Horse Racing Spread Betting

Horse racing spread betting  is about much more than just picking the winner. Try Sporting Index and experience a thrilling new way to enjoy the sport of kings.

What is horse racing spread betting?

Sporting Index offers a whole host of horse racing markets. Aside from where a horse will finish in a race, you can spread bet on winning distances, jockey’s performance and starting prices, allowing you to place a bet on a race or a meeting without having to worry about finding the winner.

We offer points to horses depending on where they finish in our individual race indices. We also offer match bets between horses where you can buy or sell the winning distance between two horses in a race, regardless of whether either of them wins.

Markets are also available across a race meeting and some of the most popular ones are winning distances, favourites and starting prices.

How to spread bet on horse racing

Sporting Index makes predictions on a number of events and scenarios in a horse race or race meeting. The spread has two prices, a buy and a sell price. If you believe Sporting Index has pitched a quote too low, spread bettors would buy at the higher price, anticipating that the make-up of the market will be bigger than that price.

Likewise, if spread bettors think the buy price is too high then they would sell at the lower, believing the final make-up will be below the price they have sold at.

Here are some of our most popular horse racing spread betting markets.

What is a winning distances bet?

A horse racing spread betting market that predicts the aggregate total of the winning margins of each race at a meeting. The maximum winning distance for a Flat race is set at 12 lengths while for a National Hunt race it is 30 lengths. This also applies should only one horse complete the race.

Distances under a length are recorded as follows: Short head = 0.1 of a length, head = 0.2 of a length, neck = 0.3 of a length, half a length = 0.5 of a length, three-quarters of a length = 0.75 of a length.

For example, at a jumps meeting at Cheltenham, Sporting Index might offer a spread on total winning distances of 70-75. You might decide to place your spread bet high at 75 for £5 per length.

In the end the winning distances made up at 82 lengths. If you had gone high at 75 you would have won seven times your stake: (82 - 75 = 7) x your stake (£5) = £35. But if winning distances had made up at just 67 lengths, the same bet would have lost you 8 times your stake (67 - 75 = -8) x your stake (£5) = -£40.

What is an individual race index? 

One of the most popular horse racing spread betting markets is the race index, where points are awarded to horses based on where they finish in an individual race.

The points structure varies according to how many runners there are in a race - for contests with 11 or fewer runners, points are awarded as follows: 1st = 50pts, 2nd = 25pts, 3rd = 10pts, any other place = 0pts. Races with 12 or more horses taking part score as follows: 1st = 50pts, 2nd = 30pts, 3rd = 20pts, 4th = 10pts, any other place = 0pts.

This market gives you the opportunity to back or oppose a horse, something which a traditional fixed-odds betting market does not offer.

Sporting Index might price up Bobs Worth at 13-16 points on the Race 50 Index. If you had fancied him to do well, you might buy at 16 for let’s say £2. If Bobs Worth went on to win the race he would be awarded 50pts. So, had you gone high at 16 you would have won 34 times your stake (50 - 16 = 34) x your stake (£2) = £68.

However, if Bobs Worth had finished out of the frame you would have been awarded 0pts and the same bet would have lost you 16 times your stake (0 - 16 =-16) x your stake (£2) = -£32.

What are match bets?

This is a horse racing spread bet which concentrates on only two horses in a race, making the rest of the field irrelevant for the purposes of this bet.

Sporting Index picks two horses in a race and predicts what the distance will be between them when they cross the line. If you think one horse will beat another, then you can place a bet on this market and it doesn’t matter where in the field they finish - you are simply betting on the performance of one relative to the other. The maximum distance in a match bet on the Flat is 12 lengths, and 15 lengths over jumps. If only one horse finishes then maximum distance rules will apply.

We might pit Bobs Worth against Sir Des Champs in a match bet, with Bobs Worth favourite to finish ahead of Sir Des Champs by between 1-2 lengths.

If you thought Bobs Worth was likely to beat his rival you might buy him versus Sir Des Champs for £10 per length.

If Bobs Worth came home 7 lengths in front of Sir Des Champs and you had you gone high on the former at 2 lengths, then you would have made 5 times your stake (7 - 2 = 5) x your stake (£10) = £50.

However, if Sir Des Champs had finished 5 lengths in front of Bobs Worth, the same bet would have lost you 7 times your stake (5 lengths plus the 2 lengths you bought at): -5 - 2 = -7 x £10 = £70.

Note that it does not matter where the horses finish in the context of the race - it is simply the distance between them at the finish that counts.

What is the Favourites Index?

This horse racing spread betting market allows you to place a bet on how the favourites will perform at a particular meeting. In this market a favourite is awarded 25pts for winning, 10pts for finishing second, 5pts for third and 0pts for any other place. In the event of a race starting with joint-favourites, Sporting Index takes the favourite as being the horse with the lower race card number.

Here’s an example. At a Newbury jumps card consisting of six races, our favourites prediction might be 61-65 points. If you had a good look at the form and decided that the favourites should perform better than we predicted, you might bet higher (buy) at 65 for a stake of £3.

At the end of the meeting, three favourites had won (25 x 3 = 75), one came second (10) and the other two were unplaced, so the make-up was 85. So, had you bought at 65 you would have won 20 times your stake: (85 - 65 = 20) x your stake (£3) = £60. But, if the favourites index had made up at only 50pts, the same bet would have lost you 15 times your stake: (50 - 65 = -15) x your stake (£3) = -£45.

What is the Racing Post Favourites Index?

This horse racing spread betting market is based on the same principle as the Favourites Index, but instead the favourites are those printed first in the betting section below each race card in the Racing Post (i.e. the horses the Racing Post betting forecast predicts will start favourite). These horses are awarded points as follows: 1st = 25pts, 2nd = 10pts, 3rd = 5pts, any other place = 0pts. If there are joint-favourites the first named horse in the Racing Post is deemed to be the favourite.

Let’s see an example. In a race meeting at Lingfield, Sporting Index’s opening prediction for Racing Post Favourites might be 62-66. If you studied the Racing Post and believed their favourites had a better chance than we predicted, you would bet high (buy) at 66 for let’s say £3.

In the end two of the Racing Post favourites won, but none of the others made the frame. So, on the basis of our scoring system, the market made up at 50. Had you gone high at 66 you would have lost 16 times your stake: (50 - 66 = -16) x your stake (£3) = -£48. However, if the Racing Post favourites index had resulted in 80 points, the same bet would have won you 14 times your stake: (80 - 66 = 14) x your stake (£3) = £42.

What is a Jockey Index?

Most horse racing punters have their favourite jockeys, so this is a popular horse racing spread betting market.

 on how an individual jockey will perform. This is similar to the favourites markets with 25pts awarded for a winning ride, 10pts for a second, 5pts for a third and 0pts for any other place. If the jockey on whom the market is based on does not ride his intended mount in a race, but the horse still runs, then the horse's finishing position still counts as if it had been ridden by the named jockey.

Here's an example. At a meeting at Newmarket, Richard Hughes has six rides. We might predict that he will get between 45-49 points based on the scoring system above.

If you viewed his rides as particularly strong and believed he might have a couple of winners with a good chance of others finishing, in the frame you would buy (bet high) at 49 for say £3 per point.

Here are the results of Hughes’ six rides:

Race 1 1st (25pts)

Race 2 Unplaced (0pts)

Race 3 3rd (5pts)

Race 4 1st (25pts)

Race 5 Unplaced (0pts)

Race 6 2nd (10pts)

Total = 65pts

With these results had you gone high at 49 you would have won 16 times your stake: (65 - 49 = 16) x your stake (£3) = £48. But, if Richard Hughes had only managed one winner and a second, with the other four failing to finish in the top three, the make-up would be 35 points which, with the same bet, would have lost you 14 times you stake: (35 - 49 = -14) x your stake (£3) = -£42.

Click here to see all of our horse racing spread betting markets.

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