There are some well known trainers whose horses do nothing in their qualifying runs, gain a low official rating and then go handicapping and notch up a hat trick of wins. If you watch the video at the end you’ll hear the name of the most famous of them all (a knight of the realm no less!!). We want to help in spotting handicap debutant gambles so you can make money using Betfair.

How and When does a horses get an Official Rating

A horses has to run THREE times or WIN to get a “Mark” or OR. Normally a 2yo, the handicapper will assess the first three runs with regard to the ratings of the horses that beat it and that it beat and come up with a suitable rating.

The rating assumes that all horses are trying their best. However this may or may not be the case.

How to get the “right” rating.

Trainers often are more interested in getting the right rating than a true rating. The right rating being the lowest possible.

They do this by various methods:

  1. Run the horse over the WRONG trip
  2. Run the horse on ground he hates
  3. Run him 3 times in quick succession while he isn’t fully fit
  4. Let him run keen and/or against his preferred run style
  5. Go easy on him – ie don’t “knock him about”
  6. Bury the horse, miss the break or get into a bad position

Running horses over the wrong trip is a favoured method. Putting a horses bred to stay 2m in a 5 or 6f race is like asking Mo Farrah to run against Usain Bolt in the 100m. Many times you’ll read in the Timeform analysis “Making handicap Debut – significantly up in trip”!

Other phrases you’ll hear:

“This one is a handicap project”

“Should do much better when going handicapping”

“Bred to stay 1m 4f (Related to blah blah) …… may find this trip a bit on the sharp side”

“Yards juveniles take some time to come to hand”

The Debut Gamble

You’ll know when the plot is ready and the gamble is on because money will come early mainly from the connections and the yard.

Then the hangers on will invest in the few hours before the race.

Finally the professional money will come and push the price shorter still. This displays the same characteristics to any steamer just you’ll know why!

There is a video regarding this topic on our Youtube channel and you can watch it by following the link here.

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