Horse racing and soccer are two hugely popular spectator sports, and some would say they’re as old as time itself. Horse racing has existed since before medieval times and although the modern game of soccer has been around since the 19th century, folks were already playing a version of soccer in medieval times. 

One of the reasons people love horse racing so much is the opportunities for horse betting. A visit to the racecourse also makes for a smashing day out with family and friends. Some will don their best hat or suit to make the most of the occasion, even though there’s no dress code. 

Soccer is highly accessible, highly unpredictable and creates an incredible sense of community, not to mention the fact that games are wildly exciting. Below is a look at the popularity of both sports, at the similarities between them and at the different types of betting possible when wagering on events.

The popularity of horse racing and soccer

Horse racing has a broad fanbase, having attracted fans in the UK, the US, France, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan. Millions of people in the UK alone attend horse racing events, and in Japan some people love it so much they even sleep in the queue for events. 

One of the biggest events in the racing calendar is the Grand National, and approximately 600 million people around the world tune in to watch it. The event itself is part of a three-day race meeting which more than 150,000 people attend.

Soccer is the number one sport in the world, however. According to a FIFA 2021 report, more than five billion people around the world are football fans, and in 2022, the news agency Reuters reported online that the Premier League was broadcast to 800 million homes in 188 countries with 98 broadcasters and more than 400 channels. Almost a billion people followed the league and its clubs on social media.

How are soccer and horse racing alike?

Thought it might not seem so, horse racing and soccer have more in common than you think. 

Firstly, anyone involved in the sports must be passionate about them. In the dressing room before a meeting, jockeys can become quick tempered because they’re feeling so much adrenaline before the race. This is also the case in the tunnel at football matches. 

Secondly, to succeed both athletes must train and prepare for events. It’s common to see soccer teams training and preparing in the media, but jockeys and their horses must also do plenty of preparation. Although the horse is doing most of the work, the jockey practices with them several weeks for the race.

Thirdly and finally, both sports involve tactics and strategy. Teams of people will work together to discuss what tactics might work best for a particular event. A football team will work closely with the manager, and a jockey will work closely with the horse’s trainer. 

The different types of betting

When it comes to betting on horse racing, there’s an almost dizzying array of bets. Below are some of the most common types.

Single bet

This is the most straightforward type of bet and the most common. All you do is place a bet on the horse you think will win. 

Double bet

This entails placing a single bet on the outcomes of two different events. It’s a riskier bet because both predictions must be correct to win. 

Triple bet

This is even riskier than a double bet and involves placing a single bet on the outcomes of three different events. For a return, all three predictions must be correct.


In this risky bet, the person wagering makes four selections or more in one bet. All of them must win to receive a return.

Soccer betting likewise also offers punters lots of variety. Here are some of the main bets you can place when betting on soccer:

Full-time result

This is the simplest, most common bet. You simply bet on which team you think will win the game. 


Since the full-time result is the most straightforward type of bet, some will bet on the result of several matches at a time. This is an accumulator bet and all the predictions must be correct to win the return. 

Total goals (under/over)

If you don’t fancy betting on the result itself, you can bet on the number of goals scored. The sportsbook will suggest the number of goals it thinks will be scored in a match. You then bet whether the total will be higher or lower than suggested. 

Horse racing and soccer are two thrilling sports with fans around the world. They’re more similar than you think, and as well as the excitement of following news and events in both, the sports present fans with excellent betting opportunities. This makes them even more exciting.