Horse Racing: A simple guide to picking winners

The majority of top-class racehorses may still be owned by the rich and famous, but betting on horse racing is now enjoyed by a variety of people all over the world.

horse racingWhether you bet frequently, infrequently or you are considering placing your first ever bet on a horse, there are a number of factors you should always consider before making your selection.

Ground conditions

Whilst some horses go on every description of ground ranging from firm to heavy, most horses have a preference for one type of ground. Some horses like to hear their hooves rattle and positively bounce off firm ground, whilst others love to get their toe in and prefer ground that has the word soft in its description. Checking a horse’s previous form is a good way of finding out their preference.

Horses for courses

In the UK race courses vary much more than you’d probably think. For example, Chester is equivalent to a flat running-track, whilst tracks such as Sandown have an uphill finish. Horses are very much like human beings, and horses that possess natural speed are more likely to enjoy a flat-track, whilst slower horses who can maintain a constant gallop will prefer running up a hill. Knowing a horse’s preference or running style is a great way of predicting at which courses it may run to its optimum level.


Horses are very much like human athletes and whilst Usain Bolt excels at sprint distances Paula Radcliffe won numerous marathons. Flat races are held over distanced from 5-furlongs to 21-furlongs, and backing horses when they run over a distance at which they excel is a proven way of making money.

Trainer form

Like most humans, horses are seldom 100% healthy all the time, and knowing when a stable’s runners are performing to their level (even if they’re not winning) is a great time to back a horse you fancy.

Jockey bookings

Some jockeys excel on some types of horses. Kieran Fallon is renowned for getting lazy horses to perform, whilst champion jockey Richard Hughes excels on speedy horses that like to be delivered with a late telling turn of foot.

Pace of the race

Predicting the pace of the race is one of the most important factors in picking winners. Where as a nice even pace throughout gives every horse a chance, a fast run race will often leave the slower galloping types gasping for air, whilst the faster types easily track the speed. Equally, in a slowly run race the hold-up horses often find trouble in running.

The main problem for the average punter is finding the time to study all these factors, which is why they find picking a regular supply of winners and making a profit from horse racing difficult. However, there are some people who make a living out of backing horse racing, people who spend hours studying and analysing these factors, and many are happy to share their expertise by offering horse racing tips; offering punters a chance to make an extra income by a backing a profitable regular supply of monthly winners.