Welcome to the Horse Racing Betting Guide. First of all, I must start than by stating “The Sport of Kings” because that is exactly what horse racing is. There are more than 200 million racing fans worldwide. What’s even more fascinating is the fact that up to $100 billion is gambled on Horse Racing each year. There are 3 categories of Horse racing namely flat, jumps and trotting.

Horse Racing Betting Guide

This in-depth horse racing guide will help a beginner understand the vast thought process behind picking a winner and most importantly making a profit from this sport. The factors that go into evaluating a race in my eyes are stated below,

All this information can be seen on a race card which can be purchased at any race track. Also, it can be obtained from the Racing Post whether online or by reading the newspaper which to us is known as the Bible. In my eyes, the Racing Post is by far the best database available to any punter/gambler. Once the bible has been purchased the factors to examine and analyse in the hope of securing a tasty winner are all listed below.


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One must consider the horse’s ability in question to handle the track. For instance, has it raced at this specific track before, if so how has the horse faired? Is this race worse? the same? or even better than today’s contest?

In terms of the track/course, the following factors must be considered,

(1) Is the track flat or on the other hand undulating?

(2) Is the track stiff or is it easy for instance a long uphill finish would be classified as stiff thus Cheltenham is a prime example of such a track.

(3) Is the track right handed or left handed or will the race be run on a straight course. For example, Cheltenham is a galloping left-handed track.

(4) The effect of the draw is massive and much will depend on the distance of the race. In Meydan, for example, this factor is pivotal for the Dubai World Cup for instance.

(5) Track bias does it tend to favour finishers or on the other hand horse whom lay-up with the pace.

This photo by horseracingphoto.co.uk


A horse must thrive on the underfoot conditions as if not, this could have disastrous consequences. For instance, Venetia Williams horses who are known for being hefty steeplechasers revel in the soft and heavy ground. This was particularly evident the winter of 2014 and if you were aware of this you would have made a tidy profit over this especially wet winter.


Find the horse in questions ideal/optimum trip. Most horses can operate within a range of varying distance. Take for instance the impressive mare Annie Power. This mare has won over 2 miles to
finishing second in the world hurdle over 3 miles. In my opinion, her optimum trip is 2m 4f and I have no doubt she will show this over the coming years. “Faugheen the machine” is also an animal where any distance is of little concern as illustrated in the 2017/2018 season.

Reading a race

Here we analyse our horse’s opponents to try and figure out how they are going to run their specific race. The major factors in my eyes are the size of the field and the pace of the race. With size of the field obviously, some horses don’t like being crowded in like sardines in a tin while for instance front runners may potential have an easier route in smaller fields.

With regard to pace in the race does the horse in question need a strong pace. Would a front-runner benefit from being left alone? These are all questions that a punter must search for answers to. It’s a punters obligation to try and find out how a race will be run by researching previous races.


This is one of the most important factors in this guide. This refers to the extra weight a horse must carry and this weight is in stones and pounds. Just to add there are 14 pounds to one stone and there are roughly 2.2 pounds to a kilogram. The horse weight is connected to the horse saddle cloth number. Thus the horse with the highest weight i.e carrying the most weight is the one with the lowest number. On any race card worth its salt you can see the total the horse will carry and you can see if there are exceptions for apprentices or penalties for recent success. If there is an allowance, penalty or overweight notice for the race you can see those on the race card of course if it’s a good race card and not just that of a common mainstream newspaper.

Weight Allowance

This photo by horseracingphoto.co.uk

An allowance, penalty or overweight notice can be seen by the signals of A, P or O followed by the amount in question with respect to the case. In my opinion, the only one of above to be extra vigilant of is the allowance. As for instance if the chosen jockey doesn’t ride for whatever reason injury etc. then that allowance could be lost. Thus the weight of the horse could change.

Also, my loyal followers should pay attention to the fact that it’s very often the case a good trainer will have a good apprentice in his books. Thus the trainer uses him or her to their advantage to get that little bit extra in terms of an allowance which could decide winning the race or not. A prime example of this was when the highly talented Hayley Turner was claiming an allowance. Hayley was magnificent during this period and she continues to be so even since her allowance has been removed

Trainer Form

I always check if the trainers is on losing run, obviously, it differs from trainer to trainer in terms of their operations i.e. a number of runners in the yard etc. However, if a trainer has a losing run that is abnormal then you must take this into consideration when selecting your horse. For instance, if Patrick Flynn went on a losing run of ten nobodies would bat an eyelid however if it was the maestro of Ballydoyle Aidan O’Brien on such a losing streak, one would have to launch an inquest into this situation e.g. is there a sickness in the yard etc. Again, you must do your
homework. This can’t be understated.


The influence a confident jockey in his prime can have on the outcome of a race is phenomenal. Take Mikael Barzalona’s ride in the Derby in 2011. My favourite ride of all time whether on the flat or over the jumps. His sheer confidence riding Por Moi in guiding his mount home in the final strides was breathtakingly glorious. He knew half a furlong out the race was his and the prize money went to France. His cheeky celebration before finishing really summed up this young man’s confidence.

Also, I shall note that in the major races where the general public jump on the bandwagon e.g. Derby, Grand National, both Guineas’ etc. It should be noted at times top jockeys are over supported simply because of their stature in the public eye and thus this will be reflected in the odds.

This photo by horseracingphoto.co.uk

Thus don’t let this affect your decision making on the outcome of the race. A prime example was AP McCoy aboard Shutthefrontdoor in his last Grand National in 2015.


To summarise, all in all, do your homework be rational and calculated don’t let the general public change your mind nor that of a mainstream newspaper, who’s main horse racing correspondent would not know the difference from a forecast to a reverse forecast. You will have good days and bad days, photo finishes will go for and against you, but at the end of the day they will balance out. Don’t always remember the bad luck, because Horse racing is a beautiful sport and nothing beats a sunny day out at the races. Emotion has no place in this sport and no place in professional gambling.