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Posts Tagged ‘handicapping’

  1. Horse Racing Betting

    March 11, 2015 by saratogasam

    The Golden Rules of Horse Racing Betting


    By Simon Head

    Forget old wives’ tales, home-spun wisdom and the advice of cabbies, says Tony Paley.

    If you really want to know how to punt on horses, you should engrave these 37 Commandments on tablets of stone and carry them with you wherever you go. Not literally, of course – that would be impractical.

    Rules. Mavericks and misfits might not like to admit it, but it’s especially true in gambling that some solid guidelines are a major help in formulating a strategy to beat the bookies.

    There’s no short cut to making money backing horses. The bookmakers work full-time at getting money from punters, so backers shouldn’t expect to have to do anything different.

    Victor Chandler, for instance, not only has a form expert but a speed ratings buff, a breeding analyst and a man whose job it is to collate inside information.

    Punters need to take their betting just as seriously, but if they take the following 37 Commandments on board, they will give themselves a much better chance of getting in front and staying there.

    RULE 1 – The first question to ask when you want a bet is: ‘How will this race be run?’ And the second: ‘Will it suit the horse I am interested in backing?’

    RULE 2 – Watch as many horse races as possible. Even if the over-excitable Mark Johnson or the almost terminally bored Graham Goode is commentating.

    RULE 3 – Look at every horse in the race, not just the one you’ve backed.

    RULE 4 – Concentrate virtually without exception on the better class of animals in the higher-grade races.

    RULE 5 – Cram as much form study in as time will allow.

    RULE 6 – When you find a horse ‘coming to the boil’ and running into form, back on a winnable rating, stick with it. It will almost certainly pay its way in time.

    RULE 7 – The going and the draw are the two most important variables in determining the outcome of any horse race.

    RULE 8 – If there are doubts about the going, draw bias, the price or any other highly important variable, wait till the very last minute until having a bet.

    RULE 9 – Keep your pockets sewn up when the ground is officially heavy.

    RULE 10 – The influence of weight is vastly overrated. In the majority of cases, horses will not reverse the form, no matter how favourably off they are in terms of the weights.

    RULE 11 – Only forgive a horse an ‘unlucky-in-running’ run once. The vast majority who repeat the offence will repeatedly find trouble.

    RULE 12 – Follow horses that travel well in races and/or have demonstrated a turn of foot in a truly run race.

    RULE 13 – The Ei Ei Memorial Rule. Favour horses with a willingness to win.

    RULE 14 – Never ever back a horse in a major handicap first time out, unless it is trained by Sir Mark Prescott.

    RULE 15 – Look, look and look again at the stats history of the big races, but use them intelligently. Buffoons on television telling us that no horse above draw 9 can win the Magnet Cup should remember that this is only true when the ground isn’t on the soft side of good. That’s a fact.

    RULE 16 – Be wary of each-way betting. In the long run, you’re almost certainly going to win more having all-win bets of £50 than £25 each-way. And, anyway, if you’re dithering about dabbling each-way because you’re unsure if your horse will win, why are you having a bet?

    RULE 17 – It’s the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot, the Derby, the Grand National. You don’t have to bet.

    RULE 18 – Concentrate at specialist courses like Brighton or Goodwood on horses that have demonstrated an ability to perform at those tracks, or have so much in hand their relative inability to do so won’t matter.

    RULE 19 – Study courses until you can study them no longer. Take on board the fact that Ascot’s short straight requires different qualities in a horse than York or Newbury’s galloping terrains.

    RULE 20 – Seven furlongs is a specialist distance. End of story.

    RULE 21 – In sprints, concentrate solely on horses in form.

    RULE 22 – Cut out and keep the entries for big races. They are stuffed with clues about what trainers expect and, even more crucially, know about the horses in their charge.

    RULE 23 – Similarly, read and keep all the stable interviews with trainers. They will often give information about going and distance preferences for their horses.

    RULE 24 – Don’t pay over the odds for tips. There is enough quality information around for the cost of a newspaper. Graham Wheldon’s Sprintline column (Racing & Football Outlook), Andrew Barr’s Mark Your Card feature (Racing Post Weekender), The Guardian’s inside info Horse Sense column on Saturdays and Malcolm Heyhoe’s internet tipping service ( ) are all highly recommended.

    RULE 25 – The number of race meetings is set to continue growing at an alarming rate. Have an area you can specialise in, whether it be Group races, sprints or middle-distance handicaps.

    RULE 26 – Think like a bookmaker. Compile your own betting forecast, but above all, be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if you would really offer those odds if you were a layer.

    RULE 27 – The following books are a must for any serious punter’s library: Nick Mordin, Betting For A Living; Alan Potts, Against The Crowd; Mark Coton, Value Betting. The best volume to start with is the Racing Post’s Definitive Guide To Betting On Horses.

    RULE 28 – Open up accounts with as many bookmakers as you can, in order to take advantage of the best prices available.

    RULE 29 – Get access to the net and use the free Racing Post form at The races are laid out in a line-byline format, which is much easier to use and far more useful than the form in the newspaper version.

    RULE 30 – Subscribe to a form book. The official Raceform version, Timeform’s Perspectives and Superform are all more than adequate. Stick with the one that suits you.

    RULE 31 – Put a bank together that you’re comfortable with, and have a staking plan sorted out that suits your particular style of betting.

    RULE 32 – If you’re at the track, don’t go for a drink before the race, watch the horses going down to the start. You’ll learn an awful lot about what sort of horses are suited to different types of ground and what plus and minus points to look for in a horse just prior to running.

    RULE 33 – Don’t believe all the recent press about ignoring the effect of the draw. Stalls positions are often crucial to the outcome of a race, especially in the big handicaps. This is even true of the long-distance races like the Tote Ebor at York, the Cesarewitch at Newmarket and the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot.

    You’ll find Graham Wheldon’s detailed analysis of draw biases in the Racing Post Definitive Guide book (see the 27th Commandment) or at the front of the official Form Book.

    RULE 34 – Big-name jockeys invariably win big races. Be wary of backing runners in the major races with lesser-known or inexperienced riders on board.

    RULE 35 – Have your biggest bets in a period, normally between June and September, when the ground remains fairly constant.

    RULE 36 – Never underestimate the psychology and emotion involved in gambling. If your mood swings are extreme, you’ll find it difficult to survive the inevitable losing runs.

    RULE 37 – Go to the paddock. Learn the different types of physique and the good and bad signs displayed by horses before the race. Nick Mordin’s book The Winning Look covers all the bases.

    Find more articles at:

    Inside Edge Magazine Submitted By Q

    #horseracing #betting #odds

  2. Tails

    March 7, 2015 by saratogasam

    Tails – And We’re Off !

    Saratoga Suckers. It’s NOT A Sucker Bet !

    Welcome to the new and improved Saratoga Suckers.

    Your home for Horse Racing Rants and Raves

    Since 2004.

    Yes. This is our official blog.

    The Starting Gate

    It is now post time. The horses are on the track.

    The premier web site for horse racing aficionados is up and running.

    So sit back and enjoy the commentary.

    Odds-on this site will morph into something you can call home.

    Not to mention…’s FREE !

    Get in on the conversation and……..

    May The Horse Be With You !

    email us at:

    A Wee Bit About Us

    We Want YOUR STORY !

    Saratoga Suckers

    The Funny Cide of Saratoga Springs, NY and it’s Horse Racing legacy !

    Saratoga Suckers’s Profile


  3. Maryland Loves Saratoga

    June 17, 2006 by saratogasam

    ”Poor Kid” From Maryland Loves Saratoga Springs Racetrack

    I have been going to Saratoga Springs Racetrack every summer since 1972.

    In the late 70’s I managed to stay for the whole four week meet. In the last 25 years I’ve been lucky to last one week. In 2002 and 2005 I was only able to go for a weekend and in 2003 I drove up for one day to get the free Seabiscuit mug. I gave the mug to my mom and every time I go over to her house I see it on her coffee table. I really hope I can make it this year.

    One of the things I thought was so neat when I first went to Saratoga was the way they saddled the horses around trees with numbers on them and walked the horses through the crowd. Being a poor kid from Maryland and my Dad dragging me to the local tracks around here since I was 8 years old, I had never seen the horses up close before. My first year I went to Saratoga I was 19 years old and another thing I had never seen was a steeplechase race. Man, I really thought steeplechasers were so cool. There just isn’t enough of them. Remember that horse Happy Intellectual? He was my favorite steeplechase horse. He won the Cup 3 years in a row; 1976, 1977, 1978, and I won on him all three years. Happy tried again in ’79 at the age of 13 but finished 5th that year. I believe Leaping Frog won it that year. I try to attend a few steeplechase events every year in Maryland and Virginia.
    I was there when Affirmed beat Alydar and the stewards disqualified Affirmed and placed him second to Alydar. I was so embarrassed because my girlfriend got so drunk that I had to help her to the car and I missed the stretch run. In 1974 I had a really good meet. I opened a bank account and left $10,000.00 there so when I came back next year I would have a nice stake to start out with. The following year wasn’t a very good year for me. In 1975, me and a buddy of mine had to hitch hike to Saratoga and camp out until Monday morning when the bank opened so I could get my money out. One year I was talking to Charlie Whittingham in the paddock and I mentioned to him that me and two other guys were renting a house in Laurel, Maryland from someone he knew and he told me to bet his horse to place and it did. I have a lot of stupid stories, mostly about nothing, and a lot of fond memories from Saratoga.


    Well, I am 53 years old now with a bad back, low finances, a sick mother, and a few other obstacles that prevent me from traveling. I just can’t stand the thought of my streak ending at 34 summers in a row that I’ve made it to Saratoga Springs Racetrack. I guess all streaks come to an end sooner or later. As the days draw closer to opening day, I’m driving myself frantic trying to figure out how I’m going to make it to Saratoga this year.
    #seabiscuit  #affirmed  #alydar  #paddock  #stretch