6 Simple Pointers For Picking Winners

6 Simple Pointers For Picking Winners
© Racing Post / Edward Whitaker
James Prosser
Friday 4th January 2019

Horse racing is one of the most complex sports when you dig below the surface, with so many different factors dictating how a race can finish. From ground conditions, to which horses will make the running, there a huge amount of things to consider when trying to pick a winner.

With that in mind, this guide will be looking at six ways you can select winners in horse racing. If you’re looking for a bookmaker to stake your bets with, our best bookmaker guide will help you choose.

Key Attributes for Picking Winners

There are hundreds of different things to consider when trying to pick the winner of a horse race. We spoke to our team of tipsters and pulled together the main six attributes to consider when looking for winners:

  1. Going
  2. Distance
  3. Pedigree
  4. Connections
  5. Course Form
  6. Handicap Mark


Especially in the winter months, the going is a huge part of picking a winner. Plenty of horses will only run the best races on certain surfaces, with much of this due to their action. Some horses can only show their best on better ground, while others love a test in the mud. Checking through a horses previous results on the days ground, especially if it’s testing, can yield very favourable results.


One of the more obvious factors, looking into the distances is an essential part of deducing winners. On both the flat and over obstacles, most horses will tend to have a limit to how far they can go before their stamina gives out. Especially when the ground is testing, choosing a horse with proven stamina can reap benefits.


A big factor on the flat, a horse’s pedigree has a massive bearing on multiple factors. Especially for first time starters, a horses pedigree can tell you plenty, including their stamina and how quickly they’ll reach their peak. Taking a look over a horses breeding, especially in maidens, can give you plenty of long and short term clues. Our pedigree guide explains this in detail and is on site now.


Certain trainer, jockey and owner combinations have great success and the form of those twosomes and threesomes can yield quite a return. Certain trainer and jockey combinations will target different venues and races, and the same can be said for certain owners.

Course Form

Certain horses will give their best running at different racecourses, so it pays to check the racecards for previous course winners. Each course has unique characteristics, so it’s very common for a horse to improve a few pounds coming back to their favourite venue.

Handicap Mark

Once a horse has reached their peak in handicaps, they tend to struggle to get competitive against better weighted horses. Their mark will slowly decrease over time and with that, they will slowly become more competitive. Looking at a horses rating versus their last winning one, is crucial in handicap races. Our handicap guide explains this in detail and is on site now.


On top of the six key attributes, it’s always worth considering our horse racing tips. Our expert team of tipsters have considered all these factors plus literally hundreds of others to put together daily selections – and best of all, they’re all available for free.

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