How Do I Pick A Winning Horse?

Picking a winner is obviously not something that can be guaranteed. If that were possible, no bookie would ever take a bet! It is certainly possible to pick a winner more often than not, however, and to do that, you need information.

There needs to be a better process to your horse picks than just choosing the one with the funniest name, at least if you want to be successful. Researching every horse is difficult, though, so what can you do? Well, that’s what form guides are for. Instead of having to do your own research, you can refer to form guides to get a general idea of a horse’s career.

Form guides as published in newspapers will tend to offer limited information. This will usually be restricted to performances in the horse’s last few races, its age, its number, etc. One of the major advantages of online betting is that online form guides do not have the space restrictions of a newspaper entry. Online form guides can include information such as the kind of tracks and conditions a horse has raced under, the record of the jockey, the horse’s pedigree, and much more.

Don’t panic if you see a bunch of letters and numbers next to a horse on a form guide. You should be able to find a legend nearby that will explain what it all means. This may not always be the same from guide to guide, but there are a few common symbols that you can find under the form entry, such as:

  • Numbers from 1 – 9 denote the place the horse finished in a race
  • 0 denotes that the horse finished behind 9th place
  • A dash (-) separates the years that a series of races occurred
  • A forward slash (/) separates racing seasons
  • An ‘F’ means the horse fell
  • An ‘R’ means a refusal
  • A ‘U’ means an unseated rider

There are other symbols, and online form guides can give even more information, so you will need to refer to the legend of your chosen guide to stay on top of everything.

When reading about the experience of a horse, be sure to take into account all the factors involved before you pick it to be a winner. If your horse has been undefeated this season, but last season lost every race it ran on a wet track, you may want to reconsider betting on it against a less successful horse that has nevertheless always won its races in the wet if it is a rainy day at the racetrack. Similarly, if a 3-year-old is going up against older horses for the first time and it’s the favourite… well, you may want to give some thought to betting on the older prospects, especially in a longer race.

It takes practice to pick the winner on a regular basis, but once you get the hang of weighing up different factors and taking in all the news you can on a particular event, you should start picking a winner more often than you did before.

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