If you plan on trading horse racing then it’s as simple as this: you need live TV pictures. If you don’t have pictures you will be at a serious disadvantage to everyone else in the Betfair markets. Having live pictures is an edge within itself.
At The Races vs Racing UK
At The Races and Racing UK are the two main horse racing broadcasters – so is it ok to just have access to one or do you need both?
The short answer is that you don’t really need to subscribe to either, but they do have their benefits. You can just use Betfair’s own live videos feed to stream but there are a few disadvantages to this.
Disadvantages of Using Betfair for Your Live Pictures
- You must bet or put a trade on each race before you can access the pictures to that particular race – this is £5 minimum. I found this a bit of a nuisance as I’d often be concerned with getting £5 matched on both sides at no loss. Even if it was an 11p red it still had a psychological effect on me that I was already in the red before I’d even begun thinking about trading the race
- Leading on from the point above: I felt I couldn’t properly assess how to trade the race before I got the pictures from Betfair on which meant I had no rhythm to my trading
- For courses that Racing UK have the broadcast rights to you will see the race build-up from that TV channel. But for the races that At The Races have the rights to then you won’t have build up (however there is much less of a transmission delay than watching it on the actual ATR TV channel where there is anything between 10-30 seconds delay in coverage). Why is this important? Because the signal for potential moves in the market can be heard in the build up by the pundits – such as a pundit alerting you to the fact that a horse is keen to post/is playing up/is sweating
- You rely on Betfair having no trouble with their feed. It’s happened a couple of times where they’ve had issues – which is rather unsurprising
One reason why you need access to both channels is because they have exclusive broadcast rights to certain racecourses. You can see the full lists by clicking on the accordions below.
Exclusive Racecourse Rights
ATR vs RUK: Positives and Negatives
At The Races
- £9.99 monthly cost for online subscriptions which can be cancelled at any time. Other options are available via cable and satellite TV – I’m pretty sure it’s free with Sky
- Horse Racing Tracker – Make a note about a horse and get email notifications when it next runs
- Little delay in pictures – between 2-5 seconds usually
- Broadcasts most of the higher quality racecourses and events
- No adverts
- In-depth racing analysis
- All profits go back into the racecourses and Horse Racing itself, plus you get free access days to attend over 30 race days per year
- Major issues with delays. Can be anywhere between 10-30 seconds which is a serious inconvenience for traders. You’re almost just better off using the Betfair live feed for these races
- So many adverts that it’s known as ‘At The Adverts’ by professional traders. You know those PPI adverts? Yeh, well you better get used to hearing them about 872 times a day
- Matt Chapman. Like Marmite, you either love him or hate him. I’m the latter, unfortunately
- Costs £24.99 with a minimum 12-month subscription if subscribing online. Other options are available via cable and satellite TV
- No broadcast rights to any Irish courses
|At The Races||Racing UK|
|Price (Online)||£9.99 per month. Can be cancelled at any time||£24.99 per month. Comes with a minimum 12-month contract|
|Delays||10-30 seconds. Bad news for traders||2-5 seconds maximum. Perfectly fine for trading|
|Adverts||Lots of them. Lots for PPI. Lots for Stannah Stairlifts. You’ll know the word to each advert by the end of your first month||None. Hooray!|
|Broadcasting Rights||Has Irish racing||Has most of the major racecourses and therefore broadcasts the major festivals|
|Other Benefits||ATR Horse Tracker. Make a note and get emails when that horse next runs||All profits go back into racing. Free access to 30 race days throughout the year|
If you’re just starting out I would recommend just using the Betfair live feed. This is because of 2 reasons:
- If you’re subscribing to Racing UK online you must take out a minimum 12-month contract at £24.99 per month.
- At The Races is so delayed it’s practically useless
However, if you’re serious about tackling pre-race horse racing then Racing UK is the nailed on one to subscribe to, but I can take or leave
At The Adverts…. I mean At The Races.
However, it is best to Betfair’s live feed ready to load up in all circumstances – this is particularly easy to do through Geeks Toy which has a module where you can pull up the Betfair video.