Horse race betting – is it a game of chance?

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Whilst many of us dream about getting rich quick – the Scoop 6 has made a few millionaires in the last couple of months.

For anyone who didn’t get caught up in the recent 10 million-plus pool and 5 million-plus bonus pool, the Scoop 6 is a dream that offers punters the chance to become a millionaire at roughly the same odds as the National Lottery.

It has a lot of other similarities to the National Lottery, too. Punters have to pick six horses, one in each of six chosen races on a Saturday, and often the most difficult six races on the card. The cost of six selections is £2, one pound of which goes into the Win Pool and the other into the Place Pool. Anyone managing to find six winners gets a share of the win pool, and if you’re the only person to pick all six-winners you get it all (minus the Tote’s 30% deduction). Meanwhile, if you pick six-placed horses (win or placed) you also get qualify for a share of the place pool, which offers punters small winning similar to that of getting 3, 4 or 5 winners up on the lottery, depending how many winners there are. There is also a bonus pool which offers the winners from the previous week a chance to win even more money by picking the winner of a selected race the following week. Pick the winner and you’ll be getting even more money.

Like the lottery, there is also a roll-over function which takes place if nobody picks all six-winners – and the win and bonus pools just keep getting bigger and bigger. The biggest example of this was in May when the win pool rolled over for a record 14 weeks and culminated in the 7 eventual winners collecting 1,342,599 each.

However, whilst instant retirement as a millionaire is appealing, the proven best way of making a steady income from backing horses is single bets. To keep making regular profits month on month, year on year, selections have to be carefully scrutinized and careful consideration given to a number of factors including: distance, ground, course, jockey bookings, trainer form, and pace of the race.

A horse is only likely to perform to its optimum ability when all the factors are in its favour, and it’s easy to see why these options need to be considered before making a selection. Is it running over its best trip (5 furlongs – 21 furlongs), on ground it likes (heavy – firm), on a course that plays to its strengths (flat or undulating), will the race be run at a pace that suits (crawl – steady – flat out), does the jockey suit the horses style (front runner or hold-up performer), and have the trainer’s other runners being performing well.

That’s a lot to consider, and a lot of time is needed to study everything. However, there are people who have made their living from studying and backing horses that are willing to supply punters with a steady stream of horse racing tips and a staking plan that yields profits month on month, year on year – now wouldn’t that feel like you’ve hit the jackpot!