Horse racing: History, Rules, & Betting

Horse racing: History, Rules, & Betting Horse racing is a speed sport in which two or more horses aim to reach the end line first, it is one of the most ancient sports in history date back to 4500 BC. it’s a widespread assumption that the horses originated in Asia. There is a lot of evidence that proves this belief, on top of them is the spread of horses in all Asian countries, even those that contain arid deserts such as the Arabian Gulf.

In 1206 AD, Emperor Genghis Khan assigned a horse for every soldier to build an entire cavalry army. By horses only, he got the fastest, brutalist, and the most mobile military force in ancient times. This mighty military power managed to conquer 9 million square miles across Asia, Europe, and North Africa!

Although that Genghis Khan is one of the deadliest and most ruthless leaders in history if there was one good deed in his life it would be to bring horses to Europe and North Africa! After horses being spread in the world no similar empire existed, apparently, this made a state of military parity!

There is no clear evidence about the origin of competitive horse racing. But it seems that this sport originated in all civilizations with different rules and ways. The earliest evidence of this sport is in central Asia and dates to 4500 BC. Also, there is other evidence that this sport has been played in Ancient Egypt, Greece, Persia, Turkey, and Poland. As you note, horse racing spread on wealthy civilizations, and that’s why it is known as the “Sport of Kings”.

When Did Horse Racing Betting Originate?

Many historians believe that betting on horse racing began in England in the 17th century. Some other believe that horse racing started in France, during the same century when 2 noblemen wrote a betting contract on horse racing that occurred in 1651. After that, horse racing betting spread in the whole of Europe.

We can say that no sport has been closely linked to gambling like horse racing! Betting on this sport got the attention of kings, gamblers and workers who saw in it a quick way to invest their money and prove their predictions.

At the current time, horse racing betting market hit 3.5 billion dollars in the USA in 2019. As for the online horse racing betting sector, it is likely to achieve higher growth ranging from $130 bn to $140 bn during 2022 – 2025.

The most valuable horse racing in the world at the current time are:

  • The Saudi Cup carries a $20 million purse.
  • Dubai World Cup offers total prize money of $12 million.
  • Pegasus World Cup has a prize pot of $16 million.

What Are the Non Runners in Horse Racing?

Since that most of the horse races occur at relatively close times, jockeys and trainers seek to participate in all of them to obtain the highest profits from these rich races. However, stressed horses usually fail to complete the final training, thus the race management declares them as non-runners. Most likely, if you bet on a horse and he does not participate in the race, the bookmaker will refund your bet stake.

Note that there is a slight difference between the withdrawn and non runner horse, the first one is named to take part in the event and declaration stage. On the other hand, the non runner isn’t listed on the final list. You can find more info on horse racing and non runners from the previous link.

Types of Horse Racing

There are so many types of horse racing in the world that make no one like the other! This is normal, as any slight difference in the terrain or weather will make the race completely different from the rest. However, we can divide horse racing into two main types as follows:

  • Flat Race: A race in which horses run on a flat surface in a straight or circular direction without any obstacles. This race tests a horse’s speed and a jockey’s ability to control it over a long distance at a high speed.
  • Jump Racing: In this race, there are obstacles that the horse must jump over and reach the finish line before the rest of the competitors. Jump racing tests the fitness of the horse and its ability to jump over various obstacles.

What Are Horse Racing Skills?

Horse racing is based on two components; Jockey and horse. For the jockey, he must make a great effort in guiding the horse and stick to the correct sitting position throughout the race to increase the speed of the horse and enhance its ability to penetrate the air faster. Also, the jockey should make decisions to change direction or sprint when needed. As for the horse, he must make a great physical effort to run and jump over obstacles.

Most races have significantly short tracks because they focus on speed testing without any other factors. While longer races (such as the Grand National) require hockey and horses to act tactically. For example, running fast will not help the horse and draining his strength quickly. But it is better to run at a medium speed to be able to jump over obstacles.

Horse Racing Gear

Many types of horses participate in these races, including British horses, Arabian horses, quarter horses, and cross-breeds. These breeds can compete against each other in the same race, but some races may accept one breed only. The horse wears a leather suit and a leather saddle, Jokes wear a helmet and carry a whip. Although the whip is an essential tool in horse dressage, it is highly controversial in racing! Some countries completely prohibit it under pressure from animal rights groups. While other countries, as the UK, set a certain number of whip hits.


Although it is the “Kings’ sports”, horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the world! However, this sport experiences hard times because of the pandemic that cause a full shutdown to all races and animal rights activist’s attacks. Yet this does not change the fact that this sport is very popular among viewers and bettors alike!

Major favourites and top runners in the field for the 2021 Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes

Haydock will open its doors for a weekend of flat race festivities in early September, culminating in what’s sure to be a dramatic dash for first place in the 2021 Betfair Sprint Cup.

Horses aged three and up will be eligible to compete for the £162,000 prize over six furlongs come September 4, with a David Bowie-inspired frontrunner already nosing in front of the crowd.

The Merseyside meet takes a little more than one minute from start to finish, which is why the Haydock Sprint Cup is so highly favoured as a big betting event in the calendar. considers the lineup as things stand and breaks down the top odds available with a little more than a week until the race.


Starman (11/4)

Take your protein pills and put on your helmet, because Starman is considered the favorite to win the Sprint Cup this year by horse betting profis and the odds only increase over time.

Ed Walker’s entry has now moved to less than 3/1 odds despite placing third in the Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest in August, when an extra half-furlong ultimately made all the difference.

Still, the potential is clear for a four-year-old who stormed to his maiden Group 1 victory in the July Cup Stakes at Newmarket one month prior:


The BBC provided quotes from jockey Tom Marquand after that race, who gushed: “He’s very inexperienced compared to a lot of these, but this horse is an absolute star.”

Marquand has been in the saddle for four of Starman’s five career wins and looks likely to be back aboard at Haydock.


Dragon Symbol (4/1)

Beaten by a little more than a length in those July Cup Stakes, Archie Watson-trained Dragon Symbol comes next in the odds despite failing to win any of his last five races.

The most recent of those close calls came in the form of a third-place finish at the Nunthorpe Stakes in August, when a certain Winter Power had the legs to finish first:




Dragon Symbol has divided his time between five and six furlongs to date, but the latter is where he looks more at home, and there’s no doubt he belongs among the elite despite the win drought.


Creative Force (8/1)

The price then doubles for the Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes as Creative Force approaches September 4 as an 8/1 contender.

Charlie Appleby’s charge was another who was among the field when Starman won the July Cup Stakes several months ago, which ended a post-gelding streak of four straight wins.

Creative Force came close to ending that sour patch in the Unibet Lennox Stakes at Goodwood later in July, only for Kinross to edge ahead and steal the win by a neck:




The upper group challenges have thrown the three-year-old in the deep end to date, but over six furlongs, this 8/1 sleeper could be worthy of a punt, with William Buick among his potential riders.


2021 Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes – Odds Leaders

Team Odds
Starman 11/4
Dragon Symbol 4/1
Creative Force 8/1
Kinross 8/1
Gustavus Weston 10/1
Glen Shiel 10/1
Art Power 12/1
Happy Romance 20/1
Chil Chil 20/1
Supremacy 20/1

2021 Great Voltigeur Stakes: Leading Contenders and Top Betting Favourites at York

2021 Great Voltigeur Stakes: Leading Contenders and Top Betting Favourites at York The 2021 Ebor Festival will open on Wednesday (Aug. 18), with a large portion of the horse-racing public sure to have their attention fixed on who shines brightest in the Great Voltigeur Stakes.

Serving as a trial to September’s St. Leger, the Group 2 meet will assemble a crop of the best talent aged three and above currently gleaming on the flat circuit.


And a number of trainers with history winning this race will be back in the saddle attempting to add to their collection this week, including Aidan O’Brien, William Haggas and Charlie Appleby.

The final list of runners is yet to be certified as a few entries look likely to be cut before the race gets underway, but the leading picks to take top spot at York are well and truly established.

Alenquer sits at the head of that queue as betting odds 5/2 favourite days out from the horse race Great Voltigeur Stakes, and horse betting apps in the UK consider which colt and gelding talents might rise up to steal the £85,000 prize.


Alenquer (5/2)

A busy summer of activity continues for Alenquer following a not-so-successful expedition to Longchamp in mid-July, when he placed third in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.

Alenquer was well beaten by Appleby’s Hurricane Lane on the very soft conditions in France, but a likely return to better grounding promises a bounce back to winnings ways at York.


One factor that may influence that resurgence is the expected return of jockey Tom Marquand, who was unable to ride Alenquer in France because he wasn’t fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The colt has won three times and finished runner-up once with Marquand aboard, most recently winning the King George VII Stakes in June:



Trainer Haggas won the Great Voltigeur Stakes in 2015 with Storm the Stars, but he’s relying on the more grounded Alenquer—named after the region in Portugal—to bring him more success in this race.


Kemari (4/1)

Inspired by the football-esque sport that originated in Japan, Kemari has kicked up a major fuss in his first season of racing and is looking to make it three wins in a row when he comes to York this week.

The BBC broke down the Godolphin-owned starlet’s victory in the Queen’s Vase at Ascot in June, when he defeated the O’Brien-trained Wordsworth, whom he’ll meet here once again in York:



The 4/1 shot is yet to finish outside the top two in any of his three expeditions having only made his racing debut this past May, with Appleby stumbling upon a potent partnership between him and jockey William Buick.

Kemari ran a closer victory at Ascot when he edged Wordsworth by just over a length over one mile and six furlongs, but the one mile and three furlong distance here suggests he can challenge.


High Definition (5/1)

High Definition won’t be able to stand the sight of Hurricane Lane after being bested by the Appleby charge in each of his last two outings, most recently losing by 29 lengths in June’s Irish Derby.

O’Brien’s lowest-priced pick for the Great Voltigeur Stakes finished 10th out of 11 that day as he just failed to get going on the day, a far cry from when he sealed back-to-back wins at the Curragh around this time last year:


It could be the case that Ryan Moore is taken off jockey duties by O’Brien in a bid to bring about some change, with undoubted potential to be tapped in the son of Galileo.


2021 Great Voltigeur Stakes – Odds Leaders

Team Odds
Alenquer 5/2
Kemari 4/1
High Definition 5/1
Lone Eagle 5/1
Third Realm 6/1
Wordsworth 7/1
Mojo Star 8/1
Sir Lamorak 10/1
Yibir 10/1
Youth Spirit 12/1


2021 Darley Yorkshire Oaks: Betting Favourites and Top Contenders for York Clash

One of the most anticipated race weekends of England’s summer season will be headlined by the 2021 Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday, August 19.

The winner of this year’s race will earn more than £220,000 in prize money, and Aidan O’Brien star Love looking to become the Yorkshire Oaks’ first back-to-back winner since 2002-03.

The defending champion may not be the favourite, however, considering another of O’Brien’s top fillies, Snowfall, is in frame to lead his list of contenders at the York meet. dissects a selection of the leading horses likely to challenge for the top prize in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, including one veteran who’s yet to race thus far in 2021.

Snowfall (4/7)

Enable became the most recent horse to win the Yorkshire Oaks on two occasions following victories in 2017 and 2019, and Snowfall can spoil Love’s party if the 4/7 favourite succeeds at York.

Trainer Mathew Dawson’s record of nine Yorkshire Oaks victories may never be beaten, but O’Brien is at least climbing closer in the stakes as he eyes his sixth triumph in this race.

And Snowfall could be just the horse to do it after she’s won all three of her races so far in 2021, including her most recent success in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July:

The BBC quoted O’Brien following that result when he praised Snowfall as “very smart and she has a lot of quality,” and it’s difficult to disagree as she seeks to join her stable-mate in winning this race.

Love (4/1)

Next in line according to the horse racing experts is Love, a 4/1 shot who could be worth a gamble at those odds considering she’s already tasted Group 1 success at York in the past year.

In fact, it will be almost 12 months to the day since Ryan Moore rode Love to victory in the 2020 Yorkshire Oaks, where she demolished the field to finish five lengths clear of Alpinista.

While there’s sure to be a lot of bookmaker money going towards the clear favourite Snowfall, there’s rarely an occasions where the progeny of legendary Galileo should be overlooked.

Tarnawa (9/2)

Rounding the selection of top fillies likely to challenge for this particular crown, Tarnawa returns to British shores after touring France and the United States during the second half of 2021.

It was a hugely successful jaunt, too, as the five-year-old finished 2020 with a perfect four wins from four, with the last of those coming in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland in November:

Almost two years removed from her most recent defeat, there’s little about the horse that’s not to love, not to mention she’ll have the edge in experience over most of her peers in York.

Ring rust may be of some concern considering trainer Dermot Weld hasn’t ridden Tarnawa since November, but then again that long respite could cause concern for her opponents to come.

Unibet Stewards’ Cup – Odds Leaders









Wonderful Tonight




Joan of Arc


Santa Barbara




Cayenne Pepper


Loving Dream



1 2 3 4 5 7