Horse racing is one of the world’s most popular sports to bet on, with millions wagered on some of the globe’s most prestigious events throughout the season.

The most significant races on the schedule are also extremely popular among bettors that wouldn’t typically look to wager on racing, as they will look to place a wager in order to get closer to the action on track due to the mainstream attention that the huge races on the schedule enjoys.

But, what are some of the key tips that newcomers to betting should follow in order to ensure that they make the best possible selections for a race?

Assess The Form

One of the most important factors that should be considered before making any bet on horse racing action is the form of the runners that are involved. That includes assessing the distances that each of the runners have competed and won over.

Proven form over a certain distance is always considered to be a plus when it comes to betting on horses, while runners that are unproven over a certain trip will have more to find against proven competitors.

The form book will tell the full story surrounding the runners involved, meaning that bettors should never blindly pick a selection based on their name alone.

For example, before the Kentucky Derby is a good idea to check the prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby:

High-Quality Form Lines

Races are typically run under a number of different criteria’s, but the vast majority of the most watched races that gain mainstream attention are Grade Ones. Therefore, examining horses that have form at the highest level of the sport is essentially important when it comes to weighing up the chances of a runner in a field.

Horses that have won a number of races in Grade One company will have an immediate better chance of continuing that winning sequence. Meanwhile, horses that have failed to win at any level greater than a Grade Three may find themselves outclassed when taking the step up in opposition.


An important examination that all bettors should make before making their selection is the conditions that the race will be run in. This could mean that a race is run on sloppy dirt or heavy ground if the rain has been falling for a considerable amount of time. If this is the case, then it could change the entire outlook of a potential race.

It could mean that horses with high quality form on good ground may not have leading chances, while those that have proven experience at competing on more testing ground could have solid claims. The conditions are essentially important to consider, especially if they could prove to be a difference maker when it comes to assessing the field and their chances in the race.

Course Form

Horses for courses is a statement that is used by bettors from across the world, and it is one of the main rules that has stood the test of time throughout history. Horses with proven records at certain courses will always have a solid chance of landing another victory, as it will be clear that certain tracks bring out the very best in the runner.

Examining a horse’s form at a specific course is really important, as it could also help pinpoint a runner that typically runs below his best form around a certain track. Course and distance form is also very important to assess, as this will show bettors which horses have run over the exact same criteria as a race that they are looking to bet on. Horses that have a solid course record will always rank among the leading contenders back at their ideal track.

Trainer/Jockey Form

Examining the trainers and jockeys that are in excellent form is also a very important consideration that should be taken into account when it comes to assessing the most likely winner of a race. Trainers that have a proven recent winning record on track will always stand a better chance of continuing that run, as it will show that the yard is at the top of their game. However, trainers that are struggling for winners should be overlooked, as this could pinpoint that something is amiss in the yard, whether it be an illness or just general form.

Jockeys that are also riding at the very top of their game should also be considered. Riders that are riding with excellent confidence will also stand a better chance of extending their excellent record on track, as they will feel braver when it comes to making race-altering decisions. Meanwhile, jockeys that have struggled for victories in recent weeks should be ignored, as this could be an unwise bet, as the jockey will likely need to ride their way back into form by landing a winner to regain their confidence.