Are you a new horse racing bettor who wants to make better wagers? You may wish to place a wager on The New Zealand Derby, Melbourne Cup, or Kentucky Derby.

Learning about how to make better bets on horse races can help you make more successful wagers.

Click here to learn about horse racing events you can bet on. Other popular options at online sportsbooks include the NFL, NBA, and football. Other famous sports people bet on in New Zealand include rugby and cricket.

Practical tips to help you make better horse race bets include:

Read the Race Day Program

Taking this step can help you “handicap” racking horses better. Handicapping involves making a sports event more even. For example, the process can improve a bettor’s chance of winning.

A race day program includes lots of information to help make better bets. You can find information such as statistics and the history of the horses in a race.

Review the Race’s Odds

The program will likely list the odds of each horse winning the race. The favorite is the horse with the lowest odds. No bet is 100% guaranteed. However, a horse’s past performance may affect its chance of winning the current race.

Some statistics show that bets on the favorite to finish in 1st or 2nd place may pay off at least half the time. Meanwhile, bets on the favorite to place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd may pay off about two-thirds of the time.

Consider a Horse’s Performance on Surface Types

Horse racing tracks can include surfaces like dirt, grass, and artificial tracks. For example, horses participating in the New Zealand Derby at the Ellerslie Racecourse race on grass or turf.

Some horses perform better on certain surface types than others. For example, they may prefer natural or artificial tracks.

The program often shows a horse’s performance on various surface types. So, you can project how well the horse will likely perform on a particular surface type.

Don’t Automatically Bet on the Favourite

While a favorite often performs well in horse races, the sport has many variables. The favorite may finish in the first place around 30% of the time.

If you “do your homework” before a race, you can find bets that offer more value. That’s because bigger odds mean larger payouts.

For example, you may find a value bet on an un-promoted “sleeper horse.” When such horses win races, it can shock the sports world because few people know about them.

Study the Horse’s History With the Jockey

A horse’s history with a particular jockey varies considerably. If the horse consistently performs in first, second, or third, it’s more likely the horse and jockey will finish high in the next race.

On the other hand, if a jockey is riding a particular horse for the first time, those results are less likely. The horse may finish in the middle of the pack or worse.

Review a Horse’s Recent Class Levels

Higher-level horse races include bigger stakes and better-performing horses. Race tracks often try to add equally-leveled horses in one race. Factors such as a horse moving to a higher class may direct its fate – whether it wins or loses the race.

Learn About a Horse’s Trainer

Besides considering the horse and jockey, you should also research the trainer. In 2020, New Zealander Jamie Richards ranked among the world’s top 10 horse-racing trainers.

Some trainers have an impressive overall winning record. However, others have historically trained winning horses at certain events.

One statistic is whether a trainer fields multiple horses in a particular event. This factor may suggest the trainer has had past success at the track. You should review a trainer’s record at a particular course and during recent months.