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It’s no easy task finding a winner… whether you’re a seasoned pro backer or just a casual racegoer who likes to have a flutter every now and again.
Finding profitable horseracing tips on a day-to-day basis is tough.
Whether you’re a professional punter or a semi-serious backer, or if you’re simply picking out the best racing bets for a day at the races… it can involve a fair bit of time and effort.
Of course, not everybody can (or wants) to do that…
And so a number of specialist racing tipsters are available on this site to do all the hard work for you!
However, if you like the challenge of picking winners for yourself… here’s a few pointers to ‘reading the form’ that can help you find some successful horseracing bets of your own.
Or, at the very least, to understand a bit more about the business of being a betting tipster.
Some days you can look at a race for seconds… and find the winner. Other times, you could study the form for hours and hours… and end up losing.
Because that’s the nature of betting. On any given day, in any given race… anything can happen.
However, over a period of time, as any professional horseracing backer will tell you, like most things in life… the more work you put in, the more you’ll get out.
In other words, the more money you’ll make from your horseracing bets.
But where to start… what sort of things should you look for when picking a bet?
Here’s my ‘Ten Point Tipping Guide’ to finding more winners. A checklist of ten key factors that go to make up a winning bet on the horses.
Things that you should be aware of, or at least look for, when you’re thumbing through the racecard at the track or just flicking through the racing pages in your daily newspaper.
It’s foolish to think that the best trainer in the race will always have the best horse… and so win the race!
And what’s more, the runners of the ‘fancy stables’ are often backed blindly by punters… and so represent little real value in the betting market.
So what you should ask yourself is whether that particular trainer is in form… or do they have a good record at the track or with a certain type of runner… in other words, is the race you’re looking at ‘their kind of race’.
Trainers are a good starting point for your form study, and there’s many horseracing betting systems that base their predictions upon their performance figures. So get to know the good ones and try to understand what type of races, and what kind of horses, give them most success.
As with the trainers, the same rule applies here. The best jockeys don’t always ride the best animals. Sometimes they have to ride certain horses, due to any number of reasons, which have little or no chance of winning.
Again look for jockeys in form, or those riding for specific trainers with whom they have a good strike rate.
Also those jockeys, generally the better ones, who might be coming to a race meeting to ride just one specific horse. They won’t be going there for the sake of it!
When looking at a lot of races, the runners can often appear quite similar in terms of age, experience, past performance, class etc. And so in a handicap, for example, which is the most common type of race, it’s quite hard to tell one horse from another.
However, try to look a little closer.
One horse might be a young, improving sort carrying little weight. Another could be an old-stager, with lots of experience… but maybe past their best. Some horses never seem to win, always coming 2nd or 3rd… others are possibly overdue a win and were unlucky to lose last time.
Try to look a little deeper into the form figures and see if there’s more to them than meets the eye.
Races will often pitch together horses of different ability… many of whom have run at a different level on their previous outing.
So would you rather back a lower rated horse, which is improving, as it takes on better quality opposition… or would you prefer to back a better quality animal, maybe one that’s not been doing so well of late, facing lesser opponents.
It’s a common debate amongst racing tipsters… potential against proven ability. Which is best?
As a general rule, racehorses don’t all perform to the same level in the same conditions. They handle some types of ground better than others.
From the fastest conditions such as ‘firm’ or ‘good to firm’ to the slowest like ‘soft’ or ‘heavy’… horses will run better in some, worse in others.
That’s why you should look at the conditions (‘the going’) on the day of the race and see if it favours any horse in particular. That could be done by studying the breeding or by simply looking at its previous performances.
As they get older, most horses tend to run over longer distances. Greater physical development allowing them to run further, faster.
But once they hit a certain age, which might only be 3 or 4 depending upon the type of horse, they tend to stick to roughly the same distance… their ‘optimum trip’. The one at which they tend to perform best.
You’ll have ‘sprinters’ which do best over short distances or ‘stayers’ which run over longer trips… in between there are the ‘middle distance’ performers.
Hence it’s worth noting if a horse is running over a significantly longer or shorter distance than before… or whether it always seems to be running at different trips (almost as if the trainer doesn’t know what distance is best for them).
You will notice in the form of a race that some horses have letters after their name. In this case the letter ‘C’ denotes that they have won at today’s course some time earlier in their career… the letter ‘D’ that they have previously won over today’s distance.
And ‘CD’ means that they’ve done both in the same race.
And so you might want to consider a horse that has a distinct preference either for the racecourse, the trip… or preferably both!
More letters for you to consider… here ‘BF’ means ‘beaten favourite’.
The horse started its last race as the favourite but didn’t win.
No that could be for any number of reasons, and not necessarily a bad one. The jockey’s saddle slipped, the horse got hampered, the going conditions changed prior to the race starting…
However, it can be seen as a horse maybe not being totally reliable. So just watch out for these runners.
This is another aspect of the form which can be argued both ways.
Would you rather back a horse that hadn’t run for 200 days… and so might be a little short of ‘race fitness’. Or would you prefer to back one that ran 2 days ago… and is maybe still feeling the effects of a tough race.
Is it a horse’s first run of the season… or their last outing, after a long campaign through the season?
The answer to the question of DSLR (Days Since Last Run) is probably somewhere in between… but it’s always worth bearing in mind as different horses, as we’ve seen before, have different characteristics.
Although the percentages say that favourites win a lot of races (approximately 1 in 3) their odds are such that blindly backing every market leader won’t make you a long-term profit. If only horserace betting was that simple!
Similarly it doesn’t follow that outsiders (horses at big odds) never win.
Point being, backing a horse purely on its price isn’t the best way to picking winners.
What might be of more use is looking for horses which are being heavily backed (i.e. are getting shorter in the betting) as opposed to those which are drifting ( their odds are getting bigger).
And even that isn’t an exact science but it can give you a little more guidance when selecting your bet… and every little help you can get, so much the better!
This ‘Ten Point Tipping Guide’ should steer you in the direction of the payout counter…
At the very least, make you think a bit more about your bets.
Because if you can start to add some logic and structure to your betting, know what horses to back and when to back them, then you’re betting tips should improve…
And your profits should grow!
But if you can’t wait… well, I’ve a couple of highly profitable betting tipsters that will give you a headstart!
And I’ll happily tell you a little more about them if you get in touch.
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