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Friday 22 April 2022

An Essential Beginners Guide to Racing

We’re well in to the racing season with some of the years biggest events already behind us and some exciting races yet to come into the future too as we head towards the summer – racing is as much about the ticket office for those placing their wagers at the tracks or through online platforms as options in betting online or non Gamstop poker for an alternative have grown substantially in recent years – but for newcomers to the tracks and to racing as a whole, what are some of the essentials that newcomers need to know about?

Flat vs Jump Racing – Whilst there are a huge number of different sports attributed with the horses, in racing there are two different markets to look at – either flat racing or jump racing. Whilst both can take place throughout the year, jump racing is typically favored for the winter with flat racing in the summer and you’ll often have fans that have a preference of one over the other, but will typically watch both.

Horses vs Jockeys – It’s often said that a good jockey is vital to the performance on race day and there are some jockeys that have built a fantastic career, but the horses are often the most important factor – an inexperienced jockey can win on a horse that’s at the peak of their performance, but a world-class jockey can’t run a slow horse to victory in most cases – when following racing for a hobby or for the potential financial gains, learn all about the horses.

Predictability vs Upsets – Much like any sport, upsets can and do happen in racing, but they’re not as common as they may seem on the outside – it’s easy to study past results and current form to pick out winners as horses will typically run in quite a predictable way – if a horse has shown good form in recent races, chances are they’ll continue that form for future races too and winners can somewhat be reliably chosen.

Other race factors – Whilst predictability is there, that doesn’t mean there aren’t factors to be considered too – what are the conditions of the ground on the day the race is taking place? Has the front runner shown a change in form recently? There are plenty of other factors to be considered as a fan of racing that can have a huge impact of performance too and getting to know how a firm and fast track will impact one runner and a soft and boggy track will impact another is just another part of the sport that separates the newcomers from the experienced fans.

Tuesday 5 April 2022


History records that the Winter Novices' Hurdle, run over 2 miles 4½ furlongs, on heavy going, at Leicester on December 11, 2019, was won by the 2/9 favourite Kepagge, who kept on well in the final half-a-furlong to beat his nearest pursuer Bendy Bow by 1¼ lengths. Hardly an 'unlikely' outcome, you might think, but the bare result fails to tell the whole story; in fact, far from it.

Trained by David Pipe and ridden by Tom Scudamore, Kepagge had made his debut under National Hunt rules at Chepstow the previous month, where he made all the running to win a National Hunt Flat Race by 4 lengths. At Leicester, the five-year-old gelding faced an apparently facile task against three, modest rivals – all of whom were fellow hurdling debutantes – a fact that was reflected by his prohibitive starting price.

Kepagge set off at the head of affairs, albeit at a dawdling crawl, but backed off the first flight of hurdles so badly that he lost momentum and only just 'fiddled' over the obstacle. He recovered on the long run to the second flight, but wandered on the approach to the obstacle and jumped violently left, all but unseating Tom Scudamore. At that stage, his less-than-keen attitude drew the attention of Betfair layers and he was matched at the maximum price available, 999/1, to the tune of £500 or more.

Kepagge was again ponderous at flights three and four, but warmed to the task as the pace increased, slightly, heading down the back straight for the final time. He led, going best of all, approaching the second last flight, but again jumped slowly at the final flight, allowing Bendy Bow to challenge for the lead. However, close home, Kepagge only had to be pushed out with hands and heels to score what had looked, at one stage, a highly improbable victory.