how to pick winners in horse racing

To succeed in horse racing, study the horses’ performances, including their past wins, placings, and times. Analyze their form and pedigree to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Consider the track conditions, distance, and weather factors that may influence the race outcome. Observe the jockeys’ records and riding styles to gauge their abilities. Monitor the betting patterns and pay attention to any significant odds changes. Gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision, and strive to identify horses with a high probability of success based on their past performances and current form.

How to Pick Winners in Horse Racing

Are you ready to start winning at the racetrack? Picking the right horse to bet on is an art that takes time and practice, but it’s certainly possible to master with a little bit of effort. In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know about handicapping, the process of selecting the most likely winner in a horse race. We’ll cover everything from understanding past performances to assessing the track and weather conditions. By the end of this guide, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful horse racing handicapper.

Past Performances

  • Form cycle: The horse’s recent races and how well it has performed in each one.
  • Beyers Speed Figure: A numerical rating that measures a horse’s speed.
  • Trainer and jockey: The experience and success of the horse’s trainer and jockey.
  • Equipment changes: Any changes to the horse’s tack, such as blinkers or a noseband.

Other Factors to Consider

  • The track: Different tracks favor different types of horses, so it’s important to do your research on the track where the race is being run.
  • The weather: The weather can have a significant impact on the outcome of a race, so be sure to check the forecast before you bet.
  • The pace of the race: The pace of the race can also have a big impact on which horse wins, so be sure to pay attention to the early fractions.

Putting It All Together

Once you’ve gathered all of the relevant information, it’s time to put it all together and make your pick. The most important factor to consider is the horse’s past performances. However, you should also take into account the other factors discussed above. by weighing all of the factors carefully, you can make informed decisions about which horses are most likely to win.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to handicapping horse races, but the tips and advice in this guide will give you a solid foundation to build on. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful horse racing handicapper.

Good Luck!

Handicapping Factors

When it comes to horse racing, handicapping is the art of predicting which horse will win. There are dozens of factors that can affect a horse’s performance, but the most important ones include:

  • Form: A horse’s recent race results can give you a good idea of its current form. Look for horses that have been running well in similar races and distances.
  • Class: The class of a race refers to the level of competition. Horses that compete in higher-class races are generally more talented and experienced. It is important to know the class of a race before you make your picks.
  • Distance: Some horses perform better at certain distances than others. For example, a sprinter may be better suited to a 6-furlong race than a marathon.
  • Track conditions: The condition of the track can also affect a horse’s performance. For example, a horse might prefer a dirt track to a turf track.
  • Jockey: The jockey that is riding a horse can also make a difference. Some jockeys are more skilled than others, and they can help a horse to perform better.
  • Trainer: The trainer of a horse is responsible for its overall care and training. A good trainer can help a horse to reach its full potential.

Using Handicapping Factors to Pick Winners

Once you have considered all of the handicapping factors, you can start to narrow down your choices. Here are a few tips to help you pick winners:

  1. Look for horses that have been running well in similar races and distances.
  2. Favor horses that are running in their preferred class and distance.
  3. Consider the track conditions and the jockey’s experience.
  4. Do your research and learn as much as you can about the horses that are running.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional handicapper.


Picking winners in horse racing is not an exact science, but by considering the handicapping factors discussed above, you can improve your chances of success. Remember to do your research, be patient, and have fun!

Jockey and Trainer Evaluation

Evaluating the jockey and trainer is a crucial aspect of handicapping horse races. Here’s a guide to help you assess their abilities and make informed decisions:


  • Experience: Choose jockeys with a proven track record of success, especially in similar races.
  • Winning Percentage: Analyze their overall winning percentage and recent form.
  • Race Distance and Track Performance: Consider jockeys who perform well in races of similar distance and at the racecourse.
  • Riding Style: Different jockeys have different riding styles. Match their style with the race conditions (e.g., front-runner vs. closer).
  • Horse Compatibility: Check the jockey’s history with the horse or horses they’re scheduled to ride.


  • Recent Form: Explore the trainer’s recent performances, especially in similar races.
  • Record with Horses: Examine the trainer’s success with horses of a similar type and bloodline.
  • Track and Distance Expertise: Identify trainers who specialize in certain racecourses or distances.
  • Assistant Trainers: Consider the reputation of the assistant trainers in the stable.
  • Training Methods: Research the trainer’s approach to training and its effectiveness.

Evaluating Joint Performance

Jockey and TrainerWinning PercentageROI
Combination 165%1.25
Combination 255%1.10
Combination 370%1.30

Review the combined performances of jockey-trainer combinations to identify those with a high winning percentage and return on investment (ROI). This can provide valuable insights into their effectiveness as a team.

Race Conditions

When selecting winners in horse racing, it’s crucial to consider the race conditions. These factors can significantly influence a horse’s performance and should be carefully evaluated:

  • Distance: Horses have preferred distances at which they perform best. Consider the length of the race and the horse’s past performances at similar distances.
  • Surface: Different surfaces, such as dirt, turf, or synthetic, can affect a horse’s footing and stride. Check the horse’s previous races on the specific surface.
  • Track condition: The track condition (e.g., fast, muddy) can impact a horse’s grip and speed. Research the track conditions and how they have affected previous races.
  • Field size: The number of horses in the race can influence the pace and competition level. Larger fields can lead to more congestion and jostling.
  • Post position: The post position (starting position) can provide an advantage or disadvantage depending on the track layout and starting gate.
Race Condition Summary
DistanceHorse’s preferred distance, past performances
SurfaceHorse’s performance on specific surfaces
Track ConditionImpact on footing and speed
Field SizeCompetition level, congestion
Post PositionAdvantage or disadvantage in starting gate

And there you have it, folks! The secrets to picking winners like a pro. Remember, it’s not an exact science, but with a little bit of research and a keen eye, you can definitely improve your chances. So get out there, hit the track, and see if you can’t cash in on some big wins! Thanks for reading, and be sure to stop back by for more horse racing tips and tricks.