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The Fundamentals Of Handicapping In A Horse Racing System: What You Need To Know First

May 29, 2008
Before you can progress from betting proficiency to betting artistry, you first need to learn about the fundamentals of handicapping. There are a lot of terms and situations you will encounter in your career as a professional gambler, but the ability to incorporate these fundamentals spells success or failure for your horse racing system.

The Basics Explained

There are basically just four fundamentals to consider in a horse racing system where handicappers are concerned: speed, pace, class, and form.

Speed is the most important and most desired characteristic in a racehorse, for obvious reasons. This can be determined through speed figures that assist handicappers in comparing vital information like actual times, different distances, race days, and racetracks and against various paces.

By removing non-contenders, the Beyer Speed Figures, which illustrates the horse's speed in its past races, is a standard tool in speed handicapping. Just eliminate from your list of possibilities the horses that will not make it through the wire. You can also analyze the pre-race workouts of the horse to ascertain class and fitness, and in turn speed.

Together with speed, pace can make or break a horse. You can pace handicap a race by classifying the horses' running style, whether frontrunner, stalker, presser, or closer, and then choosing the horse that best suits the race's forecasted pace. You just have to contend with the variability of the human factor since the jockey determines the pace of the horse. Incorporate jockey style into your horse racing system to partially offset it.

Class does not refer to elegance, though it will not hurt the horse's magnificence if it has loads of it. Class simply refers to the levels of competition a horse is entered in by its trainer. Determine if the horse can hold its end in a lower or higher class than its previous race.

Form refers to the fitness of the horse. Look for strong finishes (read: "in the money") during the horse's most recent races. Scrutinize the dates of races and distance ran to determine if the horse is in top condition; remember that the longer the layoff, the harder the comeback. However, account for the trainer factor in your horse racing system where relatively long layoffs are seen.

Other Handicapping Factors

In addition to these basic factors in handicapping, your horse racing system to be effective must also take into account secondary factors. These include the human factors of jockey ability and trainer performance.

Jockeys must intimately know their horses as they must ride as one. The jockey decides the pace of the horse, which makes knowing the abilities and riding style of the jockey important to a handicapper. This truth goes true for trainers as well. Try to get to know the trainer, even on a professional basis only.

Non-human factors of equal importance include ground and weather conditions, post positions, and other factors that not even the most experienced of handicappers could anticipate. But therein lies the beauty of gambling - exciting uncertainty.

The combination of all these handicapping factors can be intimidating to a novice. Just remember that you have to find the horse racing system that fits you best in terms of your needs, risk tolerance and abilities at present.
About the Author
A most useful horse racing tip would have to be learning how to handicap. You will find that the final horse racing results are in your favor when you have mastered the fine art of handicapping. To help you make handicapping faster using your own personal criteria, try the horse racing system offered by Sure2Profit.com.
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