How to Bet on Turf Racing

Some of the most lucrative races of the horse racing season are run on turf. Understanding the key differences between the surfaces that horses race on is imperative before making a wager, as there are crucial differences that must be considered depending on whether you’re betting on a race taking place on dirt compared to a race taking place on the turf.

What Is Turf Racing?

Simply put, turf racing is run on a different surface compared to the big Triple Crown races in the United States. In North America, only between 10-20% of races are run on turf, but it is a prominent surface around the world, with huge races in the United Kingdom, Australia, and France taking place on the surface.


Races on turf are renowned for being more competitive than the ones taking place on dirt, as there is an increased chance that higher-priced selections could have big runs and claim lucrative wins for gamblers. We shall explore some of the essential differences between dirt and turf below.

What Are The Biggest Differences?

The most crucial difference between turf and dirt races is that they are more tactical affairs. Turf races are all about finding the right time to strike, which means finding the best position during the running, which will give a clear path to the finishing line. For that reason, the importance of the jockey is increased, which means it is more important to look at the jockey on board than the speed figures, which are prominent research material for dirt racing.


The speed figures for turf racing are more inconsistent and shouldn’t be high on the important factors to consider. More importantly, are the physical attributes of a horse when it comes to turf racing. Horses will need more endurance than the horses on dirt, as they will need to travel at a good speed before then having the extra pace towards the line.


How To Bet On Turf Racing


When it comes to betting on turf racing, the markets are the same. That would be easy to understand for those experienced gamblers, but it is always helpful to go over the markets that are available should you be looking to place a bet.

Win Betting

The most prominent market that you can place a wager on is the win market. Unlike other markets, you will simply be placing a stake on the horse that you think will win the race. If your selection wins the race, then you’re given the returns. If your horse doesn’t win, then the stake is lost.

Each-Way Betting

The field sizes when it comes to turf racing can often be more extensive, especially if you’re betting on the National Hunt racing in the United Kingdom. That means each-way betting is more popular. For this market, you will be placing a stake on the win, as well as the place.


That means that you will be covered on both markets, with the stake being doubled. For instance, if you put $5 each-way on a selection, then the total stake that you’re betting will be $10. Returns will be awarded should your selection finish first or in any of the place positions offered by the sportsbook.

Exacta/Trifecta Betting

Like dirt racing, the most difficult betting markets that you can wager on are the Exacta and Trifecta markets. You will need to correctly predict the first two horses past the post in the correct order in the Exacta betting market. Meanwhile, the Trifecta market will see gamblers have to correctly predict the first three in the race in the correct finishing order.

Tips For Betting On Turf Racing

Before making a bet on turf racing, there are a number of factors that should be considered. Research is an important part of betting on all races, but there are more questions that you should ask before betting on turf races. Some of the questions that you should ask before making a bet include:


  • Has the horse run on turf in the past?

  • Has the horse won on turf in the past?

  • What distance has the horse ran over in the past?

  • Who will be riding the horse?


Ideally, when you’re making a bet on the turf, you will be looking to find a horse that has winning turf experience. Furthermore, the selection should also have experience over the distance and should be ridden by a jockey with proven winners on turf.

Bigger Turf Races To Bet On

Turf racing takes place throughout the year, but like dirt racing, some races are bigger than others. Below, you will find the biggest turf races that take place annually.


  1. Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1)

  2. Dubai Sheema Classic (Group 1)

  3. Pegasus World Cup Turf Stakes (Grade 1)

  4. The Everest

  5. Melbourne Cup (Group 1)

  6. Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Group 1)

  7. The Grand National (Grade 3)

  8. Epsom Derby (Group 1)