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Horse Racing Betting Strategy

Blackboard with oddsLike all sports, it’s important to know what you are looking for when betting on horse racing. There are many different methods and many variables that you will need to take into account when forming your bets. The data on offer for each race and each horse is extensive these days, and the availability of most of this data is free online.

This article will be addressing things that you need to keep an eye out for before placing your bet. It’s not fool proof, like any strategy really, but it should allow you to make much more informed decisions before betting on horse racing. Whilst you may find that people claim to use systems online, the likelihood is that these claims are false and there really is no substitute for hard work when it comes to these sorts of things.

Studying the Form

The best place to start for any bettor is to study the form guides for the race that you are looking to bet on. The form guide will be your biggest ally when betting on horse racing and will likely be the cheapest and easiest way to go about making a more informed decision.

For someone new to the game, the numbers and letters can look quite daunting, but in fact, they are very simple to understand and the faster you learn how they work, the quicker you will be able to make more informed decisions.

The form guide will allow you to then expand your research further. The best part of these guides is the horses recent form and it will then tell you how it’s performed over the last half a dozen or so races. It tells you exactly where they finished or if they happened to not finish for whatever reason.

But, this information isn’t enough to form your bets on as you need to see what sort of conditions each race was in, the strength of the field and then compare it to the race that they are running today. A win over good ground could be almost irrelevant if the current race they are running in is over soft. Try and cross examine of the horses previous races and see any similarities with the current race.

The form guide will also highlight both the trainer and jockey on board. You can then look to see how their current form is and again cross-reference it to your potential bet.

Utilise Online Databases

There are a plethora of sites out there these days that offer up tons of information for each horse. Sites, such as Timeform and the Racing Post, are two of the best, and whilst they aren’t always the cheapest, the range of information that you can get from each is actually quite staggering.

These databases basically take the form from the racecard to a new level. Whilst the racecard gives you a quick overview, a racing database will tell everything down to how the horse performed in each furlong of each race. It will allow you to see exactly how they perform in all conditions and some will even have a predictor taking into account all this information and working out a potential winner.

Examine Trends

Betting trends can be a great way to find potential bets and also to see who’s backing what. With betting exchanges, such as Betfair, you will be able to see what price the horse started at and what price they are currently at. You can see if the price has lengthened or shortened and from there establish where the money is going.

The trick to this is getting in before the price bottoms out. So, if you were looking at horse that started the day at 10.00, but just 30 minutes before the start of the race has dropped to 5.00, then this is a massive cut in price, meaning that punters are backing it heavily and likely for a reason.

What you will find is that prices tend to make the biggest changes within an hour of that race starting. We would recommend checking prices early morning though and seeing if there has been any movement overnight. If so, try to establish why. If you think that the price may drop further, then it could be a great time to jump in before the mainstream punters start to jump on. It’s rare that price drops on horses are a money trend and much more likely because punters feel like that horse has a good chance of winning.

Conversely, be wary of prices that have already drifted significantly. This is usually because the ground doesn’t suit or the horse has gotten a bad draw.

The odds can be a great and quick way to determine which horses you should be looking at.

Consider the Draw

In flat racing, the draw can be a massive influence on the outcome of a race. These will have much more of an impact on shorter, sprint races generally run over the flats, with longer races and even jumps having much less of an affect.

What you will find is that most courses will favour certain sides of the track which allow the horses to run over slightly better ground. The differences can be marginal, but when you sprinting over 6 furlongs, the race will be over in less than a minute, so the start is a crucial section of the race.

You will be able to get past result from the racecourse run over a similar time of year or, ideally, the previous year’s meeting. Try and find links to horses that have won starting on certain sides of the track or certain stalls. Courses, such as Pontefract and Sandown, are synonymous with a massive percentage of winners coming from the rail side of their sprint track, which makes a huge difference in the odds on offer.

Limit Your Races

It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with the number of races running each day with most bookmakers. You only need to jump over to the likes of bet365 to see that there are literally dozens of horse races running every day. It can be easy to try and target all races, but in reality, it’s going to be an impossible task to be profitable from all races.

Try and limit your races to a certain type and become and expert in that field. For example, if flat racing is your thing, then stick to these races, but learn everything there is to know about them. Learn which stalls work best at each racecourse, learn what types of horses win on what ground, learn how well certain horses will stay over the distance.

By doing this, you not only cut down on your workload, but you also limit yourself from exposure to races that you know nothing about.