Horse racing has a lengthy and culturally rich history, and has been practised since ancient times. The sport itself has remained relatively unchanged since its inception, but has seen developments in the equipment used for both horse and rider.
In the standard variation of horse racing, two horses race a straight or oval track to be the winner with the best time. Other variations of the sport see obstacles, as well as different types of tracks, and even endurance races. Horse racing always offers the best high-action thrills, and remains one of the most popular sports to place wagers on.
Types of Bets for Horse Racing
There are three main wagers which can be placed on horse racing, namely show, place or win, as well as a large number of variations. Each type of bet offers a wide range of odds, and if you are familiar with horse racing, you’ll know which horses are favoured to win. If you’re a first timer, most tracks offer racing forms which detail past performances of all the horses racing, as well as handy hints and tips at the best online sports betting sites.
With a show bet the selected horse must place in 1st, 2nd or 3rd position in order for the player to be successful, and generally offers a very good chance of winning. To be fruitful with a place bet, the selected horse must come in 1st or 2nd place, and offers better payoffs than with a simple show bet. The win bet is fairly self-explanatory, and the selected horse must come in 1st place for you to be successful with this betting form. Each horse has its own set of win odds, which will determine how lucrative the win could be.
Other forms of betting on horse racing include the quinella, exacta and trifecta which are trickier, but are also exhilarating.
Horse Racing Variations
Horse racing is practised in almost every country worldwide, and with a sport as popular as this, of course variations are going to crop up along the way. There are 4 main types of horse racing known as flat, jump, harness and endurance, and each variation offers their own betting opportunities.
The form most people are familiar with is the flat, which sees two or more horses race a straight or oval track, while the jump variation (also known as Steeplechasing) sees horses race along an obstacle course.
Harness racing is the most different from the rest, as the rider is pulled around the track while sitting in a two-wheeled cart known as a ‘sulky’, while endurance racing is the most extreme of the lot, in which horses race distances of between 40 and 160 kilometres cross country.
History of Horse Racing
Horse racing has been practised since the ancient times of the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, and is also deeply embedded in mythology.
Chariot racing was one of the most popular sports in Ancient Rome, and both mounted and chariot racing were practised at the Greek Olympics by 648 BC. By the 18th century thoroughbred racing was extremely popular among the British elite, which earned the sport the moniker of the ‘Sport of Kings’.
In modern times, horse racing is a profession rather than a hobby, and many developments have taken place, even though the game mechanics themselves remain relatively untouched.