How do you avoid doing your money when betting on National Hunt horse racing and AmWager brings Colossus Bets to the US? By definition jumps racing brings with it additional risk every time your horse leaves the ground. Making a profit from punting over the sticks is treacherous enough without falling for the bookmakers’ seductive bets which often leave the unwary punters pot-less.
So to help you swerve those rushes of blood to the head I have devised a set of National Hunt punting rules. Sticking to these rules may mean you miss a few winners throughout the season, and although you may not win a fortune by following them, they will probably stop you from losing one. We’ll leave that to the less-savvy punters shall we?
If you have a passion for horse racing, then for pure exhilaration there can be nothing quite as spectacular as seeing thirty or forty horses thunder off across the Melling Road at the start of the Grand National. Or perhaps you marvel at the athletic prowess of the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup as they stretch clear of the field up the hill towards the finish line at Prestbury Park?
Traditionally the National Hunt jumps racing season would start around early November and carry on throughout the winter months and AmWager brings Colossus Bets to US. The climax of the season is still the Cheltenham Festival in March, with the Grand National in April at Aintree.
Today you will find national hunt meetings pretty much all year round, and although the summer meetings are thinner on the ground and lower key, there still exists the opportunity to profit from horses racing over obstacles.
Here are my Golden Rules for betting on National Hunt horse racing:
When the rains come in the deep mid-winter, and the going turns properly heavy, look out for horses who have already demonstrated form in these kinds of conditions. In reality, not many horses actually enjoy galloping through mud. If you can uncover a horse which relishes testing ground – even if the price suggests they are something of an outsider, and with recent form figures reading like a row of duck eggs –
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This rule is about horses who are taking a step up to race in a better class of race and at one of the more imposing tracks. Where you have a number of steeplechasers, who are already performing well in quality races at the top tracks, it is easy to overestimate the chances of a ‘live’ outsider who jumps well and won last time out, albeit in a lower grade race at a provincial track. In these situations, it is often better to lump on the fancied horses along with everyone else. Admittedly this will often result in poor value prices at the top of the market, and the profitable move may well be to keep your money safe, and sit these races out.
As an addendum to the last Rule, this one is so simple, but none-the-less true. When you are trying to pick winners at Cheltenham, and especially at the festival in March, it pays dividends to give extra merit to those runners who have already shown winning form around this unique race-course. If a horse has managed to win here, they should be credited with a real chance to triumph again.
A long-standing myth that two-and-a-half-mile chasers possess the best characteristics to win the Grand National is utter rubbish. Why? Well, for starters the Grand National is staged over more than FOUR miles. Find a horse who can stay forever, and who jumps for fun, and you will have a horse capable of winning the greatest steeple-chase in the world.
Let’s imagine you have narrowed down your selections in a jumps race to just two horses. One is piloted by a top-20 jumps jockey, and the other is ridden by a less-able jockey who gets to claim a weight allowance over his rivals. In this situation my advice would be to choose the professional every time. In Flat races, a weight advantage of a few pounds can make all the difference, and trainers will often make clever use of talented apprentice riders to gain a competitive edge. Over the sticks however, it will often pay to side with the proven skills of the experienced horseman, even if it means sacrificing a little weight to your rivals. After all, they are a winning jockey for a reason.