Racing Explained – How to Pick a Winner

Racing Explained – How to Pick a Winner

In this programme Ella McSweeney looks at some of the key things to consider when trying to pick a winner. These are: Form, Betting, Horse, the Going, Distance, Weight, Trainer, Jockey and the Course.

Looking at the recent form of the horse is a must – the last three races run by the horse are listed on the Race Card close to each horse’s name. Betting Odds are also a good indicator of the likely outcome of the race. The odds are adjusted by the bookmakers as money is put on each horse. Horses with shorter odds are generally more fancied than horses with bigger odds.

The parade ring is the best place to spot a potential winner before the race. When looking at the horse you should be looking for – a horse that looks fit and alert, with good muscle tone, walking in a calm and purposeful manner.

Trainers don’t usually disclose too much information before the race, but you can be sure that they will pick the right jockey and right horse for the chosen race. An experienced jockey will increase the chances of a win and the relationship between the jockey and trainer is special with many jockeys riding for the same trainer on a regular basis.

It is a good idea to look at the ‘track record’ for your horse, as some horses prefer certain courses. Not all races are run in the same direction. i.e some racecourses run races left-handed while others will be right-handed.

The basic structure of the handicapping system is explained in this programme. After their first three races, horses are assessed based on their performance and given a rating – e.g. if a horse has finished last in his last three races then he will have a low rating and won’t be handicapped. If a horse finished well up in the last three races then it would be rated high and would have to carry extra weight for the next race i.e handicapped. Horses are rated in terms of ability by an official Turf Club handicapper.

Did you know?
– Irish jockeys are among the best in the world.
– Sea The Stars was one of the best Flat horses of all time and was rated an
amazing 137 by the end of his career.
– In racing, “The Going” refers to the condition of the ground.
– Horses race each other in the following bands; 44-60/44-65/50-70/50-80/60-
90/60-100.
– In theory each horse running in a handicap should have an equal chance of
winning a race.