There are few more exciting sports to bet on in the world than horse racing. At one point or another, every bettor has been tempted by the lure of the sport, with all leading sportsbooks covering big global events from across the world, including the Kentucky Derby and Grand National.
However, what is some of the key aspects that all potential bettors should understand before making their first wager on the sport?
Understand The Markets
The first key consideration that all potential bettors must understand is the different markets available. Perhaps you can find all the wager types in this guide to horse betting explained by TwinSpires here.
All of the options available will be slightly different, which means careful consideration should be placed on all before making a wager.
The most straightforward wager to make is on the win market, as the bet will be settled as a winner as long as the bettor has correctly predicted the horse first passed the post.
Place betting enables bets to be made on a horse that will finish in the first two, while exacta and trifecta markets enable wagers to be made on the horses that finish first and second, and first, second and third in the correct order, respectively.
Before making any wager on the horse racing action, bettors must go through the form in the race. That includes looking at the strike rates of both jockey and trainer involved with each runner.
Each horse will have a rating, with the best horses in the world having higher numbers. The simplest way to go through the form is by examining the distances and courses that each of the runners has competed at previously.
Horses with excellent records over course and distance will be considered leading chances, while runners that are unproven over the distance that they are competing over will be considered more of an outsider in the betting. Other factors that could impact the result of the race include pedigree, the going, and days since the horse last run.
The most popular betting races of the year for seasonal gamblers are the big graded affairs that standout on the schedule. These races include the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup Classic.
These races will appeal most to the best horses in training, which means that the betting heats can often be more competitive than a standard card on a Tuesday evening at Parx.
Extra attention should be put to the runners that are proven in a graded company when betting on these races, as each runner would have earned their place in the race that they are starting in. In these kinds of races, bettors will need to put extra research into other aspects, such as the going, course form, and the previous success achieved by trainers in the race.
The final factor that all potential horse racing bettors need to examine is the odds. Unlike other sports, the odds are more important with horse racing, as there can often be a difference depending on the sportsbook that you are betting with.
Reading odds is the first step to finding value in your selection, as the favorites will show at the top of the market. Therefore, the higher the price of the horse, the less chance that it has of winning, according to the odds.
However, this doesn’t mean that bettors should always wager on the favorite, as there is no guarantee that the selection at the top of the betting will win in every single race. That was evident in the Kentucky Derby last year, as huge 81/1 outsider Rich Strike shocked the field. Only by doing adequate research will bettors find the value play that they wish to make.