The process of horse racing handicapping is simply the evaluation of each runner to determine its chances of winning. Once you have an idea, or what we call a “guess-timate” of how likely each runner is to find the winner’s circle, then you can start the important part of making money betting on horses. Finding value on the odds board is the goal of serious horse racing handicapping. An easy horse racing system is every horse player’s dream.
A simple and easy to use formula will tell you if a runner is a good wager, may be profitable in the long run. Just ask yourself, “If this same race was run ten times or twenty times, how many of those races would each runner win?”
If your answer for horse A is two out of ten times, then he dato carrera americana would win about a fifth of the races, so his fair value odds would be 5-1. Once you know that, a look at the odds board will tell you whether he is a good bet at over 5-1 or is overvalued by the crowd and is going off at less than 5-1. I realize that I am simplifying something that is actually very difficult to do, but for the purposes of this short horse racing article, we can’t go into depth on the subject of handicapping, an intellectual pursuit that could fill many volumes.
One method that you can use to quickly handicap a race is to break it down to three factors, speed, class, and jockey. Creating a hierarchy, a list of horses starting with the best and going to the worst in each category and then assigning a number for each position is one way to find horses that have an edge. It won’t tell you how many times the horse with the best score would win if they raced against each other ten times, but it will tell you which one might win most often.
For instance, taking the two best speed figures in their last three races and adding the figure for those two races together, will give you a number for each horse, assuming that each one has had a race. If you don’t play maiden races with first time starters, you won’t have the problem of a horse with no past races. Let’s say there are five horses in the race and we’ll label them from A to E. Their speed figure totals look like this…
A=150, B=145, C=155, D=130, E=148.
Putting them in order from best to worse would give us,
C, A, E, B, D.
Now if we give them a number for their order, it would look like this (since there are five horses, the top number is 5 and the worst of course, is 1).
5 4 3 2 1
C A E B D, so horse C gets 5 points for speed and A gets 4, etc.
To figure class, find the horse who has earned the most money in its last five starts or simply look at the purse in the horse’s last race. Any method will work as long as you can identify the horse that raced against the best horses in its last race. In the case of a tie, give each horse the same number in the hierarchy. For instance, if two horses both raced for $50,000 in their last race and that is the top amount, then give each one a 5.
Once again, create a hierarchy with the best receiving a 5 and the worst a 1.
Finally, simply look at the jockey’s winning percentage and use that to create a hierarchy.
Your final totals might look something like this…
5 4 3 2 1
C A E B D
5 4 4 2 1
A B E D C
5 4 3 2 1
C D B A E
Now add each horse’s total score to find the top horse.
Horse A gets 4 points for speed, 5 points for class, and 2 points for jockey, so it gets a total of 11.
Horse B gets 2 points for speed, 4 points for class, and 3 points for jockey, so it gets a total of 9.
The rest get C=11, D=7, E=8.