How to Handicapping a Horse Race

horse race

Whether you are looking to be a part of a horse race or just enjoy watching one, there are a few things you should know. These include how to use a Scratch Sheet, how to handicap a race, and the scale of weights.


Basically, a horse race handicap is a way of assessing a horse’s ability to win a race. It is calculated on a horse’s running history and is usually based on his last three runs.

A horse race handicap is designed to provide all horses with a fair chance of winning a race. The ratings for each horse are reviewed after each race. The horse with the highest score carries the highest weight.

Scale of Weights

During a horse race, a jockey weighs his horse before the race and after the race. The weight is then displayed on the race cards. It is important that there is no discrepancy between the two weights.

The weights are determined by the jockey’s rating, the age of the horse, and the distance of the race. It is important to note that some horses carry a penalty for recent wins in certain races. The penalty can be as much as three pounds, or it may be a fraction of that amount.


Choosing a horse to bet on is a bit of a gamble. There are a few different factors to consider when weighing up the merits of each contender. While the most common is speed, other factors such as form and jockey experience also need to be considered.

A backmarker is a horse with the biggest handicap in a standing start event. Backmarkers usually have a slow pace to contend with, making it more difficult to pick winners from the pack.


Those who like to get down and dirty on the turf track data sdy can test their mettle with an MTO horse. Also known as a Mudlark, these horses are often entered into scheduled turf races. If they are scratched or switched to a main track track, the MTO stands for “main track only.”

MTO horses get their name from the fact that they are often entered into a scheduled turf race and then moved to the main track only when a surface change occurs. This is usually a good thing.

Scratch Sheet

Having a Scratch Sheet for horse race can be a valuable handicapping tool. The sheet not only provides a comprehensive history of the horses in a particular race, but it also allows for an objective comparison.

It is also a good way to learn which horses are able to outperform the competition. The sheet provides a list of qualifying conditions for each horse. The racing secretary drafts the conditions and determines the weights for each race.


Often called a muddied track horse, a mudder is a horse that races well on wet tracks. A mudder may also perform better on a wet track than a dry track.

A mudder is a horse that enjoys running in mud. A muddied track is a deep condition of the race track. A fast track is an even and dry surface. A slow track is a sloppy and uneven surface.