Ah, Horse Racing! There are few sports that could match Horse Racing for it’s simplistic appeal and betting opportunities.
One word of warning here. Whilst Horse racing is an international sport, my experiences have been limited to Horse Racing in the UK. As such, the following is written from my perspective of Horse Racing in the UK, particularly references to racecourses. However, the principles are universal and can be applied to Horse Racing in any country around the world.
The Gambling Year
|January & February||This period brings a smile to your Bookies face because they expect to make some healthy profits. Frost and snow not only causes havoc to the race fixtures with abandonment, but also the horses training schedule at the yards. Some trainers try to get around the problem by using All Weather surfaces to keep their runners fit, but others may have to make do with basic roadwork and steady cantering.
|March||Although the Flat season kicks off in March, it’s best to wait another month or so for some form to establish itself. National Hunt is back into full flow after the winter break and lots of fancied runners are winning.
|April & May||The Flat season is still in its infancy with the big guns wheeling out their smart 2yr olds to gain some experience for the classic trials. This also the time when the mediocre 2yr olds from last season are flying past the “good things” from last year. The improvement from 2yrs to 3 can be great. Stay with the jumps season and only start backing the flat horses with form at the back end of May.
|June, July & August||The weather has usually settled down making the ground more consistent for the mid-summer months. There’s plenty of established form to take advantage of in condition races, rather than handicaps.
|September||The month the Fillies leave their old form behind and improve. Concentrate on all fillies and mares, especially those coming back after a break. It’s also the time when horses that have had a long campaign over the summer months suddenly lose their form.
|October, November & December||The softer ground National Hunt horses are back out and a high percentage of the form horses win!
Begins at the end of March and runs through to the end of September on turf. Races are run over a minimum distance of five furlongs (1 kilometre) and a maximum of twenty-two furlongs (4.4 Kilometres). The official flat racing season now runs for a calendar year to include those flat races run on all-weather surfaces such as at Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton.
National Hunt (NH) Racing
Begins at the end of September and runs through to the end of February. National Hunt is most notable for the jumps i.e. horses jump over fences as well as run. National Hunt races by their very nature are slower than their flat counterparts, but the jumps add that extra bit of excitement.