Data, data, data — we just keep talking about data. We know that you came here to learn more about horse betting and how to make money, but we’re getting to that. You see, if you aren’t willing to crunch the numbers, then you’re going to find that you just aren’t going to get ahead very quickly. It’s better to make sure that you’re looking at hard numbers. Data will get you a lot farther in life than looking at playing form the gut. Sure, every punter is a little emotional — that’s what makes gambling interesting. A lot of people have a lucky horse that they’re really into. You just need to figure out what works for you. If you’re just a casual player, data might not mean anything to you. However, if you’re trying to make serious money, then you really need to get a love for data. Data is really what makes serious punters a lot of money.
In the world of horse racing, the biggest source of data for handicappers would have to be the horse racing form. The racing form will be listed even on online sportsbooks, so you don’t have to look too far for this data. Don’t worry at all about this — the racing form will be available just about everywhere you look. If you’re part of a horse racing forum, you can ask some of the veterans where they get theirs from. They should be more than willing to help you out.
The nice thing about the racing form guides is that they will clearly separate all of the information. With so many races happening, it’s easy for numbers and horses to get jumbled up. You’ll see exactly when the races start, and when they’re timed to end.
You’ll see a few columns:
311-21 | Big Slick | Brian Jevette | 12-0 | J Browning
There’s a few things to be found in that information.
The first column is going to show you the horse’s finishing positions on its last five runs. This is pretty important information.
The next column gives you the name of the horse. Keep in mind that horse owners like to be funny — they name their horses something humorous most of the time!
The next column is the person who trains the horse. Every trainer has different methods. You’ll find that good trainers definitely carry a reputation in this industry.
12-0 refers to the weight the horse is due to carry in the race. This is going to be displayed in imperial weight.
The final column is the name of the jockey that will be riding the horse. Jockeys, like trainers, have their own reputation and past performance history to consider.
You’ll find other pieces of good information. For example, you’ll find the number assigned to the horse in the racecard. You’ll also see it on the horse’s weight cloth. It helps everyone at the race identify each and every horse.
The racing form will also list the age of the horses involved. In flat racing, the age is from 2 to 5, but you might find some older horses in there as well.
If you’re going to read a horse racing form, you need to look at each horse’s chances based on looking at the entire form itself. The race conditions will also play a role. Every horse is different. Some horses don’t do well on firm ground, while others run like champs on it. Same with soft ground — you’ll find horses dislike it and it tends to affect their performance.
The distance of each race does matter when it comes to selecting horses. Every horse has their preferences, as mentioned before. So some horses do great long distance while others are better for a short sprint.
The class of the horse matters as well. Horses can be very consistent if they are properly kept. The higher the class of the horse, the more likely it is that they are being properly managed. After all, there’s a lot of money at stake!
Don’t expect to grasp everything overnight. Becoming a successful handicapper is a matter of patience. You have to be aware of all of the different nuances in the horses you select. You might be interested in looking at past performance as well before you get your heart set on a horse. It’ll pay off well in the long run when you have a nice side income from all of your betting! Good luck!