Morning Gallop Racehorse Betting Tips How & What to look for
Morning workouts for Thoroughbred racehorses in the UK and Ireland are quite a bit different than those in places like the United States, Australia or Hong Kong, where the horses generally train at the same tracks where they race. Because turf tracks are more fragile and race distances are longer, UK horses train on public heaths, jockey club lands or trainers’ private gallops.
Morning training (AKA morning gallops or morning on the gallops) affects the odds of a horse race and can inform your betting at a whole new level. Read on to learn how you can go a step beyond armchair punting and watch morning gallops in person, as well as what to watch for. Using what you know from the form guides and your knowledge of what to look for during the morning workouts will give you the best odds. And you’ll never look at racing results the same way again.
How to Watch Morning Gallops
There are several ways to go about watching morning gallops. Depending on your location, odds are you won’t often be attending in person however if your level of interest in the sport is high enough you will find a way to partake.
The most basic way and that requiring the smallest commitment is to buy or win a bespoke stable tour with a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer. Some trainers offer these through their business websites, and they are given away as prizes through auctions, charity events or media blitzes. There are also touring clubs and horse racing groups that book gallops tours for you, some including bed and breakfast and racecourse tickets too.
There are also public gallops, such as Kelsall Hill in Cheshire, where you may catch a glimpse of morning gallops. If you are a horse owner, you can pay a fee to use the gallops yourself, although most request that you train at the same speed as the race horses if you are going to work out at the same time (usually about 6:00 until 10:00 a.m.).
If you own a racehorse, you are allowed to watch morning on the gallops at your trainer’s stables. While this might sound like a pie-in-the-sky dream, actually syndicated ownership, where multiple owners each have a share in a horse, is becoming more and more popular. As Alex Bower wrote about legendary Thoroughbred trainer Preston Burch, in his forward to Burch’s book Training Thoroughbred Horses, “Nothing will make a man learn a business faster than to have his own money invested in it.”
Your best odds to watch morning gallops, however, is to travel to Newmarket, the center of the Thoroughbred world, where hundreds of the world’s top racers turn out to train every year. The sheer size of the gallops there is astounding, and you can see where the gallops are being run each day by viewing the posting on the Jockey Club in town or now on the Jockey Club Estates Newmarket page on their “Gallops Board.” Be sure to check out the amazing video on this page (below the “Gallops Board”) to get a glimpse of the enormity of the place. Once you see where the horses are running on any given day, you can place yourself strategically to watch them train.
What to Watch During Morning Gallops
To get the most out of morning gallops, check out the following:
- which horses do best under different kinds of going (wet turf, firm turf, all-weather, etc.)
- who’s fastest, most keen to take on competitors
- how horses recently back from a spell are running
- body language and behaviours at rest or when preparing to train (similar to what you would observe in the parade ring on race day)
In small workout sessions, trainers will often pair two horses to bring out the competitiveness in one or both of them. You can see if a horse you’re thinking of backing has what it takes to maintain a lead or overtake a stable mate.
Work out your own future odds and do your best to avoid race day being a dismal disappointment, combine proper reading of your racing form, watch the horses in the mounting enclosure and catch them during the morning gallops. Picking the winning horse depends on a host of factors, but the more you do your homework, the more educated your bets will be. And you just might have a load of fun in the process.