Bettor’s Guide To Thoroughbred Handicapping

When starting out betting on thoroughbred horse racing, it’s important to first become familiar with certain basic concepts. These include the different handicapping methods, how and when to actually place a bet, how to determine value, what types of races best to leave alone, and even how to tell if a race has been fixed (manipulated).

All of these cover a vast array of knowledge, rules, principles, and even tried and tested tricks of the trade. But for our purpose here today, we will focus on a single area only, which is the basic rules for handicapping thoroughbred horse races.

Do Not Bet Unless You Can “See”

The first and most important rule is not to ever even consider betting unless you can see the horses before the race.

Remember that there exists not even a single justifiable reason not to allow a fan or potential bettor not to see the horses who will be running in any given race. Even though “rogue” races are no longer a common occurrence, they aren’t completely non-existent either. And since making an informed decision about which horse or outcome to bet on depends a great deal on what you are able to observe before the horses even get as far as out the gates, it’s vital to be able to “see” what and who it is you’re betting on.

5 Races For The Starter

The second rule is not to ever bet on a race unless every starter has managed at least 5 races. Since racetrack starters oversee the start of each race, they are the ones tasked with ensuring not only a quick load, but also that all horses are afforded a fair start. As such, an inexperienced starter can really throw the odds in all the worst kinds of ways.

Avoid New Turfies

Since horses are typically aware of what other horses are doing, not to mention what they’re expected to do when not knowing what to do, it’s a good idea to avoid any race in which one or more of the horses about to run the race have not yet raced on grass (turf).

Incidentally, the same goes for races run on off-tracks. Mud and slop can be potential danger zones for horses unaccustomed to running on these surfaces.

Avoid Races Marked By Unknowns

The reason for avoiding races riddled with the unknowable is two-fold. Firstly, those who hide information, quite frankly, usually have something to hide. And secondly, the best approach to any type of, and any type of sports betting, is to as far as possible avoid relying heavily on guesswork.

Mind Your Money

No guide of this sort should be allowed to go out into the world without making mention of minding your money whenever you’re betting on sports. Not betting more than you can afford to lose may seem to some a bit of information every bettor should know right off the bat. But the reality is that people need reminding when it comes to minding their money – and repeatedly so.