Horse Racing Betting Guide

Horse Racing Spread Betting Examples

Individual Race Spread Betting 

If your primary focus has been fixed odds betting it might be useful to start with a simple example to introduce the concept of spread betting. We’ll use April 2018’s Grand National meeting at Aintree as our vehicle to introduce the principles, terms and mathematics of horse racing spread betting.  Racing Markets are usually divided into two categories; (i) Short Term Singular Races (such as SP of the winner) or (ii) Longer Term Markets that incorporate a group of Singular Events (i.e. Total Winning Distances for the entire meeting).

For example, let’s take 1.45 Gaskell’s Handicap Hurdle, the first warm up race before the national. The Market we will consider is SP of the Winner for the race. The Price (or Spread) is set at 12-14. There are 20 runners which might explain why this seems quite high. If your prediction is that an outsider might upset the odds you Buy at 14, but if you think the favorite or a shorter price Nag might triumph you would Sell at 12. 

You decide to sell at 12 for £10. This makes every point of the winning horses SP worth £10. However, the winner has to have an SP lower than 12-1 for you to make a profit.  Fortunately, the favorite, Mr. Big Shot, romped home at 7-1 therefore the Make-Up is 7. Therefore, you make a profit (12 – 7) x £10, so £50.

If, however, you had decided to buy the Winner’s SP at 14 you were losing money. Unfortunately, as the favorite came in at 7-1 you would have lost (7 – 14) x £10, i.e. -£70.  

Long-Term Racing Spread Betting Predictions

The most interesting thing about longer term markets spanning entire race meetings is that there is always plenty of history to refer to and learn from …… and history is often a great predictor of present and future events. At FBT we look at horse racing patterns in history and use that data as one of our criteria to assess the betting odds and spreads on offer for the day’s race meetings. Let’s take another example from the 2018 Aintree Grand National Meeting. The spread betting companies offer a range of ‘aggregate markets’ for the entire race meeting.  I’ll list some of the major ones below as you could see any of them appearing on our racing tips pages as we uncover odds that are in our favor:

  • Aggregate Favorites (where 25 points are allocated to the winner, 10 for second and 5 for third)
  • Aggregate Winner SPs (all of the winning SPs added up for the meeting)
  • Aggregate Winning Distances (Distance between winner and second horse added up for all races)
  • Aggregate Double Numbers (Winning horse number doubled and added for all races)
  • Aggregate Multi-Mules (Number of Winner multiplied by Number of Runner-up, then added for all the races).

Going back to the 14th April Grand National meeting at Aintree, let’s look at the favorites market for the 7 races of the day. The market was set 50-53 for the day. If we thought the day was going to be a good one for favorites we would have bought at 53 or conversely if we thought favorites would struggle on the day we would have sold at 50.  Let’s assume we liked the chances of the jollies and had bought at 53 for £10.  As the meeting unfolded there were two winning favorites (2 x 25pts), one favorite came second (10pts) and one came third (5pts), therefore our Make-up was (50+10+5) = 65. Therefore having bought at 53 our profit was (65 – 53) x £10 = £120.

The nature of betting on meeting aggregates provides us with entertainment across all of the races without the stress of trying to pick the actual winners. Providing we do our research and pay careful attention to our staking policy we can be richly entertained and often rewarded with very attractive profits.

Aggregates are even possible for the day’s racing

In addition to the single race betting and meeting aggregates, we can now even trade on the entire days racing. Look at the markets below provided by Sporting Index to see what you can trade on every day across that day’s racing activity:


It is with great care that we trade these daily aggregates as they will often dilute any meeting specific insights / benefits that we derive from our historical data. Therefore, at FBT we are far more likely to tip at a race meeting or individual race level where it is much easier to find an edge. If the stars align across multiple meeting we may tip a daily aggregate but that will tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

So our targeted racing tips are designed to deliver consistent profit over time, with what we think was very little risk. Of course we will not be right every day, we all know that is impossible. To win requires betting discipline, careful attention to staking policies and eradication of all emotional attachment to horses, human beings or anything else. Using historical data, an appreciation of the prevailing conditions of the day (particularly the going which is of course central to our analysis) and price optimization we are able to deliver the process we use at FBT for our racing predictions. The typical steps involved are, record, research, analyse, assess (risk), scale (for staking and go/ no-go decision) and publish. The graphic below is a reminder of that process.


At FBT we maintain an entire database history for every race meeting, every day tracking key parameters that can inform us in the future. This will be discussed in much greater detail in our Horse Racing Resources pages.  It’s this level of detail that informs our tips. Our clients don’t see the entire process play out every time we make a racing prediction, but just receive the fruits of the process.  With daily racing tips across the major meetings, there’s always something to explore.  Take a look at our racing resources page for other useful prediction tools or go straight to our Racing Tips page now for live updates.