How to Read a Horse Racing Program

How to Read a Horse Racing Program

The process of picking out a winner could be a lot easier if you would get your hands on essential data such as a horse’s past performance. But such information is usually packed in a horse racing program that, quite frankly, looks intimidating. How do you decipher key details when the program is filled with names, numbers, and abbreviations that make very little sense – so basically how to read a horse racing program ?

Identifying the sections

Although everything seems like it was bundled together in no discernible order, the information can roughly be divided into three sections: Horse and rider, the records and past performance. Let’s look at what each section entails in detail.  Here is a closer look.

Horse and rider

The horse’s name may be the only thing legible enough to stand out in the program. The owner and rider’s names are usually placed alongside it. Other key details in this section will include the age, weight, gender, and color of the horse and its number on the starting gate.

There should either be a picture on the margin or a description of the silks worn by the owners. Each will have their own pattern and colors. This would help you if you wanted to spot the horse on the starting gate right before the race.

The records

Without going into any specifics, these sections provide a general overview of the horse’s performance. The information is represented by a list of dates and numbers. The dates represent the years while the numbers represent the records. There is a record for the current year, the previous year and finally a lifetime record. There are four numbers. The second one represents wins, and that’s where you should keep your eye on.

Past Performances

This section features the horse’s record in past races. It will include the dates of the particular races to help you track the horse’s successes, the type, and condition of the course, the type of race, finish position, the races’ final time, race restrictions, jockey’s name, etc.

Information such as type of race and course time is important since variables in past races need to match those in the present race if your predictions are to be accurate. Race restrictions shouldn’t worry you much unless the horse has just started qualifying for tougher races after turning three.

The racing program can be hard to read and decipher for most people. But with the above information in mind, things can start making a bit more sense, and you can finally make predictions backed by facts. Just avoid overlying on past statistics. They can mess you up especially if you skim the entire thing and miss important details.

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