Horse Handicapping 101 – Older or Younger

If you’re brushing off your handicapping skills before the Derby, you might have a long way to go. There’s so many horses competing that it can be hard to pin down who you want your top horse to be. Even after the Derby is long gone, there will be great races to follow. That’s why starting to refine your handicapping now can yield big benefits in the future.

So, how do we set the stage? The daily racing form is a great way to look at all of the contenders, but today’s lesson is a bit of general theory. You have younger horses against older horses. Does youth win? Or does experience play a bigger role? Do you want to go with a horse that’s relatively untested, the wildcard, or do you want to go super conservative and pick a horse that’s already won a bunch of allowance stakes?

The choice isn’t easy, because you can go either way. It’s also a bit of a “false choice”, because age alone doesn’t mean much. Sure, a young horse has a bit more life in them, but this “life” is marred by inexperience. Simply put, the horse can be stubborn and not perform nearly the way that you wanted them to perform.

Horse Handicapping

We advise making two groups in your handicapping drafts: the younger horses, along with the older horses. In the young group, you want to refine by looking at the performance of the jockeys, as well as the horse’s performance on different fields. There’s an inherent track bias that you need to keep aware of, and that bias can ruin a horse. Yet it’s not just about the condition of the track, either. (See why this can be complicated?)

You have to think about the horse’s endurance in general. You can look at the races they’ve won and then look at the track. Was it a speed race, or an endurance race? The longer tracks will bring out the horses that can go the distance, while the shorter tracks will reveal your sprinters.

As you begin to filter and refine based on historical data, you’ll realize that you’ll have more than a few horses in the running. It can be a lengthy process to narrow down the horses you want, but it’s worth it. If you are going to make sure that you practice conservative handicapping, you may want to avoid super exotic bets. There’s no need for a supertrifecta or an accumulator bet if you’re going to study the data. Sometimes, the “simple bets” can lead to the most money.


Cool Horse Racing Bets You Might Have Missed

Tired of the parlay bet? In horse racing, you have plenty of different ways to bet on the big races. As you watch the Road to the Derby series, you may already have a head start on your handicapping. Don’t get frustrated if the rankings change quite often. You still make a little money on these small races until the Kentucky Derby is here.

Here are a few different bets to check out.

If you want something easy peasy simple, you can’t go wrong with a straight win bet. As the name implies, you put money down on one horse for the win. You can calculate how much you’re going to get by looking at the odds multiplied against the stake that you put up. If you’re trying to skip the handicapping and “bet from the gut” or make guesses or follow hunches, this is the best way to go.

If you’re already handicapping, you might as well check out something like the each-way bet. It’s half on the horse you want to win, followed by the other half going to the horse you want to finish in one of the top 3 places. Some races are generous and will consider 4th place a winner as well, which can give you some leeway.

Horse Racing Bets

One of our favorite types of bets would have to be the forecast bet, also referred to as the tricast bet. Now, for our American friends, this is the exacta and trifecta.

Basically, the forecast bet means that you get the 1st and 2nd place winners in perfect order. Considering that you have to pretty much be a mind reader to get this down pat, it’s really a fun bet with a lot on the line. If you happen to get it right, you’ll win a lot of money. If you don’t get it right, you don’t get anything but a few laughs. All the more reason to only risk money that you can afford to lose. Gambling is good entertainment, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

But if the forecast bet is too much for you, you may want to check out the reverse forecast, where it doesn’t matter the order you place the horses. As long as they hit the required placements, the bet still pays out.

Betting should be fun, not stressful. Give yourself time to check into everything, and you’ll be able to put out some good bets!


Are These Horses Truly Derby Contenders

Everyone’s passing around lists of horses they think could be contenders in the Kentucky Derby race to come. Now, May is a long way away, and that means that there’s plenty of time to speculate. Since no one really knows a solid contender list, we figured that we’d just join in on the fun. We wanted to list a few horses and see what all of you think. Let’s pretend that we don’t really have an order here. We don’t want to cause a war, you know! 🙂

1. Tapiture


What an elegant horse! Have you seen this fella? If you’re not sure if you should look at Tapiture just yet, hare’s some background. He’s trained by Steve Asmussen, who is no newcomer to racing. His own parents were trainers, and his brother is a decorated jockey. He’s nailed 650 wins in a single year. Tapiture is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, a family that definitely has racing in their blood! The Winchells are pretty proud of Tapiture, who whose sire is Tapit, and his dam is Free Spin.

Tapiture definitely has speed in his blood, but distance is tricky. Tapit ended up in ninth place during the 2004 Kentucky Derby, but that doesn’t mean that Tapiture shouldn’t be considered a favorite. Free Spin won 3 of her 6 starts, and is a daughter of Olympio, a very decorated horse in his own right.

2. Intense Holiday

Intense Holiday
Now, this is definitely a horse that got our attention! This contender won the Risen Star Stakes on February 22nd, but it’s how the horse won that got our attention. Albano was definitely home free at the sixteenths pole, and it felt like a sure victory. But Intense Holiday proved that nothing in horse racing is ever certain, or foolproof. Kerwin Clark, the jockey who rode Albano in that race, was very surprised. A second place finish still deserves merit, but Intense Holiday definitely got the bragging rights. [Read more…]


Cheltenham Festival Horse Racing Fun!

It might still feel like we are in the middle of winter but the Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner. There is so much to look forward too. You can of course, watch the races of the television and enjoy having a bet on the Cheltenham Festival but you should really consider going there yourself. The Cheltenham racecourse is such a fantastic venue with loads of great bars and restaurants, a great atmosphere and really good views of the horses and the races. You can of course bet while you are there, but if you want to avoid the queues you can bet before you go or use a mobile phone app the bet while you are there.

Anyone who likes to bet will know exactly what it feels like and how much fun it can be. Having a financial interest in a particular horse winning, can mean that you have extra excitement in the race. You have a massive reason for wanting it to win and so when the race is taking place you get really involved. You feel your heart beating fast as you watch the horses running and then if it is a close thing at the end, it can be even more exciting.

Cheltenham Festival

Watching some of the best horses racing can also be very much part of the fun. Seeing the most experienced runners and riders means that you will be guaranteed a good race. Everyone will be very competitive and wanting to win even if they have a low chance of doing so. This means that the race will be a lot more fun and may in fact be spectacular. The crowds also get very much more excited and that will really add to it all as well. Even if you are watching it on the television you can hear and see them and that’s makes a big difference.

So set the date of the Cheltenham Festival in your diary, it is the 11th – 14th March 2014. Consider whether you want to be there in person and need to make arrangements for that or whether you need to take some time off work to watch it on the television. Also make sure that you have some money available so that you can place some bets so that you r enjoyment is even greater. You might even win a big amount of money and so that would make it really worthwhile.


The Next Month’s Racing

Throughout January and February most horse racing fans will be looking forward to the 2014 Cheltenham Festival which begins on March 11th. This year’s festival looks set to be an extremely exciting one, with competitive fields set up for all the most popular events including the Arkle Chase, the Champion Hurdle and, of course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. With the festival being the jewel in jumps racing’s crown, it is easy to become distracted in looking too far forward. However, with a little while still to go until Cheltenham, there is still lots of good racing yet to take place for punters to get their teeth into.

With final Cheltenham preparations being made, many horses will still have one run left before the festival. For all of these races, odds, and horse racing news can keep you up to date. Many will still be looking for the opportunity to have a bet on a big race or two in the coming month, and the good news is that you can most definitely find it.


On January 18th, a highly competitive field will line up for the Clarence House Chase at Ascot Racecourse, won in 2013 by superstar Sprinter Sacre. The race will have special importance for those looking forward to the Cheltenham Festival, as many runners in this race will be getting ready for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March. The Grade 1 race at Ascot covers 2 miles 1 furlong and includes thirteen fences that entrants will have to jump along the way. To add to the excitement, three horses in the past have gone on to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase after winning the Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

Sire de Grugy is currently a warm favourite with Coral for the Clarence House Chase, available at 11/8.Closely following the favourite is Somersby, available at 7/2, with Hidden Cyclone (5/1) and Fox Appeal (9/1) making up the top four entrants in the field. Whoever goes on to win it will be sure to catch the attention of those looking for Cheltenham Festival form.


Throughout the month of January there is various jumps racing and flat all-weather racing available to punters. With a meeting at Cheltenham racecourse on January 25th, those who wish to get their bearings before the big festival in March could be in for a good day’s racing. In February, the Commercial First Ascot Chase Grade 1 race takes place and, with previous winners including the legendary Kauto Star, punters are sure to be in for a treat.


Four Days of Bliss in Cheltenham

For four days in March, horseracing fans (and horseracing punters) gather ’round for the Cheltenham Festival 2013. Not every lover of the races will be there physically, nor will every punter. But thousands of fans will be present, and millions more will be following the races and enjoying Cheltenham betting.  The festival is the centerpiece of the UK horseracing season, drawing crowds, money, excitement and – until it starts – wild anticipation.

The four days used to be three days in March, but in 2005, festival organizers added the fourth day and more races; now, there are 26 races spread over the four days.  The showpiece of the festival is the Gold Cup, which is always run on the final day. This year, the 2013 festival will start on Tuesday March 12 and continue through Friday March 15. The famed Foxhunters’ race is also held on the last day, and it is run on the same track as the Gold Cup.

Cheltenham Festival - Ladies Day

The Cheltenham Festival is traditionally a showcase for British- and Irish-trained horses, which is part of its allure for fans who hail from Great Britain. “Foreign” horses race, as well, but not in great numbers. Each of the four days of the festival has a distinctive theme and atmosphere, indicated by that day’s name. Tuesday, March 12, will be Champion Day 2013; it’s the day you can expect to hear the Cheltenham Roar as the first race begins. The second day is Ladies Day, with its fabulous theme of fashion, style, and apparel; this is clearly the day that attracts the most ladies. The third day is St Patrick’s Day Thursday (though it’s not St Patrick’s Day this year), which is when an all-important charity race is run for Cancer Research UK. And the final day is named after that big race: Gold Cup Day.


Key Dates in the 2013 UK Racing Calendar

For those of you who missed out on last year’s Olympic festivities, fear not sport lovers, for the racing calendar keeps ticking on every year with fast and furious action. Racing fanatics will know that hundreds of fixtures are staged up and down the country throughout most of the year. However, for many with a taste for the sport and wanting an exciting day out, here is a list of the most well known key dates in the racing calendar to look out for.

Winter news from Kempton Park. Alongside some serious racing throughout the year, Kempton’s famous grounds in Middlesex offers events throughout the year for all the family which even includes Kempton Weddings. This year these include a Pepper Pig and George feature day in March, the Mascot Grand National in May, an Irish themed night in July as well as a Ladies’ Day this September. Although you may have missed Kempton’s ‘Race Plus Chase’ this February which was won by Opening Batsman, you can still head down to their Winter Festival happening on 26-27 December. Combining Jump racing with a Christmas event for you and the family to enjoy, the racing weekend kicks off with the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. With an average of 30,000 race goers in attendance each year, Kempton releases early bird tickets from April so as to avoid disappointment.

Cheltenham Festival

March. The key days for race goers to enjoy are 12-15 March for the famous Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire. Won last year by Synchronised, ridden by Tony McCloy, this year’s contenders include Long Run, Bobs Worth and Sir Des Champs. Cheltenham offers punters a variety of events over the four days. The 12th is a celebration of serious racing on Champion Day, followed by Ladies’ Day on the 13th. St. Paddy’s day is celebrated early with the themed St Patrick’s Thursday on the 14th followed by Cheltenham’s climatic Gold Cup day on the 15th.

April. Bets are on for one of the greatest racing days in the world, The Grand National. Taking place on 6 June, the event attracts more than 154,000 fans and had 11 million of us tuning in the watch the action last year. 2012 saw the closest ever Grand National finish, with Sunnyhillboy narrowly missing out to the grey Neptune Collonges on the line.

June. Mid-year lights up for racing fans as the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot take over the month of June. Epsom takes place on 1 June and is now in its 234th year. It is celebrated as the pinnacle of Flat racing and last year saw odds-on favourite Camelot take victory at the one mile course over the Diamond Jubilee weekend, ridden by Joseph O’Brien. Royal Ascot then takes place from 18-22 June. It is best known for its high fashion alongside top racing action. It attracts not only racing fans but also the social elite and fun seekers looking for a great day out. You can also watch out for the Royals which have attended the event since it first began more than 300 years ago. Highlights include the Gold Cup, the Golden Jubilee Stakes and the Chesham Stakes, for which prizes can total millions of pounds.