Can horse owners bet on their horse is a question we often get asked and the answer is – yes – though this does come with a caveat. Horse owners can place win or each-way bets on their horses, which includes ante-post markets, early-bird markets, and day of the race markets. Owners are also allowed to bet on their horses with bookmakers or on betting exchanges.
What racehorse owners are not allowed to do is lay their own horses or bet on other people’s horses in races in which they have a runner. The reason for this is many racehorse owners would be tempted to try and fix races if they could profit from their horses losing.
Why Are Horse Owners Allowed To Bet On Their Horses?
What you need to understand about horse racing is it is only a sport at all because there are racehorse owners that are willing to buy horses and pay training fees for the joy of watching them race. But while some people strike it lucky by buying a champion that can potentially makes them millions on the track and later at stud, the prize money that most racehorses win doesn’t cover the expense of buying and training them.
This is especially true at the lower levels of racing where the prize money is poor. Racehorses can cost anything from a few hundred pounds to a few million pounds, but they still cost roughly the same to train. It averagely costs around £20,000 a year to have a horse in training, though this can be less or more depending on who trains the horse.
At the lowest level of horse racing, some horses will be lucky to win £5,000 in prize money a season, so many owners will try and offset the additional costs by betting on their horses when they think they will win.
Do Racehorse Owners Lay Their Horses?
The chance to profit from laying racehorses has proven too much of a temptation in the past for some owners, but the British Horseracing Authority has been quick to act to prevent this when such acts are flagged up by irregular betting patterns. Bookmakers and betting exchanges hate any idea of race-fixing and are eager to report any suspicions they may have about racehorse owners laying horses.
You may think that racehorse owners could easily get around this by laying horses using other people’s accounts but, once irregular betting patterns have been flagged up, there is normally a trail that leads back to the owner or someone else that is closely involved with the family or the horse in some way.
Racehorse Owners That Have Been Caught Laying Their Horses?
A variety of racehorse owners have been caught laying horses they own, though not all these owners had laid their horses in an unscrupulous way.
The most famous racehorse owner to have been caught laying his horses was Harry Findlay, who was part owner of Denman who won a Cheltenham Gold Cup and several other high-profile races.
It was the fact that Harry Findlay laid Denman that got him into trouble with the BHA. But Finlay was not intending to lay Denman to lose, as he has backed the horse to win at bigger prices and was simply laying some of his bet off at lower odds on Betfair to guarantee himself a profit. Denman duly won the race and netted Findlay a tidy sum of money.
The trouble for Findlay was he had broken the rules of racehorse ownership, even though he still wanted Denman to win. This, sadly, cost Findlay a ban from racing and, as the experience tarnished his enjoyment of racehorse ownership, racing in England lost one of its most colourful owners and professional gamblers.
But while Findlay was simply hedging his bets, other racehorse owners have acted less scrupulously. One owner laid a Welsh National entry to lose after he knew the horse wouldn’t run. He laid it for big money to win a few hundred pounds, but this was flagged up by Betfair to the BHA.
Other owners have also given inside information to bookmakers or professional gamblers that their horse wouldn’t win, which is deemed just as bad as laying the horse yourself. Owners like this have been caught by phone records or email trails, which the BHA are within their rights to cease if they think a rule has been broken.
Other owners have pleaded crazy things such as they didn’t know their wife had a Betfair account after she had profited from her husband’s horse losing.
Other owners are just plain greedy, with some found to be in cahoots with trainers and/or jockeys to make a profit from stopping horses. But the bans handed out by the BHA for such an infringement are far from lenient. Owners are often warned off for life, while bans for trainers and jockeys can be career-ending.
Is Horse Racing Fixed?
When making money is a temptation, there will always be people that try and profit by breaking the rules, and racehorse owners are no different. However, while some racehorse owners have succumbed to this temptation there are hundreds more that haven’t tried to profit from their horses losing.
So, while some people have tried to fix horse racing, the BHA normally catches them due to the fantastic computers the bookmakers use that flag up unusual betting activity. This means that race-fixing is harder than ever before.
If Horse Racing Isn’t Fixed Why Don’t The Best Horses Always Win?
Horse racing is a lot more complex than simply backing the highest-rated horse to win a race. The first thing to understand about horse racing is horses improve and regress throughout their careers.
A horse must learn how to race, while trainers need to work out what tactics suit the horse best, such as being a front runner or needing to be held up for a late run. Horses also get fitter and stronger as they approach their peak age, which isn’t the same for all horses. Of course, once a horse has gone past its peak its performance may start to regress.
This means horse racing ratings are always fluid and you always need to think about why a horse may be capable of being better than its currently shown or when it may no longer be able to match its peak performances.
Horseracing tracks in the UK are also very different from each other. While one horse may be able to bully other horses on flat tracks such as Aintree or Newbury, it may not be man enough to master the undulations of Cheltenham and climb up the famous Cheltenham hill to the winning post.
Ground conditions can also make a huge difference to horses, with some relishing firm ground and some performing at their best in a bog. Jockeys also need to learn their trade, and trainers must decide whether horses will benefit from having a top jockey in the saddle or having their weight reduced by the claim of a young and up-and-coming apprentice.
So, while some people will always claim that horse racing is fixed, it is the complexities of racing that make betting on horse racing an exciting puzzle to solve. Let’s face it, if the best horse won every race there would be no bookmakers.
Should I Bet On Horse Racing?
Millions of people enjoy betting on horse racing and, providing you do it responsibly, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy it. What you need to ask yourself is whether you are just trying to have a bit of fun or are you serious about making money from betting on horse racing.
If you’re serious about making a profit from betting on horse racing, how are you going to go about it? Have you got a system or are you going to start betting blind? If you’re not sure what you’re doing, then it could be time to start off on the right foot by following the advice of a professional tipster.
Here at Betting Gods, we aim to come out on top with the battle with the bookmakers by using the expertise of our horse racing tipsters to find the sort of value horse racing tips that will make us a long-term profit.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, we recommend you start by signing up for our free tips page. This will give you access to a sample of daily tips from a variety of our tipsters.
You can also check out the Betting Gods Tipster Page, where you’ll find each of our tipsters has their own profile. You’ll be able to read their ‘about me’ page, as well as statistics such as total profit, average monthly profit, win rate, and return on investment.
You’ll also be able to view other information such as how long the tipster has been active, what time his tips are sent out, average tips per month, and the average odds of his selections.
We hope that’s answered your question; can horse owners bet on their horse?