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How to win at horse racing

Horse racing is a sport that takes place somewhere around the world on almost every day of the year. There are betting opportunities galore, so learning how to win at horse racing is something that can hopefully be to very worthwhile. This article looks at some of the factors that you need to consider when trying to pick winners and includes:

  • Form
  • Ground conditions
  • Weight
  • Course record
  • Distance
  • Other Factors


The form of a horse is of high importance when you are trying to choose winners. It’s not just a case of looking for a horse that has had some recent wins, there’s a lot more to it than that. Yes, a horse that has been winning of late has to be considered in its next race.

However, you need to take a closer look at the form figures. A horse may have had a recent win, but you need to consider the standard of the horses it has beaten. Horse racing is split into a number of classes, all with differing levels. It may be that the horse you like has been winning in class 4 but is now racing in class 2 or 3. You will have to judge whether it will be able to handle the rise in class. Also, look at the horses that have finished behind your possible selection in recent races. If they have gone on to put in some good performances since, then that makes that win look even better.

What goes up can also go down in horse racing. A horse may have been getting poor results of late and may be dropped in class. There may have been some bad results in say, class 2, but now dropped to class 4 may have a good chance of getting a win.

Ground Conditions

Horse racing takes place on a variety of ground conditions. When it is hot and sunny, the conditions can be good to firm or just good. When the rain comes, the conditions can become good to soft or if very rainy, the ground can be called heavy. Horses often prefer one sort of ground condition to another. 

One may love racing on good to firm but will struggle on good to soft ground. Others love the rainy conditions and perform well on good to soft or heavy ground but struggle on good or good to firm ground. Look at the form guide to see on which ground your possible selection has raced well on in the past.


When a horse runs, it is allocated a certain weight to carry. This factor has to be considered when trying to win at horse racing. It’s of even more importance if the race you are betting on is a handicap. This sees a handicapper studying form and deciding how much weight a horse should carry in its next race. 

A horse that gets a win or is placed may well have to carry more weight in their next race. If a horse is losing form, then its weight can be reduced for future races. This all has to be considered when trying to pick the winner. Will the horse be able to keep winning now it has more weight to carry? 

Then again, will a lower weight give a horse the chance to return to form. Handicaps can be absolute nightmares to predict but the odds are usually very good. There is also the situation where a horse carries a lower weight than others because of its sex or age. Again, read the form and do your best to get a winner.

Course Record

Some horses run better on one racecourse than another. When you look at the form guide, a ‘C’ means the horse in question has won on the course. If it says ‘CD’ then this means it has won both on the course and the distance that the upcoming race is being run over. While, some horses run well on particular courses, others continually run poorly on other courses. Knowing the past record of a horse on the course it is running can pay dividends.


Horse races take place over a wide range of distances. Sprinters can run over five or six furlongs; others have great stamina and can run over two miles on the flat and even three or four miles over the jumps. Look at the form guide to see what distances your possible selection has performed well on. It may be that a horse has been faring well in the latter part of a six furlongs race but not catch the winner. Running over seven furlongs or a mile may bring about improvement. Others might be racing over a mile and a half but fading in the final part of the race. A drop in distance may be needed to get a win.

Other Factors

There are plenty of other factors that need to be taken into consideration. For example, the form of the trainer is important. A stable that is getting plenty of winners can be backed. One that has a poor recent record might be best to ignore. Also, look at the distance a horse has travelled for a race. If it’s come a long way, then the trainer must fancy its chances of winning. 

Another consideration is how long it is since a horse has run a race. If a horse has been off the course for a long while, it may need the race. Look to see how it gets on this time and perhaps back it next time when it will be a lot fitter. However, some horses run well regardless of how long they have been off the course. As you can see, there is a lot to consider but the research you put in can pay dividends.

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