Last Updated on February 20, 2021 by Ben
Horse racing refunds are a common promotion run by various bookmakers.
When matched betting, they give us a low-risk chance of regular profit.
On busy race days and Saturdays in particular, there are often numerous opportunities for us.
What Are Horse Racing Refunds?
These are refunds given by bookmakers depending on certain outcomes of a horse race.
The most popular horse racing refund is receiving cash or a free bet if your horse finishes in a certain position.
At the time of writing, Will Hill, Sky Bet and Paddy Power run the best versions of these offers.
Sky Bet and Paddy Power often give a refund if your horse finishes 2nd and 3rd and sometimes even 4th.
Sky Bet offer a £10 cash refund whereas the refund given by Paddy Power is a free bet.
This is usually for one select race on a given day.
Will Hill has arguably the best horse racing refunds offer.
They allow you to bet on every race at a specific race meeting on a given day.
So, for example, you could place a bet on every race at Ascot and potentially receive a cash refund several times.
There are typically six or seven races each Saturday you can bet on using this offer.
How To Make Money From Horse Racing Refunds
With these offers, we won’t be making a profit every time.
We should be making either a very small loss or a profit (if our horse finishes in the right position).
Of course with matched betting, we are never trying to guess which horse will finish where.
We can simply follow the best odds to give us a long term mathematical edge over the bookmakers.
We can use a basic matched betting strategy with horse racing refunds to give us great value bets.
The strategy is:
– Place a back bet with the bookmaker.
– Place a lay bet at a betting exchange.
This locks in a small loss with the potential for a refund.
We then just need to check later in the day to see where our horse finished.
The most crucial part is ensuring the bookmaker and exchange odds are close for the horse we back and lay.
The closer the odds, the more value we are getting.
How To Find The Best Odds Easily
We can use Oddsmonkey‘s Racing Matcher to help us effortlessly find and place the best bets.
From your dashboard, go to Tools > Matchers > Racing Matcher
I am going to use Will Hill’s £10 Refund If 2nd offer for this example.
Use the filter and set it like this:
Setting the filter as above will give you the current best available odds matches for the specific races and horses eligible for the refund.
Placing The Bets
The horses with the best odds matches are listed in order.
A horse named Arrivederci is the current best match with back odds of 5.5 and lay odds of 5.9.
We could place a £10 bet (the max size bet eligible for the offer) with Will Hill then open the calculator by clicking the calculator symbol.
The calculator will display the details for the bet and set a default lay stake based on a £10 back stake.
(Provided you have linked your Oddsmonkey account with Smarkets, you can lay the bet with one click from the calculator).
We can see below, by using this horse, we would lock in a -£0.68p loss as a worst-case scenario.
However, if the horse finishes second, we would receive a £10 cash refund.
This would leave us with +£9.32 profit (£10 – £0.68 = £9.32)
This is brilliant value and we can work out our implied odds to demonstrate this.
Potential Profit/Qualifying Loss = Implied Odds
9.32/0.68 = 13.70
So we are getting odds as high as 13.70 for the horse to finish 2nd.
Considering the horse is around 5.5 to win and finish 1st, we are creating an exceptional value bet.
After placing a back and lay bet, we can forget about that specific race and move on to the next.
By returning to the filter, we can uncheck the Ascot 15:00 race.
The Oddsmonkey Racing Matcher will no longer show horses from that race.
This makes it easy to keep track of which races we need a horse for.
Furthermore, it rules out the chance of us placing more than one bet in the same race by mistake.
If we place another bet on a horse in the same race, the refund offer would only apply to the first horse we backed.
Final Thoughts On Horse Racing Refunds
Using this low-risk strategy when doing horse racing refunds is a numbers game.
You just need to focus on setting as many of these value bets up as possible.
Although there may be some losing runs, they are not particularly tough to take as the qualifying losses should be very small.
One refund will cover several losses to keep you motivated through any slow patches.