PARAMETERS OF INDIAN RACING

Sunday, April 6, 2008

(a) Pedigree. One must have a basic knowledge of good pedigrees. Horses with successful sires and well performed mares win much more than others. There are only a limited number of good sires in India and very few who could be labeled as classic producing sires.

(b) Preparation of the horse. Study of the track work over a period of time and the recent runs gives an idea of their current level and win chances. Most races are won by horses in form.

(c) Recent performances. A horse is not tried every time it races, yet one can make out the try runs. It is very difficult for a horse to win when out of form and conversely a horse in form can always defy the handicap.

(d) Handicap-Handicapping at individual level comes with years of racing experience, the official handicap uses a basic mathematical formula of penalizing/dropping in Kgs in weight for win or place and for non performers respectively. Till you develop your own confidence level at handicapping it is better to go with the official system which is based on sound logic.

(e) Periodicity-Apart from the classic & good type of horses which sustain their effort throughout, most others perform only during a certain period of the year ; i.e, some are winter/summer/monsoon/ start or end of the season performers. (Very few punters consider this fact). Also such horses (70%) normally win only once during a year.

(f) Odds –An important factor since no owner wants that his purchase should win/place w/o his betting on it. The moment the owner or his connections bet, the bookies know of it & the odds change. Winners at longer odds are most difficult to forecast and often end up as such because of the failure of the fancied ones due to various reasons.

(g) Trainer/rider/owner. Assess all rides of top riders during the current season as they win 80% of the races mostly only on being backed down & rarely on longer odds. Apprentice or handicap jockeys should only be backed when they start winning more regularly. Good trainers are those whose horses win on backing more consistently. Bad trainers are those whose favorites are often ending up losers even at good handicaps. Always avoid favorites of small type trainers as they do not have the confidence to win. There are a few betting owners who win on backing and some who like to cheat on favorites. In a days card if there is a very good runner at very miserly odds who looks a certainty then you should scrutinize the rest of the runners in the card belonging to the same owner. He is bound to have another one who is going to be a roll for him at better odds. When you are evaluating races the prime focus should be on the parameter of the horses. Also a point to remember is that races can not be measured by foot rulers etc or they would be very predictable or by other parameters like the intentions of the connections, betting trends, manipulative intents & vicious underplays by various outside agencies/ factors. It is good to know of these tendencies but they should never be allowed to over awe one's thinking. Remember that all the key players in this competition like owner, trainer & jockey etc are there to make money & not for charity. It is these very people who keep the races going for the public. Fairness of things is important issue but in such sports as racing, it would be foolish for connections to be open & be fair race after race, if this was to happen then the bookies will ensure early misery for them.

(h)The physical condition of the horse is only a confirmation of the deductions of one’s choice. Anyway here are a few tips on paddock parade:-

(i)Watch for flab or heaviness on the underside, especially of 2/3 year olds, as they may not be fully in shape.
(ii) A good animal will walk very quietly; it is not necessary that it should be eager.
(iii) Any horse that shows eagerness continuously by rearing up etc is to be avoided.
(d) Watch for sweat pattern of the animal, if it is just lightly sweating ,it indicates good preparation. Avoid dry coated animals since they only perform in peak winters.
(iv)Remember it is not possible to get a winner only by his physical fitness or appearance. It is a sum total of all the a/m values which forms the ingredients of selection.
(i) Also choose which all races are to be avoided as you cant win all the races. 2. One should enter the race course only after preparing for the races to be wagered on during the day. Some persons may be also successful who follow a particular system of betting on good tips or who blindly follow knowledgeable source. There are persons who only wager on a particular newspapers days best all the time and there are some bookies who will have the maximum negative bet on the popular race books days best. Every system works in a peculiar way, it is the consistency which matters. Statistics prove that it is very hard for half money on and below favorites to loose, they will end up winning 95% of times. Many persons lay a big amount on this theory, yet some only wager when odds are more than evens. 3. One must have a system to follow, if you are keen to play favorites then remember that as per the recent statistics approx 45 % favorites will win in a season. These will also include horses wining at very cramped odds. Most favorites tend to open as odds on or thereabouts and hence it may be difficult for some follower of favorites to win if he bets on all of them. It is more sensible to bet on only a couple of sure looking favorites in a day and not blindly punting on all favorites. 4. I will never advice any serious punter to play on the pools. S H P or Tanala or Quinella etc are sure to loose your money in a steady trickle. These pools are for the non serious type visitors or for some odd fancy at very long odds. The total gambit of wagering is in win bet or bar betting (eating). Even place money wagering will get one nowhere in the long run. Yet it is sensible to lay a place bet also on a horse you expect and wager to win when the odds are good. 5. Wagering at good odds is very necessary to get full value for your money. Odds of favorites will keep getting hammered or eased in the ring, one has to get the best odds for the bet. A horse should only be wagered upon when it is working out in your scheme of things, one should never follow the rush of money on some horses in the ring as money flow is not the true indicator of the horses capability. Not all owners wager heavily and the horses of small time owners will not run slow if enough money has not been bet on them. There are some good coups but very often lots of such rushes tend to see public money go down. 6. Timings of a race is just another parameter in calculations, it should not be a key factor. Timings are important only in case of front running winners who are consistent. Very often one sees a horse in class III getting a better time than class I winner but that does not mean it will beat the later if raced together. Most horses start to gallop only on entering the straight. Timings are just a fraction of calculations for looking for winners. Consistency in the timings of a sprinter is an important input. Timings in longer distances are often related to the pace of the lead horses who often pack up on entering the straight. Yet it must also be kept in mind that horses who show better times in winning have often gone up in handicap and that all top timings are normally established by top/ highly rated horses. 7 Follow winners and do not chase losers. A winner can defy the winners penalty at handicap whereas a looser will continue to drift for number of races at the same handicap and one is never sure whether the animal will be able to break the loosing jinx.

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