Your goal in betting on race horses is to win, obviously, but you need some information first. The following are a few tips and tricks to help you maximise your chance of winning at the track. The guide will give you a few key bits of information that you can use when betting for the rest of your life and hopefully give you a bit of an edge.

As a professional punter, you should avoid being misled by what others tell you. Hence, you should always bring out facts through analysis and make the final decision. These are a few simple things to remember to help you work out the best chance in any given race.

1. The favourite is dictated by which horse the setting bookmaker thinks the public will bet on. Not what he actually thinks will win. This means that even if a horse that is a noted sprinter (eg. Black Caviar) if ever entered in a middle distance race, will still be a favourite even if it’s untested, because it is a popular horse.

2. The favourite wins 33% percent of the time. That means that if you choose not to bet on the favourite, you are guaranteed to lose at least 1/3rd of the time. That’s not even considering the chance of other horses winning. So generally speaking, back the favourite. This may seem boring but it’s usually easy money. If you want to bet against the favourite read on.

3. If you choose to back a roughie, there are a few things you need to consider. Some horses favour certain track types. The weather and season can dictate whether the track is hard or soft and sometimes a particular roughie has a particular fondness for one track type but not another. “mud runners” are horses that love racing in a heavy track caused by rain. If rain is predicted and you can get fixed odds ahead of time, betting on a mud runner can sometimes get you great odds.

4. Some horses are sprinters. Some are middle distance. Some are stayers. These factors aren’t always taken into consideration when the odds are adjusted before the race (see hint 1). Therefore you can get some good odds about horses that are tried and tested at the length, when a popular but untested horse enters a race at their distance. Similarly you can on occasion get good odds on a horse untested at the length that you feel should run it well. In this situation it pays to find interviews with the trainers and connections of the horse and measure how confident you think they are.

5. When horses are given blinkers or other accessories it is known to either drastically improve or deteriorate in performance. Make sure you check this before you bet. It is a good idea to bet against favourites that have had this recent adjustion.

6. Don’t ever bet on a horse because of its name. Interestingly some less bet on races will actually feature poor horses at short odds because of its name. This is especially true for regional night races, trots and dogs. People out at the pub at night like to bet and they generally just bet on their favourite name and this shortens the odds of poor runners and widens the odds of the true favourites. So sometimes you can get a good return if you find a race with a particularly fascinating name.

This is a guest post, prepared by the sports writer over at: