Anyone that has done a lot of EZ Horse Betting at an online racebook will know that handicapping in Europe differs from that in North America. One of the main differences is that interpreting the pas performances demands knowledge of different symbols. PPs in Europe use a specific set of designations to present information to race horse bettors. Two such designations you will encounter are C&D.
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Understanding a European Racecard
In North America bettors depend upon past performances to obtain details about a race that is being contested today. In the UK and other parts of Europe “racecard” is the name given to these publications. It is very difficult to handicap a horse race if you do not have a racecard at your disposal.
The average cost of a racecard at a track in the UK is around £3. This can vary from track to track. A racecard is not that much different from a program that you would receive for an event. It lists all the activities that you can expect, the participants in those events, and even the time the events will occur. The racecard is your key to enjoying the day of races, and hopefully cashing a few winning tickets.
All the information that can be found in a racecard can be a little overwhelming. You can get lost unless you know how to process that information correctly and efficiently. To do this you will need to be familiar with some of the shorthand that is used to designate certain pieces of data.
What are C&D?
Next to the name of each horse than is entered in a race today you will find information such as the name of the horse, the number it will be racing under, and the jockey and trainer’s name. Also in this data will be the letters C and D. These two letters stand for Course and Distance.
When you see a C next to the name of the horse in today’s race, this means that the horse has previously won a race on this track. This is a very good sign. It means that the horse has no problems handling the track surface. It has proven in the past that it is able to win at the venue.
Likewise, the letter D next to a horse’s name means that it has won a race at the same distance it is racing today. This is also positive. Many horses are specialists at certain distances. If a horse has proven that it can win at a certain distance and is racing the same distance today, that horse might deserve a bet.
C & D in horse racing is only one of many factors that have to be considered before you will decide to make a wager. But, the more pieces of the puzzle you can obtain, the better your chances of winning. Handicapping is an intellectual exercise. The bettor who cashes the most tickets is usually the one that has access to the most information.
Other Information on a Racecard
The racecard also provides other significant data. Among the most important is a Timeform rating. A Timeform rating is the equivalent of a speed figure in North America. You can use the Timeform ratings to compare the speed of one horse against another. A rating attempts to quantify the ability of a horse in a single number, and many handicappers use only these ratings to make their betting decisions.
You will also find a list of the recent races of each competitor. Usually there are three or four in the list. You will be able to observe how the horse has fared in its most recent efforts. Horses that are showing consistent improvement are often very good bets.
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