Horse Racing Betting Strategy: Keys to Being Successful Long Term


Success in horse racing betting is like a fine wine: you must take your time before you reap the benefits. It is incredibly difficult to make money quickly on the horses, since the outcome of the majority of races is unexpected. To come out with a profit, you must be selective in your tips; if there is a horse you’re not sure about at 6/1 then it is probably best to give it a miss. Equally, if there is a short-priced favourite, yet you see other horses capable of getting involved in the race then, again, it is probably shrewd to keep your money to yourself. The trick is not to play your cards too soon. Look at the race card for the whole day, study all the horse racing tips you can find, read the form, and, ultimately, gauge which of your fancies have the best chance of winning.

When to Place Your Bet

Of course, this is easier said than done. Often it is more sensible to wait until just before a race starts to place your bet since if there is a ‘plunge’ on a horse (that is, a sudden increase in money on one horse, leading to a shortening of its odds), then you can take that into account when making your pick. Even if a horse does not look like a winner in the formbook, betting companies often know something the punter doesn’t, and it is wise to take the fluctuations of the market into account.

Competition Level

Additionally, it is possible to enhance your chances of winning by checking how competitive your race is. For example, you’d have far more chance of winning a six-runner maiden at Lingfield than you would the Grand National. Keep your options open too. Be wary of backing an odds-on favourite where your stake would be much larger than that of a horse at a bigger price – often these ‘bankers’ get turned over. If you’re looking to make money, often the best races to study are those with a small number of runners, but at the same time are open contests: a handicap with twelve runners with the favourite at 9/2 is a good place to start. In this instance you can limit your expenditure yet still emerge with a significant profit.

Excitement Doesn't Equal Profits

Unfortunately, the most exciting races are often the hardest to win. Exhilaration brings with it large fields of runners, so enormous events such as the Cheltenham Festival often have races whose outcomes are notoriously difficult to predict. Perhaps the key to success here is by selecting your races carefully, trying to stay away from the larger and more glamorous handicaps until you are surer of the horse racing tips coming your way.

A six-runner maiden, in which none of the horses have won a race before, will offer better returns than a big field filled with high quality horses. The handicaps are where all the excitement lie, however, so make sure you follow certain trainers, jockeys and, of course, the big name horses to try and maximise your horse racing betting successes in the larger races, too.

Ultimately, the key to success in horse racing betting is making sure that you’ve assessed the form and markets as thoroughly as possible. Websites such as Betfair Sports and Ladbrokes Sports all over comprehensive race forms for every race they feature, so you can start learning the trade today.

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