National Hunt Betting Guide
Whether you’re placing a bet at Cheltenham, Kempton or Aintree, the National Hunt Season is full of top-class racing. Not only do we have the main meetings at Bet UK, we also have daily horse racing betting from across the UK and Ireland, so you’ll never miss a hurdle or chase race.
Normally National Hunt racing does run throughout the entire UK horse racing calendar. However, the main events happen between October and April, where the biggest horses in jumps racing will feature in Grade 1 handicaps.
Before placing a bet on any National Hunt Horse racing at Bet UK, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of National Hunt Racing. So, whether you’re looking for a win, place or each way, we’ve got you covered.
In our National Hunt Guide, we’ll talk you through all of the betting options and give you some insight into how to select a horse that can handle the distance and going conditions.
Horse Racing Bets at Bet UK?
A simple bet; it basically means you’re betting on a horse to finish in first place.
As well as betting on a horse to win a race, punters can place a bet on a horse to finish either second or third in a race.
This option provides punters with two separate bets - one to win and one to place. Normally the place part of the bet is settled on the first three horses to finish; however, this can vary depending on the number of horses in the race and whether the race is a handicap.
Non-Handicap Races 2-4 Runners pays on win only 5-7 Runners pay on the first and second with a ¼ of the odds 8 or more runners will pay out on first, second and third with a ⅕ of the odds
Handicap Races 2-4 Runners pays on win only 5-7 Runners will pay on the first and second and offer ¼ of the odds 8-11 Runners on the first, second or third places with a ¼ of the odds 12-15 Runners on first, second and third with a ¼ of the odds 16+ Runners pays on the first four to pass the post with a ¼ of the odds
If you want to pick more than one horse in a race, then a forecast could be the best option for you. Within this bet, you will select a horse who will finish in first and second place, and the bet will only pay out if that scenario occurs.
This bet is similar to a forecast but involves three horses, and the bettor must select them to finish correctly in first, second and third for the bet to pay out.
What races will horses feature in during the National Hunt Season?
Bumpers are National Hunt flat races that feature zero obstacles. Normally for younger horses who have no experience over hurdles or fences, they will make their debuts in these races in preparation for the next season.
Hurdles are the smallest of the National Hunt obstacles. These are where horses will progress to after bumper races.
Chase fences are the larger obstacles in National Hunt racing. These steeplechase fences require more skill to jump than hurdles, and horses can often fall if they misjudge the size of the fence.
What are novice National Hunt races?
These types of races are specifically for horses who are new to the National Hunt Racing. Common over hurdles and chase fences, multiple races can be seen throughout the season.
What are Handicap races?
Like those seen in the flat season, handicap races are the most common in National Hunt Racing. Each horse in these races will carry different weights depending on its most recent performances.
What are Conditions races?
Unlike handicaps, every horse involved in a conditions race will carry the same weight regardless of their form.
What are the Different Grades of Races Used in National Hunt Racing?
Like other UK horse racing, many of the races across the National Hunt Season will have classifications ranging from Grade 1, which are the biggest races on the calendar, to Grade 2, Grade 3, down to listed races, handicaps and then bumpers. Races will also be given a class of 1-7, with Grade 1-3 contests falling under class 1.
What are the key National Hunt Racing Days
Throughout the National Hunt Season, there are key meetings on which punters will potentially place bets. These are the:
Betfair Chase King George VI Chase at Kempton Cheltenham Festival, which features the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup Aintree Festival, which includes the Grand National
What are the most common types of going in National Hunt Racing?
Due to main National Hunt races happening in the winter months, the going conditions for the races are Good to Soft (good ground holding water), Soft (common in the jumps season, the ground holds more moisture) and Heavy (very wet and can be difficult to run on). In Ireland, Yielding is the equivalent of good to soft.
National Hunt Horses to Watch in 2021/22
Given her form throughout the 2020/21 season, it's hard to ignore Honeysuckle. The winner of Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown and the Punchestown Champions Hurdle, she looks set to keep her unbeaten run intact this season. We expect to see her in Ireland at some point in November, so keep your eyes on the racecards.
A half brother to Tornado Flyer and with bloodlines to Hurricane Fly, it’s hard to ignore the pedigree of Famoso. Trained by Paul Nicholls, it looks as though he’ll go out over distances of just over 2 miles and given the fact he’s had an extra year to mature, we think he’ll soon go beyond his 111 rating.
Trained by Bet UK ambassador Neil Mulholland, Exelerator Express was victorious in four of his seven outings in 2021 and has also placed in two of those races. He’s expected to head to Cheltenham Festival later in the season with the Arkle the aim.
Trained by Evan Williams, this six-year-old ran well last season and finished the campaign with a rating of 137 as a novice chaser. He’ll most likely head to somewhere like Chepstow or Wetherby for his first start of the season, as he seems to favour soft or heavy ground. He’s still a novice when it comes to chasing so it may take a race for him to find his feet, but given that he finished second behind Chantry House in his last race, we expect to see good things.