Known as the sport of kings it is probably the most aptly named sport of all time. With long associations with Royalty, it was during the crusades that English Knights returned from the Middle East with Arab Horses, these animals were renowned for their speed and stamina, making them ideal race horses.
Charles II was recognized as the first monarch to instigate horse racing for prize money and Newmarket became the headquarters of British Horse Racing.
That little known English Queen, Anne founded the most famous English racecourse Ascot. During her reign horse racing became a professional sport and spectators started to bet on the outcome.
The Jockey club was founded in 1750 and by 1810 all the classic English races had become established. National Hunt evolved from the hunting of stags and foxes, both pastimes involved the surmounting of natural obstacles such as fences and hedgerows. Steeple Chasing came from Ireland and it is believed evolved from Irish Pounding matches, the loser being pounded to a standstill by the winner's superior stamina over rough country terrain, eventually this developed into races over set distances and the winning post usually being a church steeple. Britain's first steeple chase over a course took place at Bedford in 1810 and by 1840 the Grand National was being staged at Aintree. The National Hunt committee was formed and was recognised by the Jockey Club in 1866.
An equestrian sport in which horse ridden by Jockeys over set distances. Existing in Two forms National Hunt in which obstacles must be jumped and Flat Racing in which there are no obstacles.
Are for thoroughbred horses are usually over distances from five furlongs to two and a half miles.
Races in this category are usually longer upto four and a half miles these are split into two distinct types,
Hurdling, which are short races over flexible obstacles called hurdles.
Steeplechases over larger more rigid obstacles called fences.
Handicaps in handicap races horses are given extra weight to carry according to recent form, age and gender.
Let's face it we are talking about online betting here, you're reading this on a computer and that's where we are concentrating our efforts, however you can and should be able to take this knowledge down to your bookies and find it just as useful.
Types of Wager
Pari-Mutuel Wagering - A form of wagering that originated in France. similiar to the tote in England all bets placed at the track go into a pool, each type of bet has it's own pool. The track acting as the agent takes a commission for handling the bets.
Straight Wagers - the simplest form of bet straight wagers are single bets that are placed on one horse.
Win - another simple bet you collect if your horse finishes first.
Place - you collect if your horse finishes first or second, you only collect the place amount.
Show - you collect if your horse finishes first, second or third, you only collect the show amount.
Across the Board - A common term for placing all three straight wagers on one horse, you collect the win, place and show amount if your horse finishes First, you collect the place and show amount if your horse finishes second, you collect the show amount if your horse finishes third,
Each Way Bet - applies to UK bookies you are basically placing a win bet, then you place another bet for the same amount to cover you should your horse finishes First, second, third, dependent of the number of runners you may only get paid for second or if there are a lot of runners you can get paid for fourth. The odds are calculated as full odds for first, half odds for second third odds for third place etc.
Exotic Wagers - exotic or combination bets are bets that involve two or more horses.
Exacta or Straight Forecasts - you must select the horses that finish first and second in exact order - mostly used for dog racing in the UK
Trifecta similiar to exacta except you must pick the horse that finishes third as well,
Superfecta - this time you must pick the first four places in exact order.
You can box these bets this which means that your selection can finish in any order for you to win, for example in exacta you pick horse 1 to finish first and horse 4 to finish second, with a box bet if horse 4 finishes first and horse 1 finishes second you still win, you obviously extend this down to trifecta etc.
Daily Double - to win this you must pick the winner of two consecutive races you must make your selection and place your bet before the first of the two races,
Pick 3 - similiar to the daily double except you must pick three consecutive winners
Pick 4 - Similiar to the above only you now have to pick four consecutive winners
Handicapping - the ability to predict the winner of a horse race is called handicapping, this involves evaluating the known abilities of a particular horse to race well under the conditions it will find itself in on a particular day.
Handicappers will use past performances to gauge the horse's ability to win they will also work out from detailed statistics whether the horse is getting better or worse. They must also take into account the type of conditions, the quality or lack of it in the opposition and more importantly the distance of the race and the condition of the track.
Variables - Fitness how fit is this horse how long a lay off has it had, like all top athletes horses have to be kept in peak condition that includes racing, long lay off's mean rusty horses.
Class - don't expect a horse that has lost against lesser opposition to suddenly win if it moves up a notch or for that matter if the opposition is the same calibre.
Distance - horses tend to favour certain distances check it's within your choice's abilities don't expect the impossible it rarely happens.
Position - starting gates lead to positioning problems for some horses they don't like the inside or the outside etc. check what your horse has done in the past from it's start position.
Running style - is your horse a front runner, stalker, pace setter etc.
Trainer - most important successful trainers are consistently turning out good horses like winning teams they sometimes slip up but not on a regular basis.
Jockey - is he a good winning jockey, good jockey's get good horses they also know how to get the best out of their mounts.
Present form - is your horse having a good time or is it going through a dip the stats don't lie and they tell us that horses that win or have come close to winning are more likely to win next time out.
Consistency - has your horse finished in the money more often than not then you can safely bet he's likely to continue.
Weight - really carrying extra weight only comes into the equation on long races or over the jumps, pay attention to it but don't let it rule your decisions.