How to Handicapping a Horse Race
Horse races are a popular form of gambling in many parts of the world. The sport is a mix of tradition and modern technology that has evolved over time to become one of the most popular betting activities today. But the sport also has a dark side where horses are subjected to painful injuries, drug abuse and even death. The sport has come a long way since the first horse race was held in 700 B.C.
In the past, a rider’s skill and judgment was crucial to winning a horse race. But as dash racing became the norm, and speed records became more important, a few extra yards in a race became easier to come by, and the jockey’s role diminished. In addition, the advent of modern medications confused the picture. Powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories designed for humans bled over into race preparation, and racing officialdom often did not have the capacity to test for many of these new drugs.
The most famous horse race in the world is the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. It is a very prestigious race and its prize money is among the highest in all sports. The race has been rated as number three on the list of the top 10 horse races in the world, with only the Kentucky Derby and the Grand National (in the US) having longer histories than the French race.
Other famous horse races around the world include the Caulfield and Sydney Cups in Australia, the Gran Premio Internacional Carlos Pellegrini in Argentina, the Melbourne Cup in Australia, the Durban July in South Africa, the Emperor’s Cup and Arima Memorial in Japan, and the Wellington Cup in New Zealand. Some of these races are run on dirt, while others are run on turf.
One of the best ways to handicap a horse race is to study a thoroughbred’s performance history. Look at the horse’s record in the type of race you are betting on and in the class in which it is running. Moreover, pay attention to the horse’s behavior in the paddock. Does it look peppy and eager to get going, or is it acting jittery and Eeyore-like? A nervous and anxious horse is wasting its energy and might not save enough to finish the race. Look for big sweat splotches on the body, especially by the kidneys, to see whether the horse is in good shape. Also, be sure to read the race day program carefully. It is crammed with information that can help you make better bets. With a little practice, you will be reading like a pro in no time. If you don’t have the time or patience to study a thoroughbred’s history, there are many other methods for handicapping. For example, you can consult the ratings compiled by racing officials and handicappers from across the world. These ratings are published regularly and take into account a wide range of variables, including the performance of each horse in elite races.