How to Spot the Best of the Best in a Horse Racing Event

Spotting a winner. 

When you are watching a horse race or following the Breeder’s cup, chances are you will want to place a bet here or there on a spectacular winning horse. However, it can be hard to choose one, they all look so athletic and strong, don’t they? 

There are some ways that you can pinpoint that best horse when you are considering the Breeder’s Cup live picks. Spotting a winner is not always about the horse that looks the strongest or has the most attitude prior to the race. And any avid punter knows that betting on a horse requires some homework. 

Betting randomly on the day may bring you some luck here or there, but getting more consistent wins can be done by research and homework, and of course, knowing your horses! 

So, let’s take a look at some tips on how you can spot the best of the best in a race, and what you should be looking for prior to the race and on the day of the race. 


Which horse breed is the fastest? 

One thing that is worth considering is the breed of the horse. All horses have the potential to be fast, and you will always get the odd horse here or there who stands out from the crowd and shocks everyone with their outstanding skill and speed. However, for the most part, the fastest horses are the breeds you would expect; Thoroughbreds. 

Thoroughbreds are the breed that dominate the racing world, they are also popular for jumping, dressage and cross-country. They handle a lot because they have boundless energy and are extremely athletic. 

While most horses in races will be Thoroughbred, you may find the odd one that is not, and while it can be tempting to bet on the horse you wouldn’t expect to win, it is better to stay safe and bet on a Thoroughbred. 


A happy horse is a winning horse. 

It is safe to say that we all do better at things when we are happy, and horses are the same. A happy horse is more likely to be compliant on the track and will do well. Look at the horse’s body language to see if the horse seems happy. Their nostrils are a dead giveaway- if they are relaxed and round, they will be happy and relaxed. Their lip lines should also be curved down slightly to show relaxation, and their lower jaw should be loose. The horse’s tail should be loose and swing freely when they move. Consider their ears too, if their ears are darting around they are paying attention to something else, however, if they are forward or pointing toward their jockey, or owner they are paying attention to them, a horse whose ears are darting around may not have their head in the game. 

A calm horse, who is relaxed and has their head in the game, is more likely to be a winning horse than a horse that is anxious and tense, just like any athlete.


Consider their track record.

As a punter, you should do some homework on the horses in the race. Do not just pay attention to them on the day, think of their track record. If they are usually in the top three in their previous races, then they are worth placing a bet on. Yet, you should ensure that if the horse has come in the top three places previously, that the races in which this has happened are recent.


You should also consider the race type in which they excel, since a majority of race horses are Thoroughbreds, you should consider which races this horse is best at, as different Thoroughbreds will do better in specific races, some may be better in a straight line, two lines, circular tracks, some may be better at running on dirt, and some may be better at jumps. 

Consider not only the horse, but the track and where they have done best in their past races. Try to find patterns in their previous races. 


Horse behavior is a telltale sign.

If you go to a racing event physically, you can watch the paddocks and the horses as they parade. By watching, you can see their behavior, and this will help you anticipate the outcome. 

If the horse is agitated, anxious, or a bit naughty they probably won’t do so well, however, if they’re calm and collected they will do better. You can also see their sweats as well, and if a horse is sweating too much, it may be a sign to avoid betting on that horse. 


A repeating contestant. 

As a punter we are sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘Never expect a horse to do something it has never done before’. This is a good rule of thumb. If this horse has never done this type of race before, don’t bet on it to win. 

If the horse has done this type of race before and has often had decent outcomes, betting on this horse would be wise. Spotting the best is about understanding the horse, its breed, history, and behavior. 


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