The home of intelligent horse racing discussion
The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

How to Pick a Horse to Bet On

Many people have an in-depth knowledge of racing, but for others, it will consist of the sum total of information that can be gleaned from betting on the Grand National once a year. As that decision is based on pretty much no research at all (or worse, just picking a name out of a hat), then when someone wants to pick a horse to bet on for real – what should they consider in their efforts to pick a winner? Here is a short guide on how to pick a horse to bet on.

Decide on the type of bet you want to place

It’s easy to think about horse race betting as just being about the winner, but it doesn’t have to be as clear-cut as that. New gamblers might not know that there are other markets they can bet on; for example, that each way or place bets exist (or that these two terms don’t have the same meaning), which means they don’t have to get it exactly right. These bets can be placed both in the high-street bookmakers or by betting online at their sports betting site of choice.

Look at previous results and conditions

Before making this kind of bet though, there is some background information that needs checking. First on the list is how well the horse has done in previous races, with a particular emphasis placed on races over the same distance and in the same conditions. New gamblers might not grasp the significant effect that the track conditions have on the outcome of the race or the post position, but not taking this into account can mean the difference between success and failure.

In addition to this, another factor to take into consideration is which other horses are in the race, and who the favourite happens to be. Strangely enough, betting on the favourite in horse racing only pays off about a third of the time, so new bettors should not be drawn to backing those because they think it is a guaranteed winner.

Don’t forget the odds

Part of finding the right horse to bet on are the odds involved. For many experienced gamblers, looking for value is important. By ‘value’ experienced players will typically mean that the odds they see at the bookmaker are better than all of the factors pointed out above would suggest.

Consider the jockey and trainer

These are also important factors to take into consideration. Who is riding the horse can have a massive effect on their performance, to the extent that some players will place wagers by following a jockey rather than the horse. Even non-gamblers will have heard about Frankie Dettori winning all seven races in a day at Ascot, so checking this factor can be crucial.

In summary

Picking a horse to bet on is not easy – especially for those doing it for the first time. However, by looking at factors such as form, the conditions and the jockey, as well as deciding which type of bet will be best to place, the whole process can be made much easier.