Good handicapping requires a look at many factors and in-depth study to find the true odds of each runner winning the race. There are some shortcuts, however that you can learn to handicap quickly and find a horse that may have an edge in a key factor of the race. While all factors may have to be considered in horse racing, there are some that are more important than others.
Let’s start with pace as an example. Look at the race model and find out if any running style has a big advantage over the others. Race summaries often not only show the pace pars and running styles, but will estimate each horses running style and probable pace figures. Look for the horses that match that race model.
An example would be many maiden races at various tracks. In a race with no first time starters it is often apparent how the pace will shape up. It is also true that at most race tracks the early speedsters have an advantage in maiden races. Find the horse with the best pace par for early speed. While many other things may matter, this horse has the edge in one important category.
Let’s now look at another category of races that usually favor one particular running style. Turf races as a general rule favor horses that come from off the pace. While it is true that there are some that favor early speed or even front runners, the majority of these races on the grass offer an advantage to the late running horse.
Therefore, look for horses with a high pace par for late speed. These horses have a distinct advantage in these events. You should always check the track model to make sure that this is the case. When you find a race that favors late speed, find the horse with the most late speed and that one has an advantage.
Now you must apply filters to each of these advantage type horses in order to make sure there are no over riding conditions that make them a bad bet. Start with recent form. If the horse has finished in the money or within 5 lengths at today’s distance and surface in the last thirty days, it has passed the first test. The next test is the connections. The jockey and trainer must know how to win. The higher the averages for these two key people, the better the horse appears. A dismal win rate would be a red flag and I would pass on that one.
Once again, this is just a simple way to find a possible bet and you should always remember that betting on horse races is risky and you should never wager more than you can afford to lose.