The Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Arab Countries for 2021
Welcome to the ultimate guide to horse racing betting in the Middle East & North Africa. We’ve reviewed hundreds of bookmakers to bring you a list of the best horse racing betting sites. In addition, this page contains a step-by-step guide on how to bet on a horse race, information on how to read and calculate horse racing odds, details on different bets, and much more. Ready to get started?
The Best Horse Racing Betting Sites
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Features of the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites
With so many horse racing betting websites to choose from, we understand that finding your ideal site can be difficult. To point you in the right direction, we have reviewed hundreds of bookmakers and compiled a list of your best options above. These sites have many common features, including:
Best Odds Guaranteed
The best horse racing betting sites offer Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG). This allows you to accept early odds on a horse and benefit from a bigger payout if the starting price (the horse’s odds when a race begins) is greater than the odds you accepted at an earlier time.
For instance, let’s say you bet on a horse at odds of 4.00 on the morning of a race. Should the horse’s odds drift to 6.00 when the race begins, online bookmakers with BOG will pay you at 6.00 even though you initially accepted odds of 4.00. You always receive the best price.
Horse Racing Coverage
We only recommend horse racing sites that cover races from all corners of the globe. You should find odds for prestigious races such as the Saudi Cup, Dubai World Cup, Kentucky Derby, and Pegasus World Cup. There are always plenty of betting opportunities for races in the UK and Ireland, but you should also be able to bet on horse races in countries such as Australia, France, and Hong Kong.
Free Bets and Bonuses
Bookmakers roll out the red carpet for new customers with free bets and bonuses. You don’t have to accept a bonus, but it can be a great way to boost your balance and bet on more races.
A free bet is a small amount of cash (usually $10-$25) credited to your account, allowing you to bet and win real money. Some bookmakers issue free bets for creating an account, while others promise a free bet should your first bet lose. You should always read the terms and conditions because free bets often have max win rules, restricting how much you can win.
Horse racing betting sites also offer deposit bonuses. Bookmakers boost your balance by matching a percentage of your first deposit. A typical deposit bonus would read 100% up to $100. So, if you deposit $50, the bookmaker will match it with $50 in bonus funds, giving you a balance of $100. You must meet wagering requirements before you can withdraw any bonus funds. If the wagering requirements are 25x your deposit amount, you must bet a total of $1,250 before bonus funds can be withdrawn. The calculation is easy: 25 (wagering requirement) x 50 (deposit amount) = 1,250 (total amount you must bet).
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the track – the best horse racing betting sites offer a live streaming service. Unlike other sports such as football and basketball, you must bet on a horse to watch a race on a bookmaker’s own live stream. Some bookmakers require a minimum bet of $0.50, while others only allow you to watch races if you bet $1 or more. High definition (HD) streams begin as soon as horses make their way to the stalls.
How to Bet on a Horse in Five Easy Steps
Looking to bet on a horse race for the first time? Don’t worry, the process couldn’t be any easier.
Pick one of our recommended horse racing betting sites and visit the site via our link.
Click the “Register” button to create an account. Fill out the information requested, such as your name, address, date of birth, and email address. Once you submit your details, check your inbox for an email from the betting site and click the verification link.
The next step is funding your account. Navigate to the banking section and select your preferred deposit method. Options will include e-wallets and prepaid cards. Enter an amount and follow the onscreen instructions to make your deposit.
Navigate to the horse racing section and select a racecourse. You will be presented with a list of scheduled races. Click on a race to view all the horses participating in the race.
Add a selection to your betting slip by clicking on the odds beside the horse you want to bet on. Next, enter how much you want to bet and click “confirm” to place your bet.
How to Read and Calculate Horse Racing Odds
Now that you know how to bet on a horse race online, it’s time to learn how to read and calculate horse racing odds. This won’t be anything new to the experienced bettors amongst you, but we hope it will help those of you who want to bet on a horse race for the first time.
Betting odds represent the likelihood of a horse winning a race. Bookmakers trust horse racing experts to price each race correctly. They spend hours watching race footage and analysing statistics to ensure each horse’s odds reflect its chance of winning. Online betting sites allow you to switch between betting odds formats such as decimal and fractional.
We recommend decimal odds for beginners because you can calculate how much money you get if your bet wins. You multiply your stake by the decimal number. This figure is how much you will receive, including your original stake.
Example: A winning $10 bet on a horse at odds of 5.00 would equal a return of $50 (you win $40 and get your $10 stake back).
Fractional odds comprise two numbers separated by a slash. Unlike decimal odds which incorporate your original stake (the amount of money placed on a bet) into your return, fractional odds show how much money you will win compared to your stake. The number on the right is how much you must stake to win the number on the left.
Example: A winning $10 bet on a horse at odds of 5/1 would equal a return of $60 (you win $50 and get your $10 stake back).
Are Bigger or Smaller Numbers Better?
The smaller the number, the more likely it is that a horse will win. You may hear the term “odds-on favourite” when you bet on horse racing. This relates to a horse priced at less than even money (EVS or 2.00), such as 1.25 or 1.60.
In contrast, bigger numbers mean a horse is less likely to win. However, the upside is that you could win a lot of money if the horse exceeds expectations and races home ahead of the competition. For instance, a winning $10 bet on a horse at odds of 40.00 would return $400. Upsets happen at racecourses around the world every day, but don’t rely on longshots storming home to profit from betting on horse racing.
Different Horse Racing Bets Explained
Want to bet on the favourite? How about a longshot that may surprise the field and place? Perhaps you want to be a little more ambitious and bet on multiple horses in several races? All these options are possible at our recommended horse racing betting sites.
Before we explain how different horse racing bets work, let’s discuss the difference between win and each way betting. This is something many beginners overlook when they start betting on horses, but it’s important if you want to profit from races.
If you’re new to betting, we recommend starting with single bets on horses to win a certain race. You are betting on a horse to finish the race in first place. If the horse is first past the post, you win your bet. If the horse doesn’t win, you lose your stake. Straightforward, right?
Example: You bet $100 on a horse to win at odds of 3.00. If the horse wins, you receive $300 ($200 in winnings plus your $100 stake). If any other horse wins, you lose your $100.
Written as EW or E/W at betting sites, each way bets comprise two parts: a win bet and a place bet. This means you must bet an amount on both the win and the place, with each part of your bet costing an equal amount. For instance, a $10 bet on the win must be matched with a $10 bet on the place, meaning a total cost of $20.
The number of places paid depends on the number of horses in the race, but it’s usually three or four. Odds paid for the place part of each way bets differ between betting sites, but they are often a fraction (1/2 to 1/5) of the win odds.
Calculating place odds is easy. Simply follow these three steps, assuming you are betting on a horse priced at 13.00 with place odds of 1/5:
- Deduct your stake from the odds: 13.00 – 1 = 12.00
- Divide by the place odds: 12.00 / 5 (place odds) = 2.40
- Add your stake to the value: 2.40 + 1 = 3.40
Example: You bet $10 each way ($20 total) on a horse at odds of 13.00. The bookmaker is paying place odds of 1/5 for the race.
Win: If the horse wins, you receive $164. The win portion pays $130 ($10 x 13.00), while the place portion pays $34 ($10 x 3.40). Profit = $144.
Place: If the horse finishes second or third, you receive $34. The win portion pays $0, while the place portion pays $34 ($10 x 3.40). Profit = $14.
Now that you know the difference between win and each way bets, let’s discuss some adventurous bets you can place at our recommended horse racing betting sites.
If you’ve ever seen horse racing betting tips, you’re bound to have seen the term ‘Daily Double’. This is when tipsters recommend two horses to win two races in a single bet. The advantage of a double bet over two singles is that you will win more money. For instance, a $10 double on Horse A and Horse B (both priced at 2.00) will return $40 if both horses win their races. This equals a profit of $30.
If you bet $10 on both horses as singles ($10 x 2), your return for each race would be $20. Your return would be $40, but your profit would only be $20 because you had to bet double the amount.
A Trixie bet requires you to bet on three horses in three races. It involves four bets: three doubles and one treble. A $1 Trixie will cost you $4 ($1 for each of the three doubles and an additional $1 covering the treble). A $1 each way Trixie costs $8. As a Trixie bet does not include singles, at least two of your selections must win (or place) to secure a return. This makes a Trixie bet far more attractive than a treble, as you can still profit even if one horse fails to win or place.
Lucky 15s require you to bet on four horses in four races. It’s one of the most popular bets amongst horse racing enthusiasts because many bookmakers boost winnings with a 10-20% bonus when all four selections win. As its name suggests, a Lucky 15 comprises 15 bets: four singles, six doubles, four trebles, and one fourfold accumulator. A $1 Lucky 15 costs $15 (four $1 singles, six $1 doubles, four $1 trebles, and one $1 fourfold). A $1 each way Lucky 15 costs $30. One horse must win or place to guarantee a return.
A Yankee is a popular bet that involves 11 betting combinations: six doubles, four trebles, and one four-fold accumulator. A $1 Yankee costs $11 (six $1 doubles, four $1 trebles, and one $1 fourfold). A $1 each way Yankee costs $22. You must bet on four horses in four different races. As there are no singles, at least two selections must win for you to receive a payout. Although a Yankee is cheaper than a Lucky 15, singles and the opportunity to win a bonus make Lucky 15s more popular.
Also known as a Super Yankee, a Canadian is a five-horse bet that covers 26 betting combinations: 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five fourfold accumulators, and one fivefold accumulator. It’s a Yankee, but with five horses. A $1 Canadian costs $26 (ten $1 doubles, ten $1 trebles, five $1 fourfolds, and one $1 fivefold). A $1 each way Canadian costs $52. At least two of your selections must win or place to guarantee a return.
A Lucky 31 is another horse racing bet that requires you to bet on five horses in five races. It’s like a Super Yankee, but it includes five single bets. As its name suggests, a Lucky 31 involves 31 betting combinations: five singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five four-fold accumulators, and one five-fold accumulator. A $1 Lucky 31 costs $31 (five $1 singles, ten $1 doubles, ten $1 trebles, five $1 fourfolds, and one $1 fivefold). A $1 each way Lucky 31 costs $62. One selection must win or place for a return.
Factors to Consider Before Betting on a Horse Race
You wouldn’t believe how many beginners bet on a horse because of its number or the jockey’s colours. It might work some of the time, but this kind of betting strategy is a sure-fire way to burn cash. Instead, you should be aware of the main factors that can influence the outcome of a race.
The best horse racing betting sites provide detailed form guides for each race. You should see a number listed beside each horse’s name, such as 75231. This number shows that the horse won its last race, finished third in its previous race, and second in the one before that. You should consider form alongside other factors such as the strength of the field and race conditions before betting on a horse.
Days Since Last Race
Horse racing experts suggest that the sweet spot for time between races is 30-60 days. Avoid betting on a horse that hasn’t run for an extended period because it may need one or two races to return to its winning ways. Likewise, a horse turning around in seven days may be too fatigued to put in a winning performance. Check days since last race statistics before putting your money down.
Jockey and Trainer Stats
You can back big-name jockeys and trainers such as Frankie Dettori and Satish Seemar, although analysing the other horses in the race may turn up a better option. If a horse hasn’t been successful at a certain track, it’s probably best to put your money elsewhere.
You should also check how other horses these jockeys and trainers have ridden and trained have performed in recent races. Detailed statistics are available on websites such as Racingpost.com and TimeForm.com. If other horses in the stable have failed to impress, this may imply the stable is currently out of form.
Direction of the Track
Meydan Racecourse and King Abdulaziz Racetrack are both left-handed oval tracks, but not every race runs in this direction. Some racecourses – such as Happy Valley in Hong Kong and Ascot in the UK – are right-handed. If a horse has only run on left-handed tracks, it may struggle to adjust to those that are right-handed.
Imagine betting on a horse racing at a right-handed track for the first time, while knowing that all the other horses in the race have previously won at left-handed tracks. You will be pinning your hopes on the horse navigating the right-handed turn without any issues.
You can always expect a dry dirt track when you bet on horse races in Saudi Arabia and UAE. Blue skies and warm weather are the norm, resulting in fast race conditions. This isn’t the case in the UK, where rain is never far away. Heavy rain can turn a track soft and wet, suiting some horses more than others. The best horse racing betting sites state the going (the condition of the track, measured by the amount of moisture in the ground) for each race as fast, good, dead, slow, or heavy.
Organisers determine which stall each horse must start the race from on race day. Horses with a low draw begin in stall one, two, or three, while horses with a high draw are further away from the rails (a fence which marks the perimeter of the racetrack). Jockeys draw their own conclusion about stall positions, which influences their tactics and affects the outcome of a race.
Sprint races favour an outside stall position because horses starting in these stalls can approach the turn at a better angle. Longer races favour inside stall positions because horses drawn wider will ultimately run a further distance over the course of a race.
Bet on the World’s Biggest Flat Races
Middle Eastern countries such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia have become powerhouses in the horse racing industry. Tremendous investments in state-of-the-art facilities continue to pay off by attracting elite trainers and jockeys to annual events. Record-breaking purses also help, of course.
Let’s discuss two of the biggest flat races held in the Middle East – the Saudi Cup and Dubai World Cup – and prestigious American races such as the Pegasus World Cup and Kentucky Derby.
The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) took the horse racing industry by surprise in 2019 by announcing plans to host the world’s richest horse race. The first Saudi Cup took place at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh on 29 February 2020. Boasting a record-breaking purse of $20 million and promising $10 million to the winner, the Saudi Cup attracted jockeys and trainers from all corners of the globe.
Horse racing betting sites offered odds on all 14 entries. Ridden by Luis Saez, American horse Maximum Security galloped around the 1,800-metre dirt track to finish three-quarters of a length ahead of Midnight Bisou. However, Maximum Security’s trainer, Jason Servis, took the limelight after being charged with administering performance-enhancing drugs.
Dubai World Cup
Inaugurated in 1996, the invitation-only Dubai World Cup is the last race of Dubai World Cup night. Created by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the billionaire ruler of Dubai and owner of Darley Stud and Godolphin Racing, the Dubai World Cup takes place on the last Saturday in March. The annual Group 1 flat race takes place at Meydan Racecourse and boasts a $12 million purse.
United States Racing Hall of Fame inductee Cigar won the first Dubai World Cup. Since then, top Thoroughbreds such as Dubai Millennium (2000), Captain Steve (2001), Animal Kingdom (2013), and Prince Bishop (2015) have won the prestigious 2,000-metre race. Godolphin’s Irish-bred Thunder Snow recently became the only two-time winner of the Dubai World Cup (2018 and 2019).
Pegasus World Cup
The inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes became the richest horse race in the world in 2017, boasting a purse of $12 million. The purse increased to $18 million in 2018 before dropping to $9 million in 2019 and $3 million in 2020. The entry fee has also changed during this time. Entries cost $1 million in 2017 and 2018. Entry fees were further reduced to $500k in 2019, and entry was free in 2020.
Despite the reduction in prize money, many of the world’s leading jockeys and trainers enjoy competing in the race. The Florida sun may have something to do with this, as the Grade 1 race runs over nine furlongs at Gulfstream Park. American trainer Bob Baffert trained two of the four winners (Arrogate in 2017 and Mucho Gusto in 2020). Gun Runner (2018) and City of Light (2019) have also won the race.
Held on the dirt track at Churchill Downs since its inaugural running in 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the first leg of racing’s Triple Crown. Known as the ‘most exciting two minutes in sports’, the 10-furlong race is almost always run on the first Saturday in May. A purse of $3 million may not seem impressive when compared to the other races we’ve discussed, but the prestigious race has run uninterrupted since 1875.
Secretariat, considered the greatest racehorse of all time by many experts, set a record time of 1:59.40 to win the race in 1973. As the race is only open to three-year-olds, no horse has won the Kentucky Derby twice. However, Ben A. Jones and Bob Baffert have both trained six winners each. Jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack have won the race five times each, while owner Calumet Farm boasts eight wins.
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