inding winners on horse racing on a regular basis is a skill that practically all bettors would love to have. It’s one of the hardest things to predict, as the sport can spring surprises for even the most knowledgeable of punters.
Some horses as transcendent and able to rise to the occasion due to their brilliance on the track, although those are few and far between.
It behoves would-be gamblers to pay attention to three key areas when picking horses to bet on if you’re not overly familiar with the sport, which we’ll break down below for your convenience.
If you’re unsure of what horse to pick before the start of the race, the form guide is your best friend. It will detail the position in which the horse has finished in its last meets. Competitors have different ranges of experience depending on whether it’s the flat or jumps discipline.
It helps to remember that horses that compete in the flat season can have limited experience, as they tend to have short and sharp careers. Jump horses, on the other hand, can compete over a number of years, with many competing beyond the age of 10. It’s always best to judge on recent form rather than a horse that might have a history, although don’t discount that some competitors may perform better at certain venues over others.
The leading trainers in the sport tend to have the best horses competing in their major events. Depending on the trainer, some they may have several horses running in one race – such is the availability of talent in their respective yard. For the flats, two of the most notable trainers are Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden. They battle it out in the elite races of the flat term, with O’Brien seemingly boasting an endless stock of quality.
Gosden does not possess the same amount of talent, but he arguably has the more elite competitors at his disposal. This includes Stradivarius, who is backed in the horse racing betting odds as the odds-on favourite to win the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot Racecourse for the second year in a row. The next important point is the person at the reins.
Trainers always have their preferred jockeys, and the best ones get the choice of the field. The legendary Frankie Dettori always gets his choice of Gosden’s elite, taking the saddle on Stradivarius and Enable. If Dettori, Ryan Moore, Andrea Atzeni, Donnacha O’Brien or Oisin Murphy are in the saddle, you’re going to have a solid chance at a winner.
The weather and the ground are vital to success for horses. The truly great ones can compete and still win in all conditions, although it might be a harder slog on some occasions. Usually, the favourites tend to work best when the ground is good to firm, providing no drama on the track. When it’s wet and soft, it can be a minefield trying to predict the outcome. But that also can help the more daring punters get rewarded for betting on an outsider.
It was the case in 2019 Royal Ascot in the opening couple of days where heavy rain affected results, which saw a number of unexpected winners.
Analysing the form book and previous races can be useful to determine whether the horse you select can compete and win in all circumstances.