Of the many sports that are played around the world, one of the sports that is affected the most by the weather is horse racing. Not particularly for the jockeys taking part, but certainly for the horses in the race.
The weather affects the going of the track that horses are racing on, even if this is an all-weather track it will still have some impact, though not as much as it does on turf and dirt races around the world.
When you are looking at the racecards and picking out your selections, checking out the latest weather and ground conditions is vital, you shouldn’t bet without doing this.
How Weather Affects the Going
The official going at a horse racing meeting is given by those who look after the course. They give the going days in advance, and then update it based on the weather they have, changing where needed. Going can go from being described as heavy all the way through to hard.
Rain makes the ground turn soft, a lot of rain would turn it heavy. If we have a long, dry spell with very hot weather and the track doesn’t put any water on the turf, we are likely to see firm or maybe even hard going for horses to race on.
A limited number of horses can run on any ground, while the vast majority have a preference and for some horses, this is a strong preference. There are many soft ground lovers out there who would have no chance of winning a race on firm ground but would be seen as top-quality stars on soft ground.
When placing bets and taking advantage of any horse racing betting offers available with bookmakers, you must check the ground and place your bets with this in mind.
What About Wind?
This is something that many people forget about because it doesn’t really affect the going. The only way that wind affects the going is because a strong wind will help to dry out the track quickly if it has been raining.
However, what wind can do is affect the times of the races and make it slightly harder for specific horses compared to the rest. With a tail wind behind them, horses will run even faster and track records can be broken in big races, so look out for these going.
In terms of wind affecting the outcome, this is seen when there is a headwind going directly into the horses and slowing them down. This will have an effect on front runners, who are at the head of the field and facing the wind.
Those behinds are getting some shelter from the runners in front, which will help them maintain their energy for a final push at the finish. When you are betting in races where a strong headwind is blowing directly into the horses, front runners are often disadvantaged compared to those who can get cover in behind.