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I'm off to York Races on Friday. How do I pick a winner?
I'm thinking the best names always win.
My formula, if I know nothing, is to go with horses that start with S. I have honestly found this to be quite successful. You may need to select your own letter - not sure how it works with other people.
If you have never bet before remember that if you bet £5 each way it costs £10. I have seen a few people make fools of themselves waiting for change from their tenner.
Ask Axis if he's about - he actually seems to know something about the horses. I only look at the form for the big races and then just piss about the rest of the time.
I've never bet before with real bookmakers at a course.
It would be interesting to see if there was a correalation between the number of winners with names beginning with a certain letter.
Might have a look at lunch to see if there are any about.
You could of course go for charliepanayi's more sensible approach below.
Sounds sensible to me.
Check if they've won on that course or at that distance before. A racecard looks like this I think:
Form figures (e.g. 1423) showing where they finished in the last few races, then the Horse's Name, then the number of days since they last ran, then in brackets you'll sometimes get stuff like C, D, CD, or BF. They respectively stand for Course winner, Distance winner, Course and Distance winner, Beaten when favourite.
If you can find out if they like good ground or soft ground etc that helps too
Otherwise just bet on the one with the best name
Or I could lend you my mate Rachel's dad who always picks winners but he's got to go to B+Q this wekend m'afraid.
each way look to see what they offer on the place. Most will give 1/4 the odds some 1/5 odds and even some bookies will offer worse i've seen 1/6 on course. So if two bookies are offering 10s go with the one offering 1/4 odds on the place.
Also playing at the tote can be fun, for a couple of quid a forecast can pay well. No big losses but an interest in every race.
Also look for horses that have travelled a fair distance, decent jockeys with single rides and good trainers with one runner are all worth a look too.
place terms in a race are dictated by the type of race and the number of runners. 5 to 7 runners, 1/4 the odds the first two home - 8 runners or more, 1/5 the odds the first three except 16+ runner handicap, 1/4 the odds the first four. The only time you'll hear any different is for a feature race like the National where some will go first 5, or all races at Cheltenham Festival tend to be 1/4 the odds no matter what.
If you've got no prior racing knowledge then the only advice I'd offer is don't change your mind on anything, it's fatal
What i'm talking about is the odds being offered. Bookie A and Bookie B both paying out on the first 3 home, yet B is paying 1/4 the odds and Bookie B 1/5th. This has nothing do with the race, number of horses. It's just one person trying to get an edge on people who don't what they are doing.
Anyway, all of this is totally irrelevant really if you don't pick a good horse anyway. Advice, withdraw some cash to bet if you come away with nothing who cares, if you win buy a round, if you lose buy a round when it's your turn!
Horse racing is great fun, i've never been to York for racing or otherwise
be honest, as an ex-bookie and someone that has lost his shirt on course a number of times I've never seen bookies offering different place terms, except like you say PP might go to 5th in a race like the National. Bookmakers need licenses to operate, and to not offer the industry-standard terms on races would probably put their license in jeopardy
it's all down to the name.
What normally happens with me is that I pick absolutely brilliant horses and then they get shot. By choosing them; I curse them.
If you'd like to hand me a list of horses you don't want to win I shall pop out and back them & then the ones that are left...you back.
Bob's your Uncle.