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basic horse racing betting tips 

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from our USA correspondent

Basic Horse Racing Betting Tips
06/11/12

Betting on the horses is great, and for those who know what they’re doing, it can indeed represent a more than decent source of revenue.

© Caroline Norris

I Have A Dream

This gambling genre isn’t overly popular with the masses though and it is in fact quickly losing its existing following as well, as the young gamblers, bred on the instant gratification provided by online gambling and poker, are finding its intricacies more and more daunting. Indeed, betting on the horses these days is quite an intimidating proposition for many a gambler. There are all sorts of weird expressions and bet-types involved, and handicapping is a true nightmare for a beginner.

Here’s a brief, focused guide to help you understand some of the basics involved in horse racing handicapping.

Trainer and jockey change is a major factor in horse racing handicapping: many bettors – especially beginners – make the mistake of picking a preferred jockey and basically betting him rather than the horse. The reason behind why certain jockeys seem to do better than others is that popular jockeys generally get the best mounts. The actual abilities of the jockey have little to do with it though. If one takes the best and most popular jockey and puts him on the worst available mount, he’s not going to do well at all. While a jockey cannot radically improve the performance of a horse, it is true that a bad jockey can ruin the performance of a good horse. Therefore, the thing to keep in mind here is the following: the best jockey on the worst horse will find it quite impossible to hit the board, while the best jockey on the best horse is indeed highly likely to hit the board and even to win the race.

Medication – this is one factor few handicappers ever seem to talk about, which is peculiar because it’s a rather important one indeed. Race horses are usually given one of two types of medications: Lasix or Bute. Bute isn’t legal everywhere so it’s less of a factor than Lasix. The interesting thing about Lasix is that horses who take it for the first time are guaranteed to improve. On the other hand, horses that are given Bute may react differently. A horse will either absolutely need Bute to perform well or it will be quite abysmal with it. The way to see how horses react to medication is to take a look at their past performances to see how they ran when on different medication.

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