The other day I was chatting with a buddy who builds custom apps for businesses and also happens to be a huge fan of horse racing. I had put him in touch with the owner of a local horse racing venue who was interested in building an app that could make it easier for people to check the race schedule, compare horses, place bets, and perform other relevant actions from their mobile devices. By the way, if you're looking for help developing a similar app for your business, don't hesitate to contact Magora UK.
My friend asked for my opinion about devoting a section of the app to a library of tips on how to choose a winning horse. I told him that it might be a bit too much, being that it could throw off some of the betting dynamics by encouraging people to bet on horses that they would've otherwise not chosen. I pointed out to him that the app should make things simpler, not necessarily try to influence the decisions of race attendants. Even though I didn't think such tips would fit well in a racing venue's app, I did feel that devoting a blog post to it would be suitable, so here are five tips you can use to pick a winning horse:
1. Consider the Horse's History and Strengths
Do your research to determine whether the horse you're choosing has a history of doing well on tracks of the same or similar length. Is the horse used to performing well on the same type of racing surface? Many horses will do better on a specific track type (i.e. - dirt or turf).
2. Look for Horses from Other Areas and Race Types
If the horse has been shipped in from other areas and was just recently shipped in, it is likely that they're in a good position to be a winner. It's also a good idea to consider whether the horse is used to running longer races, as this may put them at an advantage endurance wise.
3. Consider How Long the Horse Has Been Inactive and How Many Times They've Started
A horse that hasn't raced in more than 90 days may be a bit stiffer than the competition, and those that haven't raced in more than 180 days will rarely do well. A good range of inactivity would be 30-60 days, with 45 days from the last race being a sweet spot. Likewise, avoid horses that have been raced too many times. As a rule of thumb, look for horses that have fewer than 13 starts in the past 2 years.
4. Look at the Odds
Most winning horses have morning line odds of less than 20-1. You may also want to look for recently beaten favourites, as horses that were picked to win but didn't are in a good position to perform well the next time around. On the other hand, avoid betting on horses that are frequently picked to win. Horses that went off with odds of 2-1 to 6-1 in the previous race are frequently winners as well, as are horses that have won at high odds in the past.
5. Assess the Horse's Fitness
Look for horses that have had more speed in the beginning of their races or who have posted a fast finish time in previous races. Pay attention to the horses doing their workouts and look for those doing bullet work as an indicator of their current speed.
Remember the Jockeys and Trainers Matter Too
Finally, as a bonus tip – consider the win percentage and history of the horse's jockey. In most cases a winning jockey is more likely to win than someone who has a losing record. Look for jockeys who have won previously with the same horse, or trainers who have entered multiple horses in the same race.