5 Myths and Facts About Betting on Horse Races
Luck and variance both play a role in every form of betting, and horse races are no exception. However, those who prevail in the long run know the kind of things that help them steer the odds in their favor. Therefore, it’s also a game of skill.
Despite all of this, certain myths are circulating around, particularly the kind that have to do with betting on the outcome of horse races.
To give you the right idea what the sport is all about and what the common myths and misconceptions are, we’ve assembled a list of all the popular myths surrounding the topic, coupled with the much-needed clarifications.
MYTH: The best horse wins all the time
FACT: Even the best of them hardly surpass a win rate of 20%. That’s how demanding the sport can be and there are numerous variables at play that shape the outcome of a race.
In this sport, most if not all debates start with making a reference to statistics of some sort and everybody seems to be hooked on them. It’s the first thing you’ll often see quoted on the best online horse betting sites and it’s one of the many factors a bookmaker’s odds are based on. But even the very best horsemen can only maintain a win rate like this over a long period of time as far as consistency goes – the larger the sample size, the more accurate the forecast.
Know that a good horse is always a combination of great genes and specialized training, so the stars need to be aligned for wonders to happen. Even a pure-bred horse needs to go through 2 years of training and not crumble under the immense pressure of competing. So in a sense, every horse that makes it past the said period is already a winner in many regards. When you pit the best against the best, the competition can be very tough, and the result can be hard to forecast.
MYTH: Owning a horse is the path to riches
FACT: Your bottom line depends on the results you get. It’s quite possible to lose money too.
Those who bet on horse races may start dreaming about taking matters into their own hands by becoming a professional horse owner. While it’s a noble dream to have, many times, those who get their head into the clouds don’t realize how much capital and effort you need to put into it to break a profit in this industry. Even then, you need to be comfortable to leave at least part of your fate to the stars and see how they align.
The fact of the matter is, buying a horse will cost you a pretty penny. On top of that, this is a living and breathing creature that needs plenty of love, food, and care. Also, get ready for unexpected expenses like medical care. A mountain of costs is the only thing that’s guaranteed in this industry and only a select few horses will make it worth your while from a financial standpoint. As ironic as it sounds, you risk way less if you’re simply a bettor who observes the action from afar.
MYTH: The wildest horses possess the winning traits
FACT: Horses with a calm nature tend to win more frequently.
When looking at horses, it’s hard not to imagine a wild west movie where the wildest beasts dominate the track. Perhaps you may even associate a horse’s bad behavior and rebellious nature with a higher potential to outclass the competition. But in reality, the reverse is the case.
Statistics suggest that horses with a calm nature are better suited to be high-performers. In fact, an unruly horse can develop several medical issues such as ulcers that complicate the matters further. In this sport, consistency and dependability are the traits to look for.
MYTH: Any horse can conjure a miracle
FACT: Only a select few earn their way to the race track to begin with.
It may seem noble to see potential in every horse, but for one to be unleashed to the racetracks in the first place, there are certain criteria that need to be met. Even if there’s a horse that can gallop like the wind and you’ve seen it with your own eyes, chances that it’s suitable for racing are, in reality, quite slim.
Once again, it’s all about genetics and training. You need a thoroughbred horse. The three original lineages are the Godolphin Arabian, the Darley Arabian, and the Byerley Turk. A horse that’s fit for racing will fall into any of these categories.
The racetrack is reserved for the best of the best.
MYTH: The game is rigged against you
FACT: It’s unpredictable, yes, but horse racing is one of the noblest disciplines out there, with a tradition spanning over centuries.
Did you know the very first documented horse race was held in 1651? In the centuries gone by, attempts were made to control the outcome of the races, often by criminal organizations pulling strings in the background. But nowadays, horse races undergo so much scrutiny from all angles that any unsporting behavior is much harder to execute.
Moreover, you can count on the fact that everyone involved is thirsty for the hard-earned win, and any foul play could leave a permanent black mark on the offending party.
By keeping these things in mind, the next bet you’ll make will be based on facts and reason rather than hearsay. Best of luck!