• Join
  • Login
  • GTO Twitter
  • GTO Facebook
  • 13:13:05 AEST
  • Sunday, 25 February 2018

Horse Fitness - why punters need to know


It's one of the most important factors in racing but it's also the one that most punters know least about. Like gears in a car, fitness constrains the ability of even the best race horses, which makes it a vital factor for punters to consider when doing the form.

Betting Odds Doomben

The lack of concern or familiarity on horse fitness amongst punters isn't surprising. Punters will usually evaluate factors that are easy to measure and readily available in form guides. There are very few if any direct indicators of a horse's fitness in a form guide which means most punters are working blind to this critical fact.

So if fitness is so important to the outcome of a race how do punters work it out?

Preparation Cycle

There is a basic cycle of fitness that thoroughbreds usually go through as they progress through their preparation. For most race horses there are three stages.

  • Improvement,
  • Peak Fitness and then
  • Decline.

Knowing where each horse is within this cycle is one indicator of a runner's fitness level in a race.

 

horse racing fitness

 

The trend that indicates this cycle is not always easy to find. A good run in a horse's past runs is not always obvious from the runner's finishing position. Form guides providing comments on each horse's past run are useful here to form a view on their fitness level.

Bad form

While the preparation cycle is a useful guide it doesn't always ring true. Like any sporting competitor, horses have slumps which represent preparations where they don't reach peak fitness. Consistent under-performance or mixed form usually means that the horse's peak fitness levels should be discounted, at least for his current preparation.

Resuming

First runs back from a spell present one of the most challenging aspects when assessing a horse's fitness. Usually punters look at past first-up form to get a view but form guide statistics can sometimes be misleading in the absense of a comprehensive ratings analysis on each first-up run. A very smart punter explained an approach he used that tied the length of the time it took a horse to get to peak fitness with his class. The classier the horse the less runs it need to reach his peak. He kept it fairly simple:

  • Very Classy - 1 to 2 runs
  • Classy - 2 to 3 runs
  • Average - 3 to 4
  • Below average - 5 or more

I have found that it provides a useful rule-of-thumb when trying to assess where a horse's fitness level will be first one or two runs back from a spell.

Trial form

When it comes to assessing fitness levels, trial form can be misleading too. Many punters read a horse's recent trials as if they had run in an official race. Trial runs are usually over shorter distances than the horses are used to running and the pace is usually somewhat whre they can expect it to be on race day. While the run contributes to the horse's fitness, it is unlikely that it will have the same impact as an official race start.

Mounting yard

Many professional punters have requested racing authorities to publish a horse's actual weight before it runs with a view to better understanding how close the runner is to it's peak fitness weight. In the absence of this information punters are left to depend on mounting yard information. These days punters are spoilt with mounting yard previews for Melbourne races through Racing.com, Sydney races through Sky Racing and other city tracks that host major racing meets.

There are a few serious punters who I am aware of that select their top chances in a race and then use mounting yard analysis to determine their staking plans if price fluctuations allow them to.

Mike Steward.

Share On:

Top Stories

Market movers in early betting at Caulfield & Rosehill 24 Feb 2018

First miss of the year last week but still managed to find Grunt at nice odds which eased the pain for our followers. W.....

Feb 24, 2018 09:49AM
READ MORE

Caulfield racing: Blue Diamond Stakes preview 2018

The star two-year-olds do battle for Group 1 glory here in a wide open betting affair that could throw up any result. As.....

Feb 22, 2018 03:47PM
READ MORE

Rosehill Racing: Hobartville Stakes Preview 2018

We are spoilt for talent this 3yo season in Sydney and this field has an abundance of it, in what shapes as an intr.....

Feb 22, 2018 03:39PM
READ MORE

Best bets at Caulfield & Rosehill 22 Feb 2018

I’m expecting the tracks to play fairly on Saturday. Caulfield will normally give the inside gates a slight advant.....

Feb 22, 2018 03:37PM
READ MORE

Betting Offers

click and get your bonus today!

* T's and C's apply to all offers.


Racing News Topics


Tweets by @theGreatTipOff


Today's Racing Top 5

jayray
Punter
320% POT
keanie52
Punter
195% POT
Blaster
Pro
120% POT
Alexpt2
Punter
- 34% POT
LuckyStar
Punter
- 56% POT
Full Leaderboard
Tony Brassel
320% POT
Adam Cretten..
-100% POT
 
Tony Brassel 320% POT
Adam Cretten.. -100% POT
 

Next to Jump

More news you might like

Best bets at Caulfield & Rosehill 22 Feb 2018

I’m expecting the tracks to play fairly on Saturday. Caulfield will normally give the inside gates a slight advant.....

READ MORE

Form guide finds 22 February 2018

Switches Caulfield 3 #2 Prevailing Winds The Darren Weir trained runner secured the second victory of his prep two sta.....

READ MORE

Best horse racing tipsters & punters of the week 20 Feb 2018

It’s that time of the week when we take a look at the punting and tipping results over the past seven days and shi.....

READ MORE

Saturday racing lays of the day 17 Feb 2018

Flemington Race 8 #1 Redzel $1.80 Typical hype horse following high profile Everest heroics and a long picket fence, wh.....

READ MORE

Best bets at Flemington & Randwick 17 Feb 2018

I’m expecting Randwick and Flemington to play fair on Saturday, with both tracks to be rated a Good 3 and the weat.....

READ MORE

Form Guide Finds at Randwick & Flemington 17 Feb 2018

Trial Watch Flemington 1 #10 Pierro Belle The Tony McEvoy trained filly heads to the races for her first start off the.....

READ MORE

Copyright © 2018 S93 thegreattipoff.com | Stay in Control. Gamble responsibly.