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Horse Race Betting – The Effect of Weight

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Horse race betting has become a huge business with millions being wagered everyday. Most people view their flutters as just a little bit of fun while a minority consider themselves professionals and use betting either to make or supplement their income.

It is a common misconception that you can only make money from horse racing if you have some inside knowledge. This supposedly involves having contacts with owners, trainers of their staff. If this was true surely all the stable staff would be driving around in big cars and the bookies would be traveling by public transport.

To be successful betting on horse races requires a degree of knowledge, dedication and understanding. For instance one of the most misunderstood factors is the allocation of weight carried by a horse in a handicap race. The basic idea is that a handicapper looks at each horses past performances and gives it a weight to carry in races.

The weight is made up by a combination of the jockeys weight and equipment and lead weights in the saddle cloth. That weight is supposed to give it an even chance of finishing level with the other horses in a race. Of course the idea of ​​all the horses finishing in a line is almost impossible but the closer the horses finish together the better the handicapper has done his job.

In this system horses will go up and down in the weights as their performances improve or worsen. As a serious punter you need to know the effect of these weight changes. This will also help you to understand why so many of the "handicap good things" get beaten.

Occasionally a horse will drop down in weight so much compared to its rivals that some experts declare it a handicap certainty that cannot be beaten. Unfortunately many of these good things come trailing in well behind the eventual winner. The truth of the matter is that you can slow down a fast horse by giving it extra weight but you cannot speed up a slow horse by taking off weight.

In good, good to firm or good to soft going carrying extra weight will have little effect on a good horse. It is still likely to beat a slow horse that has been lowered in the weights. Where weight can make a difference is when the going is soft or heavy.

In these conditions the faster horse carrying high weights will be slowed down. This allows the lighter weighted horse who can get through the ground easier because of its light weight to keep up. Carrying a big weight through heavy ground can drain a horse's energy as it becomes tired and in these circumstances the lighter, normally slower horse can go on to win. This happens often in long distance races.

So when making your selection for any race you should consider both the horse's weight and the going.

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