You may have seen them, seven horse running images on the internet. They look amazing, but are they actually helping you to improve your horse racing handicaps? Are they something you should use or not? Let's find out! Let's discover how they affect your ability to handicap and see if they make things better for you.
It looks like a professional has done it. You've got a great horse racing system or you are about to learn how to pick winners from bad ones. Or perhaps you've been doing the same thing for years and it's still not paying off. If that sounds familiar, you're probably right. Let's talk about why it doesn't work.
First of all, the pictures themselves are worthless. There is no way to improve your chances of winning by looking at a bunch of poor horses and trying to determine which one of them is the real deal. The problem with these images is that they don't show the horses coming into the race. All they show is how the horse was running in the past.
What's more, the angle the photo is taken from can make a huge difference in how you evaluate the runner. Look at those horses running side-by-side next time and try to tell which one of them looked better. Chances are, you won't be able to figure it out. The best you can do is to estimate how good each one looked and assign a point to it.
Now let's use another common photo to look at. This one shows the jockey and trainer side by side. Can you figure out which of them looked more confident? Was it Tom Joad or Harry Potter?
Again, there's no way of knowing who will win. The best you can do is to decide if the trainer is having a good day or not. Then compare the two jockeys. If one of them looks beat up, is it because he was hurt or because he was too tired? Try to see what it was about the jockey that made him look bad.
Sometimes you can learn something about a jockey just by watching him. For instance, some jockeys ride high and stand still in the stirrups. Other times, they'll go low. Those who do well in those situations usually have a very good idea about what is going on with their horse. Just look at how they react when the horse in front tries to steal second.
You can also use a video to see how well the rider maneuvers the horse. Watch how he keeps his horse balanced while leading and following. See how he keeps it centered. When the horse is on the rail, does he stay inside? Look at the way he rides and you can usually get a pretty good idea about what's going on with the horse.
Another indication of what's going on is the condition of the lead and the hind. Are they relaxed and loose or tight and rigid? Have they lost some of their speed? The horses that seem to run the most smoothly and efficiently are the ones that have good leads and good hindquarters.
A good jockey also has a keen sense of balance. That applies whether he's leading or following. If he seems to be off balance even while riding, that means the horse is either improperly balanced or is suffering from some other defect.
Of course, a horse doesn't run well simply because it's done poorly. It has to do with its own physical structure. If it's a small horse, it won't be able to move quickly or make a full turn quickly enough to win. On the other hand, a very large horse might have difficulty keeping control over the same distance.
What these images show is how important the role of the jockey is in a horse's performance. Jockeys need to be fit, muscular, athletic, intelligent, and knowledgeable. They should be able to judge the condition of the horse and its hindquarters. And they should be able to apply the right conditioning techniques to improve the horse's performance.