Sure, I look at the horses and the betting. However, make no mistake, assessing the betting is very important for obvious reasons. To start, your potential profit comes from finding value. No value - forget about winning long term.
Understanding betting is one of the major criteria for gambling success.
I would find it difficult to assess a horse race without betting odds. I have followed the two-year-old horse racing niche for many years. Along that journey, I have gathered knowledge that far exceeds your average punter. I don't say that trying to big myself up because it doesn't make sod all difference. However, I have an understanding of betting which goes beyond basic odds.
Here's the point.
Betting tells a story. It details a narrative that relates to the horse's chance of winning or losing.
Perhaps many gamblers don't really consider what the betting means for the horse they are interested in. Let's say, you see your horse is priced 33/1. Just imagine, you bet £33 to win a grand (almost). But what does the price say? Clearly, it is saying it has, supposedly, a much less chance of winning than the favourite. This is a matter for debate because I'm sure there has been many a race where a long shot has thrashed the favourite and connections were pretty confident. On average we all know the rag has less chance of winning than the jolly.
Here's an interesting point. The price of the given horse's chance of winning is very much dependent on the trainer.
From my vast research into the two-year-old racing niche, I could tell you a number of stats that would surprise you. How certain high-profile horse trainers have more chance of winning at longer odds than shorter. How many trainers have little to no chance of winning on debut even with horses priced at short odds. How certain horse trainers can be backed with a high level of confidence if you know what you are looking for.
As you can imagine, I'm not going to detail specifics because each and every word of wisdom is hard-fought. But I will tell you, with a little bit of hard work, the information is out there waiting to be found and asking questions that reveal data akin to finding a seam of gold.
So when you bet on a given horse what is the betting saying. If you could put those odds into words what would you hear the trainer, owner, jockey or professional gambler say?
From studying hundreds of two-year-old horse trainers I can appreciate more than most what chance a horse has from simply reviewing the betting. My analysis is often particularly strong on the horse's first and second start. Beyond those initial runs, the form can be assessed which helps where basic data cannot be found.
If you bet on a horse priced 10/1 I would have an opinion. My opinion would vary from one trainer to the next. Quite often I would view the bet as good, bad or just plain ugly.
The information I have gathered has to a great extent transformed my understanding. It has helped me assess races to a high level of accuracy and detail those horses with a live chance to those with little hope at all.
There will always be exceptions to the rule. It is interesting when a two-year-old horse defies the odds that they often turn out to be very talented horses.
The next time you look at the betting stop for a moment and consider what are the odds saying. It goes beyond the basics of fractions. It tells a story that you need to learn and understand.
What is the influence of horse racing betting?
It is more than pounds, shillings and pence. It is a variable which details, to a large extent, the truth of horse winning a given race.
If you don't know what the odds mean for the horse you are about to bet then you need to be fearful of the layer who is about to accept your wager.
Because there is a very good chance they know something that you don't.
Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution