How to Profit from Betting Exchange 

Handicap Horse Racing 

– Finding Long Odds Winners. 

The Challenge, The System, The Strategy.

An investigation of the results from the past 2 decades of UK racing reveals that with respect to Hnadicap racing the favourite win rate is 20% lower than that achieved by the favourites in Non Handicap Racing

This was kind of the idea that was envisaged when handicap racing was introduced. Before handicap racing the results of much Uk racing was pretty clear cut. Due to the quality of certain trainers or stables or thoroughbreds punters and bookies the results of many races were pretty much guaranteed making betting and profits rather fruitless.

Handicapping was invented by Admiral Rous of the Jockey Club in the 1850’s with the intent of adding some “spectacle” back into predictable recing results by adding extra weights to the saddle bags of horses based on their results from recent races and the weight of the jockey. The ultimate aim being to contrive a race wherein all the horses cross the finishing line together.

Handicaps Over 20 Years

Handicaps:- 57% races, 26% winners were favourites

Selling Handicap:- 3% races, 22% winners were Favourites

Handicap Hurdle:- 15% races, 30% winners were Favourites

Novice Handicap Hurdle:- 4% races, 27% winners were Favourites

Handicap Chase:- 17% races, 31% winners were Favourites

Novice handicap Chase:- 4% races, 29% winners were Favourites


Non Handicaps Over 20 Years

Selling Stakes:- 6% races, 33% winning favourites

Claiming Stakes:- 8% races, 37% winning favourites

Maidens:- 29% races, 43% winning favourites

Stakes:- 17% races, 37% winning favourites

Group Stakes:- 3% races, 34% winning favourites

Novice Hurdle:- 18% races,45% winning favourites

Other Hurdle:- 6% races, 41% winning favourites

Novice Chase:- 11% races, 48% winning favourites

Hunter Chase:- 4% races, 44% winning favourites

NH Flat:- 5% races, 34% winning favourites

Theoretically then we can see that the attempt is to mathematically engineer a race wherein all the horses will run at approximately the same speed – this has great advantages clearly for the betting markets – the customers have to work harder to try to identify winners – the bookies can set longer odds rewarding successful customers, but overall betting simply becomes more difficult but also ultimately more potentially rewarding.

So why would we look as wannabe professional punters need to look so closely at such races where the results can vary so wildly and are not necessarily reflective of how fast a horse can run – well the cat is that they form approximately half of all the races on any given card at any given meet. The odds on the favourites are longer and if for the handicap expert the rewards will therefore be infinitely greater.

 If we refuse to look at handicaps we can never make a worthwhile profit from racing. One needs a solid handicap betting strategy based on the usual principles of form and study.

The basic methodology for applying weights to a horse is based on previous winning distances in the past few races respective the other horse in the same race.

Handicapping works from the following premise:

For a Race Length of 5f - 6f with a Winning Distance of 1 length, Handicap = 3 lb

For a Race Length of 7f with a Winning Distance of 1 length, Handicap = 2.5 lb

For a Race Length between 1mile to 1mile 3f with a Winning Distance of 1 length, Handicap = 2 lb

For a Race Length between 1mile 4f to 1 mile 7f with a Winning Distance of 1 length, Handicap = 1.5 lb

For a Race Length over 2 miles with a Winning Distance of 1 length, Handicap = 1 lb

In the early days of handicapping it was possible for astute punters to wait for and take advantage of blatant mistakes in the handicapping weights, but of course modern technology has put paid to all that, with the dawn of the computer age, computer software was built to automate and remove human error from the handicapping process.

Naturally there are lots of factors that computer software cannot be aware of and so the punter with carful study, intuition hunches and perhaps a tad of inside knowledge can still make profitable bets.

The specific features that the punter should be aware of when looking for handicapping mistakes are related to several factors:

Trainers and stables can hit hot periods where every race they enter turns to gold.

Horses are fickle animals with temperamental natures which should be examined closely on the day of the race.

Jockeys also are fickle animals and earlier races in the day can be examined to get an idea of a jockeys attitude and enthusiasm for the days racing.

Horses form waxes and wane during the course of a season with many animals being trained with a view to a specific race – if the information relating to which race can be acquired this is particularly useful.

Information about an animals training schedule can be useful in trying to assess when a horse will hit peak form.

Trying to find the winner in a handicap race is tricky there is no doubt, and this is why the potential rewards are so much higher with favourites often coming in at 4 to 1, so another way to look at it is that anything better than 1 winner in 4 races will yield a profit in a days racing.

For my part I recommend looking closely at the last 2 or 3 races for each danger horse and using Dutching techniques with Bet Angel for Field and Margin Reduction.

In my work I examine closely the links between confidence and the psychology of betting. Dutching in this way is a great technique for avoiding the panic bets that occur as the races slip away.

Panic and fear of loss create an anxiety loop which blocks creative thinking required for successful daily betting.



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