The Canadians love their horse racing and with many great meetings held up and down the country, the sport is a huge draw for spectators. The betting community also gets heavily involved in Canadian horse racing and there is growing interest in the sport right across north America.
With betting laws starting to be relaxed across the border in the USA, that interest is starting to increase at a rapid rate, so if you’ve been considering horse racing betting, our guide is here to help.
It is, firstly, important to note that while there are some restrictions on betting within the country, it is legal to stake on horse racing in Canada. Operators have to pass a number of regulations to trade here and you should check details on licensing before you commit to signing up.
For customers who want to get involved in horse racing betting Canada puts down certain rules. There is no live betting and rather than place single bets on a race, there has to be a parlay bet involving two or more selections. Having understood those basics, we’ll now tackle the questions of how to bet on horse racing and who to bet with.
Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in Canada
Not every sportsbook in the world is open to Canadian customers but just because a company trades here, it doesn’t mean that you should automatically sign up with them. Here are some of our best recommendations for online horse betting in Canada.
They describe themselves as Canada’s Online Sportsbook so we should certainly take a close look at Sports Interaction. They are one of just a few outlets to have passed rigorous tests and to provide sports betting from within Canada but what else do they have to offer?
It all starts off very positively with a generous welcome deal which currently provides a bonus of up to $100 CAD on first deposit. Offers and promotions continue while Sports Interaction back them up with competitive odds and one of the best selections of horse race betting markets around. Loyalty isn’t everything but Canadian players can be proud to get behind one of their own here.
Don’t let the fact that bet365 are mainly known for live betting put you off. If you can’t access the in play markets, it really doesn’t matter because this is one of the best all round sportsbooks online today.
Ante post horse betting prices are exceptionally strong and this company always likes to post their odds nice and early. Bet365 also have a wide coverage of horse racing meetings so you will find all of the big events that we’ll list later in this preview, along with some smaller races from around the world. For a combination of choice and value, bet365 are tough to beat.
Most punters who like betting on horse racing will recommend 888Sport as a preferred outlet. One again, this is a sportsbook who like to match competitive odds with a great range of markets but where 888 score particularly highly is on their list of offers and promotions.
There’s always a deal to be had at 888Sport and many of those promos can be attached to the horse racing markets. In summary, the everyday value is here but it can get a serious boost from various bonuses along the way.
Top Horse Racing Betting Events
There’s lots of Canada horse racing to enjoy throughout the year while the sport also offers great betting opportunities from around the world. Here are some of the best races to look out for:
Rest of the World
We only have to head across the border in order to find one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. The Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville each year and this is known in the USA as the ‘most exciting two minutes in sports’.
The United States also gives us the Breeders’ Cup – a two day festival consisting of no fewer than 14 Group One races and there’s plenty more to enjoy from other parts of the world. The UK is a hub of horse racing betting and some of the most historic events of all originated here. Among the best of those are the Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot, The Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
For really big prize money, Australia is the place to be as the Melbourne Cup comes along as the richest two mile handicap in the world.
Horse racing in Canada may not be able to match that kind of prize money but the action on the track here is no less exciting. Race fans can enjoy top class jumping and flat races throughout the year and there are lots of horse race betting opportunities to take advantage of.
We’ll start with what’s known as the Canadian Triple Crown: This is a series of three Canadian horse racing events which are specifically aimed at three year old horses that are foaled in the country. The races in question are the Queen’s Plate, the Prince of Wales’ Stakes and the Breeders’ Stakes.
Each of those events is a prestigious renewal in its own right but the ultimate aim is to win the Triple Crown. As of 2019, 12 horses have achieved this feat since the series was established with the last of these being Wando in 2019. This is a time when the Canadian race going public start to embrace horse racing betting but the success of the Triple Crown is starting to spread all over the world.
Types of Horse Racing Bets
As we run through the list of available horse racing bets, players should always bear in mind that Parlay rule that applies to Canadian betting. Avoid the singles and compile those parlay bets in order to keep in touch with the current regulations.
The most obvious option for betting on horse racing is the straight win. With this bet, we are looking for the horse who will come through and beat the rest of the field to be declared the winner. Not convinced about that horse’s potential? You can play a little safer by taking an Each Way bet which would pay out if the runner finished in second, third or possibly even fourth in some circumstances.
The each way option actually consists of two bets – a win and a place and your intended stake is therefore doubled. However, some bookies will offer an alternative which is simply referred to as a place. This does away with the win portion of the bet and it can make life easier for some punters.
Horse racing betting opportunities may be fairly limited when compared to other sports but we still have some remaining options to run through. The first of these is a forecast and it involves betting on the top two horses to finish the race. Then we have a tricast for the top three while the oddly-named superfecta will require naming the top four horses in the specific race.
Obviously, the forecast, tricast and superfecta bets are much harder to win but the returns can be excellent, particularly if you have some mid to long-priced horses in the mix. Those are the main horse racing bets that you can take advantage of and, if you are getting involved, many sportsbooks offer a useful way in which you can follow your selections.
Live Streamed Horse Racing
Canadian horse racing is becoming more and more popular and it’s starting to gain followers from all over the betting world. Staking on a race can enhance the fun so why not look to watch the event play out in real time?
Not all race meetings are covered by regular television and this is where the bookmakers step in with a service known as live streaming. As the phrase suggests, this will simply cover a sporting event and stream it to the bookmaker’s site. From there, you can log on and watch it via your PC, Laptop or hand held device.
If this sounds tempting then you can check the sportbook’s terms of access. Of course, you should expect to be signed up with the operator in question first. After that, most outlets will only require you to have funds in your account but there are some isolated sportsbooks who will insist that you place a bet on the race that you want to see.
Check on those specific points as this can be a very useful addition to your betting portfolio. Watching a race in real time can add to the excitement, so be sure to check out live streaming,
Horse Racing Betting FAQ
If you want to know how to bet on horse races then this guide will have hopefully helped you out in some general areas. To summarise, here are some commonly asked questions on the subject of horse racing betting in Canada.
It is perfectly legal to bet on horse racing in Canada provided that the sportsbook in question is licensed to trade here. Check at the bottom of the bookmakers’ homepage to make sure they are regulated before signing up for a new account.
The bookmakers that we have listed above will allow you to play in $CAD. When signing up, there is a page where you choose passwords and set your default currency. At this point, you can opt to play with Canadian Dollars.
We’ve given a full list of horse racing betting options above and these can be split into two categories known as straight wagers and exotic wagers. The straight wagers will generally involve fewer risks while exotic options may combine more than one horse in the stake.
Examples of straight wagers include the win where you are just looking for the horse that is going to beat the rest of the pack. Each Way and Place Bets are also included in this section.
When we move up to Exotic Wagers, we are looking at options where more than one horse is involved in the selection. A good example of this is the Superfecta where you nominate the top four horses to come home in the exact order from 1st to 4th.
When starting out with horse race betting online Canada players should ideally start with the straight wagers before moving up to their more exotic counterparts.
In Canada, the big horse races are picked up live by TV networks such as TSN but you can also use your sportsbooks for wider coverage.
If your chosen bookmaker offers live streaming, the best in Canadian horse racing will be shown along with all the top meetings from around the world.