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#1# Betting Tip: FORM
This concerns above all the horse (after all whose legs do the work here) but it also comes with the stable, the trainer, the jockey and even the tipster … yes! Physical form is scientifically proven, medically measured, but the short form is a concept as nebulous as the law of series, to which it seems attached. Why does a trainer or a jockey win a series of races in a row? Mystery… it’s inexplicable. Do not try to understand the unfathomable; you only have one thing to do: enjoy the run of the sequence! If you are very insightful, you will even be able to anticipate the form period of a trainer or a jockey. At first thrill, at the first win, you will know how to identify it. However, to avoid squandering your winnings, you must also “feel” the end of this period.
In horse racing, it is a relatively reliable adage: that form takes precedence over the class. Of course, this applies to horses of the same category, but it is often better to choose the supposedly less good that has just won, rather than the one with the best theoretical value but whose recent results are disappointing. Never forget the seasonal form! Horses often achieve their best performance at a definite time of the year. Once you have identified it, you will only have to wait for it. Nine times out of ten, it pays!
Be wary of the second race after a long absence, especially if it’s good! It usually follows a “backlash”, all the more detrimental that the horse in question is often well up in the betting, and may well be the favorite. This rule applies especially in flat… less in jump and harness.
#2# Betting Tip: PARADE RING (Note that some of the criteria are only visible at the track.)
What to look for first: when presented to the public, the thoroughbred must above all be calm, the coat smooth and dry (beware of traces of dried sweat!). This proves that he has travelled well and kept all his impulse for the race. The excessively nervous horse, who tries to rear up, to escape the hand of his lad, or that is just covered with foam, starts with a serious handicap. Do not confuse nervousness and cheerfulness! It happens that a horse rears or kicks because he wants to have fun, to stretch his legs… He can just be eager to fight! In this case, it is rather a good sign. Beware of anxious and anguished horses! They make very bad athletes, even if they appear to have the required abilities. They are recognizable through their eyes, but there are other identifiable signs: excrement and especially grinding of teeth. Sometimes, in whole horses, a “fifth leg” appears in the presence of females. It is easy to deduce that the horse is thinking of anything but the race!
Our goal is not to give make you a specialist in horse anatomy, but there are basic parameters you need to know. Generally, the good horse is beautiful … There are however exceptions. Just make sure that he has the loin short (and a goose rump in the jumpers: this is called the hump of jump racing), the hock low, the cannon short and well balanced. Then watch him walk! It is good that he places his hind hooves in the footsteps of the front hooves… but his approach must above all be fluid and well timed. It is desirable that the neckline be relaxed and even low. If his tail is swishing back and forth, this is a negative sign (a sign of nervousness or temper), unless, in the middle of the summer, when it is used to annoy insects. The keen eye (watch the horse’s eye … it speaks to you!) and the silky coat testify to the good health of a horse. The coat must be short and shiny. When a horse makes his winter coat (fluff), he loses in condition. This is not systematic (from the first frost, horses protect themselves naturally) but we must be wary. The muscles must be prominent and well-drawn. Beware, the chestnut and gray coats always have less “reflections” than the bay coats, especially the dark ones! Watch carefully when the jockey gets in the saddle; it is normal for the animal to react, but not to the point of radically changing behaviour.
Horses round and stocky, very muscular, compact model, will rather be designed to cover the glory of short distances, while longer models will shine on the long distance. This is not an absolute rule, but horses with small hooves will have more difficulties with heavy going than those with “saucers”. Never forget that the “engine” of the horse is in the back, but you must also recognize the strength points of the forehand. In fact, the more harmonious the model is, the more the different parts of the body are balanced, the more the horse will look like an athlete with the performances that follow. A back, legs, or a neckline too long will only handicap the animal.
The longer they are (especially in females) the better! Know how to understand the language of the ears! Straight in the eager, willing and ready horse, flattened they translate an angry or vicious horse when they are back against the neck. The alert horse, awake to the world around him is recognized by the movement of the ears (rotations), much more sensitive to sound than ours; in the horse, it’s a kind of GPS.
In beginner races, you often hear foals grow long neigh. This reflects anguish and means that they are completely lost to an unfamiliar environment they consider hostile. These horses rarely win. In mature males, a severe, short, guttural neigh is a sign of sexual appetite. Beware because this potential stallion thinks of something other than defending your money!
If some horses have legs bandaged, it is because they are or supposed to be fragile because the bandages can be used as a preventative (precautionary principle). This is seen as soon as the ground begins to firm up. In contrast, the single bandage (probable injury) or bandages on the hind legs are a source of concern. In jump racing, horses often wear protective gaiters that have nothing to do with the condition of their tendons.
They are carried to distracted, scared or lymphatic horses. The horse’s vision is much wider than a human’s, like a wide-angled camera, not far from 180º! The pair of blinkers has the purpose of forcing him to look ahead, to focus on his work and to obscure the presence of his fellows. When a new one is wearing blinkers, it’s a very bad sign. In contrast, wearing blinkers for the first time in an experienced horse often has positive effects.
This is the pace at which a horse is going down to the starting post. The observation of the canter horse is very instructive. His action must be beautiful with a look of great physical agility; we must have the impression that he does not touch the ground. If the horse is steep with a shocked stride (not fluid), you’ll be right to dismiss it. Beware of horses that pull on! When the neckline is long and well relaxed, the head straight, the horse displays a perfect relaxation, which is always better for an athlete. Horses that have a grazing stride will not adapt well to heavy ground, unlike those who “wallop” and are more comfortable on a heavy ground.
Today you have the opportunity to see horses on the internet several minutes before the start. However, the image quality or the large number of advertising can make the task difficult, especially in England. In contrast, you can see horses from the paddocks directly in front of your computer in some countries like the United States. It’s full of lessons; you can at the last moment eliminate a banker horse or pick an underdog. Click here to have a very good link to free live US horse racing video and audio.