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  1. #1

    How do people know what horses to back?

    I understand that there is form and race length that suits a horse. I just dont understand how people know what horse to pick or what horse has the best chance of winning. Is there anywhere I can learn?


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  3. #2
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    The short story is, regardless, its a guess as anything can happen on the day and no matter how much research you put into it, it can still all go to ***t very quickly.

    Previous form over the distance is what I always used to use when I was working at Ladbroke and had to take an interest.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by kullboys View Post
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    I understand that there is form and race length that suits a horse. I just dont understand how people know what horse to pick or what horse has the best chance of winning. Is there anywhere I can learn?
    Years of practice, trial and error, learning and studying.... and I still get it wrong more often than not.

  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Peevemor's Avatar
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    For my annual Grand National bet, I always went for the jockey whose colours were most like a Hibs top.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member Silent Boatman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kullboys View Post
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    I understand that there is form and race length that suits a horse. I just dont understand how people know what horse to pick or what horse has the best chance of winning. Is there anywhere I can learn?
    Pretty Boy can probably help you understand, he seems pretty clued up on his horses.
    "If a player is not interfering with play or seeking to gain
    an advantage, then he should be."

  7. #6
    Weight is a factor that's often overlooked in handicap races. The better the horse the more weight is carried on the saddle.

  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member danhibees1875's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peevemor View Post
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    For my annual Grand National bet, I always went for the jockey whose colours were most like a Hibs top.

    Hope that helps.


    Something green and white and around the 20s mark for the National. Worked in 2014, but never again.

    My mate had spent a lot of time researching the horses and had a spread of bets on, and I'd just stuck 10 on the winner at the last minute due to the colour of his jersey.


    Otherwise when I'm at the races I just work on the basis that the bookies will be right over the day more than me and assume the odds are fairly indicative of the horse's chance of winning and pick based on that with whatever risk/reward I'm after.
    Mon the Hibs.

  9. #8
    Coaching Staff HUTCHYHIBBY's Avatar
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    I tend to find the form of the top races is more reliable than trying to pick the winner of a class 6 race where the runners have all been beaten by about 20 odd lengths on their previous run. I'm more likely to have watched top horses previous runs too. Also, if you've looked at a race and made your selection, don't let paper "tipsters" change your mind, cost me a few quid with this years Cambridgeshire.
    Last edited by HUTCHYHIBBY; 16-10-2018 at 02:42 PM.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by HUTCHYHIBBY View Post
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    I tend to find the form of the top races is more reliable than trying to pick the winner of a class 6 race where the runners have all been beaten by about 20 odd lengths on their previous run. I'm more likely to have watched top horses previous runs too. Also, if you've looked at a race and made your selection, don't let paper "tipsters" change your mind, cost me a few quid with this years Cambridgeshire.
    This is good advice. If you limit your betting to Group 1 and 2 races on the flat and Grade 1 and 2 races over the jumps you can at least bet with reasonable confidence that all the horses will be "trying" and the form is more consistent.

    Sticking to single bets only will increase your chances of long term profits. Accumulators in any sport but especially horse racing are the bookies meat and drink.

    And has been said above....Never change your mind

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    This is good advice. If you limit your betting to Group 1 and 2 races on the flat and Grade 1 and 2 races over the jumps you can at least bet with reasonable confidence that all the horses will be "trying" and the form is more consistent.

    Sticking to single bets only will increase your chances of long term profits. Accumulators in any sport but especially horse racing are the bookies meat and drink.

    And has been said above....Never change your mind
    May work for some but I think I've actually been most successful over the years in 'poorer' races, particularly on the all weather. Not as pretty to watch but maybe that makes it easier to find a 'better' horse amongst such poor form.

    So many horses in these group races you refer to are 'on the up' and with so many improving past one another (not always the way you expect).. at least I know where I stand with my class 5 rags

    The changing your mind thing definitely has hurt me more times than I care to remember though. Although it's also annoying to hear people say "I looked at that" or "I was going to bet that"... yeah, I looked at it too along with every other horse in the race.. that's how I came about my selection

  12. #11
    Coaching Staff heretoday's Avatar
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    If only horses could talk.........

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kullboys View Post
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    I understand that there is form and race length that suits a horse. I just dont understand how people know what horse to pick or what horse has the best chance of winning. Is there anywhere I can learn?
    The best tip anyone could ever give to someone thinking of taking up gambling is simply - don't do it. Keep the money in the pocket and you're already a 'winner'.

    Gamblers mostly always publicise their winning selections in absence of the countless myriad losing ones.

    In saying that if you're strong of mind and can limit yourself to a strict affordable budget then all could be good but I'd advise caution from getting involved at all but its each to their own.

    I've more or less given up gambling as its a mugs game but when ones on a winning streak its the best feeling around and is the draw but the losing streak which is more prevalent is in stark contrast extremely detrimental.

    Each to their own though and as stated above if you can stick to a strict affordable budget fair dos.

    Mon the Cabbage!!!


  14. #13
    Be disciplined in every aspect of your gambling and never have more than 0.5% of your bankroll on a horse. Treat it as a job. Consistently getting bigger odds than the 'true' chance of the horse winning. The only way i could make money was taking advantage of early prices that would shorten but you eventually get shown the door and now I don't even bother.

    Take into account going, draw, weight, pace bias, course form, trainers that target particular races.

    Here's the best bit of advice I could pass on from an old interview I read.
    Once I have made my selections its then all about the price. I concentrate on getting the best odds that I can and I am on above SP around 73% of the time. If there is one simple piece of advice I would give to other more casual punters it would be find out by how much you are beating SP and do you shop round for prices? If not then you should start.

    Have a read of Mark Littlewood, smartersig on twitter.

  15. #14
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    I had convinced myself I was a bit of a genius at gambling on the golf, and had a fairly solid winning technique.

    Bang, a few dodgy weeks and I had to tell myself otherwise.

    If you'd asked me a few weeks ago if the bookie always wins, I'd have said no. That comes from personal experience, but also the experience of my uncle who was a bookie - he had times of great prosperity and also the total opposite.

    But now? They know what they're doing. The more you bet, the more chance you have of giving it all back.

    Total abstinence would be the most sensible approach, but failing that only bet a small amount that you're prepared to lose.

    I don't know anything about horses so can't advise you there, but the cynic in me reckons I probably have as much chance as anyone else of picking a winner, getting lucky for a while then giving it all back over time, as that is what happens.

  16. #15
    Remember horses are animals, not machines. Good horses have bad days. There are countless variables when getting a horse to post and many more once the race starts.

    There is no sure thing. There is no foolproof system; anyone claiming otherwise is at it. If there was a system we'd all be rich, equally if you discovered one why would you blab about it online and let the 'enemy' in on your secret.

    Learn about the sport, learn about groups/grades and classes, learn about breeding, learn about form, learn about going, learn about right handed and left handed courses etc etc etc. Knowledge gives you a fighting chance.

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Smartie View Post
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    I had convinced myself I was a bit of a genius at gambling on the golf, and had a fairly solid winning technique.

    Bang, a few dodgy weeks and I had to tell myself otherwise.

    If you'd asked me a few weeks ago if the bookie always wins, I'd have said no. That comes from personal experience, but also the experience of my uncle who was a bookie - he had times of great prosperity and also the total opposite.

    But now? They know what they're doing. The more you bet, the more chance you have of giving it all back.

    Total abstinence would be the most sensible approach, but failing that only bet a small amount that you're prepared to lose.

    I don't know anything about horses so can't advise you there, but the cynic in me reckons I probably have as much chance as anyone else of picking a winner, getting lucky for a while then giving it all back over time, as that is what happens.
    If you have a good method that gets you value a few dodgy weeks should not be long enough to put you off given the number of possible winners in each tournament. Short term variance must be huge with 100+ fields, I know guys who make a profit from a handful of winners every year.

    In todays big race you probably do but the secret is to be able to do it consistently enough to show an annual profit.

  18. #17
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    A lot of the responses on here are based on viewing gambling as a money making strategy, and I agree, it is a mug's game if you're in it to make a profit. Apart from anything else, if you start to be reasonably successful, the bookies will quickly limit your account.

    I don't see it as about winning over the long term though - I see losses as the price I pay for the entertainment. Eg if I put a fiver (or a quid for that matter) on a bet builder for a football match I otherwise have no interest in, then that match suddenly becomes entertaining. I'd probably have a mix of cards / corners / goals in the bet so each of those things happening is actually cause for a bit of excitement.

    That doesn't really help answer the OP though, and I'd quite like a bit more guidance on studying horses' form too. I quite like analysis, and I understand what the numbers on a race card mean, but I'd quite like to have a beginner's guide to how people go through the process of studying the form to make a pick from the field. I've never been able to find a book or online guide that would get me started.

  19. #18
    Coaching Staff HUTCHYHIBBY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
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    I don't see it as about winning over the long term though - I see losses as the price I pay for the entertainment. Eg if I put a fiver (or a quid for that matter) on a bet builder for a football match I otherwise have no interest in, then that match suddenly becomes entertaining. I'd probably have a mix of cards / corners / goals in the bet so each of those things happening is actually cause for a bit of excitement.
    I would imagine that is most people's attitude.

  20. #19
    Coaching Staff heretoday's Avatar
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    A few years ago I was idle but had some money. I determined to do the horses for a month and see how I got on. I studied the form with the invaluable help of the Internet.
    What I did was a win double every day - One selection being a hot fave and the other a 5/1 or 9/2.
    I ended up ahead actually but not by much and certainly not worth the effort.
    I was betting tenners by the way. If I'd been betting thousands it might have been significantly profitable.
    Only bet what you can afford to lose.

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