Betting On Horse Racing: General Terminology

in Horse-racing

Horse racing is a major industry, and spawns billions of dollars of investments each year. No matter who you are though, horse racing is a lot more fun if you can pick a winner. Here are a few basics on finding that elusive animal.

Favourites - these are the horses that most people think will win and start at the lowest odds. While sometimes they represent value, many times they won't. No matter what you think of the return, it is a simple fact that favourites win a third of all races. If you are going to bet on them, or against them, you have to know this. Like all statistics, this relates to an overall picture of horse racing for an extended period and not the next three races.

Tracks - different racetracks suit different horses with different styles of racing. Often this will be termed bias and you will often hear comments like "there was a real leader's bias today." This means that the winners all were near the lead on the home turn. Overall in Australia especially, most races will be won by horses in the first six on the home turn, so a so-called leader's bias may not be anything out of the ordinary. Do your homework and find out what horses should be near the lead as this will often improve their chances of winning.

Speed Maps - these are projections of where each horse is likely to be in the running of a race. They are obtainable from some internet sites, and also you can buy from some tipsters.

Tipsters - they are people who make their living out of telling you what horse will win. Some have a great strike rate, while others don't. They often measure their success by different methods, so be careful when backing someone else's judgment rather than your own.

Barriers - the starting gates for a race. The barrier each runner has is written in brackets after a horse's name in Australian form guides. In the US, the barrier is shown by the saddlecloth that the horse carries. Barriers can be very important in determining where a horse is positioned throughout the race. Some tracks, and even starting points on a track, can affect the chances of a horse starting especially from wide barriers.

Tracks - you have heard the old saying of "Horses for courses." It really was written about horse racing and some horses perform better on some tracks than others. Many form guides will have the number of starts for a horse at the track they are running on today.

Form Guides - these inform you the prior or past results of the runner. Most will have at least the past three starts. Better guides will give a lot of information about a horse's form including how far they were beaten and the time that the winner ran.

Times - times can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy. They depend on a number of factors like how the race is run, and how far away from the winner a horse finished. A general rule of thumb is that 1 second equals six lengths.

Weight - a horse being handicapped is by the amount of lead weight that they will carry in an event. If they jockey is lighter than the handicap, lead weights are added to the saddle bags. Jockeys are weighed prior to the start of the race and then weighed again after the race to ensure the correct weight was carried by the runner. This is known as weighing in or out.

Stewards - these are the policemen of horse racing. They look at the race from a range of vantage points around the racecourse. Their job is to make sure that the jockeys obey the rules of racing, and to ensure that every horse has a fair chance of winning.

Protests - when an incident occurs in a race that is suspected to be illegal in terms of the rules of racing, either the connections of the horse, or the stewards, are able to lodge a protest. Like a small court case, the parties give evidence before the chief steward and review the footage of the race. The steward then gives his decision, and has the power to change finishing positions, or even disqualify horses from a race.

Weight For Age - this is the top form of racing when all horses are handicapped by way of a long standing allocation of weight for the age that a horse is. Older horses carry more weight than younger horses, and male horses carry more than female horses.

There is always something new to learn about horse racing, but this might give you a start along the way to being successful in betting.

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Karen Cummings has 1 articles online

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Betting On Horse Racing: General Terminology

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This article was published on 2010/12/24