Going over the data of horse racing can be pretty stressful. There’s a lot of numbers, crammed into a really small space. But if you really want to know the difference between the newbie and the pro, it has to be time. It’s all about what you put into the sport. Some people will be with their gut, and that’s cool…but others will actually do what it takes to go beyond just that and find a world they never realized even existed
If you’re trying to make sense of your choices right now, you’re not alone. Let’s go over the racing form in greater detail. Sit down with a cup of coffee, because this could be a while. There’s a lot of concepts to cover!
Following trends when it comes to the horse racing form is really important. Your top winners are going to have a great chance to keep on winning. The losers tend to either phase out, or incrementally get better. It really depends on what type of trainer they have. If they have a really good trainer, a bad horse can transform into a serious contender. It might take a while, and not just in one season but it can certainly happen.
What you have to do at this point is look at the freshest wins — only going about four weeks back. You also want to look at how heavy the horse is. Weight is connected to health, whether we like it or not. So a horse that’s putting on great weight and making more wins is definitely more valuable than a horse that’s losing weight.
What about the horse’s ability to push deeper in order to rise above challenges? You don’t want to go with the horse that’s always going for the soft win. That’s a horse that’ll win sometimes, but it will fail when the terrain gets rougher.
You’re better off thinking about things that do play a role in the big wins, like the jockey. If you can look at old races, you’ll see that every jockey has a different style when it comes to his horse.
Keep in mind that every horse has a form, which allows you to really get to know the horse. You’ll be reading a lot of these forms if you’re going to get serious with handicapping.
At the top of the form are the basics — the owner, the trainer, what silks the jockey has. This way you’ll be able to identify the jockey no matter what. But you also get a lot more than that. You get the horse’s weight, along with the post position number in the starting gate. You get to see what the current year race record is, along with last year’s record.
What you want to look for here is whether or not this is a horse that is climbing, or sliding. A climbing horse is one that’s getting better and better. A sliding horse is one that’s on the decline. You can rescue a horse on the decline, you just have to allow them to come back when they’re good and ready. Trainers will coerce a horse into trying to be the best that it can be, but horses then to be pretty stubborn. There’s truth to that statement after all.
The biggest part of the racing form will be the past performance data. You can see dates of past performance, along with where the horse raced at. You can even see where most of their wins and losses came from. This lets you see whether they can handle a timber course, a wet course, a very muddy course…you get the idea. The abbreviations are usually always explained.
You get to see what class this horse runs in — a horse that is top condition and has done claiming races is definitely a horse to watch, along with allowance horses. These horses are going to be the cream of the crop.
Just as you start forming your own thoughts about horse racing data, other people will chime in too. In fact, if they hear that you’re a newbie handicapper, they’ll be quick to put in their two cents. However, you can’t get sucked into thinking that you need to follow them. The only person that you really have to answer to in the world of horse racing is you. It’s your money being wagered, after all.
If you get horse racing forms online you can use your PDF browser’s zoom feature to make sure that you can read all of that tiny print. There’s really no need to strain your eyes when technology can enlarge things for you. Good luck!