Racing Through The Year

Look at the world and you will see that everything goes through natural cycles.

* Spring follows winter

* Winter follows autumn

* Peace time follows war time

* A time to sow and a time to reap

* The sun rises and the sun sets

And the world of horse racing is no different. It too has cycles and phases which any astute bettor can identify if he studies it close enough. Of course, everyone knows that the national hunt season follows the flat season but what we are talking about here are particular conditions which occur during certain months of the year.

Looking at the cycles of racing through the year you can identify key pointers for six, two month periods covering January to December. I don’t claim that these pointers are infallible by any means, but you may follow them if you wish and use them to decide when to bet for maximum profits and when to rest to avoid potential losses.

January and February

The is probably the worst phase for serious betting as typically the British weather tends to lead to abandoned race meetings. Even if meetings are not abandoned, the general cold weather and frost can often lead to very firm and dangerous ground which will only suit a certain type of horse. As you would expect, horses which prefer good or softer ground tend to do worst of all this time of the year. Even all weather courses can be negatively affected by the bad weather too. You will also find many small fields at this time of year, especially on the all weather and races of four, five and six runners can be the most difficult to predict.

Stop at a winner plans can be used to good effect all year around because they do not tend to rely on a high strike rate, but it is advisable to bet as little as possible around this time of year. Forget trying to get all your Christmas spending money back either. If you have any money left over I advise jumping on a plane to warmer climes for a week or so, recharge the batteries and start getting geared up for March onwards.

March and April

Although the flat turf period begins in this period, many people will not bet too often in this period as they see the horses as needing a run or two to get back into shape. This can be true in some cases but now the all weather surfaces are mainly polytrack which is very similar to good turf going, a lot of horses can move straight to turf, run well and have a fitness edge over those that have had a lay off during the Winter months. You can of course concentrate on the jump runners who have proven, recent form. Do keep your eye on the flat runners who will come to a peak from May onwards.

This is also the time of the big Cheltenham and Aintree meetings including the Gold Cup and the Grand National. The former is certainly an excellent betting race for top quality horses, the latter is really a run of the mill handicap run over a distance that hardly any of the runners have ever won over. My advice? Keep stakes on this race to a minimum.

This is a good time to get your betting bank to grow by betting sensibly on the fitter horses and favourites.

May and June

This is the time that you can start betting in earnest on the flat. I always think that the big meeting at Chester is when the season really begins as by now most horses have had a run and the weather and going is usually settled down to a seasonal ‘warm and good’. This is one of the easiest periods for picking winners as long as the weather does not affect things too adversely.

Jockeys and trainers will begun to establish patterns, whether positive or negative and these can be used to make profits and avoid losses accordingly. If a profitable trainer/jockey combination becomes apparent during this period then it should be followed for the next few months for sure.

Also note down the horses that win or are placed in the bigger handicap races around this time as many will go on to run well or win for the rest of the season and sometimes at some unbelievable prices too.

July and August

Because this is traditionally the time when most flat horses aim to make the most of their form, racing is busy. This tends to mean that there is more value for the bettor and a wider choice of races to get involved in.

As far as I am concerned these are the golden months for flat racing enthusiasts. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and form horses have the time of their lives. It has been said by some professionals that if you can’t make profits during July and August you never will. I wouldn’t personally go that far but I do agree that it is an exceptional time of the year for all serious players.

September and October

The flat season starts slowing down at this time of the year but a new national hunt season means that there is still much to look forward to. Form is well established for the remaining flat races and this can provide good profits however, a lot of horses have been running for a good few months and there are some surprise results in the handicap races as the horses who have been in form go ‘over the top’ and allow the outsiders who shouldn’t really be winning.

As far as the jump racing goes I tend to leave this alone until November time when the form and the going has settled down a little. There can be profits to be made by following trainers who have good early records of success. As ever and including this year Nigel Twiston Davies springs to mind.

November and December

Despite a break in racing for a couple of days over Christmas and the New Year, this can be an excellent time to make profits from your racing, as long as the weather isn’t playing total havoc. Now is a good time to follow horses over longer trips where stamina is challenged, since this can generate tremendous profits almost effortlessly. Whatever your strategy is this is a good period to be betting in.

Jump racing tends to have more winning favourites overall than in flat racing as the quality is better in most cases and the better horses simply out jump their rivals on most occasions. You don’t tend to get too many twenty plus runner races like you do on the flat at it’s peak either so there are less mind bogglingly difficult, wide open handicaps around at this time. Look for well rated. proven over the distance horses from the first three in the betting and you will find yourself a lot of nice winners, especially over fences.

Flat racing provides us with a lot of all weather racing at this time of year and the quality is ok to be fair and with maximum fields of just 14 runners it can be a good time to find those horses that revel on the all weather especially when they often have winning form at this time of year.



Ian Welch

Creator and owner of Inform since 2003, I have over 30 years of racing and betting experience to share. Speed ratings are my main passion whilst updating the website and writing the odd blog post keeps me busy and hopefully other users well informed.

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