How to Handicapping a Horse Race

horse race

A horse race is a fun event to watch. Fortunately, there are several things to keep in mind when you’re betting. There are rules to follow, starting gates, Whips, and classes to consider. Even if you don’t win the race, you can still learn something new about handicapping. Using the information provided in this article will make the experience more enjoyable.


When betting on horse races, you have to follow the rules to ensure fair betting. These include rules on dead heats, course changes, and headgear. The right headgear is essential to the safety and concentration of the horse. All horses competing in horse races must wear headgear. A horse without it will have a poor chance of winning.

First Past the Post rules govern how horse races are conducted. If a selection does not finish the race, it is deemed to be “last” for settlement purposes. In addition, the first horse to finish the race will be declared the winner.


In thoroughbred horse racing, there are several classes of races. The stakes race is the highest class, with several subclassifications. The higher the stakes, the more difficult the race is. There are also different subclassifications of the stakes race, such as the “black-type” specification, which refers to horses that have won the highest-level stakes races.

In order to pick the best horse for each class, consider how well the horse has performed in the past. If the horse has consistently failed to perform at a particular level, it is unlikely to win today’s race. However, if a horse has won its last race, it may still be a contender in the next race.

Starting gates

Starting gates for horse races present unique challenges for trainers and jockeys. One of the most challenging aspects of the process is keeping a horse calm, relaxed, and confident. It requires an understanding of how horses think and a lot of patience. Moreover, a trainer must strike a balance between mental exhaustion and schooling, as bad habits can take months to overcome.

One of the first steps is marking the gate position on the track. The gate cannot be on turf or dirt, but must be on the rails. The distance of a horse race varies from race to race, and the gate position can vary significantly.


Whips are used to motivate a horse to give its best effort. Whether a jockey has ridden the horse or not, whipping can cause distress to the horse. In addition, it can be counterproductive because whips are positive punishments for slowing the horse. The researchers concluded that there is little evidence that horses respond positively to whipping.

The study found that most jockeys used backhand whip action. This is in violation of the rules aimed at forehand whip action. It also revealed that whips are not adequately padded to protect the horses. The study also found that there was no clear correlation between whipping and winning in horse races. The use of whips in horse races is a widespread practice in the horse racing industry. Only Norway has banned whip use in flat races.

Betting on horses

Betting on horse races requires a good amount of common sense and knowledge of betting trends. While some trends fade away once they are discovered, others provide profitable plays for years. The key is to bet on the horses that you feel are most likely to win. Inexperienced bettors often cover too many options and end up reducing their profits.

The first step in betting on horse races is to learn as much as possible about the horse you plan to bet on. The Daily Racing Form is considered the bible of horse racing, but there are many other resources you can use as well. You can also use Equibase, Track Master, Timeform US, and TwinSpires to gather basic past performances and expert picks.