As is the case with the vast majority of outdoor sports in the world, horseracing is significantly affected by the weather. Some sports, like football, tend to stand up to the weather and matches can be played in even the most inclement weather conditions. Cricket, on the other hand, can't be played if there is inadequate light or even the smallest amount of rain. But what about horseracing? How does the weather affect the track, and what conditions are ideal for a thrilling race? Let's take a look below.
How does weather affect 'the going' of a race?
In horseracing, 'the going' of the track is decided upon by those in charge of the course, and they announce it in the days leading up to the event to help jockeys prepare and allow bookmakers to create the appropriate markets and odds. 'The going' is a type of scale, and the condition of the course is described as anything from heavy through to hard. The single most significant contributing factor to 'the going' of a course is the weather, which significantly impacts a horse's performance. While some horses can compete on any surface, the majority have a preference. This is why it's so important to research the track's going before a race, so you can select a horse that has a proven record of performing in particular conditions.
Does wind play an element, too?
You wouldn't necessarily think it, but wind condition actually plays a vital role in the outcome of a particular race. While wind doesn't have a significant impact on the going, it does influence the performance of horses throughout the duration of the race. For example, horses can run even faster if there is a tailwind, and course records may even be broken. Although wind does play a factor, it's not as important to consider as the going when you're planning your upcoming bets.
Can races be abandoned or postponed because of the weather?
Yes, races are often abandoned or postponed because of the weather. Tracks can often become waterlogged, which makes the conditions too dangerous for racing to occur and will be cancelled. The same is true when the weather is cold, and tracks are frozen or covered in snow. Such conditions are dangerous for jockeys and horses alike, and races are cancelled if the conditions are deemed unsafe by those in charge of maintaining the course.
How can I incorporate the weather into my horse betting strategy?
If you're serious about betting on horseracing and want to make a decent profit, you must consider the weather conditions of each race in advance, if you have any chance of picking the winner. It doesn't require rocket science to work out a horse's performance in different weather conditions; you can simply research the history of your chosen horse's performance at courses where the going has been described in a certain way, and draw a pattern that enables you to pick the most suitable candidate for a win. Various new betting websites like Betfree show odds for certain horses and this can be a good indicator of who is likely to come in, of course if you pick a non favorite, your returns can be higher. Keeping tabs on a horse's performance in different conditions gives you the best chance of maximising your profits.
As with all gambling, there is an element of luck in picking a horse race winner. However, if you study the form and research which horses perform best in specific weather conditions, you significantly improve your chances of picking a winner. Don't underestimate the importance weather plays in the outcome of a race, or you may well be cursing your luck.