Horse Racing Non Runners

Have you ever bet on horse racing but got profit less than you expected? Or, you may have placed each way bet on a horse, but you have your stake returned! If you run into any of these situations don't worry about being scammed. It could be because the horse has been named but it was withdrawn before the race start! Below we talk in details for non runners in sport categories. Non-Runners No Bet (NRNB) is a term used in many racing sports but is primarily associated with horse racing. This term refers to the racer – for any reason – withdrawing from the race and returning the bet amount to the customer! In this guide, we will explain to you what are horse racing non runners and how it affects your winning odds!

Non Runners in Horse Racing

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What Are the Horse Racing Non Runners?

In horse racing, the non-runner is the horse that was going to participate in the race but has retracted. This withdrawal always happens during the period between the announcement of the initial race schedule to the declaration stage which occurs 48 hours before the race start. The difference between a horse non runner and the withdrawing horse is not great, actually, they are neck and neck! The only difference might be the timing only. The withdrawn horse quit immediately before the start of the race after it was named in the final list to take part in the event. However, in this condition, the bookmakers consider the horse as a non runner also! So, apart from the theoretical terms, there is no real difference between the withdrawn and non runner horses. 

What Are the Reasons For a Horse to Be a Non Runner?

Horse racing is different from other racing sports that rely on cars or motorcycles. Simply because, the horse is a creature and not a machine, while machinery malfunctions are obvious and apparent, mental and health status isn’t visible!  In general, 5 reasons can make a horse a non-runner, which are as follows:

  • The horse has refused to eat before the race day, and therefore will not be ready to run.
  • The horse may fail to enter the stall, lose during training, or even suffer an injury.
  • The initial list can include the name of the horse, but the trainer notes that it “may not qualify”; if the weather or the field is not suitable for it.
  • Before the start of the race, the trainer may decide that the horse is ineligible to participate because it limps or coughs a lot.
  • A horse may also be ineligible to run because it has run so many races in a relatively short period. As a general rule, if a horse wins the first and second races, it will not be able to participate in the third race, and if it does, it will not win! Remember, horses aren't like formula 1 cars!

What Happens If I Bet on a Non Runner?

Under no circumstances will you ever lose your bet! If you place a single bet, you will refund your stake without any administrative fees, and of course, without winnings! While if you place an ACCA bet that includes a withdrawn horse, the horse will be removed from your bet and the expected winnings will be deducted from your ACCA bet. If the bookmaker offers insurance on one leg this horse will not count as a missing leg!

Can your bet be affected if another horse quit?

Sometimes the bookmaker’s system may decrease/ increase your winning odds when another horse quit. For example, suppose 10 horses are participating in the race. The betting site gave them all odds of 10.00, meaning that they all have a 1 in 10 chance of winning the race. So, if one of the horses quit, the betting site will adjust the odds to be 9.00. It is worth noting that the price reduction is not always that clear and easy, because the bookmakers do not give equal prices on the horses.  Adjusting the odds when a horse withdraws known as “the Reduction Factor” or “Rule 4 Deduction”. It takes place automatically by the site system without human intervention.

Why Horse Non Runners Is Called “Rule 4”?

Earlier, there was a set of rules for changing odds prices that sports betting companies had to follow. In these rules, drawing a horse was rule number 4. At the current time, every bookmaker has its own set of terms and conditions, but the bettors still use this term!

How Do Non Runners Affect Your Each Way Bet?

If you place a bet each way bet that includes a non runner horse, the following will happen:

  • The bookmaker will refund you the non runner horse bet amount.  
  • The winning odds will decrease.
  • Potential profits will also decrease.
  • If you placed this bet using a bonus, you should review the terms and conditions. Therefore, in some cases the horse betting site will cancel the bet and reactivate the bonus to use it on another race. While in some other cases, you will not get any refund for the non runners.


To sum up, bet and feel no concern for your horse not running! Firstly, in any case you will not lose your bet, except if you’re using a free bet or a cash bonus from the betting site. Secondly, although sports betting sites may change the terminology a bit, you now know that a Non-Runner No Bet (NRNB) is the horse that didn’t take a part in the race for any reason. Finally, it is wise to check out the terms and conditions of the bookmaker you play at to know exactly how they deal with non runner horses. Also, you can read our reviews to choose the most suitable betting site.

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