Here is the second part of today's Cheltenham Festival Day 1 betting preview. We...
Horse Race Handicapping
What is horse racing handicapping?
For many newcomers or recreational horse racing bettors, the answer is not totally obvious to the question, ”what is a handicap race?” There is often some confusion or misunderstanding with regards to the type of contest known as a ‘Handicap’. Handicap races make up almost 60% of all races run throughout the UK each year, and therefore a solid understanding would be hugely beneficial in improving your Horse racing betting and ultimately your success and profits. Our horse tipster Tony R will often put up horse racing betting that run in handicap races.
In simple terms, a handicap race can be defined as the following:-
“A handicap race in horse racing is a race in which horses carry different weights, allocated by the handicapper. A better horse will carry a heavier weight, to give it a disadvantage when racing against slower horses”
The easiest way to describe this is relate it to humans. For example, Usain Bolt was asked to race Mo Farah over 300 metres and the governing body employed a handicapper who felt that Usain Bolt was the equivalent of 5 seconds faster than Farah. They would allocate him a weight to carry during the run that was heavy enough so it was equal to slowing him down by 5 seconds. This would hopefully make the fantasy race a level playing field.
Every time a horse runs in a race the performance is analysed by the ‘Handicapper’ and the horse is allocated a rating. Every case is judged on its individual merits with the Handicapper taking into account all the pertinent variables such as the weight the horse carried in relation to other runners, the race distance, the ground, the draw (if a Flat race), the finishing margins between runners, the pace at which the race was run, the strength of the current form of the runners, and whether any incidents occurred that could have impeded one or more of the runners or exaggerated a horse’s performance.
Now clearly this is not an exact science. There are numerous methods that Trainers have at their disposal to make them think they have a ”well handicapped horse” on their hands – as in, better than the handicap mark and weight they will be due to carry. This combination therefor more likely to win a certain contest.