How can you tell if a horse is a winner?

It’s not an easy task to look at the horses on a race card and pick which one is the winner. If it was, we’d all be rinsing the bookmakers wouldn’t we!

Quite often, those amongst us who haven’t got much racing knowledge, pick which we think will win based on questionable methods. For instance, can you imagine the name of a horse or a jockey’s colour and pattern of silks having much impact on the race? Of course, they really don’t, but many of us take a punt based on these sorts of factors.

Thankfully, there are much more credible strategies available to us, helping us to make more informed choices on which horse is our winner. Here are a few for you to look at that will help you to decipher whether a horse is winner.


You can see the form of a horse on its race card. This shows us where the horse positioned in their last several races. To go one step further though, it’s a good idea to look on sites such as Racing Post to see what that position was out of, as race cards often don’t show how many horses were in the previous race. Form also deals in the recent behaviour of the horse. So if you can see a U on its form, this indicates that the horse “Unseated” it’s rider and if this is something that is frequent on that horses race card, you might want to give it a miss!

What are the bookmakers saying?

Each horse gets a price put on them by the market places. A shortening price shows the support for a horse is increasing but a drifting price suggests support for a horse is weakening. This is always good to take into consideration and always most telling closer to the race time.

The Parade Ring

Of course to take advantage of signs you can physically see about the horse, you need to be at the racecourse. Though big meetings and festivals often make time to show the horses in the parade ring, they can be hard to see on the television and you might not get to see all of them.

If you are able to take advantage though, here are some thing to look out for:

  • Coat and eyes. The horse might be looking the favourite on paper but on the day, if their coat and eyes aren’t shiny and bright, they might not be up to the task.
  • Is the house carrying extra weight? Extra body fat might indicate the horse isn’t fully fit.
  • Muscle definition – Has the horse got good definition in it’s rear legs where it most needs it
  • Does the horse look relaxed or nervous? The latter would suggest the horse isn’t up for the race.

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Sunday 24th May - US Racing ACCA

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Dixieland Humor To Win

A winner at 3-1 at Gulfstream over 6f on her latest outing in February, beating Luxe Diamond by 1 1/2l. That was impressive.



Temple To Win

Winner of five races from 1m to 1m 1f on good ground. Won on his latest outing when 6-5fav at Gulfstream over 1m 1f (good) last month, beating Arthur Kitt by 1 1/4l. Got a dream run up the rail that day and did it well.



Man With A Plan To Win

Successful at 4f and 6f. Third of 9 behind Bahamian Prince beaten at 6-4fav on his latest outing at Gulfstream over 5f (good) in December last year. Having his first run for a new stable today, previously with Jose Pinchin. He returns at a much lower level.



Fuddled To Win

Dam a lightly raced maiden. Beaten a neck by First Wave when second of 10 at 5-1 on her racecourse debut at Gulfstream over 5f (good) in March. That was a cracking start to her career.



Blame The Thief  To Win

Winner of five races at 1m. A winner at 15-2 at Aqueduct over 1m (good) on his latest outing in March, beating Business Cycle. Having his first run for a new stable today, previously with Rudy Rodriguez in United States, and has strong claims today.

Returns and odds correct at time of publishing.