Understanding how handicapping in horse racing works is crucial in determining how to pick winners. And also because it’s one of the most common races in the world. It may seem tricky and difficult at first, but with rudimentary knowledge, you’ll be on your way towards a guaranteed win.
Horses in handicap races typically carry a fixed weight based on their ability or previous performances. The additional weight makes the playing field equal to all horses. In principle, handicapping assures that all contenders have a fair and impartial chance of winning.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the how’s, why’s, and what’s of a handicapped race.
What Is Handicapping?
The most basic definition of the horse racing handicap is the additional weight a horse must carry to even out the chance of winning. As a result, high-established horses slow down while low-established horses become more competitive in the race.
The number of weight a horse must carry is based on the official rating the horseracing authority or officials give it. What’s more, the rating may change every week depending on the horses’ performance.
Allocated weight is correspondent to the rating of the contenders. For example, a horse with a rating of 100 will carry 6lb more than a horse with a rating of 94.
How Is A Handicap Rating Decided?
Before a horse can be given an official rating, it must participate in a few races first. In that way, handicappers can assess how fast the horse is and its overall ability. If a horse clean sweeps a race, a rating will be assigned.
On the other hand, an official rating will also be appointed if a horse participates in at least three races but ends up in the top six in one of those runs. Moreover, if a horse does not do any of these, it must continue racing until it qualifies.
However, if a horse does any of those, an official rating between 0-140 will be designated to flat-race horses. Additionally, a rating between 0-170 will be given to jump-race horses. Then, the ratings will be re-examined each week and could decrease or increase based on a horse’s performance.
In general, if a horse wins races and is doing well, its rating will go up. Otherwise, the rating will go down. Please take note that online betting sites usually compute their own ratings. Bettors must keep a close eye on these ratings to determine if they can earn an advantage in the bets they make.
On top of this, be sure to look at the horse pace rating by watching the clock yourself or through an online site like tvg handcapping horse speed.
How to Bet Like A Pro
Successful bettors make their living by having the right mindset and being disciplined. Here’s how you can bet like a pro in handicap horse racing:
- Know The Speed. So that you can pick the correct winner, you need to look at the speed of each horse in the race. In this way, you can easily learn which horses are slow and fast. And you can use this information to your advantage.
- Overall Health. Knowing the overall wellness of each horse in the race can give you an ace up your sleeve when betting. Look through the past performances of each horse and identify the possible issues. Once you know which horses are struggling, you can eliminate them from your options.
- To better understand how each race will play out, you need to know whether a horse is a closer, stalker, or front runner. Also, study the running style of each horse.
If you’re a first-time handicapper, know that before you find success, you’ll fail a lot. So, if you make mistakes, see to it that you learn from them and work hard to figure out the best way to seize a win.
As a bettor, there are also other skills you can elevate and improve to help you win. One of these skills is money management. Knowing how to place a bet is just as essential as knowing which contender to bet on. You must learn and understand the concepts of bankroll management and value.
Another thing, bettors can use other sources of information such as inside details from jockeys, trainers, owners and racecourse employees. But of course, this would mean that you have to make contacts on the racecourse.
Whether you make your living playing the races or are a casual player, going to the racetrack without understanding how the betting works can be a shattering experience. Many people are not so lucky when it comes to horse race betting. With that said, take the time to learn some rudimentary knowledge so you’ll feel more confident betting.