What To Look For When Betting On Horses

by S. Ateljevic  ·  April 29, 2021

Betting on thoroughbreds is a multi-layered activity, combining action-packed races with potentially hefty payouts. As a result, millions of bettors hunt favourable odds and wager on the best horse racing betting sites.

Yet, there’s more than meets the eye with betting on the fastest equine athletes on the planet. Many punters lose their composure when visiting a betting site because the options can overwhelm even the most experienced ones.

If you wonder what to look for when betting on horses and which factors to consider, you can find the answers to these questions below and much more. Therefore, let’s get started.

Six Quick Facts About Betting on Horses

  • Horse racing betting offers many bet types and lots of betting opportunities.
  • A vast array of factors can affect horses’ performances on the track.
  • The primary types of bets on horses are straight and exotic.
  • Every horse racing meeting provides a racecard with lots of information on horses.
  • Handicapping can reduce the perceived advantage of a favoured runner.
  • Bettors should consider the horse’s previous performances, pedigree, gate position, and fitness when placing a wager.

Our comprehensive horse racing betting guide lists the elements you should consider when looking for winners. As a disclaimer, we should say that horse races are as unpredictable as they are exciting.

In other words, no amount of data or statistics can guarantee that your selection will grab the trophy. Horses are not robots, and these magnificent beasts can behave in various ways once out the gate. Since there’s a lot to cover, it’s best if we start from the basics.

How Does Horse Racing Betting Work?

Horse racing betting is probably as long-lasting as horse racing itself, with people betting on horses ever since the first race. Like in any other area, the key to being successful at horse betting is to find value bets.

Value bets are an ideal combination of high-value prices and a runner with a strong probability to win. Yet, finding value and picking a winner is easier said than done. That’s why it’s essential to look for tell-tale signs and do your homework before betting.

But before we move onto the factors affecting the potential outcome of a race, let’s go back to placing a bet and see how that works on new betting sites.

How To Place Horse Race Bets

Above everything else, bettors must bet only on legitimate and regulated betting sites. By doing so, their hard-earned money will not vanish, which can happen with shady websites.

Plus, an effortless bet placement process awaits you at the best horse racing betting sites. Once you select the runner, look for the type of wager you wish to place. As the name says, straight bets are straightforward, while exotic options include several permutations.

Of course, beginners will need to learn how to fill in a betting slip on horse racing betting sites. The good news is that novice bettors should have no problems with the process as little can go wrong. On most platforms, the betting slip will stand on the right-hand side, allowing you to see the selections and the potential returns.

Nevertheless, placing a bet is only half the work. The tricky part is to find the runners worthy of putting your money on and the markets with the right payout potential. In other words, you need a system, a plan, or a strategy. Here’s why.

How To Create a Horse Racing Betting Strategy

A betting strategy acts as a blueprint for your betting behaviour. As we said, horse racing betting is a complex area, with many options that can affect the long-term winnings. Thus, a strategy can help you focus on a particular aspect of horse racing. Some bettors specialise in handicap betting, while others choose only the flat races. Some focus on a specific jockey, while others become experts at tote betting.

No matter which system you opt for, an optimal horse racing betting strategy should keep you focused at all times. Also, it will act as a money management system, delegating your investments and avoiding bets based on the gut feeling.

Then again, a strategy will only work if you know where to look when searching for value bets. To help you with this process, we collected a set of elements you need to consider when betting on thoroughbreds.

What To Look For When Betting On Horses

Horse racing comes in many forms, and various competitions and events can require different things from runners. For instance, a world of difference exists between sprint races and the Grand National. Nonetheless, several elements span through the horse racing betting realm, and every aspiring bettor should know about them.

As we said, the type of race can affect the results, so start by checking if the horse is well-versed in running the particular distance. Likewise, horses can drop from one class to another, resulting in an advantage over competitors.

Another essential element for understanding horse racing would be the surface type. The quality of the ‘going’ can have a profound impact on the results. Some horses prefer the turf, while others enjoy running down synthetic surfaces or even dirt.

Speaking of preferences and the psychological side of things, we should also say that the connection between a horse and a jockey is another aspect worth considering. The human element also translates to the trainer’s reputation and experience. In other words, every horse racing betting guide will tell you to bet on runners coming from proven trainers and stables.

The horse’s pedigree is also crucial for success in the modern horse racing world. It’s no coincidence that the wealthy pay millions of pounds for horses from esteemed bloodlines.

Of course, the pedigree is no guarantee that the horse will grow into a champion. For that reason, punters should also look at the physical characteristics of a horse. Namely, the hind legs are the pistons of the horse’s engine, so check whether they are muscular and well-developed. Also, a horse’s shiny coat can be a sign of a healthy and well-trained animal.

All these details matter if you want to learn how to make money betting on horse racing. Yet, we’ve merely scratched the surface. Each of the elements we mentioned hides many secrets that you cannot know without years of experience. The more you learn about the horse racing industry, the more success you can expect from betting on horses.

That said, we should now move onto the most significant element to consider before a race — the horse’s form.

Understanding Horse Racing Form

Like in any other sport, form is a representation of previous performances. It depicts the results in the last couple of events, providing bettors with valuable insights. Of course, an in-form runner has higher chances of winning the upcoming meeting than a horse with a poor performance in the last few races. Consistency is key, and it’s all about looking for patterns.

If you want to know how to study horse racing form, start by visiting a UK betting site. Then, select a horse and look at the numbers next to its name. In most cases, bookies include the last five meetings in the form guide. Sometimes, you’ll find letters next to the horse’s name, and these symbols might represent an injury or a cancelled event.

Speaking of those situations, bettors should also check whether the runner is well-rested. In general, 30–45 days should be the ideal break for an elite animal. Anything over 90 days since the last race means that the horse returns from an injury and might not be in top form.

Additional Horse Racing Secrets

Fitness-related problems can also affect the horse’s performances, ultimately impacting your betting portfolio. Therefore, punters should always look for recent injuries and check whether the horse is back to its best.

Unlike betting at the races, online betting doesn’t let you evaluate horses during the paddock-watching session. During those moments, jockeys parade horses, allowing spectators to assess contenders. Namely, bettors can check whether a horse is calm yet ready to spring into action.

So how to win betting on horse racing without the hands-on approach? You can do that by relying on modern technologies. Namely, most bookmakers provide odds comparison tools to help punters find the most favourable lines. Also, many bettors create accounts on multiple UK betting sites to shop for the best prices.

Also, streaming services can help you see the situation in real-time. Nowadays, many other sources can provide punters with inside information on horses and jockeys.

Conclusion — What’s the Best Way To Bet On Horses?

The winner-finding process when betting on horses is both an art and a science. Admittedly, it requires a knack for selecting the perfect options at the right time. And yet, data and statistics can be equally valuable in recognising champions. The goal is to combine those two aspects and use them to your advantage.

You should know by now what to look for when betting on horses. Among other things, you should start by checking the fitness and health of a horse. Also, learn as much as possible about the connection between the jockey and the horse in question. Finally, analyse the form and previous thoroughbred’s performances to narrow down the search and place the most profitable bets.