Staking Plans in Horse Racing

A quick arithmetical brain and a knowledge of the theory of probabilities are of limited use to the racing man.

First requisite for betting success is a knowledge of stable opinion.

It is not always true that all horses in a race are both fit and trying. It is widely believed that by punters, rightly or wrongly, that horses are sometimes given easy races so that the handicapper, who allots the weights they carry, will underrate them in future events.

This is absolutely illegal and will lead at least to suspensions if discovered. On the other hand, it is acknowledged that a horse not quite at peak fitness is sometimes given a 'warm-up' race.

With horses, like jockeys, entitled to 'off' days, it is impossible to be sure that all horses in all races are running honestly.

Betting coups are attempted, and landed, on unlikely horses all too frequently for any realist to believe that there is no shady work on the racecourse.

The racegoer and the racing press implicitly accept this fact, and 'fancied' is sometimes a tipster's euphemism for 'trying'.

Considering the sums of money involved, racing is more honest than anybody could reasonably expect.

It is conducted with considerable publicity, and stewards and journalists are ready to pounce on any suggestion of crooked practice.

In America, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau keeps an enormous blacklist of dubious characters, and stamped out 'ringing' (the substitution of one horse for an inferior one) by instituting a system in 1945, whereby all horses have an identification number tattooed on their hips.

A second route to punting success is a close study and correct interpretation of the form book.

Details of all horses' past performances are readily available. Summaries of form for each day's racing are published in the specialist press and in all the British national newspapers.

Racegoers take for granted the daily paper service, and seldom reflect on the amount of racing space and information their few pence buy them.

The best American racing paper, the Morning Telegraph, contains even more information than the British press.

When comparing the performances of race horses, it is usually reckoned that one length equals 3 pounds of weight over sprint distances and perhaps only 1 pound over 2 miles.

Additional allowance must be made for horses which win 'cleverly', i.e., those horses which do no more than is necessary to win; for horses which are running over a distance not their best; for horses running on going which they dislike; for horses unlucky in the running; and for horses with any other mitigating circumstances or excuse.

Some experts rely entirely on race times. Most gamblers who bet for recreation rely on form or hunches, but it is a very skillful bettor who can beat the bookmaker's percentage and the tax for any length of time.

Numerous betting systems that are in use are likely to increase often often, just like the gamblers themselves.