When it comes to horse racing, there’s a lot more to it than simply placing a bet on the horse you think is going to win. In order to have any chance of winning big, you need to handicap the race. This means assessing all of the horses in the race and their chances of winning, then choosing the horse you think is most likely to come out on top.
If you’re new to handicapping, it can seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry – we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to handicapping a horse race like a pro.
What Does Handicapping Mean In Horse Racing?
Handicap horse racing is a type of horse racing where each horse is given a weight to carry, based on its past performances. This means that the better a horse has performed in the past, the more weight it will carry in a race. The weights are designed to even out the playing field so that all horses have an equal chance of winning.
The purpose of a horse handicap race is to level the playing field for all horses and, in theory, to place all horses in a handicap when the circumstance or outcome of a race between two or more competitors is even.
This certainly does not happen to owe to the unpredictable nature of racing in general, as other factors such as the jockey, draw, ground conditions, horse racing trainer form, online horse racing site, and courses for horses preferences can all influence the outcome – but this is the primary goal.
The handicapper itself assigns ratings to horses based on their previous racing performances. In general, the greater this figure, the better the horse. The Official Rating given to a horse enables the handicapper to differentiate between the horses’ abilities.
How Is A Handicap Mark Applied To A Horse?
Critical rules govern when and how a horse is assigned a handicap. The following are crucial points to keep in mind:
- When a horse wins a race, it is officially rated.
- It is critical to remember that the handicapper can deny a horse a handicap mark. If a horse has finished last in its first three starts, the handicapper will be unable to make an accurate judgment of the horse’s abilities. In all situations, the handicapper assigns a rating to a horse based on its best performance to date.
- A horse earns an official rating after racing three times regardless of finish position.
- Horses without an official rating are not permitted to run in a handicapped company. You will never acquire horses that raced twice without even winning or horses competing in handicap races for the first time.
How To Bet Horse Racing Handicaps Like A Pro
For horse racing punters, handicap betting can be confusing. However, there are some helpful tips to consider while selecting your runner.
Choose Other Options Aside From Favorites
Some of the crowd’s favorites don’t fare so well in the handicapped company, for whatever reason. You will shortly find yourself parting with your hard-earned money if you support them. As a result, you should look for higher value in other handicapping situations. It is the value itself that determines which key to use.
It’s common for horses who have won their most recent start to be rated much shorter than they should be in handicap company. Many bettors overlook penalties because a win next to a horse’s name is more appealing than a penalty. While it is true that horses that have not won in a long time are getting well-handicapped, this is opposed to a horse that’s becoming badly handicapped.
How Long Has It Been Racing?
Evaluating a horse’s past race performance is a must. If it has been held up in its last few starts but has a track record of winning when prominent, this is worth considering. Horses that adopt unconventional methods are of interest. If a horse prefers to be buried in the middle of the division and delivered late but has been front-running, this is something worth investigating further.
Last Winning Mark
A decent place to start when evaluating a handicap is to determine which mark each horse won off most recently. It is critical not to expect that every horse below its winning mark is capable of winning and that every horse beyond its winning mark is incapable of winning. There will always be exceptions. However, as a general rule, this is something to consider.
An excellent way to approach handicappers is to look for horses that have slipped in class and now compete against inferior horses. It is more challenging to defeat superior horses when they are lighter weight than beating inferior horses when they are heavier.
Certain horses succeed in one class but struggle in a lower one. Although these horses are frequently challenging to catch correctly, it is occasionally preferable to side with the class droppers rather than be against them.
Betting on handicap horse racing can be pretty challenging for some. However, understanding the factors to consider while selecting your horse will undoubtedly help you win. If you have reservations about your favorite, prepare a contingency plan or other alternatives. Consider additional factors while determining who to bet on, such as the horse’s past victory, its class, and the length of time it has been running.