The possibility of a horse being withdrawn from a race is a reality that all punters have to face. It’s a frustrating experience when you’ve placed a bet on the favourite which you think is sure to win and then it’s withdrawn from the race due to illness or injury. But what happens to your bet when a horse is withdrawn? In this article, we’ll explore this question in detail.
I. The Rules for Withdrawals
First and foremost, it’s important to understand what happens when a horse is withdrawn from a race. According to the rules of racing, a horse can be withdrawn from a race for a number of reasons, including illness, injury, and poor performance. When this happens, the bookmaker must refund all stakes placed on that horse and declare the bet void.
II. Refunds and Re-bets
If you’ve placed a bet on a horse which is withdrawn, you’ll be entitled to a refund of your stake. This refund will be credited to your account and you’ll be free to use the funds to place a new bet on another horse in the same race. This is referred to as a ‘re-bet’ and can be a great way to make up for the disappointment of your initial bet being void.
III. Best Odds Guarantee
Most bookmakers now offer a best odds guarantee on all bets placed. This means that if the price of the horse you’ve backed drifts before the start of the race and you don’t get the best price, the bookmaker will refund the difference. This is a great way of ensuring that you’re not out of pocket if your horse is withdrawn from the race.
IV. Dead Heat Rules
If two or more horses are withdrawn from the same race, the bookmaker may declare the bet a dead heat. This means that all bets on the withdrawn horses will be settled at a fraction of the original odds. This is because the bookmaker is unable to determine which of the withdrawn horses would have finished first in the race.
V. Withdrawal Refund Rules
Each bookmaker has its own rules regarding refunds for withdrawn horses. Some bookmakers will refund your stake in full, while others may only return a portion of your stake. It’s important to check the terms and conditions of your bookmaker before placing a bet to ensure that you’re aware of their withdrawal refund policy.
VI. Betting Exchanges
If you’ve placed a bet through a betting exchange such as Betfair, you may be entitled to a refund if your horse is withdrawn. This is because the betting exchange will be able to match your bet with another punter who’s backing the withdrawn horse. This means that you’ll receive a refund of your stake minus a small commission.
VII. Ante-Post Bets
If you’ve placed an ante-post bet on a horse which is subsequently withdrawn, the rules are slightly different. In this case, the bookmaker may select another horse in the same race to replace your withdrawn selection. This is referred to as a ‘substitute’ bet and the odds of the substitute horse will be used to settle your bet.
VIII. Multiple Bets
If you’ve placed a multiple bet which contains a withdrawn horse, the bet will be declared void and you’ll receive a full refund of your stake. However, if you’ve placed a multiple bet which contains more than one withdrawn horse, the bet will be settled using the remaining selections.
IX. Rule 4 Deductions
If a horse is withdrawn from a race after bets have been placed, the bookmaker may make a ‘Rule 4 deduction’ from all winning bets. This is a percentage deduction which is applied to the returns of winning bets in order to compensate the bookmaker for the refund of stakes placed on the withdrawn horse.
In conclusion, when a horse is withdrawn from a race, the bet is declared void and the punter is entitled to a refund of their stake. However, the rules for withdrawals vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, so it’s important to check the terms and conditions before placing a bet. Additionally, Rule 4 deductions may be applied to all winning bets.