7 Things to consider when backing a horse

Horse racing is one of the most popular betting sports in the world. Like most sports, there are people who can make thousands from horse betting. However the majority of horse punters tend to be casual and usually place bets based on their lucky number or the name of the horse. By following the following seven tips and factors, you can make a calculated guess on which horse to place a bet on.



PEDIGREE

Betting websites, such as Paddy Power, show the breeding pedigree for each horse that is competing in a race. Most race-horses are now bred with selected horse types to ‘create’ the ideal race-horse. Be careful which type of horse you are betting on though, as different pedigree horses are suited to different tracks. If you do find that the track type is very suitable for the horse that is racing, then waste no time and place a bet on the horse.


TRAINER HISTORY

The outcome of a race can also depend on the trainer of the horse. Horses that are trained by the same trainers may perform better on different types of surfaces e.g. better performances on a soft surface track. In some situations there may not be a noticeable difference of the horses’ performance on different track surfaces. However, if you do spot that horses trained by certain trainers perform significantly better on certain tracks, then chances are the horse racing will also perform well and have a good chance of winning the race.

COURSE SPECIALIST

Although jockeys race on multiple tracks throughout their career, certain tracks can be stomping grounds for certain jockeys and may have experienced success multiple times on the same track. The chances of a jockey repeating their success on the same track a high considering they have the experience of racing on the track, and have the knowledge of how the track ‘plays out’. But like the other factors, choosing a winner based on the knowledge of the track isn’t enough. Other factors such as the type of horse being used will affect the outcome of a race. You can’t expect an experienced jockey to repeat their success using the slowest horse of the race.

TIME SINCE LAST RACE

Like every athlete, horses need time to recover from a previous race. A horse that is racing just a few days after their previous race may suffer in the next race when facing against horses that have had a few more days or weeks rest and are fully refreshed. Although a few days extra rest may give a horse an edge, make sure they are not out of action for too long. If a horse has competed in a race for a long period, e.g. a few months, then they will suffer due to lack of ‘race fitness’, which means they are also unlikely to win the race. Your best bet is to put a bet on a horse that has not raced in a few days, but is still fit enough to run the full race without any issues.


DROP IN CLASS

It is common in horse racing for horses to drop down classes if they are unable to compete at a higher level. When you are placing a bet on a race, keep an eye out for horses that have dropped down a couple of levels. Although previously being part of a higher class does not guarantee a win, the experience of racing at a higher level should give the horse a slight edge other their competitors.

DISTANCE TRAVELLED

Horses can be imported in from far and wide in order to participate in a certain race. If you notice that a horse has been brought in from far away to participate in a single race, chances are the trainer or jockey believes that the horse has a very good chance of winning the race. However be careful. Horses that have travelled a long distance are at risk from suffering from fatigue due to the distance travelled. This could lead to the horse performing worse in the race than anticipated.

JOCKEY WINNING STREAK

You should never underestimate momentum. A jockey that is on a winning streak is far more likely to carry on their momentum and extend their streak than a jockey who hasn’t won a race in a while. Although it is entirely plausible for a jockey on a winless streak to break it, the hot streak jockey should still be favourite to win. But as mentioned earlier, you should not just use winning streaks as your only metric for picking a winner. In this example, a course specialist that is on a losing streak has the potential to come away with the win over a jockey on a winning streak.

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