The Basics of Picking a Flat Racing Winner in Horse Racing

  • 15 May 2018
    5 min. read

There are many people who love to bet on flat racing, but also quite a few who only place the occasional bet, or don’t bet on it at all. If you are one of those, then you can find it difficult to know where to start and what to focus on. With so much important flat racing on the way, it is time to write a handy guide for punters, to show them what basics they need to look out for when placing a bet on flat racing. If you are interesting to choose best bookmaker for horse racing betting, check our best horse racing bookmakers 2024  rating.

Table of content

Recent Form

There is no better to start to place when looking at flat racing, recent form is absolutely key to a horses chances. First of all, it is important to note that is a horse has shown good recent form, it doesn’t mean it will automatically win, and if a horse has been out of form, it doesn’t automatically mean it has no chance. Horses can surprise from time to time, but as a rule of thumb, recent form can go a long way to helping you decide which horses are worth adding to your short list and which ones can be bypassed at an early stage.

When looking at recent form you don’t need to look for a horse that has won its last race, this can include horses that have been running generally well, and going close. The reason for this is because you are looking for a horse that may be ready to strike, and by showing good recent form it shows they are fit and healthy, as well as running without any problems.

Some horses take time to get going, and will need three of four runs before they hit their peak, by backing horses in good form you will stay clear of these horses, because they won’t be in good form. You are also guarding against horses from yards that are out of form, that could potentially have problems in the yard and make the horses run out of form for a reason.

The Basics of Picking a Flat Racing Winner in Horse Racing

Look for Top Jockeys and Trainers

If you are looking for horses to back at a flat race meeting and you are not sure where to start, a good place to start can be the jockey and trainer. Look at the meeting in question and see who are the best jockeys and trainers attending, both in general and at that specific course. This can often lead you in the right direction and give you something to work with as you look through the field and decide which horses need a closer look.

Of course the biggest and best trainers and jockeys don’t always win every single race, but often when you are struggling they can be the best place to start. For jockeys, the top ones are in high demand and they are often asked to ride three or four horses in each race, meaning they often get the pick of the best runners. If you trust their judgement then they will go with the best horse in the race, and the one that has the most chance of winning the race.

When it comes to trainers, the bigger trainers have the best facilities available and often the most expensive horses. While this doesn’t always bring success, there is much more chance of them holding their form and consistently performing well throughout the season. Smaller trainers can often go through tough spells where they struggle for form, and this can mean they struggle for winners during that time.

Course Form

There are many different horse racing tracks around the world, and each one has a different and unique challenge that is given to horses. Some courses require you to stay well because of an uphill finish, some go left handed, some go right handed and some have no bend on them at all. One way to guarantee that your selection will handle the test that the course in question brings is if they are a previous winner at the course. You will see this on your race card, indicated by a ‘C’ next to the horses name. By backing course winners, you know your horse will like the course, which can count for a lot in a race, and although this isn’t the only thing you should look at, it can be a very good way to discount horses, or decide between the final few.

Course form is not as important on the simple tracks, but at really complicated tracks that offer a unique test, it can be very important and something that plays a huge part in looking at the form. Be sure to look at course form, and use it as strongly as you think it needs to be, based on the course in question for the bet you are putting on.

The Draw

This is one of the last things to look at when you are finalizing your shortlist and taking the last few horses off it. The draw can have huge significance at some tracks, and a small significance at others, but one thing is for sure, it can be the difference between winning and losing a race.

If you are torn between two horses and you do not know which to pick, a good thing to do at the end of your form study is to compare the draw of both horses. Being drawn well can give a horse a real advantage, and this is the way to cut down your final shortlist, and eventually pick a selection to back.

While the draw is hard to use as an initial way of narrowing down the field, it is a great way to separate your final two or three horses after you have looked at the many other factors before. Use the draw last, and this can be the last thing that helps you narrow down the field, giving you your selection that you are going to back.

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