There are many things to consider when you are betting on the horses, and looking to make the most of the free bets that are on offer. Thinking about the horses, jockeys and their recent form is important of course, and doing so will give you a good idea about where to put your money. One of the other things to take into account is the impact that weather can have on horse racing, and is mainly due to the impact that weather has on the racing surface.
You will have heard the term ‘the going’ if you have been in and around horse racing and betting for any length of time. This refers to the condition of the track or course that the horses are racing on, and this is affected by the weather.
If the going is hard then the ground is dry and firm. This doesn’t happen all that often in the UK because even if there has been a lot of warm weather and the course has dried out, most tracks have a watering system that prevents them from drying out. However, in extreme heat the going can become hard, and this is something to take into consideration when you are betting. Horses and jockeys do not favour courses that are hard going and they can prove to be very difficult for most.
Firm ground is well suited to speed races and occurs in the summer when there is a low amount of rainfall and the temperature is high.
Good to firm
This occurs when there is some water on the track -this is often from rainfall, but can be applied in order to change the condition of a dry track. Good to firm ground produces slightly slower races than those held on firm ground, but is still good for speed races and those horses who like to race fast and straight.
As the name suggests, this is the preferred surface, and it occurs when there is just the right amount of sun and rain to produce a surface that is firm enough for horses that rely on their pace, but also soft enough to encourage horses who like a softer surface. Many courses have drainage systems that carry rainfall away in order to help to achieve this good running surface.
Good to soft
This happens after a period of rainfall. The track will hold onto some of the water that has fallen and cause the mud beneath to become soft. Horses who tend to race better on this surface are those that do not like to rely on out and out speed in order to win.
Wet and cold weather can produce soft ground, and this is common in the autumn. This can be difficult for horses to run on as their hooves tend to sink into the soft mud.
This occurs after heavy rainfall and it can be very difficult for horses as the track becomes very soft and they sink into the mud.