BETFAIR TRADING EDGE Know How Handicapping Works
Any Betfair Trading strategy will only be successful if you have an “edge”. Knowing how handicapping works can be that edge.
How and when is a horse given it’s first Official Rating (OR) or “Mark”?
Horses – normally 2yr olds – are given a mark after running 3 races or after winning a race. The handicapper assesses the horse’s performance compared to those that it has been racing against and comes to a conclusion based on that assessment.
How do Official Ratings change?
So the ratings change on Tuesdays at 7am.
The change is based on a horse’s performance in the previous week (Sunday to Saturday).
However if a horse is already entered into a race on Tuesday to Friday it will still carry weight based on it’s old rating. This means that horses are called “well in” if they carry less weight than they should do based on the new rating.
If a horse wins a race then the trainer can choose to turn it out quickly under a penalty (see below) which mostly is less than the rise in the weights a handicapper might give the horse based on the performance. We are talking easy winners of handicap races. Any horse that carries a penalty which represents a lower weight than the handicapper is likely to give it is considered “well in”.
What penalties are there?
For normal handicaps the penalties are:
2-3 yo 6lbs
4-6 yo 5lbs
7+ yo 4lbs
There are no penalties for winning apprentice races.
In some Pattern races and conditions races horses are also required to carry a penalty depending on the level of any recent victories. While no horses are required to carry a penalty in a Group 1 race, in a Group 2 race, horses will often carry a penalty if they have previously won another Group 2 or a Group 1.
Other weight factors
There are several other weight factors that determine what a horse carries.
First is any allowances the jockey brings. Apprentices and Amateurs will generally bring a weight allowance based on experience and number of winners they have ridden.
Second there will be allowances the horse gets for age and distance of the race. The weight-for-age scale dictates the allowance received by younger horses. It varies according to the time of year and race distance.
There is a video on this subject on our YouTube channel – follow the link here.