Beginner’s Guide to Horse Racing

Horse racing has always been a fascinating sport even for those who may not be avid fans. Horse racing betting, though, can look like a complicated world from the outside. There is a huge amount of detail that goes into a bet on a horse race event. Entering into this field takes some knowledge before a punter is capable of making money. What are the aspects that a beginner should remember while entering into the world of horse racing betting?

How Does It Work?

Just like any other sport, betting on horse races involve dealing with a lot of odds and numbers. Bookmakers provide odds for each horse to win the race. It is one of the common markets with the punter only having to choose the horse which is most likely to win the race. Of course, bookmakers will be providing long odds for every horse – especially for the favourite ones at top events like the Cheltenham Festival, one of the best events as demonstrated by cheltenhamfestivaluk.com. It is the job of the punter to find the best value by looking for the horse with shorter prices.

Top Betting Markets

Win single – This happens to be the most basic and popular form of betting. It involves backing specific horse to finish victorious in the race. Even though the returns may not be humongous especially if a punter backs a universal favourite, it represents a sensible and safe option.

Each Way – Punters put back the horse to win the races and also finish in a specific position. The wager gets split into two with each going for one half of the bet. It can be rewarding especially in the event that a horse fails to win the race but finishes in the specific position.

Patent – If a punter sees three races which are favourable for each-way betting, it makes sense to after a patent bet, which is 7 bets comprising of 3 selections – 1 treble, 3 doubles, and 3 win singles.

Choosing the Right Horse

Numerous factors come into play in the success of a horse at an event. One of the best resource for a punter to determine the possibility of a horse succeeding in a race is the form guide. Thanks to the growth of the Internet, the form guide is easily accessible and provides a comprehensive range of information. Rather than providing just past performances, which of course is extremely important, the form guide for a specific event gives a range of information like:

  • finishing position
  • finishing outside the top 9
  • failure to finish the race
  • disqualification
  • horse unseating a jockey
  • a horse successful in the past on a course
  • a horse being previously successful over a specific distance
  • a horse ending up as a beaten favourite

Course and Conditions

The course has a significant role to play. Some courses tend to favour horses with speed over stamina while others can be quite the opposite. The distance of the race can be an important factor too, as some horses are considered as great sprinters while some others are endurance runners. Yet, it does not prevent horses from being raced across different categories. It is the role of a punter to be aware of the horse’s interests. Studying the conditions of a track is also as important.

Other Factors to Consider

Horse information alone is not sufficient for determining the possibility of success. Horse racing betting also involve numerous other factors like form of the trainer and jockey, distance record, speed reading, weight carried by the horse, track conditions, class of the race, and expected speed of the race.

Track selection will be extremely important considering that each horse has its favourite surface. Some horses prefer a heavy and muddy surface, while some prefer a faster track. A horse often tends to excel on its favourite surfaces. Knowledge of this factor would give punters a key advantage in the bet. In order to be aware of the track conditions, it makes sense to keep in touch with the weather forecast leading up to the event.

Mistakes Made by Beginners

A common mistake made by beginners is to back a horse, which is considered as a huge favourite for the event. History has shown us that only 35% of the favourites have managed to end up as winners. It is important to look for value in each bet, and there should be no compulsion to bet if the price does not seem right.

Horse racing is certainly not rocket science. Armed with a wealth of information available freely across the Internet, it is possible for beginners to get the grasp of horse racing much sooner than expected.

About the author

Joseph Tapper

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