The world of betting on horse races has a strong back history. However, it also comes with a unique group of strategies that you can implement into your betting system. Of course, there are a few things that you need to know about before you place any sort of horse racing wagers. For example, you need to be fully informed on how to read a race card. After all, it’s one thing to have a card in front of you that is full of information. It is, however, quite another to understand everything that’s on it.
Therefore, we have brought forth this guide on how to read a race card. This can give you a hint on what kind of pre-race betting strategies to incorporate. Of course, if you’re a newcomer, the race card can look quite confusing. There’s a lot to understand about it. It contains details of the number of competitors in the race, the type of race, odds prices and more. So, without further ado, here is how to read a race card.

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The Parts of the Race Card and What They Mean

It is, of course, vital to know when the race is taking place. Otherwise, you could miss placing your all-important wager on it. The time of the race is usually on display near the top left of the race card. The name of the track is generally displayed next to this too. Furthermore, you’ll usually find information such as the Class of the Race. National Hunt races range between Class 1 down to class 7. Generally speaking, the lower the number, the better the race is. You’ll also see the name of the race there too. Then comes the information of a number between 0 and 75. This gives the information that horses with an official rating between 0 and 75 can compete, while next is an age limit for horses competing.
There’s also the word “Going”, which refers to the ground condition at the racecourse. If the word, ‘Standard’ follows this, then everything at the track is normal. You’ll also see the distance section, providing details of how long the race is, while “Runners” explains how many horses are competing in the race.
You’ll then usually find the different bet types that you can place. Bookmakers will normally provide quick links to these in the arena just above the race card. Therefore, you can select between options such as 1st place markets, insurance markets, top 3 finish and more. Then, these bets will add themselves straight to your bet slip. Additionally, if a bookmaker supports exchange betting, you’ll be able to link directly to the available totepools too.

The Race Card Itself

A race card gives you the chance to see all of the different options that are available to you in an upcoming event. Down the left-hand side of such, you’ll see the ‘No’ and ‘Runner’ sections. The first of these displays the number that will appear on the horse’s cloth during the race. Underneath it is a number in brackets which denotes the stall that the horse will run from. Meanwhile, the ‘Runner’ section offers up the horse’s name. Additionally, next to the horse’s name will be single or double letters. These are as follows:

  • This means the horse has won at this course over the same distance in the past.
  • The horse has simply won at this course in the past.
  • This horse has won over this distance before.
  • These letters give the information that the horse beat the favourite in its last race.

You’ll then see the odds price offered on the horse in its previous races, as well as the current odds price for the horse. The letters, ‘SP’ stand for starting price – the value given to the horse at the start of the race. If you see the ‘Non-Runner’ sign, this means that the horse has pulled out of the race. Other information includes the age of the competing horse, the weight of it in both stones and pounds and the horse’s past form.
It’s not always the case that the odds on favourite will win a horse racing event. Of course, when it does, many people bring in profit and enjoy the results of such. However, for the horses that don’t win even when they’re the favourite to do so, something else happens. This is where you’re able to take advantage of one of our recommend horse racing betting systems. It’s always going to be sad to see a favourite horse not cross the finish line in first place. Especially if you’ve placed quite a hefty wager on it.
Should this take place, then the horse is sure to fall out of favour for the next race that it is scheduled to participate in. It’s quite often the case that public opinion goes against that horse quite considerably in the next event. Naturally, the bookmakers are then forced to increase their odds on that particular runner. This is all due to the flow of betting going against the horse as a beaten favourite.

Taking Advantage of a Beaten Favourite horse

Nothing can ever be guaranteed in the world of horse racing. So, if you’ve ever placed wagers on a favourite horse in a race and it has failed to win, then you’ll know how disheartening it can be. However, anyone who is experienced in the industry will know that this is just a part of life. Even the vert best horses have the possibility of losing a race in the most unexpected way. Therefore, you’re able to take advantage of such an outcome to profit in the next race. If you can bring yourself to look past a single loss, then placing a wager on a beaten favourite horse could be very beneficial to you.
The horse will have better odds than it normally would due to this loss. So, it then makes a strategy quite a viable long-term proposition. Whenever a horse is under-priced, it will almost always realise some sort of profit over time. That’s why backing a popular horse that suffered a defeat in its previous race can only be a good thing. Therefore, whenever we bet on a race, we always take note of favourites and see how they run the race. If they don’t cross the finish line in first place, it’s quite a certain thing that we’ll back them in their follow up event.
Naturally, you need to have the ability to spot a beaten favourite. If you’re able to keep in mind which horse is the favourite for each of the races that you bet on, you can always figure out which ones to go for in a proceeding race. Just because a horse loses a single event doesn’t mean it won’t go on to win the next one and the one after that. It’s a favourite for a reason, after all. And if you’re able to benefit from better odds on a favourite horse in an alternative race, then you should.
When it comes to horse racing, many people tend to back the favourite to win in order to gain profit. However, there’s also the possibility to lay the favourite in order to win some profit too. This may seem like quite a defeatist attitude upon first look. There is method in the supposed madness of this strategy though. It is a strategy that you can utilise at a betting exchange. If you use it properly though, it can ensure nice profits over time. It’s true to say that only 1/3 of the favourite horses actually go on to win a race. Therefore, on average, it’s true to say that the favourites are more likely to lose a race than actually win it.
As far as betting is concerned, a horse will only be known as the favourite due to the amount of people backing it. It’s not necessarily due to the presumption that it has the best chance of winning overall. Therefore, it’s not directly about skill of the rider, previous wins of the horse or information like that. Instead, the favourite is determined by how many people have chosen to place wagers on it already.

So, How Does Laying the Favourite Work?

In order to utilise the Laying the Favourite strategy as one of your horse racing betting systems, you need to first of all consider that it needs to be done on a favourite horse that is trading at 3/1 or under. If the odds are any higher than this, the damage to your funds if the horse actually ends up winning will be quite severe. Once you locate such, you need to have some great handicapping skills in order to identify a weak favourite. There are several other factors that should also be considered when it comes to this type of bet though. For example, you could take into consideration whether or not a horse is running in a national hunt for the first time. You also need to see if it’s carrying additional weight, or whether or not it’s wearing headgear for the first time.
You need to take your time with a Laying the Favourite strategy, because the key points are in the details. If you’re quite certain that there’s another horse or horses in the race that can beat the favourite and the odds are fairly short, it’s potentially a good one for a lay bet. You also need to know when not to lay the favourite as well.
In order to remain in a safe position, it’s generally a good idea to stick to the top racing classes. This means Group 1, Grade 1 races. Why is this, you might ask? Well, bookmakers generally provide more in-depth form records of the competitors when it comes to higher tier races. Therefore, it makes it easier for you to be able to see the weak favourites. The more information on the horses that you have, the better things will be for you. Furthermore, the exchanges on top tier races generally have more first-time bettors with a lack of experience. They are, of course, more inclined to place bets on favourites, thereby bringing prices down.