How Not To Win When Betting On Horse Racing

Submitted by: Michael Keenan

If you don't want to win on horse racing, here are some of the important factors NOT to take into consideration.

Don't factor in the condition of the track surface when making your selection.

The condition of a racetracks surface is one of the most important key elements that always needs to be taken into consideration in every race. If your selection does not normally handle a particular racing track surface e.g. slow, heavy, good etc. The chances are, that it won't handle it again. Occasionally this is not always correct, but most times it is. So it is always wise to simply ignore that particular race selection and just move onto another, so as to limit any possible risk. The concept of 'risk limitation' absolutely highlights the real difference between a gambler and a professional


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. The gambler simply gambles and the professional considers all the factors that weigh the chances of winning, more greatly into there own favor.

Don't check if the jockey has swapped from your selection to ride another horse in the same race.

A very much forgotten factor in horse racing. If a jockey re-rides a mount then its real chances of running well, may well be increased. Why? Simply because that mount may be one that's worth re-riding. If a jockey changes mounts in a race to another runner, than obviously that runner may represent a better chance of running well. You would be surprised by just how well many of these type of runners perform, by putting this simple very much overlooked factor into action. Watch a race meeting for yourself, use this method and map the results, you may be really surprised.

Don't check if your selection is suited to a particular race's distance.

An ultimate mistake. You always need to check if your selection is best suited towards the particular distance of the race it is going to run in. Has your selection won at this distance before? Is your selection working towards this distance or is your selection breed for this distance. Misjudging the distance factor will always cost you.

Don't check the handicap weight that your selection has been given.

A horse is handicapped for 1 reason only and that is to make every runner run (in theory) with a somewhat equal chance of winning in a race. So you will need to make a real decision about wether your runner can handle the weight it is given, in a comparison to all the runners in a race. For example, is your runner giving to much weight away to another runner, thus putting that other runner into a possible better winning weight position than your own selection.

Don't check your selections starting barrier position.

Barriers are an absolutely important factor in every race. The running position of any horse during a race, will most times determine the ultimate result of the race. Position is everything in racing. As location, location, location, is within real estate.

Don't check if your horse is being set for a particular race. For example, is the race it is entered for a possible or certain lead-up race for another event.

Always consider this factor if it is at all possible. Is your horse being set for a particular race? Is the current race it is about to compete in, a lead up race? If it is you may be best advised to just watch this selection run.

Don't check the form of the other runners in a race, so that you can gain some idea of the way the race will be run.

How is the pace of the race going to be played out? For example, is your horse a
back-marker that works home well? If so, you will want there to be a real pacemaker in the race, running quick sectional times, giving your selection a real chance to work home well. If the speed is going to be slow up-front, your runner will obviously have a lower chance of being able to work home as well.

Don't check the condition and behavior of your selection in the mounting yard before a race.

This can be a hard factor to take into consideration, especially if you are a thousand miles from the racetrack where your selection is running. If this is the case, it would be wise to for example, listen to the track commentary for any pre-race talk about the behavior and/or possible condition of your runner. For example. Is your horse sweating up? Is your horse carrying a bit of extra weight etc? This method is not always completely accurate, simply because your are relying on second hand information. It is always better, if at all possible, to be present at a particular track so that you can make your own value judgement on the condition and behavior of your selection. These factors can be a valuable guide to your selections chances of performing well at its full capability.

Don't check out the flow of money. Is it for or away from your selection?

The flow of money, especially surrounding big stables, will always give you a reasonable idea of how your runner will perform. For smaller stables, word of mouth about a particular runners chances, always gets around and again you will be able to gage your chances fairly. Generally however in my experience overall, the flow of money is not a gigantic absolute deciding factor in any horses chances of winning. Especially in current times, where for example TV tipster coverage etc has such a huge home audience following. One TV tipster comment can bring-in or blow-out the odds of any runner.

Don't shop around for the best possible backing price for your race selection.

Why shouldn't get the best price for your money? Why would you take 10-1 when you can get 11-1? It is simply common sense. Getting the best value price on your selection is the real key to winning. It doesn't matter if you gain your best price on the tote or from a bookmaker. As long as you get the right price, because then you will simply get the best return possible if your selection wins. And the right price ultimately determines the difference between how much you can possibly win and how much you can possibly lose.

A final summary.

There are a lot of extremely different factors that need to be really considered within any horse race. It is all about using the concept of 'risk limitation'. If you simply limit your risks, you will then have a more possible chance of winning and therefore obviously a lesser chance of losing. But ultimately it all comes down to one word, chance. Remember there is no horse race that has ever been run, that had a horse competing in it, that was an absolute certainty. There are just too many variables that really come into play and we have only just touched the surface on a few of them here. So it is always absolutely important to remember that skilled gambling, no matter what its form, is always about the concept of limiting any 'possible risks', because it is absolutely guaranteed you will never-ever-eliminate all of the possible risks involved. This is simply why they call it 'gambling' and not 'certainty'.

Article Copyright (2008) Mike Keenan of


About the Author: Mike Keenan is a professional salesman and very keen weekend horse racing observer. He has just launched his brand new Australian racing website, 'Horse Racing In Australia'. If you want the latest racing information, tips and betting info then visit -