How to Increase Your Chances of Success Wagering on Horse Racing

| January 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

Whether you’re visiting one of the country’s many racetracks or simply wagering on a phone or tablet from the comfort of your own living room, every bettor has hopes and dreams of making a healthy profit on the horses.

Racing is a popular sport but also a complex one and there are a number of factors at work. Whilst sports such as football and basketball have an off-season, this isn’t the case with racing as meetings and fixtures are staged all year round at a variety of different tracks, providing plenty of opportunities to find  a winner.

Avoid Betting on Favorites Blindly

Every bettor will have their own strategy and many will attempt a number of different methods and formulas throughout their lifetime. It doesn’t come easily and often takes years of dedication before the figures turn from red to black. One system that is popular is betting on favorites and this may yield some profit initially, but it isn’t viable in the long term.

The statistics alter each year but only around 30% of favorites oblige and whilst this sounds plentiful, many will start at prohibitive prices such as -300.00 or -175.00 and it requires large stakes to even begin turning a profit.

It is highly likely that a run of favorites could land but these are commonly followed by well-fancied runners being overturned by a fast-finisher at a double-figure price.

Beaten favorites can often be dangerous next time out and there is some evidence to suggest keeping an eye on these runners. On some occasions, the market looks completely justified and favorites should be supported but don’t back the fancied runners blind as it isn’t a profitable long-term strategy and often going against the general public perception can prove successful.

Don’t Bet on Every Race

Some bettors will sit down and follow a particular race meeting and place a wager in each of the card’s eight or nine races.

Every track aims to have a variation of contests ranging from maidens (featuring horses having their first start) through to stakes contests (valuable races with often life-changing prize money) and it can be a minefield to wade through the form in each and every one of these therefore specializing is vitally important.

There are more tracks and races than ever before so it’s important to be selective. If you have success in modest claimers, for example, stick to these. There are plenty of tracks offering these kinds of contests and if the day’s racing is limited, it can often be important to simply step away and not wager for the sake of it.

Study and Stats and Follow the Experts

It’s easier than ever before to find statistics ahead of each race. Sites such as DRF and Equibase are handy for charting individual performances and are a good source of information. These also provide pointers and data on the trainers and jockeys who are in-form.

They don’t just provide the raw data but tips from trackside analysists are also available with a small write-up on each selection.

Tipsters are employed to make a selection in each and every race even if they don’t feel particularly strongly about their chances so whilst following their selections religiously is not always advised, studying their write-ups is still strongly recommended.

If you’re wagering further afield, sites such as Oddschecker have UK and Irish experts such as Andy Holding providing daily selections with additional coverage on major racedays such as Boxing Day or during Royal Ascot.

There are also websites dedicated to racing in Canada, France and even Australia, who will offer pointers and thoughts on those tracks which may be a little more unfamiliar.

Take into Account the Conditions of the Track

Racing is run on one of three different surfaces in the USA: turf, dirt and synthetic. Some tracks will have all three but the majority will simply specialize in two of these. Dirt is the most common of these and the majority of horses will perform on this.

Some trainers specialise in one particular area so it is always important to take this into consideration. Horses can switch between them fairly regularly and it’s always a good plan to watch out for those who are reverting back to their favoured surface as this can provide a profitable angle.

The weather and climate can often play a huge part in the outcome of an event and this can alter the track conditions. It is essential to check the forecast at the track before placing a wager.

If the horse you are backing doesn’t run until the finale and heavy rain is expected throughout the afternoon, this may hinder its chances of success.

It’s important to remember that some horses will relish the sloppy conditions (heavily rain-soaked with occasional standing water) and will simply skip across the potentially sticky track whilst others will look laboured and struggle to find their rhythm.

Any previous performances in similar conditions are a terrific indicator of how they will fare.

The Market Can Provide Clues

Finally, don’t be afraid to follow the money. Every bettor is desperately trying to make money on the horses but they don’t always call it correctly.

The market will move according to the weight of money and if a heavily backed horse is shortening in price, this is because the bookmakers are hoping to limit their losses on the well-fancied runner.

Maidens are particularly notable for fluctuations in the market and any horses who are having their first start are always ones to watch.

The average bettor isn’t privy to the ability of a racetrack newcomer and very few will have seen it working at home; however, connections are generally more astute and if a trainer is feeling confident of its chances, they are likely to support this and the price will shorten as a result.

This is often a decent yardstick with first-time starters.

It’s difficult to predict the outcome of any race but it can be terrific fun and there are few feelings to rival the euphoria of selecting a big-price winner. Dedication, persistence and patience are all required but it can be a profitable experience if you follow a number of strict rules and aren’t afraid to comprehensively study the form on a regular basis.

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