If you’ve never placed a wager and you’re finding it difficult to understand the different types of bet, this guide will ensure you have a sound knowledge of what you’re dealing with before you put your money down at races, like the Grand national or Cheltenham in 2020.
Know Your Selection
Horse racing is one of the most exciting sports to bet on, but it can also be confusing when it comes to knowing the difference between the betting options. It’s also an unpredictable sport which is one of the reasons it’s so popular for betting. Before you place your bet, do your research into the selections you want to bet on. This means assessing each horse and jockey experience with the specific track, how well they’ve performed in recent races and their experience overall. These factors play an important part in the probability stakes. Some of the things you will want to look out for include…
- The fitness and stamina of the horse
- Class of race
- Form of the horse and trainer
- Speed rating
- The weight they are carrying
Don’t Always Back the Favourite
A lot of people will instantly be drawn to the favourites but in fact, favourites only win around a third of the time. Outsiders don’t just win occasionally, they win often and so they shouldn’t be disregarded. When choosing the horses you want to back, it’s about backing the option where the odds are longer than they “should” be rather than just backing those most likely to win.
Know How to Read a Form Guide
Developing a strategy is key to success in horse racing but all of that comes after learning how to correctly read the form guide. Form guides provide a wealth of information and they’re really useful for assessing a horse’s chances of winning. At the top of the card, you’ll have the time of the race and the distance, followed by the classification and entry requirements. The third column is one of the most important and you need to take note of it as this is where you’ll find details of the horses.
The numbers show you where each horse finished in its previous races, with the most recent on the right. There will often be different letters that signify details of the race – for example…
- “P” means the horse was pulled and didn’t finish,
- “F” indicates the horse fell
- “D” indicates the horse was disqualified.
Each horse also has a number to the immediate right of their name which tells you how long it has been since they last races. On the card, you’ll find details of the weight they will be carrying in the race as well as any details of equipment being worn. In the fifth column of the guide, you’ll find details about the jockey and trainer for each horse. Form guides can differ from country to country, but as a general rule these details, among others, are beneficial in helping you choose the right selection for your wager.