What’s the Fun in Horse Racing?
While there are myriads of entertainment available everywhere, there are quite a number of good ones a lot of people haven’t even considered. Some of these they probably have no inclination for, and others may not be that affordable. And there are some that people just have no idea how to appreciate. If you are like a lot of my friends, I bet you haven’t gone to a live horse racing. They say, “What’s the fun in that?” I smile and say, “so much.”
Who can enjoy the game?
People think because it is the Queen’s favourite sport, that horse racing is just for the wealthy. If you mean engaging in the sport yourself, owning a horse or a number of them, as well as paying trainers and jockeys to ride them, sure only the wealthy can do that. But watching the game and even betting may cost less than going to the movies. The minimum bet on a race is $2, and admission to a racetrack is usually free. If you’re lucky, you may win your money back and some more. If you don’t, you still had a great time that did not cost you a lot.
How do you determine where to bet?
Some people bet on the horse with the nicest or weirdest name. Others bet on their lucky number or favourite colour. Some rely on superstition. That could be fun too, as games of chance may you that thrill factor. And it feels great when you get really lucky. But while others try to win the game on luck, you can have a lot more fun when you actually have a sense of control over your choice. Placing a winning bet is really mostly a skill.
Where’s the skill in that?
The skill lies on your ability to analyse information to arrive at a winning bet. Like everything else, past performance serves as clues to future performance. Take advantage of information that is readily available. Learning to read and understand the race day programme is a skill that can be practiced and mastered over time. They tell you the key things you want to consider in analysing the best bet.
The race track
Some horses perform best on dirt, some grass tracks and others prefer artificial tracks. Be keen on the current race’s surface type and the horse’s history on different surface types.
What is the race’s class level or level of competition? If a horse has been moved to a higher level because it has been winning consistently in a lower class level, it may not do as well in the higher class level as the other horses that have had more experience in it. Sometimes they move down a class too, depending on their performance. It may affect whether they win or lose this race.
The history of the jockey also matters. They may have won races regardless of which horse they were riding, or they may be best with one particular horse. A change of jockey may also be a big factor to a horse’s win or loss.
Another very important factor to consider is the horse itself. It matters that it is looking good and in good condition. Is its coat shiny, or is it sweating? Is it relaxed or does it look anxious. Have a good look at the horse and how it behaves at the stable and in the parade ring.
Learn to determine their breeding as well. Thoroughbreds are known for their speed, Arabians for their stamina, and Quarter Horse are said to be strong. Consider their breeding against the length and type of the race.
From this mix of information you will have a basic theory on which to base your choice. Now go and practice the skill. That’s the fun in horse racing.