|Monday 28th November 2022
Finally, Some Relief for Indecisive Horse Racing Fanatics
Spend any length of time at the track, and you're bound to hear all sorts of ways people pick horses.
The sentence usually starts with "It's going to win because" followed by some confident assertion derived from divine intuition that even the most ardent fortune teller would be proud of.
I've personally heard people claim that a glossy coat is a sure sign of a winner or that the horse has a lovely "gait", so it won't have any problem finishing first.
Pricked ears are also a common theme that a horse won't be beaten, and, of course, there's the classic that when a horse empties its bowels before running, it runs faster because it's lighter.
Still, perhaps that's preferable to the way my mother picks horses which involves a word loosely sounding like someone that she used to know or because she likes the colour of the jockey's silks.
Equally confident in picking winners are the form checkers, who spend hours reading all the expert commentary in the papers, checking weights, ground conditions, previous races, stall positions and so on.
I used to be a form reader until I realised that whenever I read the form, then I usually ended up arriving at the same conclusion as the bookmakers because form always led me to the fact that the favourite should win, which it invariably didn't if I'd backed it.
When there's no clear favourite on a racecard, it's not uncommon to hear the hardened bettors say, "You could stick a pin in that".
And that's exactly why the lads at casinos.win have come up with a rather nifty way to help people to pick their horses.
If you want to choose between two or more horses, simply add their names to the special spinning wheel and find a random winner. You can build your own spinner wheel here.
Why not test it out first by putting in some of history’s top horses to see who would win. Can you imagine picking from Red Rum, Seabiscuit, Arkle and Frankel, to name just a few.
The Wheel Spinner is a great way to make a quick decision, and it doesn't have to just be about horses. You can add anything to the wheel to make your mind up for you, including what you want to eat for tea, how you want to spend the day or whether you should go to the racetrack or not.
Of course, the answer to that question is always "yes, you should".
A day at the races is a wonderful experience and an enjoyable one, even for those who aren't into gambling.
Nothing beats getting dressed up in your finery, having a laugh with your mates and perhaps a few beers as well.
If you've never been to the horse races, you will be under the false assumption that the day is about watching the horses; that's half correct.
It's also about people watching, everyone checks each other out at the track; it's part and parcel of the commentary of the day.
But it isn't just about gossiping about what other people are wearing; it can also be a key piece of strategy on the day, especially for those unsure about what to bet on.
An old acquaintance of mine, Bob McDonk - I've changed his name to save his face - used to loiter near the bookmakers and watch for people putting big money on each way. Then he'd follow suit with his own cash.
Bob would flush bright red whenever his horse didn't win, and then he would do exactly what everyone does when they back a loser.
Racetracks are one of the few places littering isn't frowned upon. No advertising campaign in the world can change the look of anguish followed by the ripping up and chucking of a betting slip when a horse doesn't win.
Strategy isn't confined to the horses, either. Trying to get served from the bar on a busy race day needs some serious strategy.
A top tip for getting served hassle free is to wait until the next race is about to start because everybody goes outside to watch it.
It works a treat for races over three miles because you still catch the end of the race.
When it comes to picking a horse, any strategy is better than no strategy.
At the races, I bet differently than I do at home.
My usual go-to when I'm betting online is an each way double in fields of less than nine runners.
My thinking is that the probability of an each way coming in is reduced to one in three.
But at the track, I go "dutch". I'm not sure why I always bet on two horses in the same race when I'm at the track. Clearly, it improves your chance of winning, but it also feels more indulgent to me, and that's what a day at the races is all about.
If you're unsure about what betting strategy to choose, there's plenty of expert help online to choose from.
So, what does a good day at the races look like?
To my mind, if you come away level, money-wise, at the end of a day at the races, I always think you've done well because, by the time you've paid for entry, beers/wine, food, travel and gambling, they can be quite expensive days out.
But they are certainly worth it. Nothing beats the thrill, vibe and atmosphere of a day at the races, especially if it's sunny and you bag a few winners.