Enjoying a day betting on the races starts with a single key concept and ability: knowing how to interpret and properly read the daily program.
Everything becomes easier to understand when knowing how race programs are laid out and how the race information is presented. This also eradicates the need to constantly strain one’s ears and attention to hear what the announcer is saying when introducing horses and jockeys before post time.
The Typical Layout
Horses are typically listed according to program number, and this listing usually corresponds with their best position achieved overall. Aside from the presence of an entry, horses are as a rule positioned side by side according to record, i.e. the number one horse will be positioned closest to the rail, with the remaining horses lined up in numeric order in the direction of the outside rail.
The program number is significant too, as this will be the number the bettor will use when placing a wager. In addition to the number, the program will also include several more interesting and important segments of information relevant to the race – including the horse’s colour, age, gender, owners, trainer, rider (jockey), and colours that the jockey will be wearing during a particular contest.
What To Expect From Info
The weight, too, is important information, and the carrying weight of every participant is typically displayed in bold number below the name of each horse’s owner.
Other information that can be found on the race program will include the distance around the track, along with the points at which the track starts and finishes, the race conditions, i.e. gender, age, etc., the weight each horse will carry, and the track record for each horse and rider per the specific distance about to be raced.
Reading The Morning Line
Another statistic / piece of information of crucial importance is the so-called “morning line”. This shows the official track handicapper’s own betting prediction of each horse’s expected odds and performance for a particular event.
It is important to remember that the information-equipped bettor will also want to get their hands on the “Daily Race Form”. This document contains in-depth information about every horse and every horse’s recent performance record. Every issue will also include a basic guide on how to go about interpreting the most relevant available information, as well as how to actually handicap a race.