Horse racing handicapping is a human activity, intellectual sport for some. When you look for good bets and try to determine pace and speed as well as running styles, however, did you ever try to think like a horse? We give a lot of thought to what the jockey will think and do and also what the trainer’s intentions may be, but we sometimes forget that in a horse race, there are strong, willful, animals racing against each other.
In determining pace we’re told that horses are herd animals and therefore there are some that are born leaders. The alpha horse isn’t intimidated by the presence of other horses and dominates in the race and yet, geldings win races and often run on the front end. So what can thinking like a horse teach us about handicapping?
First of all each race field is different though there may be horses in a race that have competed against each other before. There are match-ups in a race between horses that will compete for position and since each field and race is different, it’s a “new herd,” experience. Lessons from previous races will help you to determine how the horses will race and where they will race.
For instance, in the case of two alpha males in a race they may very well wear each other out, but not always on the front end. Watching a wild herd of horses we often find that the stallion isn’t running in front. He may just as well be running off to the side. This “herding,” behavior is found in other animals as well. Watching deer run through the woods when they feel threatened, I’ve often seen the buck hanging back and moving off to the side of the does, watching what will happen next.
Stallions like to watch over the herd so many alphas run off the pace watching the younger upstarts or less socially prominent horses race in front. When you watch a race with horses and geldings, watch the position that each horse assumes. While a jockey may make a horse race in front, if that horse wants to keep an eye on things he may not establish much of a lead and may even let others pass him in the stretch to find out what’s going on behind him.
Sometimes horses turn their heads looking for company. It isn’t necessarily a sign of weakness. Mares and stallions may do it simply to keep an eye on the herd while younger or insecure horses may do it because they are fearful of more dominant horses or because they feel safer when running in company.
If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to http://horse-racing-handicapping.co and get the truth about betting on horses and winning. Bill Peterson is a former race horse owner and professional handicapper. To see all Bill’s horse racing material go to Horse Racing Handicapping, Bill’s Handicapping Store
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