Horse Racing Betting II : Strategies & Handicapping

This article is the second and final part of our article on horse racing betting. You can read the first part, Horse Racing Betting – All You Need To Know. 

I’ll be talking about winning strategies and handicapping here. Keep reading. 

Winning strategies for your horse racing betting 

All wagers are not equal. If you want to be profitable in horse racing betting, then you need to know the bets to make as well as those to stay away from. The tips below should help you develop a winning strategy;

Bet on medium shots – The first instinct of any horse racing bettor is to wager on the favorites. However, real profit comes from you going against the crowd. You need to be a contrarian. 

Bet to win – Always bet to win. Yes, place and show bets seem appealing but will find out that they aren’t worth it. The real value comes from you placing a win bet. So, find the top two horses you think are going to win and bet them to win. 

Stay away from small fields – Races with seven or fewer entries are small fields. And you’ll do well to stay away from them. This is because they usually don’t have good betting value.

Use exotic bets wisely – Yes, the payouts for these bets are seductive. But the truth is that you won’t be winning a lot of these bets. So use them wisely.

Have a betting plan for each race – It’s important you have a well-defined plan before you go to the window to place your bet. Also, stick to your plan. 

Spot play – Ever heard the phrase, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’? Well, this is something you should avoid in horse racing betting. You have to stick to a particular type of race and specialise in it. This is how to become an expert. 

Take the time to discover more – Read more and research horse racing betting. Expand your knowledge. 

Horse racing betting and handicapping

Many horse racing bettors rely on gut feel. While it’s good to trust your instincts at times, you need cold facts and statistics to make decisions. In handicapping, you research, analyze, and study all the factors that can determine the outcome of a race. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions.

If you are new to horse racing betting, find time to educate yourself. Understanding what makes horses tick and how raises work will help you make informed decisions. 

Using the race data : The Daily Racing Form

The basis of handicapping is that the past performance of a horse can be used to predict its future performance. And the Daily Racing Form (DRF) is a publication where you can get information about past performance of horses as well as other handicapping data. The DRF is published several times a week in dozens of regional versions that focus on a cluster of race tracks. 

There is a lot of information available in the DRF and it is up to you to choose the relevant ones. One of the things to do when starting your horse racing betting is to get your copy of DRF. You can easily get one from your casino’s betting window.

The most important information to look out for in order of importance are:

  • Speed
  • Pace
  • Class 
  • Form
  • Other factors


When it comes to racing, whether horse, car, bike or other forms of racing, speed reigns supreme. As a result, horse racing handicappers first consider the speed of a horse when evaluating it.

The tricky part is that horses don’t run consistently. And this means you should try to find out the conditions where a horse performs optimally and not. Questions like ‘Is it the track condition, has the horse been recently injured?’ should come to your mind. 


This is another factor you should consider when carrying out handicapping for horse racing betting. Horses apply their speed in different ways. Some horses conserve their strength at the early stages of a race and then hit top speed towards the end. Other horses go all out from the very beginning. Then, they maintain a steady speed until the end of the race. 

Check out the horse’s race progression in the DRF to check horses’ racing patterns. 


Class in horse racing betting refers to several aspects of a horse’s racing capabilities. To simplify things, you can see class as the level of competition. If horse A is said to be classier than horse B, then horse A has beaten better opponents. As such, horse A should beat horse B.

So here, you are essentially evaluating the winning chance of a horse based on the level of competition it has faced before. 

Rounding into form

Here, you are taking the physical state of horses into consideration. No matter how fast a horse is, it’ll never perform well if it is not in good shape. How do you know the form of a house? You consider things like recent races and workouts, equipment changes and so on. 

Other factors to consider in horse racing betting

There are other factors to put into consideration as part of your handicapping for horse racing betting. One of such factors is the bloodline of horses. This is particularly useful when you are evaluating horses with little racing experience. Horses tend to pass on their physical attributes to their offsprings. So, if the parents of a horse are racing champions, said horse may also be a potential champion. 

You should also put the jockeys into consideration. This is because their abilities also influence the outcome of races. Also, look out for medications like Lasix and Butazolidin. These medications are used for preventing lung bleeding and as an anti-inflammatory in horses respectively. And should you find out that a horse is taking any of these medications for the first time, don’t wager on it.

Be sure to check if a horse has been injured recently or been on vacation for a while. These factors will affect the winning chances of a horse in a race.

And that brings out articles on horse racing betting to an end. Now, you know what you need to do to be a successful horse racing bettor. Go out there and make some cool profits. 

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