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Current events as a factor in horse racing handicap

Recency, that is, how recently or how long ago a race was run, is an important and controversial issue in horse racing handicap. Studies show that horses that win races have usually run at least one race in the last thirty days or so. But as in most situations in life where there seems to be a rule that applies most of the time, there are exceptions to the rule.

I find that you really have to look at the trainer and the horse and take each case as it comes. For example, there are many top trainers who can take a horse to a race after a long rest and win with the runner. If you can look back at the horse’s career lines and see that he earned a dismissal before, especially with the same trainer, then he is a horse not to be written off due to dismissal.

While the trainer and the horse are important in deciding whether a layoff will seriously compromise the horse’s chances of winning, you must also consider the class of the race or category. For example, in the reclamation ranks you will find horses that are season veterans who can come back fresh and run a good race, but quickly lose form due to nagging injuries and lameness. If a claimer has been allowed to rest and then get back into shape without too much stress, he can often beat a field of tired and sore dishes.

Another situation that is difficult for bettors to understand is the virgin horse that has had a race or two and then was given an extended rest. Many times these horses needed more training or turned out to be too immature to win. A smart coach can detect this and dismiss the youngster for a while until he is more mature and also more physically developed.

A situation that often arises is the case where a horse suffers an injury in a race and then has a dismissal. If you read past lines of a horse’s racing and see that he disappeared or stopped in a race, I recommend you wait and see what he will do before backing off. If it really spreads over the field, it may be wise to pass the race entirely rather than bet against it.

Long story short, I don’t like to set rules for disability, but I think the guidelines are helpful when dealing with a complicated subject like horse racing after a layoff.

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