What We All Want To Know About Horse Racing


It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran gambler or a beginner to wagering, the intricacies of horse racing can make it hard to pick a winning bet. To make informed and good bets, whether at the bookies or online with Timeform,  you will want to have researched some specific information and put in the time to understand the different and detailed facets of this ancient sport. Whacking money down on a horse after only a tiny bit of research or just choosing at random may get you a winner. But it’s not a formula for winning in horse betting. Let’s have a look below at the different avenues of research you can explore and see what we all want to know about horse racing. 

Do the conditions match up?

Like many other sports the conditions and setup in horse racing really do matter. Particularly important is understanding which type of race is being run. In times gone by there was loads of variation in race types but nowadays it tends to boil down to a flat race or a steeplechase (or jump racing). Flat races do what they say on the tin and steeplechases are obstacle based races. Depending on the prestige of the race there will be Grades placed on the competition with Grade I being the best. Noting which type of race it is along with other information such as the condition of the turf and the horse types and you will complete your equation. The turf is actually a big factor in horse racing. Like other sports such as tennis where the ground makes a difference for some players (we all know and love Nadal on clay), different horses perform better on different turf from soft to hard. Finally, the type of horse you are betting on should be another point of research. Some horses can only compete in certain events with thoroughbred, arabian and quarter-horse being preferred on the flat and jockeys inclined to use thoroughbreds alongside AQPS horses in jump races. Understanding which set of conditions are best for the bet you are going to make is important. 

Type of bet/Odds

Before you even consider which horses you are going to pick you will need to have a look at what type of bet you are going to place and at what odds. In sports betting it is common to stick accumulators or multiple bets on, and whilst this is an option for horse racing, the unpredictable and vast nature of horse racing makes this unfavourable. Other options for betting in horse racing have gained increasing popularity in recent years as well with Lucky 15 and Each Way bets becoming very common. These types of bets allow a payout from the bookies for your horse placing in the top 3 rather than just first. The saving grace here is that whilst the odds for favourites tend to be lower, underdogs win all the time. In fact, the favourites in horse racing actually only win a third of the time. This means you are likely to get winners at high odds with 8/1 picks regularly winning races. Knowing the background knowledge on your type of bet and the logistics around what you are going to wager is almost as important as picking the horse itself. 

Picking a winning horse

Now that you have sorted yourself out with all the external background knowledge you need to put your research into what horse you are actually going to pick. This requires research and is clearly the most important part of the process. Whilst luck and choosing horses based on their names/jockeys colour scheme is fun, you are going to struggle to regularly pick winners. For this you will need to do your research and check the statistics. The best way to do this is to use racecards (both in person or online) to view form, racing schedules and previous recent racing stats. This means you can see how the horse has been performing and if they are racing well. There are numerous factors at play here but if you stick with these main ones you should find yourself with enough information to make a well educated pick. Additionally, if you would rather go for the more traditional and superstitious method of picking a horse, having a look at them in the paddock or parade ring can be hugely useful. More subtle markers are used here to identify potential winners like muscle definition, the body language of both the horse and jockey, and also how shiny the horse’s coat is.


Weighing up all these factors can be tough but it provides you with a much better base to make an educated wager on your desired horse. It’s certainly what we all want to know about horse racing and you know what that means? More chance of picking a winner and walking away with some tidy profits.