Guide to Horse Racing betting in Ireland

Guide to Horse Racing betting in Ireland

Nowhere in the world is horse racing seen to its very best as in the Republic of Ireland. The Emerald Isle has a disproportionately large number of racecourses in relation to the relatively sparse population and meetings here are extremely well attended. Throughout the season, there are a great many race meetings both large and small in all areas of the country and the biggest of these is the Irish Grand National which takes place at Fairyhouse in April annually. This is a massive event for Irish betting sites and punters are treated to some exclusive offers throughout the meeting.

Irish Society Links

With horse racing intricately linked with Irish society and culture, there are a great many well-attended race meetings throughout the year. Both Flat racing and National Hunt are popular here with all the major Irish bookmakers offering a wealth of betting markets across both types. The Flat season takes place between mid-March and mid-November while National Hunt is run throughout the year, the main season taking place between November and April. 

With 26 racecourses dotted up and down the country, the Republic of Ireland has more courses per head of population than any other country on earth and between them, these venues provide around 350 race meetings and over 2,000 races each year. The Punchestown Festival and Galway Races each attract crowds of over 100,000 and the Irish betting sites always gear themselves up for these big events with some notable bonus offers and enhanced places for the bigger races at these meetings.

Big Meetings

Some of the best racehorses in the world can be seen competing at some of the bigger races in the Republic of Ireland, while the Irish contingent is generally large at the big UK race events such as the Cheltenham Festival in March and the Grand National in April. This is a testament to the undoubted quality of Irish stables and the more successful Irish trainers have many accolades to their names.

When betting on Irish racing, you must choose a bookmaker that offers the best range of betting markets on horse racing as well as the Best Odds Guaranteed.

BOG Bookies

Most of the large bookmakers operating in Ireland will offer Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse races and this will ensure that you always get the very best price for your chosen wager. Similarly, the main bookmakers will generally offer similar betting odds for the major races although some will have a greater range of betting markets. If you generally place a Winner or Each-Way bet, then all of the main bookmakers will meet your needs adequately. 

Most of the main bookmakers will offer live streaming when you have a funded betting account or when you have placed a bet on a particular race. This will enable you to keep track of the action and where possible, place bets in-running when the bookmaker offers this particular option. 

Welcome Offers

When registering with a new bookmaker for the first time, you will be offered some sort of welcome bonus which generally takes the form of a free bet or matched deposit bonus. These are an excellent way to get started with any bookmaker and they can generally be used on most racing betting markets. The rule is that once you have made an initial deposit into your new bookmaker account, you will be given a bonus which can vary between betting operators. You will need to deposit and wager a minimum amount – say for example €10 – before the bonus will be released and some betting operators offer up to €50 in free bets once your initial bet has been settled. These free bets cannot simply be cashed in, they must be used as a free bet on any betting market offered by the bookmaker in question.

Some bookmakers will match the amount of your initial deposit with a bonus of the same amount up to a maximum predetermined value, for example ‘matched deposit bonus up to €50’ while others will offer a risk-free bet where any losing wagers up to a certain amount will be refunded on the first day of your account being opened. Again, these are great ways to get started with any online bookmaker but always remember that these Irish free bets are subject to terms and conditions as well as wagering requirements.

Regulation Matters

All of the major online bookmakers are regulated to operate in the Republic of Ireland and you must always use these betting operators. There are a great many bookmakers around and the number increases each year, however always use tried and trusted operators at all times. The larger betting operators will provide the punter with horse racing markets from further afield such as France, the USA, and even Australia, however, these aren’t subject to Best Odds Guaranteed.

It is also worth considering which online bookmakers offer the best each-way terms for the larger racing events in the UK and Ireland. For the Aintree Grand National, many betting operators offer five or even six places on each-way bets for new and existing customers, while price boosts are also common on many larger meetings up and down the country. Many betting firms offer a host of promotions to existing customers as well as VIP programmes for regular customers and these are a great way to add value to your horse racing bets.


With more and more online bookmakers arriving on the scene each year, the best advice is to choose carefully and do your homework before joining any betting operator. There are a great many welcome bonuses on offer and generally, these can be used on numerous horse racing markets. You can decide to take advantage of as many of these promotions as you wish although you will need to meet the wagering requirements of each one before you can withdraw any winnings made through them. Most importantly of all, Irish racing is amongst the very best in the world so enjoy your horse racing betting and always wager what you can afford to lose. 

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