually decrease at certain times throughout the race.

This makes it one of the easiest methods for making a profit.

Horse racing results

All you need to do is back this horse before the race and lay it during the race.

Of course, the second option is to back it once the race begins, but this option means that you will be trading at a lower price because our horse is already in front.

Horse racer statistics

As we’ve mentioned, this strategy requires some research to make it work.

Namely, you need to check the stats from previous races and, most importantly, look into the horse you are going to trade as well as the other competing horses.

Doing this ensures that you’re aware of whether others are much better than yours. Again, just take a look at the previous races; it shouldn’t take long.

Essentially, you need to know which horses tend to charge ahead.

Ideally, you’ll find a horse who enjoys being there for a while. If it just holds the lead for a brief period, your profit alternatives will be limited.

Advantages of the strategyDisadvantages of the strategy
Great profitRequires thorough research
Significant movement of odds during the raceTime-consuming

Lay the field

Although an advanced strategy, it’s not really complicated, it does require a decent bankroll, excellent understanding, appropriate staking, and getting your trades matched, which might be hard to achieve.

Lay the field strategy is based on more than one horse in a race being matched at odds-on, ensuring a profit no matter the final result. 

The more horses you can bet on, the more money you can make.

You can place your lays bets before the race, or you can do it during the race if your feelings change about the low odds you’re attempting to reach.

For example, let’s see what happens when you place a £50 lay bet on all horses in a 5-runner race at odds of, let’s say, 1.5 for simplicity:

  1. One Lay Matched, you end up with -£25
  2. Two Lays Matched, you end up with +£25
  3. Three Lays Matched, you end up with +£75
  4. Four Lays Matched, you end up with +£125
Advantages of the strategyDisadvantages of the strategy
Profit might be hugeYou need to have a big budget
You don’t have to do any research on the previous races, jockeys, etc.Requires many trades to get matched
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You might be interested: In-depth guide to Horse racing dutching

Chapter 6

Tips from the expert

Tips from the expert

Tips for those trading horse racing and more!

Discover what you should pay special attention to!

Ready? Let’s jump in!

Make notes

Utilise a notebook or use the free software on your system to make the necessary notes – prepare your trading plan for the day accordingly.

The proper preparation makes your job much easier and will give you better results.

Be patient

Patience and a level mind are 100% required.

If you rush, you risk losing money. A horse has a limited lifespan; therefore, you must choose the best time for each activity.

It should become second nature after a while. There are some scenarios that you will witness over and over again.

The more you trade, the better you get at it.

Do your research

In this sport, knowledge is power. The more you know about jockeys and horses, the better for you and your results.

Different horses start and finish differently, and the same goes for jockeys. So before you trade, you need to know more or less when it’s the right time to do so.

Understand the time lag

Before committing to trading a race in progress, be sure you understand how much of a time lag the streams you’re seeing are in real-time.

I’m sure you’ve seen the odds drop dramatically, and after a couple of seconds, you realized why it was happening.

Of course, it’s because of the delay in the stream, so watch out for it!

Chapter 7

Horse racing trading software

Horse racing trading software

• Wondering what trading software is?
• Wondering how it can help you?

No need to wonder 🙂

Just check it out!

Many of the strategies used by successful traders are time-sensitive.

For example, scalping or swing trading requires traders to place a wager and then wait mere seconds for a couple of ‘ticks’ of the odds in their favour before exiting the trade for a profit.

With that in mind, you must realize that you will simply be too slow without software for some strategies!

And this is where horse racing trading software comes to the rescue.

The leading brands are, of course, GeeksToy and BetAngel, and you should choose between them.

Which one is better?

This is a difficult question to answer because it all depends on your preferences.

Before you make your decision, we recommend checking out the other articles on our site, especially the ones where we review the best trading software.

Chapter 8

Mistakes to avoid

Mistakes to avoid

Oh yes, these mistakes are made very often. Wise up and learn:

• How can we avoid them?
• What are these mistakes anyway?

Let’s take a look!

Trading in many races

You’re not going to win every trade in every race; get over it.

A triumph in one of the top races may inspire you to pursue victories in lesser-known events with a larger field of runners and riders.

Don’t allow your excitement to stand in the way of your success!

Choose your races before you begin betting and stick to your strategy.

Betting on high odds

Okay, maybe the headline content is misleading, but in the long run, betting on high odds in the hopes of high winnings leads to bankruptcy, and that’s what we wanted to point out.

Betting on horses with great odds is rarely a winning strategy.

They have a reason for their increased probability.

According to the oddsmakers, they are unlikely to win the tournament.

Not doing your research

This is a huge mistake, especially if you are using the Front Runners Trading strategy.

Checking their stats, previous races, and current form increases your chances of success.

When we talk about research, we don’t just mean jockeys and horses.

We are also talking about the weather during the race.

The weather is another important aspect that can affect the final result.

Chapter 9



• What have we learned today?
• What should we pay special attention to?
• Where can we practice?
We answer the final questions and wrap up the article!

After an in-depth study of the above article, we can easily conclude that horse racing trading is not as black as it is painted.

Sure, it’s not the easiest, but with the right approach and the necessary preparation, we can already put ourselves in the light of the right person in the right place.

The most important thing in all of this is preparation. It’s not just about being ready to trade and having a deposit in your account; it’s also about studying the trading method you’re going to use.

Taking notes, doing in-depth research, and keeping track of statistics can prove crucial in the overall calculations.

Remember, if you are not yet ready to trade, give yourself time regardless of your chosen sport.

Preparation is the key to success, and you can always practice trading on the Betfair Exchange Simulator, which is completely free and available HERE. So what are you waiting for?

See you at the markets!


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