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Bet On Horse Racing - The Book On Ainslie

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 12/17/2012 5:23:55 PM

Starting out as a fledgling handicapper about 45 years ago, one of my first real educations was the Tom Ainslie book the ‘Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing’ and online sports betting site players could do much worse than to re-visit this stellar read or even give it as a gift.

Of course, the game has changed and there are so many things that are different now but just like any kind of wisdom from a tried and true soul, some things still ring true.

Take for example the way handicappers evaluate a big performance on the track. For years I would sit in the Press Box at Santa Anita or Hollywood Park and watch a race with 15 other handicappers and after any particular race, there would be 15 opinions as to what just happened.

Ainslie tried to help his readers identify a big win. He referred to the most powerful kind of victory is one in which the horse leads at the stretch call, or is close to the pace, and wins going away.

This can be easy or subtle to see in real life. Sometimes when a horse draws off to win by many lengths, the concept will be that it was an easy win but that is not always the case.

I remember the late great Bobby Frankel saying that those facile victories can be as taxing as a close hard-fought win.

To Ainslie’s idea, he wanted readers to play a contender that won its last race by gaining in the stretch after leading or running within 2 lengths of the leader at the stretch call, provided the race occurred within two weeks.

These days, the 2 weeks distinction does not always apply as runner seem much more fragile.

His reasoning was the big win is the most reliable sign of powerful, winning form. But if the horse is kept out of action for more than 2 weeks, one must assume that illness or injury has prevented the trainer from cashing in again on the horse betting sites.

This is a slippery slope in today’s game and leaves room for adjustment.
Ainslie was also big on when a runner was brought back quickly for much of the same thinking as a big winner.

He brought forth the idea that a fast easy winner with competitive speed and pace figures, coming back quickly, the sooner the better, and stepping up in class, was perhaps his favorite play of all.

This last concept of stepping up in class is something that can pay big dividends for online betting site players.

First off, the general public over bets droppers day in and day out and sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.

Would anyone in their right mind drop a horse if the horse is doing super great back at the barn?

Sure, there are exceptions, like when an owner has a ton of horses and is all about quantity or when the purses at a particular track, like Del Mar, are some high, that to bring a horse back on the drop is a good way to keep in action, win races and then buy more horses.

One of my favorite plays over the years is when a sharp trainer double or triple jumps a runner of a race or a claim. It just exudes confidence.

There will be more about Ainslie to come in other columns. 

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