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from our USA correspondent

Horse Racing Tips
25/02/13

The popularity of horse racing betting has declined significantly in recent years. The reasons behind the phenomena are obvious: living in the age of instant gratification, most bettors, or rather would-be bettors find the system behind horse racing an extremely intricate and rather intimidating one.

© Caroline Norris

I Have A Dream

Looking past all the various betting options available and their exotic designations, there is indeed money to be made on the horses. Nowadays getting the hang of basic betting strategy and of the basic concepts involved in horse racing is easier than ever too, since there is a rather impressive amount of information available online on the subject. Before one delves into the intricacies however, he should take a long hard look at the basic philosophy behind horse racing betting success. As a basic thought, when it comes to “win” bets, one should never forget that he will never be able to secure lasting success by betting on the favorites. This of course is true in general sports betting as well, regardless of whether were talking about basketball football or soccer betting. The money is always in the hidden value and the hidden value tends to be in the underdog which is capable of pulling off an upset.

That is not to say however that one should not keep an eye on the favorites in horse racing. Having a clear picture of the favorites and of the actual odds involved is crucial when it comes to race selection. That is right: one should never just bet on any race for the sake of betting. For instance, races that feature more than one legitimate favorite are generally to be passed (when it comes to “win” betting of course).
The true key in being able to turn a profit of horse race betting is not in the ability to identify the favorite, but rather in being capable of spotting the true contenders: horses which offer much better payouts and yet are entirely capable of pulling off an upset. In this regard, horse racing betting is quite similar to general sports betting: the money here is always in the hidden value as well.

The logic behind the thinking is a simple one: there are very few horse races which feature wire-to-wire undisputed winners. Most races tend to be highly contentious, and in any contentious race, a horse which has shown the ability and the will to go for the win in previous races, can and will in fact win quite often while carrying much better odds than the favorites. Statistically speaking, around 66% of all horse races are won by non-favorites. That there is a huge and extremely tempting display of hidden value potential, which also explains why betting on the favorites is a losing long-term proposition.

Again: the point here is not to find the worst horse and bet on it time and time again - that too is a losing proposition. The idea is to find a potent underdog, a horse which has shown potential, yet for some reason is not considered the favorite for a particular race.

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