How to Pick a Horse For a Race

The internet provides people with so much information about horses. This is meant to help you decide which horse to back and why. But now, it can take ages to go through reams of forms, analyses of races, ratings, all at an ever-growing amount of horse races.

Some days have ten meetings on one day during the summer, and it can take ages to go through. You then notice that you missed a horse you were following, and it won!

All the offered information can drive you crazy, but all you need to do is keep things as simple as possible. Here are some bullet points to focus on and cut down wasted time.

  1. Use the most recent form.
  2. Take note of the weather.
  3. Take note of the Going.
  4. Look at the course.
  5. Look at the distance.
  6. Is there a drawn Bias?
  7. Look for any Trends.
  8. Look at the weight carried.
  9. Look at the Class of race.

There are more, but we’re trying to point out the main things to concentrate on.

Let’s look in more detail as to what we mean with a horse that we will make up—the Jumping Jack.

You are looking at Jumping Jack in a 3-mile live horse racing at Cheltenham. In its previous four races, it has 3 previous wins at Aintree and Stratford, all on good going at races between a distance of 2 miles 4 and 2 miles 6. The previous night and early morning, it’s been raining heavily.

Should You Bet The Horse This Time?

The bond between form and weather is essential. Remember that heavy or soft going produces upsets. The firmer the going and sunnier the weather, the more exact the form. Let’s put it in a way you will instantly remember – Bookmakers like softer, heavy going, especially with big fields.

So one thing to look at is whether Jumping Jack is a horse that likes good going or the rain and softer going. These horses are called Mudlarks, and you will need to check the form to see if there are any wins on softer heavy going. If there is, then that’s a positive.

But if Jumping Jack has won, or been placed in any races that have had good going, then this will be a negative for this race, as the going is soft. In General, when the ground is really wet, most horses do not run as well, as their hooves get stuck in the sticky mud as they run.

While the form can look complicated, it really isn’t. If we can understand it, then you can! Always look at the most recent form; last year’s form is last year! Try to notice the form from the last few months, if possible, and look at this season. If you notice that the horse is progressing well, then that is another positive.

So we know Jumping Jack is running well; it has won a couple of the last races. However, Jumping Jack’s wins have come at around the 2½ mile mark. This race is 3 miles, and the extra distance is unknown for Jumping Jack, so that is a minus.

It also looks like it has not yet run at Cheltenham but has run at Aintree and Stratford. You may have heard of the saying ‘Horses for courses,’ and this is because some horses prefer certain tracks. It may love Stratford and dislike the course at Cheltenham, so the course is an unknown.

There is no draw bias in a 3-mile jump race, only found in shorter distance flat races. The trends may be for horses that like an undulating course (a track that goes up and down and is not even). We know that Jumping Jack likes Aintree, so that’s a plus.

Has the weight been increased because of previous wins? Compare the weights, and look to see if it has gone up in class of race. If there is a ‘yes’ to any of these, then that would go against him.

Should you have the bet? Well, we don’t think it will be a favourite, and you need to look at the competition in as much detail, so we’ll leave that decision up to you! You can get everything right from time to time, and the horse losses against another horse. Don’t fret; such is expected in horse race betting.