Updated: October 2019

How to Bet on Horse Racing and Win

26 April 2019

Sports betting is difficult and it’s hard to make a regular profit, and that is especially the case with horse racing. There are so many meetings, at different courses, on various ground conditions, that if you bet on everything it makes it nigh on impossible to make money from it.

But, it is possible to make money if you approach horse racing betting in the right way.

How to Win Betting on Horse Racing

In order to win betting on horse racing you must stick to a system and approach it in the right mindset. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of making a healthy profit from horse racing.

Bankroll Management

This is recommended with any form of sports betting but correct bankroll management is key to getting the most out of horse racing betting.

By setting yourself a bankroll limit, dividing it into points and only staking using that points system, you give yourself more chance of a profit by increasing the number of bets you will be able to place. Instead of going “all-in” on a red hot favourite, or increasing your stake money to chase losses, you will remain responsible and with a more long term approach to making profit.

Find a Speciality

As mentioned already, there are several horse racing meetings held every day at different courses, on the flat, over hurdles or fences, on all-weather tracks, and in different weather conditions. It is a tough task to be able to pick winners on a regular basis from all the available races.

But, you will give yourself a much better chance of making profit if you can specialise in a certain aspect of horse racing. Whether it’s a certain course or a particular type of race, being able to identify trends in these types of races and only betting on them will give you an advantage and prevent you losing money on the unknown.

Keep a Betting Record

In order for you to be able to identify trends and recognise your speciality, you will need to keep a betting record. Keep a list of races you bet on, name of the horse, trainer/jockey combination, course, distance, going, where the horse finished, odds, and whether or not it was a winner.

This way, you will be able to cross-check your records before placing a bet and ensuring you don’t make the same mistakes often with regards losing horses. It also means you will be able to identify the races you are successful in, horses/trainers/jockeys who make you the most profit, and also help to recognise if particular horses perform better on a certain type of ground or at a particular course.

Look for Eye-Catching Information

Whenever you study a racecard, there is always something eye-catching that will stand out about a certain race or a particular horse. Identifying this information can enable you to win more.

There are certain things to look out for, such as:

• Drop in Class – If a horse has performed okay at a higher level, say a class 2, and is running in a class 4, it should stand out as having a big chance of winning. The reason for the drop in class is usually that trainers know what they’re doing and they enter a horse into a lower grade to get it back to winning ways.
• Jockey Booking – The thing to look out for here is jockeys who are booked for only one ride at a certain meeting, especially if it’s at an evening meeting after they have already had several rides somewhere else during the day. Some stable jockeys will have to fulfil certain commitments but bookings like this can often signify that a horse has a great chance of winning.
• Longest Traveller – This is especially important if the longest traveller at a meeting is the only horse sent to that meeting by a specific trainer. If a trainer is willing to send a horse a long distance, without fielding other horses at the same meeting, it can mean the race has been hand picked by that trainer as winnable.
• Easy Recent Winners – Horses who won last time out, and by a decent margin should always be made a note of. Especially if they are running at the same course, over the same distance, or in the same grade. For example, if a horse wins by a number of lengths in a grade 4 handicap and is put out a few days later against horses of the same calibre as it beat last time, even a slight weight penalty probably isn’t enough to prevent it winning again.
• Course and Distance Winners – Another thing to look for is past course and distance winners. In a seven-horse race, there may only be one previous course and distance winner and often this horse may be available at decent odds. If a horse has won at the course, and over the same distance before, there’s a big chance it will do so again.

Avoid Short Priced Favourites

One of the biggest traps most casual horse racing punters fall into is that of backing the short priced favourites, especially those that are “odds-on”.

There is still a chance the horse will lose, and many highly-fancied favourites do get beat, but even if it wins there isn’t much value to be taken from it.

Looking for decent priced each-way bets is probably a better strategy than wasting your time, effort, and bankroll on extremely short priced favourites.

Research

The final point to be made, and is the case in any form of sports betting, is research. Before placing a bet, ensure you know all there is to know about the selection and the horses it is running against.

Check the form guide, look at races ran on similar ground conditions, over the same distance, at the same course, etc. If you cannot place a bet with complete confidence in your selection, save your stake money for another day and another selection.

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