British Classics Betting Preview

Preview, Odds, Tips and Legal Betting Sites

Every spring sees the arrival of flora, fauna and the British Classics. Beginning between late April and early May, the series of five flat races represent the pinnacle of horse racing in the United Kingdom and the competition that comes with it.

Even winning one of the five races is a significant achievement, but the real prize is getting to take home the elusive English Triple Crown. The five events are divided into two competitions, which make up the full series.

The importance of the British Classics lies in the tradition

After all, the races are the oldest in British horse racing that still runs today. Though it was not yet a dedicated part of the series, the first race, the St. Leger Stakes, was run in 1776

After the first run of the 1000 Guineas Stakes race, the British Classics came about, combining the races into the well-known, beloved series that we’re familiar with today.

The real challenge of the series is the variety of courses in the Classics. This makes them incredibly difficult for even the best jockeys and horses around. Speed and stamina are both necessary to compete and win, so the English Triple Crown is a lofty achievement. In fact, it is rare for horses to complete it, with no horse ever winning the five British Classics back to back.

As the height of horse racing in the UK, the British Classics are renowned as one of the most intense competitions of the year. Due to its popularity, it is possible to bet on the outcomes year-round. 

For those who love the sport, the British Classics are a must-see part of horse racing. You simply can’t afford to miss it.

Best betting sites for the British Classics

The British Classics offer five races to bet on over the course of spring and early summer, which means you have a lot of chances to place that winning wager. 

Online gambling has undoubtedly come into the spotlight in recent years as a convenient and easy way to place a flutter from the comfort of your home. 

Here, we’ve gathered a variety of the best betting sites around, so you know that you’re wagering money is in good hands.

Online betting can be an overwhelming activity, so make sure you do your research and choose the best site for your needs. 

That being said, American bettors will need to make sure that they know their local laws

While online horse race gambling is legal in most states in the US, there are a few restrictions. It’s up to you to make sure that you know what your state limitations are.

Below, you’ll find a list of fantastic betting sites that offer you easy ways to lay down a wager, as well as giving you the best odds around on the British Classics. 

Whether you’re an old hand at horse racing or a newcomer to the track, you’ll find everything you need here. Also, we will explain the odds and how to place a bet.

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How to bet on the British Classics

The five races of the British Classics provide that horse racing thrill we all love. 

Horses that run in the British Classics are ready to go big or go home, all in the name of chasing that elusive English Triple Crown title. 

If you’re looking to make a profit off of the British Classics, you’re going to need to pick a way to place your bet on your favorite horse. 

Here are your options:

Online betting

Betting on horse races is a time-honored tradition that dates back thousands of years to the beginning of horse racing in Central Asia. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to place a bet on your favorite horse. If you’re in the US, you can find a horse racetrack in almost every single state where you can place bets and try your luck. But, that’s certainly not the best way to bet in 2019.

Thanks to the internet, you can now wager from the comfort and privacy of your home using your laptop, tablet and smartphone. 

There are too many online options to count. Online betting sites give great information about horse racing right at your fingertips, as well as some cracking odds. 

When it comes to betting in this day and age, make no mistake about it, gambling online is the way to go.

Betting at a teller

Placing your bet at the racetrack can be thrilling because you’re going to see the race with your own eyes. Racetracks can be crowded and the lines can be lengthy; therefore, you must know exactly how to place a clear, concise bet with the teller. 

Newcomers can be especially intimidated, so here’s a quick and easy breakdown of the process.

You’ll need to specify what racetrack you’ll be placing your bet on and give the race number. It is important to specify if it’s a track you’re not at physically. 

Then the teller will need to know how much money you want to bet, as well as the program number of the horse you’re betting. 

While getting the information right the first time can be tricky, if you should forget any piece of it, the teller will usually remind you to specify.

Also, the assumption the teller will usually make is that you’re placing a traditional bet. So, if you’re looking to place an exotic or quinella bet, you need to let the teller know. Then give the program numbers for the horses that you’re wagering. This info will determine the type of quinella bet that you’re placing.

After this, the teller will hand you a ticket. It’s incredibly crucial that you keep this ticket in a safe place, such as your shirt pocket or wallet. If your bet should be a winning one, you’ll need that ticket to retrieve your winnings. If you don’t have that ticket, then you’re out of luck — no winnings for you.

Off track betting

Off-track betting (OTB) locations are great for punters who want the excitement of betting in-person but can’t travel to the racetrack in question. 

OTBs can be handy for American bettors who want to bet on the British Classics without having to take a trip overseas. You can watch the races and place your bets in a safe location. 

If you happen to live in one of the few states in the US where you cannot wager online, an OTB is an excellent option.

Off-track betting facilities are one of the best places to wager. The general idea of these locations is to offer a one-stop-shop for horse racing, not only for the British Classics. 

In fact, at off-track sites, you can find races from around the world, which gives you ample opportunities to gamble and bet without having to take a trip to a crowded racetrack. 

OTB facilities are sometimes subject to various regulations than racetracks, depending on the jurisdiction of the location. As such, you’ll need to brush up on your local laws regarding the legal ins and outs of betting on horses.

One thing is for sure, no matter your bankroll or your bet, there are countless ways for you to wager on the British Classics. 

The above are three ways to place a bet on the British Classics, with online betting certainly being the most profitable and relaxed way to go about it.

Is it legal to bet on the British Classics?

Betting on horse racing in America is completely legal, thanks to the introduction of the 1978 Interstate Horse Racing Act

As of that law, there is no federal regulation against horse betting, making it legal across the US. However, later, an amendment was introduced that gave the responsibility of deciding legality to the states. So, while horse betting may be legal at the federal level, your state’s laws may have made online horse betting illegal. You’ll need to check before you place your bet on any races, including the British Classics. 

The good news is that the majority of states do allow online horse betting, so you’re more than likely going to be able to wager as you please.

Online horse betting

If you should live in a state where horse racing online betting is illegal, don’t panic as you do have options. The laws may differ depending on the location of where you place your bet. Meaning that it may be perfectly legal to bet at racetracks or OTBs, but illegal to place wagers online. 

Some states have stricter regulations than others, and some states may not allow betting on horse races at all. Although these states are few, you’ll need to travel outside state lines to place your bets.

For the most part, betting on international races is legal online in every state, provided that the site is regulated and licensed in another country as well (and properly done so). 

Even if you live in a state where online gambling and horse racing is illegal, you still have options; however, it may involve a trip out of state. There’s always a way to place a bet on important horse racing calendar events like the British Classics.

Types of British Classic bets

There are three core options for wagering at any horse racetrack are win, place or show bets. 

  • Win: Win bets are the highest payout of the three, meaning that you name the horse that you think will win the race and place first. 
  • Place: Place bets are slightly more lenient, and the potential payout is a little less. Your horse only has to place in the first or second spot, allowing you to collect on either. 
  • Show: Show bets are the most relaxed of the three, meaning the lowest payout, allowing you to bet on a horse to place in any of the top three places (and, depending on your bookmaker, maybe even a lower position). The big bucks, of course, don’t come from place or show bets unless you’re placing huge wagers.

Exotic bet types

If you are looking to win big at the British Classics, the bets you’ll want to look at are the exotic pools

These, also known as the forecasts, can be the kind of payouts that change your life and stuff your bank account full of cash. 

Here’s a quick run-through of exotic bet types to get you up to speed:

  • Straight Forecast: This bet requires you to pick horses for first and second place. They must be in the correct order.
  • Exacta: Same as the straight forecast, but the return for this bet is based on the dividend of the tote pool.
  • Trifecta: In this bet, you must pick horses for the first three places in the race. They must be in the correct order.
  • Swinger: A tote swinger bet is a bet on a single race. You make two selections of horses, and both horses have to place in third place or better for you to get a return on your bet. There are separate dividends for returns on every combination: first and second, first and third, and, finally, second and third.

Multiple bet types

Bettors who are looking to place a small bet and win big may want to take a look at the various wagers on hand for the British Classics. 

These are popular betting choices and involve picking horses from various races in doubles and upwards.

  • Double: Two horses are combined, and both must win for the bet to receive a return.
  • Treble: Three horses are combined, and all three must win for a return.
  • Trixie: Three horses are combined into three doubles and one treble, which makes four total bets. To get a return, only two horses need to win. You can also place a “Patent” bet, including three single win bets for a return on only one winner, raising your total wagers to seven.
  • Yankee: You make four-horse selections, divided into six doubles, four trebles and a single accumulator. Only two horses need to win to trigger a return on your bet, making this 11 bets total. Guaranteeing a return from an individual winner means that you’ll want the “Lucky 15,” which adds four separate bets, making it 15 total wagers. Sometimes, Yankee bets can include a double odds incentive should only one selection win, or perhaps even a bonus if you land all horses as winners.
  • Canadian: You make five selections, divided up into 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five four-way accumulators, and a single five-way accumulator. This type makes the Canadian wager 26 total bets.

The five British Classics races

New to the British Classics? Perhaps a seasoned pro looking for a slice of the action? You’ve come to the right place, as we’re giving an information overload on the series. Breaking down the race types, event origins, and how you can get your hands on the best odds post-time. 

If you have your eye on the British Classics, don’t place a single bet until you’ve seen what we have to say.

  1. 2000 Guineas Stakes: Held at Newmarket Racecourse, the 2000 Guineas Stakes takes place on the Rowley Mile in late April or early May. The distance of the race is one mile, and the 2000 Guineas Stakes marks the opening of the British Classics season. It was first run in 1809 and is open to both fillies and colts at 3 years of age.  Also, the 2000 Guineas Stakes is the first race of the English Triple Crown, one of the two coveted achievements of the British Classics made up of three classic races.
  2. 1000 Guineas Stakes: Also hosted at the well-known Newmarket Racecourse, and again on the Rowley Mile, the 1000 Guineas Stakes is the second race of the British Classics. Also, it takes place around the same time as the 2000 Guineas Stakes in late April and early May. The 1000 Guineas Stakes was established five years following the first run of the 2000 Guineas Stakes, on April 28, 1814, and is only open to fillies, or female 3-year-old horses.  It is the start of the second achievement of the British Classics, the Fillies’ Triple Crown, and is also run over a mile-long course.
  3. Epsom Oaks Stakes: The Epsom Oaks Stakes is the third in the British Classics series, taking place at the Surrey-located racecourse Epsom DownsThis event marks the second of the Fillies’ Triple Crown, meaning that it also only allows female 3-year-old horses, or fillies, just like the 1000 Guineas Stakes. The first Epsom Oaks race was run in 1779, the year before the premiere of the Derby Stakes, and gets its name from the name of the 12th Earl of Derby’s home, The Oaks, located in the Epsom area. The Epsom Oaks race is a mile, four furlongs and 10 yards in total length.
  4. Epsom Derby: The name “Epsom Derby” is the international-only moniker for audiences that are not local. Local enthusiasts know the Epsom Derby as “The Derby;” it is the fourth race of the British Classics series. Again, run at Epsom Downs, the distance is equal to that of the Epsom Oaks, and takes place in early June every year. It is the second part of the Triple Crown, which is open to fillies and 3-year-old colts. The first Epsom Derby got its start on May 4, 1780, and was won by Diomed, a colt of Lord Bunbury’s stables.
  5. St. Leger Stakes: As the last race in the British Classics, and the final race in the Triple Crown and the Fillies’ Triple Crown, the St. Leger Stakes takes place at Doncaster. The length of the race is one mile, six furlongs, and 132 yards, making it the longest and most arduous of the British Classics series.  Introduced in 1777, the St. Leger Stakes takes place every September. The race was named after a local politician and army officer, Anthony St. Leger.

How to watch the British Classics on TV or via streaming

This year’s British Classics will be free to watch, airing on ITV live. 

Anyone can tune in via TV, or the ITV app, or even a stream it online. 

If you’re interested in watching strictly online, you can also visit RacingTV, which boasts a high-quality stream and plenty of racing channels. 

There is a lot of money that rides on the British Classics in terms of wagers and bets. If you cannot tune in due to being outside the bounds of the race, you’ll find that there’s a solution for international audiences to get around the geolocation block.

International horse racing fans will want to look into getting a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. This method changes the IP address of your laptop, phone or tablet and allows you to watch the races as you please. It’s almost a must if you want to watch the British Classics in the US or Australia stress-free.

History of the British Classics

Despite dips in mainstream interest, horse racing is still incredibly popular and lucrative, especially in the betting market of the UK. 

The British Classics is one of the main events of a horse racing calendar that brings in substantial international audiences and sports a revenue that numbers in the billions of pounds. 

The British Classics gives the industry a mighty boost with its five traditional races that have now been run for centuries. Not only that, the deep-rooted history of the British Classics attaches a tremendous amount of pedigree to this prestigious horse racing series. 

While the Grand National draws the most casual punters’ attention, it’s the British Classics that has true British horse racing fans on the edge of their seats.

Classics part of British tradition

The first 1000 Guineas Stakes was completed in 1814, and the British Classics races were established shortly after. The Classics were chosen to be races that were important to tradition, and so they looked at the oldest in the area. 

Eventually, they chose the St. Leger Stakes (first run in 1776), the Epsom Oaks (1779), the Epsom Derby or The Derby to locals (1780), and the 2000 Guineas Stakes (1809), all in addition to the 1000 Guineas Stakes. 

This series is rightfully known as the highest pinnacle of competition in British racing for 3-year-old racehorses. All five are top-tier flat races, and they are divided into two competitions. The English Triple Crown is the greatest achievement goal for many horses, made up of the 2000 Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Derby and the St. Leger Stakes.

Past winners

Sceptre is the only horse to have won four of the Classics’ races in entirety. He claimed victory in 1902 from the Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Oaks and the St. Leger Stakes. 

Earlier, in 1868, Formosa also claimed a four-race victory, but the 2000 Guineas Stakes saw him dead-heated. 

The English Triple Crown has been won by 15 horses over its two-century-and-some existence, with the last being the 1970 victory of Nijinsky. There have been eight winners of the Fillies’ Triple Crown (which is made up of the 1000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks and the St. Leger Stakes). Oh So Sharp was the latest filly to claim the Fillies’ Triple Crown with a victory in 1985.

Many horses have won two of the classics, only to lose at Doncaster, the last leg of the series. Aidan O’Brien saw the Triple Crown disappointment with Camelot recently, as Camelot took victories at the Guineas Stakes and The Derby, only to come in second at the St. Leger Stakes during the 2012 Classics.

The British Classics are steeped in tradition, making them invaluable to both British horse racing and the general history of British sports. For that reason, you need to make sure you have your finger on the button and wagers ready come British Classics season. It’s a betting frenzy you shouldn’t miss.

British Classics FAQ

What are the British Classic races?

The British Classics are the five oldest races in the UK, all with significant importance in British horse racing history. These five races are the Epsom Derby, the Epsom Oaks, the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, the 1,000 Guineas Stakes, and the St. Leger Stakes. What’s so special about this series – even compared to the likes of the American Triple Crown – is that each race has a different feel. From marathon to sprint, the British Classics have the power to test all aspects of a horse’s fundamentals.

When is the British Classic series?

The British Classics series begins in early May or Late April with both the 2,000 Guineas Stakes and the 1,000 Guineas Stakes. The Epsom Oaks follows in the early days of June, while the Epsom Derby takes place annually on the first Saturday of June. Finally, the St. Leger Stakes finishes the Classics in September.

What is the longest British Classics race?

The longest of the British Classics races is the St. Leger Stakes. This final leg of the series is 1 mile and 6 ½ furlongs, equal to approximately 3,000 meters. Any horse that wants to win this race needs to show plenty of guile and heart, as it isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

What is the prize money of the British Classics?

The British Classics series offers around £4 million in prize money, over the course of the whole five races. This may not be the biggest payout in horse racing, but it’s still a nice bit of change – especially if a team should have a lucky Triple Crown-winning horse.

How many horses have won all five British Classics?

To date, there is no horse that has won all five races in the British Classics. 1902 saw the outright victories of four of the races by Sceptre, who still holds that record by taking both of the Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Oaks, and the final St. Leger Stakes. Before Sceptre, Formosa’s 1868 victories technically put him at the same four wins, but he did dead-heat in the 2,000 Guineas Stakes of that year. For that reason, Sceptre is the only outright winner of four races. When it comes to winning all five races in a single season, never say never, but it is certainly a massive ask of any horse.

Which jockey has the most British Classics Wins?

Lester Piggot is the jockey who has claimed 30 total wins between the years of 1954 and 1992. Being realistic, Piggot’s record is almost untouchable and will likely stand the test of time for many generations to come.

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