These days, old timers claim that the art of paddock inspection is fast on its way out. Yet they all say the same thing – paddock inspection is one useful tool when it comes to handicapping. If you want to get that edge that you have been looking for, then paddock inspection might just do the trick for you. Here are some tips on how to conduct one. Remember that watching the horses closely is gathering information in the same way that it would be for example if you watched other poker players online.
1. Make sure that you are at the entrance as the horses arrive. This might mean being their hours earlier than you normally would but remember you end goal. It would be worth it.
2. As the horses enter one by one, pay close attention to each of them. Inspect them as closely as you can from your vantage point. Check for signs of weakness, lameness, tiredness, the smell of liniment, and such. You may want to take a close look at the groom as well. You never know when they might give away certain information based on their expressions and behavior.
3. Don’t leave even when the horses have entered the paddock. You have to stay and watch them walk around. Again, watch for signs that may tell you negative about the horses. Some things to watch out for are excessive sweating, excessive nervousness, over excitability, foaming around the mouth, and whinnying too much. Of course, it goes without saying that if you do see a horse or two with these signs, you should go wager on another horse.
Here are more things to look out for when conducting a paddock inspection.
1. Pay a lot of attention to the details. No matter how tiny it may be, do not discount any particular detail. The negative signs that you should look out for – aside from those mentioned in the last post – are: a dull coat, runny eyes or nose, open sores, front wraps, tendon problems, and popping the tail up and down.
On the other hand, you should also be on the lookout for positive signs. After all, what you want is to find the horse that will increase your chances of winning. So what signs should you look for in a good horse? It does not always follow but in most cases, a dressed up horse is a good sign. A very neat mane and even a plaited mane is a simple statement that says that horse is well taken care of. A prancing horse is a good sign as well. other signs are a shiny coat, dapples, and bright shiny eyes.
2. After you “around the paddock” inspection, do not think that your job is done. Wait for the jockey to actually mount the horse and head on to the track. You should also see if any negative or positive signs show up at this point.
3. At this point you should be ready to make your pick. Go ahead, trust your guts and wager!
Remember though that paddock inspection could be the real Holy Grail of betting. Not only do you get first hand experience of the horses but when it comes to betting then you are ahead of the market. If there is anything wrong with a certain horse then you will be the first to know and you will have a major jump on the rest of the market and you can oppose the horse.
There are some great books on paddock inspection and it is well worth a look at some of them and a few purchases could pay huge dividends. There is nothing quite like laying a 3/1 chance knowing that the 25% chance of winning that the market gives it could in actual fact be 5% or even less.
Carl Sampson is an online poker pro and poker ambassador for 888poker