Millions of punters wager on horse races every year, although a tiny percentage is able to make money. Effectively learning how to handicap horses perfectly to turn a profit is perhaps the most crucial skill in the gambling industry.
While there is no guidebook to help you conjure up the ingredients that make up the secret sauce; the experts have often listed the bad habits that you must avoid to have any chance of betting on the winning horse. According to the online bookmaker, here are five major reasons horse handicappers lose wagers.
Five Bad Habits that Define a Losing Bet
- Ignoring the Jockey – Analyzing individual performance can be tricky as every track has a few favorites. You put any competent jockey on a winning horse and the outcome will be the same. But the jockey’s performance becomes relevant when they’re able to pull out that extra bit of effort from a good horse and not just the best one. Evaluating jockeys is a neat trick that you mustn’t ignore. Consider their past records leading up to recent performances, including how they fared in the past couple of months.
- Considering Irrelevant Factors – Handicapping involves making crucial decisions at a moment’s notice. And while everything is important, what matters is the degree of relevance. For instance, if you pick a horse based on the color they wear or how recently they took a shit, you’ll lose. You might win a few bets, but that’s pure luck. Predicting the outcome comes with immense research and you only get better with practice.
- Simply Relying on Speed – While speed is a crucial factor while handicapping, it’s not the deciding factor. For instance, a horse might be fast on dry turf but struggle over a slushy patch. Some horses are quick off the line while some gain speed over time. You must take a horse’s stamina and history into account while handicapping. Relying only on speed is like walking into a gunfight with a pocket knife.
- Focusing on the Bloodline – Bloodline refers to the animal’s list of parents and grandparents. And while horses from a strong gene pool generally perform well, there is no guarantee. Bloodlines are important when judging a horse’s performance during its maiden run. But then, betting on a maiden run isn’t the smartest decision from a gambling POV. There are countless incidences where champion bloodlines wither off in one generation, while horses with no proven heritage become champion racehorses.
- Ignoring the Trainer – Punters often wager on the final product but fail to see the numerous hours of training that happens behind the scene. Expert handicappers meticulously examine the trainer’s statistics and history since the animal spends most of its time following their instructions. A good trainer can turn a mediocre horse into a champion. Therefore, you cannot afford to ignore the trainer’s history and statistics while picking a horse you think will win.