In the world of horse betting, handicapping is about zeroing in on the winning horse. This is not always a walk in the park – but having some idea how to go about it will make the process far less intimidating. We’ve broken down the approach into a simple 5-step process that should help you visualize the race and see the winner horse in your head even before the race begins. Read along.

Step 1. Identify the horse(s) in form

Horse racing is extremely physically demanding, and like most athletics, you’ve got to be in shape to be a worthy contender and stand a chance of winning. That applies to horses too. So, your first task is to identify and eliminate those racers that don’t appear to be perfectly fit judging from their recent performances or duration from the most recent race.

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A horse that hasn’t raced in 30 or more days may not be in form unless there is ample evidence of workout over that time, and a history of sound performance off both short and long breaks. Most of all, a horse that comes from a barn that frequently wins races should be a preferred pick.

Step 2. Find out the speed

The next task is to evaluate the ability of the horses based on their speed figures and performance ratings on record. You should be able to find all this information in the CPR of Today’s Racing Digest, Final Time Ratings or FIRE Numbers – whichever works for you.

Step 3. Identify the class

The idea here is to identify a powerful contender based on their class moves. Start by finding out the class of today’s race, then look up each horse in the race to see if they have previously competed in the same class. A horse that has previously won a race in the same class is a perfect pick, and so is a horse that finished second or third place in a higher class previously and is taking a slight drop in class today.

Step 4. Evaluate the trainers

The human element plays a critical role in ensuring a win in horse races. Just like other racing tips today, you’ll want to pay much attention to any statistics that favor the particular horse winning the race after the particular trainer claims it. You can tell this by looking up the trainer to see if he has a record of winning in first time after claiming a horse.

Step 5. Check the racing conditions

The surface conditions or distance to be covered can make or break a horse’s performance. Your task is to check to see that the horse has no problem with today’s distance or surface conditions such as dirt and turf. How have they performed in similar conditions previously?

Conclusion

Regardless of your level of expertise, success in handicapping always comes down to the basics. You may have your distinctive style or preferred way of handicapping, however, there is simply no shortcut that will involve skipping these five steps.

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