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Writen by Kate Catherine England ,
Updated on 01.08.2022

Horse Racing Ireland 2022

Horse racing has been popular in many countries, including Ireland. It is one of the most loved sports in Ireland and attracts millions of spectators each year. Horseracing at racecourses in Ireland is an old tradition.


Our Top10BestCasino betting experts have shared important information about the sport and how you can bet. We have provided information about the various forms of horse racing in Ireland and the types of bets you can place. Also, we gave some tips on how to pick winners.

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Previously, horse racing bets could only be placed by visiting the racecourse and placing wagers on the favorite racecourse. Today, however, things are different. Today, hundreds of online betting sites offer horserace betting services to those who can’t or won’t travel to the racecourses. Below is a list of top betting sites, as compiled by our team of experts.

How did we find horse racing betting sites for you?

Hundreds of online horse racing betting websites offer horse racing betting services for players throughout Ireland. Many sites offer superior services, so it is important to choose the best site to enjoy a high-quality betting experience. How do you choose the best horse racing betting site? Our team of experts in horse racing betting has gone to great lengths to research what to look for when selecting a site to bet on.

This list highlights what we’ve considered:

  • Look for the platforms with the highest odds or, at the minimum, the most competitive odds.
  • Look for a platform that covers a broad range of races, such as Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot, along with many other lesser-known races.
  • You can find the best horse racing betting website online that offers different types of horse race bets.
  • Look for a platform that offers live streaming and live betting.
  • Choose the platform that offers the most attractive bonuses and promotions.

Horse Racing in Ireland: Types

Every Irish punter should understand the basics of horserace betting and the various types of Irish horse racing before discussing horserace betting. Top10’s betting experts have spent considerable time researching the Irish horse racing scene. Below, we explain the various types of Irish horse races.

Flat Races

Flat races do not have jumps, and the horses usually start from the stall.

Notable is the fact that flat racing in Ireland begins in April and ends in November. Below are some of the most popular flat races in Ireland.

  • Flat Maiden Races: These races are for horses that have never won a race. The Flat Maiden Races are usually restricted to a specific age group. You might see a 2-year-old maiden race, a 3-year-old maiden race, etc.
  • Flat Handicap – All horses are given equal chances to win the Flat Handicap race. Each horse is evaluated and rated according to its ability relative to the other horses in this race. Horses with better abilities than others are weighed down/handicapped and given more weight. All horses will perform at a similar level, which gives them all equal chances of winning.
  • The Conditions race: This race is restricted to horses who have won one or more races, races of a certain value, or starting at a specific date.
  • Listed/Pattern Race: Listed races are for horses over the 90 on an ability scale of 47 to 120.
  • Group 3 Race This category is slightly higher than the Listed Races and is only for horses around the 100-mark on an ability weighting system of 47 to 120.
  • Group 2 Racing: This race is for horses rated between 100 and 115 on the ability weighing scale.
  • Group 1 Racing: This race is the most prestigious and high-class. It is also known as the Group 2 Race. This is the most popular horse racing class in Ireland and abroad. There are 12 Group 1 races held in Ireland. 5 of these races are known as classic races.

National Hunt

The National Hunt race is also known as the Jump race. It involves horse racing and jumping over hurdles (hurdles). Jump races are typically contested over a distance between two and three miles. Jump races differ from flat races because they start at a taped barrier. Jump racing in Ireland takes place all year. However, the main season begins in November and ends in April.

  • Chases/Steeplechases: Chases, also known as the Steeplechase race, involve jockeys racing one another while jumping over obstacles. The Jump race’s tallest fences are usually between 4 and 6 inches high and 3 feet 4 inches wide. The Grand National, run at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England, is the most famous steeplechase race. It is also very popular to run the Irish Grand National every Easter at Fairyhouse Racecourse in County Meath.
  • Bumper races: Flat racing is done under the National Hunt Racing rules (Jump racing) in the Bumper race. This race allows horses to experience the racecourse before they debut in the national hunts. Amateur Jockeys often ride these horses. The distances for bumpers are typically between 13 and 20 furlongs.
  • Hurdle Races: Another type of jump race is the Hurdle race. The Hurdle races are shorter than the Steeplechase and run over three-and-a-half feet tall obstacles. They are also less sturdy. Also, the race is run on a shorter course than Chases.
  • Maiden Hurdles Races: Horses who have never won a hurdle or a Steeplechase are eligible for the Maiden Hurdle Race.
  • Point to Point: Point to Point racing is the most natural form. Horses are raced in a rural environment and not at traditional racecourses. This race sees horses race across the country over designated farmland, sometimes over uncharted terrain and natural obstacles. This race is usually held in spring or autumn.

Major Horse Racing Events in Ireland

Ireland has a rich horse racing heritage. Every year, various major horse racing events are held throughout the country. These horse racing meetings can last up to seven days. Here’s a list of the best and biggest:

Horse Racing Event Time Duration Venue Big Race
Dublin Racing Festival Early February 2 Days Leopardstown 8 Grade 1 races over the 2 days
Irish Grand National Festival Easter Weekend 3 Days Fairyhouse Irish Grand National
Punchestown Festival End of April 5 Days Punchestown Punchestown Gold Cup
Derby Festival Late June 3 Days Curragh Irish Derby
Galway Races End of July 7 Days Galway Galway Plate
Irish Champions Weekend Mid-September 2 Days Leopardstown & Curragh Irish Champion Stakes
Listowel Harvest Festival Mid-September 7 Days Listowel Kerry National
Christmas Festival End of December 4 Days Leopardstown & Limerick Savills Chase

Horse Racing Betting Terms

Horse Racing terminology can be confusing for novices, especially regarding horse racing terminology. Our team of experts has compiled some common terms for horse racing betting.

The Racing Lingo

  • Amateur: refers mainly to amateur jockeys who ride only bumper races.
  • Banker: is a slang term for a horse with a 100% chance of winning a race.
  • Colt: is a male horse that is at least four years old.
  • Filly: is a filly of a mare horse at least four years old.
  • Gelding: is a castrated male horse.
  • Green: is an inexperienced horse.
  • Lead: is the extra weight that a horse puts in his saddle to compensate for the handicap weight.
  • Mare: a mare of approximately five years old or more.

Betting Language

  • Price: the price a bookmaker offers on a horse in a race.
  • Favorite: the horse with the lowest odds of winning a race.
  • Fixed-odds: refers to betting in which you receive the odds as advertised by the bookmaker at the time of placing the bet. There are no fluctuations in your payout.
  • SP: also known as the Starting Price, it is the official price at which a horse will start a race.
  • Long Odds: refers to the odds that horses have low chances of winning a race.
  • Short Odds: refers to the odds that horses have a high chance of winning a race.
  • Withdrawn Horse: a horse who withdraws from a race for any reason.

How Horse Racing Betting Odds Works

You can choose your preferred format of odds from Irish horse racing betting sites. This is the dominant format to display horserace betting prices in Ireland. It usually shows prices as 9/2 (evens), 1/2, 1/1(evens), 2/1, and 100/1. This format shows the profit punters will make if they correctly predict the outcome of a horserace against their stake.

A bettor might place a EUR10 stake in a type of bet with a 3/1 market. In this example, the potential profit will be EUR30 (EUR10x3), and the total return will be EUR40. This includes the EUR30 profit, and the EUR10 returned wager. If the prediction is correct, every EUR1 the bettor wagers will result in a EUR3 profit. This principle applies to all other odds. The theory is that longer odds mean higher payouts, while shorter odds mean lower payouts.

Straight Bets

Straight bets, the simplest form of horse racing wagers, are often the most popular type for novices and professional punters. These bets are easier to win because they require less experience and have fewer risks.

  • The Win Bet: A win bet is when you predict that a horse will finish first in a race. The bet will win if the horse finishes first in a race. If not, it loses.
  • The Place Bet: This bet is flexible, unlike the win bet. Place bets are when a punter expects their horse to finish first or last. This bet will return only if your horse finishes in one of these positions. This type of bet has a lower cash-out price than a winning one.
  • The Show Bet: This is a bet you place when you believe your horse will finish in the top three positions (the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd). The cashout price for this bet is lower because of the high winning chances.
  • Across the Board: This wager combines the win and place bets with the show. You will collect the win, show, and place if your selection finishes first. If it finishes second, you will get the show and place, but not on the win. If it finishes third, you only get the show bet.

Exotic Wagers

Exotic wagers combine multiple selections to make one bet. Exotic wagers are more expensive than other types of bets because they combine more than one selection. This type of bet can often bring a substantial return for players.

  • The Forecast Bet: This forecast bet is about placing bets that horses will finish in the predicted order. You will only get payouts if your selections are in the order you expected.
  • Reverse Forecast Bet: Also known as combination forecast, this bet follows the same principles as the forecast one. You can select horses that will finish in the first or second positions. The horses can finish in any order.
  • Tricast Bet: A tricast wager, also known as a trifecta or tricast bet, is a bet that three horses will finish first, second and third. This means ABC must be in the same order as ABC.
  • Reverse Tricast Bet: This is an extension of the tricast. The reverse tricast bet is based on the same principle as the tricast, where you make selections about horses that will finish in the top three positions. The placement of horses can be done in any order, unlike the tricast wager. If the horses are placed as ABC, ACB or BAC, BAC, BCA, CAB, or even CBA, you win.
  • Superfecta/First Four Bet: This bet, also known as the forecast or tricast bets, is similar to the Superfecta and Tricast bets. This involves placing wagers on horses that finish in the exact order of first, second, third, and fourth.
  • Reverse Superfecta: The reverse Superfecta betting involves making predictions about four horses finishing in the first, second, third, and fourth places. This bet doesn’t care which order the horses finish, so long as they are in the same four positions.

Tote Betting

Toto betting is different from traditional horse racing bets. A betting site will usually calculate the odds of each competitor winning a race and then provide odds prices to match that calculation. However, tote betting does not provide an automatic calculation of odds. Instead, you will be placed in a pool with other punters and your total wager is added to the pot and divided among the winners. The total amount of money collected and the number of punters involved in the pool determines the odds and payouts.

How to Bet on Horse Races

Horse racing is like most other sports. You can’t always predict the outcome until the end of the race. Horse racing fans should consider certain factors before backing any horse. These factors are often tips to help experienced punters pick the winner from several horses in a race. Top10BestCasino’s team of experts in betting has conducted extensive research into this topic. We will cover some key points to watch out for when placing a bet on a horse during racing.

  1. Consistency: Before you bet on any horse, our betting experts recommend that you check the horse’s past race results. This information will give you important details about the horse, such as its past winning records and performance in previous races. Is the horse a regular placer, or does it fluctuate in its placings in the event? Punters and Irish tipsters often use this information to predict how the horse will perform in future races.
  2. Present Form: The horses’ present form is another important thing to consider before you wager on any horse race. Assessing the horse’s health and checking for any injuries is important.
  3. Age: The age of horses is another important factor that Irish punters and tipsters should consider when predicting the outcome of horseracing events. The ideal age for a horse to be in its best form is between seven and ten years old. The horse older than this threshold will be less likely to win the race. Older horses can still win if they are in good condition.
  4. Trainer: A teacher is only as good or as effective as his student. This is true for horse racing training. Horse race winners will be naturally produced by top-quality trainers who care for their horses and give them regular exercise. Our experts recommend that you pay attention to the trainers of your horses when placing bets on horse races. What is the name of the trainer? Are they successful?
  5. Jockey: Horse racing involves jockeys. This is because combining the horse’s skills, endurance, and power will decide the outcome. Irish punters should consider the level of experience and ability of the jockey to handle their horses.
  6. Distance: Horse racing events can vary in their distances. Most horses limit how far they can travel before their stamina begins to wear out. Horse racing betting also requires you to take into account the distance covered. It would help if you evaluated whether your horse has a chance to win based on its stamina and the distance it will cover.

Horse Racing Betting Tips

Horse betting is like any other gambling form. It’s a game of probabilities and chance. Our betting experts have developed some horse racing betting tips we think will be helpful to you online. These tips won’t necessarily guarantee to win, but they can significantly increase a punter’s odds of winning.

  1. Learn all you can about horse racing and the rules.
  2. Do your research on the champions from the previous racing seasons.
  3. Keep checking for the latest information in horse racing.
  4. Choose the site with the highest odds.
  5. Pay attention to the horse/jockey injury.
  6. You should place multiple bets to minimize your loss or, at the very least, to get a percentage back from your wagers.

Closing Thoughts

It’s a thrill to bet on horse races via online betting sites or horse racing betting apps. This guide will cover all aspects of horse racing betting and horse races. You can still enjoy placing horse racing bets from your home, even if you cannot visit Curragh Racecourse to view the classics. Have fun, but be responsible and watch your bankroll.

Article by

Kate Catherine England

Passionate sports betting expert and journalist, with more than 10 years of experience in the betting industry