Winning On Horseracing: A Matter Of Statistics
There are many factors to decide the outcome of a horserace and all factors have different importance. The below factors give you an overview of what to take into consideration, before betting on a horse.
Horse tipster, Jannis has developed his own horseracing betting system based upon his 25 years experience. In this article Jannis reveals some of the most important factors in horseracing and gives you beginner tips of how to become a more successful horseracing tipster.
First of all we have the unknown factors:
- The form of the horse on the day of the race
- The luck in running during the race
The form of a horse varies on the racing day. All sportsmen know the importance of the form on the day, so just like Ronaldinho can have an off-day, so can Seabiscuit. But in the long run this unknown factor is eliminated and only dependent on the quality of the trainer (see known factors – Trainer).
We can't foresee the factor of luck during the race, so we can only trust that the Jockey will do his best, although the run-style and effect of the draw can be very significant (see known factors – Jockey)
The known factors to influence the outcome are:
There are many with different characteristics. Some tracks are with right or left handed turns, others with more or less uphill or downhill. There are tracks with grass (turf) and others with a all weather surfaces (and different types i.e Lingfield has polytrack while Southwell races on the much deeper Fibresand surface). Some horses prefer one track more than another and their performance varies thereby. So we have to know, on what tracks the horse performs the best and this is calculated from the analysing the profile of every horse.
The ground is a very crucial factor, because the horse might perform best on a soft ground (after rain), very soft (heavy), dry (good) or very dry (firm). Every horse has a ground preference and this is also calculated from the statistics of the horse. Therefore the weather on the day is important in regards of the conditions of the ground. So if you decide to be a horseracing tipster, it couldn’t harm, also being a halftime weather forecaster. Twitter is particularly useful now in keeping abreast of the latest weather developments, and it can also provide useful jockey/trainer/owner quotes about what is expected today from their horses.
Some horses like short distances (five or six furlongs) and others like long distances (1m4f plus), which are another factor calculated upon statistics. This is also a genetic heredity, so the characteristics of the breeding must also be considered. There are plenty of experts in the breeding world and there are certainly trends related to the sire (father) or the dam (mother) of all horses. For example, Montjeu's offspring often tend to posses a hint of temperament and are not always straightforward for pressure off the bridle.
If the racecourse is small, the tracks will have wide turns. In this way a horse on the far wing have to run longer than the others and therefore the position (box number) of where the horse will start matters. For example, at Chester a low draw is a huge advantage as the track is very tight and constantly on the turn. This is factored into the prices as the advantage is clear to see. Less obvious bias is something the astute punter can really profit from if he notices before anyone else. The newly developed Ascot used to have a huge bias for horses racing close to the stands rail (low draw), but watering has eliminated this, while at Folkestone there was a magic carpet on the farside (high numbers) on the grass that had been flattened out by the horse-ambulance!!
Professional racing horses start racing when they are two years old. According to how many times they have won and what kind of regard they are held in they are placed into classes by their trainers. Class 1 is the best and Class 7 is the lowest. Many low class races are for claiming/selling horses where the winner can be auctioned off afterwards. Handicaps fit into various ratings bands i.e 0-70, and vary enormously in class and value. Many trainers, i.e Sir Mark Prescott or Noel Quinlan specialise in getting their runners very well handicapped (not given to much weight by the official handicapper) by largely campaigning them over a trip too short in their early days. A positive move in the betting is a big clue with certain stables and should be heeded by asutue punters.
The weight of a horse is determined by the official BHA handicapper who allots him a "mark" that is a figure equating to his view of their current merit. This can go up and down with every run, and a 7lb rise would be typical for a winning horse. If a horse continues to underperform he will see his "mark" fall rapidly and mean he can race in lesser handicaps as a result, i.e a lower ratings band such as 0-50.
Just as horses may have a track preference, so do some jockeys. Some jockeys prefer short distance over long distances. The winning percentage of a jockey is the important factor and should be taken into consideration when staking. See our exclusive BettingExpert Flat and NH Jockey Ratings for an excellent guide to the merits of the top riders (updated every week).
Some trainers have the reputation of having a horse ready for certain races, i.e Richard Hannon specialises in 2-y-o's and has a superb record with youngsters. There are some combinations of trainer/jockey which have a high winning percentage and these are interesting to keep an eye on. Often it is significant when a small yard opts for a "high profile" jockey as this may signal that today is the day and they do not want any mistakes in executing the "coup".
Betting & Racing
There are two kinds of odds you can play by the bookies:
- EP (Early Prices): Are offered by bookmakers before the race, available from first thing in the morning
- SP (Starting Prices): These are the final prices returned from the track.
The most popular bets are (WIN) and Each Way (EW). WIN is when you pick a horse to win the race and on EW you are betting on the horse to win or get a top placed. The places and the odds for the EW bets for all normal races are:
Example: You stake €20 on a horse EW with odds 5.50 in a race with the total of 8 horses.
i.e 10 euros each-way (10 win and 10 place = 20 in total invested). The horse gets a 1st place: You will be paid half of the stake with the full odds (€10 x 5.50 = €55) plus the other half of the stake with a 1/5 of the odds (€10 x (1 + ((5.50-1)/5)) = €19) due to the top placement. The total payout is €55 + €19 = €74.
If the horse got a 2nd or 3rd place you would get paid half the stake with a 1/5 odds: €10 x (1 + ((5.50-1)/5)) = €19.
If it is a handicap race the terms are slightly different...
|2-4 Horses||Only win|
|5-7 Horses||1st 2 for 1/4 Odds|
|8-11 Horses||1st 3 for 1/5 Odds|
|12-15 Horses||1st 3 for 1/4 Odds|
|16 + Horses||1st 4 for 1/4 Odds|
Some bookmakers also offer Straight Forecast, where the first and the second horse have to be in the correct order. A Straight Tricast is where the first, second and third horse have to be in the correct order.
Horseracing on the BettingExpert Blog
For more racing analysis and advice, check out the Horse Racing page on our blog. Each week Stephen delivers us the latest news and insight from the world of racing.
My Horseracing Betting Advice
You should play the simplest bets (WIN and EW) and avoid many combinations in horserace betting. You must remember that the bookmakers make a bigger cut (lower payout percentage for you) on high odds, because they have to insure themselves against really big wins. Therefore I can not recommend you to bet on forecasts, tricasts or the popluar mug bets such as Yankee's or Lucky 15's.
When finding your pick the most important factor is the winning percentage of the trainer and jockey. Since the ground and distance factors also are important, it is always preferable to bet on a horse who has proven winning form under similar circumstances.
Good luck everybody
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