What To Look Out For When Picking A Winning Horse

Picking A Winning Horse

You’ve probably witnessed unbelievable comebacks and underdogs defeating favorites in many competitions. So the fact is, there are no guarantees in any type of betting, not even horse racing. Well, that doesn’t mean you should back or bet on any horse because just about any outcome can happen in a sporting event. It’s best to take a calculated risk if you want to tilt the odds in your favor. That’s said, if you are looking to place some wagers at the racecourse anytime soon, here’s what to look out for when picking a winning horse.

  1. The Horse’s Form.

The form of a horse is the performance in the previous races. If a horse is on a winning streak, especially in hard races or against tough oppositions, then it’s a good idea to back such a horse. While this tip isn’t the only one you need, backing an “in-form” horse is like taking a calculated risk. As we go look at other factors below, you can also get more horse racing tips at Timeform.

2. The Going

Going is a term that describes the condition of a racing ground. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, these are the going conditions of a racing ground: firm, soft, good, heavy, and yielding. Firm ground is the hardest type and is typically the ground horses race on during summer. 

Heavy grounds pose resistance to movement as it’s a muddy condition. Horses usually perform differently on these ground types. So, you want to bear this information in mind when making a selection. For example, if the current going is soft, it’s best to avoid a horse with a record on the firm ground only. 

3. Distance

Have you seen humans that are champions in marathon races? That doesn’t mean they can take on the champions of 100m or 200m races. Similarly, some horses have the speed for sprints or relatively short distance races but not long-distance or obstacle-containing courses. You’ll do well to know the distance your horse shines at. 

Flat races are usually shorter than jumps or what is called National Hunt racing in the UK. The thumb rule is, jump horses are generally bigger and have more stamina for balance-maintaining when they jump. A bigger horse may not necessarily shine in flat races, or short-distance races where maintaining high speed over a short distance is needed. 

4. Pedigree

It’s a known fact that horses inherit traits from their dam or sire. So, even if you find a horse at the racecourse that hasn’t run before but is from the bloodline of “speed devils,” it’s not a bad idea to assume the horse will do well like the parents. This is, no doubt, based on the horse’s pedigree. This tip might seem like a simplistic way of deciding on a horse, but trust us, it works in the horse racing industry. 

5. The Horse’s Age.

As horses grow older, their performance drop. It’s a simple rule of nature. Generally, winners are usually less than 18 years old. That doesn’t mean older horses will always lose to younger ones, but it makes better betting sense to back younger horses than a much older one. Also, you might want to know that horses are at their peak at certain ages. 

For example, horses start racing on flats from age two, while three-year-olds and over horses take on hurdling. Flat horses reach peak performance from 3.5 to 7 years and begin to decline, while jumpers hit their peak around seven and begin to decline at age 10.


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