Get back to a few basics to win at the races!

Whether you’re a ‘newbie’ punter or a long-time racing hobbyist – if you’re hunting profits, it is essential to view your betting activities with the same professional approach followed by a fund manager before he recommends stocks to clients.

If you believe in luck as a guide, you may as well burn your money. Sure, you may get lucky once-off betting on a horse’s nice name or eye-catching jockey silks, but in the long run you’ll be in for a hiding. Think of being a stock broker – betting is similar in many ways – and arm yourself with the best available information needed to make the right choices. To pick the right horses, you have to give yourself access to the right information.

The backbone of any good horse betting strategy is to get to know the horses you’re betting on. This is far and away the single aspect that will guarantee you a long and happy career as a generally profitable punter. Whichever way you end up structuring bets or assigning budget limits or applying double-the-bet systems, you will always do it much better if you know the runners you are dealing with.

‘Knowing’ the horses you bet on, entails more than studying the historical race history (form lines) attached to their names in the race programmes or in your favourite form guide.

Central to all of this, as you would have gathered, is the hugely important activity of watching horse races, especially in the centres you like to bet. Being at the track and watching every paddock parade and race, ‘live’, is first prize, but watching race replays is of the utmost importance. There is no other activity that will bring you closer to backing winners than watching as many races as you can, in the centre you are most focused on.

When you watch race replays, your mind absorbs plenty of information and you are able to ask yourself a number of obvious questions. How did my horse win – racing from the front of the pack or closing in late from behind runners? Was he lucky to win from the second or the third horse? Were the second or third horses perhaps interfered with? If the race were to be run again, would the same horse win?

When next you see the same runners in action, against each other or in separate races, you’ll be able to assess their chances better, because you’ve seen them run before! Also, if you can, observe how they appear in the paddock and cantering down to the start. After just a few weeks you’ll become an expert at knowing what your horse ‘should’ look like if he is at his best. You’ll notice discrepancies in their coats (shiny or dull), in their behaviour (calm or misbehaved), and in the way they stride to post (short and choppy, or with easy, flowing strides).

Horses, like humans, have good and bad days. Catch them on their right days and you’ll win more often. To enable yourself to do that, make a point of watching them as often as you can. The first day you look at a pre-race parade, spot a horse you know and say to yourself, ‘this horse won’t win today because it is sweating and misbehaving, unlike the time it won’ – and you are proven right – will be a breakthrough day to betting success! Your confidence in your own decision making will improve markedly, and your wallet will be well off or it.

One more piece of advice you will find helpful is to study every race on every programme you decide to play on, before you make a betting decision for the day. If you haven’t studied all the races, how can you say with confidence what your best bets will be? 

So study your form, pick your winners for the seven or eight races on the card and then select one or maximum two bets, from your selections. Your knowledge and your ‘gut feel’ will tell you which ones are the more likely to win. Draw the best from your bunch, and bet on them!

Here, in closing, is a good three-point betting strategy:

1)  Don’t believe in luck, rather in solid, valid information obtained through form study and recognised media sources

2)  Get to know the horses in your centre by watching racing replays religiously and attentively

3)  Study every race at a particular track, on any given day. Make a selection for every race. Compare them all, then select the two you consider the best and bet on them. –Betway Blog.

A GOOD TIME! Peter Ashcroft (right) with good friend Ben Askey and Mollie Phillips.

Peter Ashcroft, who won our ‘10% in Winnetka’ competition, went racing at Leicester yesterday to watch his runner and wrote in a mail to Joao Da Mata: “I’d like to thank you for the owners badges. I had a brilliant night, the experience was good and of course we got to meet Mollie Phillips as well and she was fantastic to us. Thanks again, Joao!”  -IRC.

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