Horse racing betting naturally focuses on big events like Cheltenham or the Grand National each year — but what many racing punters overlook is the rich seam of amateur races that litter the UK and Irish racing scene all year round.
Amateur jockeys are always looking to impress in amateur races, while hopeful owners may be crossing their fingers when their horse bursts onto the scene.
One of the most prestigious amateur race types is the point-to-point, and horses that cruise to victory here are called point winners. But what are point-to-point races all about, and why are they great to bet on? Here, Paddy Power explains all…
WHAT IS A POINT-TO-POINT RACE?
A point-to-point race is an amateur event held at meetings up and down the country — sometimes at country fairs or to coincide with a trade fair. The racing standard is low but remains competitive, which means you can bet on point-to-point races in the knowledge that the odds genuinely reflect the standard of each horse.
Amateur jockeys ride on hunting horses, which must be thoroughbred in order to compete, over fences. This is not National Hunt horse racing but it certainly boasts familiarities with the elite level.
Many owners field their horses for the fun of watching them run, as there is little prize money in point-to-points. These races are reasonably popular in the UK but it is Ireland where the big point-to-points take place.
SO, WHAT IS A POINT WINNER?
A point winner is therefore a horse that has won a point-to-point. Horses that win their first point-to-point race are usually sold for a high price. In Ireland, this can often lead to horses progressing to win major races later in its career.
BETTING ON POINT-TO-POINT RACES
You can bet on hundreds of point-to-point races each year in the Paddy Power sportsbook. There are over 100 point-to-point race meetings in the UK every season and plenty more in Ireland — so you can be sure to find a race that’s right for you when scouring the racing betting markets.
You are also likely to see some less familiar race courses staging point-to-point meetings. The likes of Revesby Park, Larkhill and Askham may not be top of most horse racing betting bucket lists. But these are wonderful, small venues for which to enjoy exciting racing during the colder months of the year.
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