The outcome of almost every horse race is determined by 6 main factors, which you can look at before the race even starts.
Of course, there are hundreds of minor factors that also affect a horses chances.
But by knowing the major 6 factors, you will be able to predict the winner of a race with much more accuracy than the average punter.
The 6 main factors are:
It might seem obvious, but the difference in abilities between horses is a huge factor that determines the outcome of plenty of races.
Performance ratings (such as a horse’s official rating) do a good job of determining each horse’s ability.
However, you need to be careful with these ratings. Especially when it comes to younger horses. This is because they are based on a horses previous performance and don’t take into the horses ability to improve.
2. Surface And Going
It is very rare for a horse to perform well on all surface conditions. Some horses will run well on firm ground, but run very poorly if the going is heavy.
So it is very important to consider how the horse has performed in the past on various surface conditions, so you can predict if the race day conditions will suit the horse.
The surface condition also needs to be taken into account for All-Weather race tracks. Just because a horse ran well on the Fibersand track at Southwell, doesn’t mean the horse will run well on the Polytrack at Lingfield.
3. Recent Form
Good recent form indicates that the horse is fit, healthy and in good shape to beat its competitors.
Horses with poor recent form do sometimes go onto win races. But it is much more common for a horse who is on form to win.
4. Running Styles
Some will like to lead the race (front runners) whilst others will prefer to run among the group for most of the race (hold up).
If you know how the horses in a race prefer to run, you can take a good guess as to what the pace of the race will be.
Different paces will suit different running styles.
For example, if there are two or more horses in a race that are known to be front runners, they are likely to compete against each other and tire themselves out. This will usually leave the race open to be won by a fast finisher.
An athlete who is good at running marathons, will not be competitive when racing in a 100 meter sprint.
The same applies to horses.
Horses have varying degrees of speed and stamina. This will determine what distance they will be best racing over.
When considering whether a horse is likely to win a race, you should look back to see how the horse has performed over this distance in the past.
If the horse has never ran at this distance before, you should look for signs that might indicate how the horse is likely to run over this distance.
For example, a strong finish in a slightly shorter race would suggest that the horse is capable of running well in slightly longer races.
Finally, you should consider the jockey who is riding the horse.
The difference in skill between the very best jockeys and the very worst is huge. Also, some jockeys are best suited to running at specific courses.
For those two reasons, it is well worth looking at a jockey’s recent form, as well as their course form.
There are other lesser factors that will also affect the results of a race. (Such as draw bias.)
But just taking into account the 6 factors above will give you a solid foundation for picking winners.
But picking winners is only one part of the puzzle
If it were that simple, we could just bet on the favourite in every race and we’d all be millionaires.
Making money from your betting is a bit tougher than that, but it can be done.
And I know it can be done, because I make my living from my betting.
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