Sports Betting

Choosing a Winning Horse for Beginners

There is an art to consistently choosing the winning pony at the races.  Combining information about the competitors past wins, favourite track surface, and post position will make you much more accurate when picking your odds and your winner. Here are basics to get you started.

Figure out the Racing Form

The racing form has all the information you need to make a reasonably good attempt at picking a winner. Once you’ve figured out what all the stats and numbers are, choosing your horse becomes that much easier. The forms show you the historical performance and the most recent placing of the ponies on the course.

Beyer Speed Figures

These are usually found in bold in the centre of the form. The Beyers numbers indicate the winning time, race time and speed of the track for each horse.

Although not accurate enough to use on its own, top racers will have numbers in the 100s while the best runners will be in the 120s.

  • Pace Projections – Using past race information, betters can estimate the pace of the race they want to bet on and decide which runner will perform.


One of the biggest factors when choosing a winner is the track distance. Like in any sport these athletes have their strong suits. If you are looking at a horse who has consistently performed well on a shorter track you wouldn’t bet on it for a longer run. In the same vein, if your horse tends to break late, your best bet will be on a longer track.

While you are getting the hang of pace and speed take a break. Pace combined with the track distance will give a you pretty strong betting edge.

Track and Weather

Sand or grass, dry or wet. Check how your favourite has done on a particular track surface. They may perform better on sand or be untested grass. Is the track wet or dry? A little bit of ran can turn a dirt track into mud or the grass track into a slip n slide.

Form Cycles

Athletes aren’t always in top form and even horses have bad days. Check your horses form cycle to see if they are ‘In Form’, which means they are in good condition and likely to perform well, or if they are ‘Off Form’, meaning they are not at their best.

Purse Size and Origin

The purse size can give you an indication of how a horse will perform. Horses don’t command big prizes based on their looks. If there is lots of money in the pot it’s for a good reason.

Owners generally won’t spend a fortune transporting their runners to site if they aren’t pretty confident that their horse will perform. If they’ve come a distance it is a good indication of the runner’s potential.

Post Position

The order that the horses are lined up will play a major role in the outcome of the race. Numbered 1 to 20, post 1 is on the inside against the rail and 20 the farthest outside.

Check your favourites previous positions to get a feel for which posts they performed well out of before. If your horse has consistently done badly out of the farthest post, and well from the inner, your favourites position out the gate can help to make your final decision. Remember this is true for the competing runners too. So, check the competitions line up and you may find yourself choosing a different winner altogether.