Although there is nothing wrong with throwing caution to the wind and treating a day at the track as nothing more than a fun diversion, there is no need to go in blind every time. Even a little time invested into learning the basics of horse racing betting strategy will pay dividends over the long term.
An understanding of handicapping strategy also adds to the entertainment factor. As fun as it is to look at a list of horses and place a bet or two with no real strategy, the experience is so much fuller when you have a greater understanding of what is actually going on behind the scenes. Suddenly, the daily racing form and horse statistics become so much more engrossing when you have a purposeful horse racing strategy.
Recommended Racing Bookmakers for Strategic Betting
To that end, we have put together the following horse racing betting strategy guide. Our goal is to help you become a more informed and successful horseplayer. Even if you never become a pro, the proper application of these handicapping principles should help you lose less often and win more often.
The strategies discussed below are applicable to horse racing in general rather than to a specific race. If you’re looking for tips on specific races, see our horse racing blog for previews of upcoming races. Those of you who are brand new to horse racing betting should see our guide to reading the odds before proceeding to the articles listed below.
Horse Racing Strategy Articles
- Making the most out of long shot horses: A strategy guide full of useful information for betting on long shot horses. This article is based on statistics gathered from millions of real races and includes some surprising findings.
- When it pays to lay the favourite: Insights into laying favourites in horse races. We look at past races and discuss the strategy for betting against horses that the public expects to win.
- Betting on horses coming back from long layoffs: It is a mistake to automatically write-off all horses coming back from a long layoff. This strategy article uses real racing data to find the sweet spots for betting on horses coming back from long layoffs.
- When place betting is worth your while: Here we discuss each/way betting and when it makes sense to consider the “place only” option. As always, this strategy article is based on real data and past results.
- Picking winners according to class: We dive deep into past results organized by class of race and then break it down even further to find profitable trends for backing favourites in specific classes.
- Why you shouldn’t back horses based solely on jockey: Looking at the top jockeys and your ROI if you were to blindly bet on those jockeys in every race. In conducting research on this piece, we also stumbled across some surprise findings that we can put to use to make money off certain jockeys.
- Which flat trainers can you really rely on?: We now take a look at the profitability of choosing bets based on flat trainers. We look at past results from some of the best trainers in racing and then dig deeper to find profitable opportunities.
- Making money with all-weather racing: Is it possible to find an edge in all-weather betting? We believe so, based on the thousands of past bets we studied.
- Are odds-on bets a waste of time? We use a little math plus past results to see if odds-on favourites show value compared to higher-priced long shots.
- Conventional wisdom vs. hard data: In this article, we put several pieces of conventional “wisdom” to the test against hard numbers. Find out how popular racing betting advice fares in the real world.
- Can you make a profit from jockey claiming allowances?: Less experienced jockeys get to run with less weight, but does that make them any more likely to win or more profitable over the long term? Here’s what we found out when we crunched the numbers.
- Should I stay near the top of the betting market?: Here, we look at the long term results you would get from betting only on the top 1-5 favourites in horse races and see if we can find a profitable angle.
- Is it worth betting on horses dropping in trip?: Once again, we use past results from hundreds of races to identify whether or not there are any profits to be made. In this article, we’re looking at how horses fared when moving down in distance from one race to the next.
- Can the Official Ratings help us find a profit in horse racing?: We explain the OR rating system and use real examples to determine its usefulness from a handicapping perspective.
- How much of a role should form play in our handicapping?: This article discusses the usefulness and reliability of form as an indicator for horse racing success.