Horse Racing Handicapping Systems

Undertsanding Horse Racing Handicapping Systems

I have written many books on horse racing handicapping systems over the past 5 years purely based on my ability to computer model these systems effectively and more importantly accurately. I was an I.T. consultant for 25 years my speciality being databases and data mining so this helped me immensely looking at horse racing handicapping systems.

There Are Many Handicapping Systems Out There

The first thing I realised you can look at UK handicap horses races from many different angles and read, collate and interpret the horse form data in so many ways. When analysing a handicap horse race you have 3 types of horses,


  1. Unexposed horses i.e. these are horses having run in minimal handicap races having started off life in novice races.
  2. Then we have the hardened handicappers who have been around the block and have had many races and their handicap mark ( OR – Official rating ) is starting to drop or has dropped double digits. The horse has reached its highest official rating and is on the decline or has declined to a new all time low.
  3. The third type is the hardest, the horse has run in a number of handicap races it’s not necessarily improving or declining in other words the horse’s OR is rising and falling around a certain official rating bandwidth.

There is a fourth type of horse, one that has been laid out for a big prized handicap race but you have to be on the inside to know these types of horses. These are horses were the horses true handicap mark ( OR ) has been hidden for the obvious reason!

So Where Do We Start?

The following process will help you untangle the ball of wool when accessing a UK handicap horse race. This is a generic horse racing handicapping system that will point you in the right direction when reading horse form.

  1. This system only works on UK handicap horse races.
  2. For each horse in the race you are assessing today, working backwards in the horses previous races find the last race ( last race date ) were the horse finished 1st 2nd 3rd or 4th. Its last race can be a handicap or a non handicap race. Note down the horses weight it raced off and its Official Rating ( OR ). Repeat this step for each horse in the race and place in a list.
  3. Now take this list of horses in Step 2 and calculate the difference between the OR in its last race and the OR the horse has been allotted in the race you are assessing today.


Horse A Last Race OR was 117

The horse has been allotted a OR of 121 in the race you are assessing today so the difference is 121-117 =  4 so the OR difference is +4.

     4. Now we repeat the step calculating the weight difference from its last race           and the race you are assessing today.


Horse A last race it carried a weight of 8-9 which is 8 stones and 9 pounds this equates to 121 pounds in weight i.e 8X14 ( 14 pounds in a stone )=112 + 9 pounds.

The horse is carrying a weight of 9-0 which is 9 stones and 0 pounds in the race you are assessing today which is a total weight of 126 pounds.

So the weight difference is today’s race weight-last race weight 126-121=+5  pounds.

So the horse is carrying an extra 5 pounds in weight in today’s race.

So what does this tell us?

The horse A OR – Official rating has gone up +4 and is carrying an extra weight of 5 pounds.

Now you have this information there is one more piece of information you need that will determine if this horse is worth betting on.

This is where my computer model allowed me to simulate different weight and OR figures and look for patterns that gave me the winners of handicap horse races in the UK.

Once you have the basic information above you are nearly there. Most punters cannot be bothered putting in the hard work, there are no short cuts!

My book below will explain what else is needed in finding the winners of UK handicap horse races!

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Horse Racing Handicapping Systems