Watching horses for future winners
Unfocused your eyesight sight and look around the whole field for a moment.
This will help you recognize racehorse's on the run, either moving ahead or going backwards! This strategy assisted me to see horses moving very fast arriving out of the backstretch while others just didn't see them until they were moving by the rest of the pack along the rail. Realizing when a runner starts its surge forward can also tell you a lot about their style of running and under what circumstances they are likely to run for their best advantage.
DON'T just observe the selection you have bet on in the race.
Obviously this is natural when viewing a race quickly, but you do not want to end up having to ask yourself "What happened?" if several other runners come past in front of yours right before the winning line when you thought your horse had it in the bag.
Keep looking at the whole pack not just the leaders.
Another mistake, particularly when viewing on TV or a computer, is to look at the front of the pack. Many races are transmitted on TV with a divided display offering a close-up taken of the head of the pack and a broader shot of the whole pack. While it can certainly be mesmerizing to look at a number of front runners battle it out, maintaining your sight around the whole pack will help you spot any horse making a move.
Don't get bogged down in the hype horses.
Another typical situation is that all the focus is on the big hyped up favourite in a race, and if that horse flops, you will forget the actual real activity. By getting caught up in the buzz, you will miss the true story unfolding.
Pay special interest to the turn.
On the turn into the home straight is where to the best part most races are won or lost, for a wide range of reasons. You can gain a lot from viewing the choices a jockey makes about how and where to place the horse. Some race tracks have a more much longer straight than others. On some of the shorter straights a horse might run out of room.
Learn the colours of the jockey's silks.
What is beneficial about the jockey's colours is that sometimes the only distinguishing thing you can see in a bunched up pack is a glimpse of the jockey's silks (and not even the number!). In these cases understanding that red is #3 or yellow-colour is #4 can really help you to determine who is who.
Try to observe the jockeys helmet colour.
Like seeing a glimpse of the jockey's silks sometimes the only factor you can really see in a pack up of horses is the headgear colour. Of course this does not help if they all have white-colour helmets!
Do not be hard on yourself if you don't grasp race reading after just one or two races as it is not easy! You can always observe replays, something we'll discuss more about soon.
Paul Coleman is a keen horse racing follower who specializes in UK racing. You can get my selections by visiting http://www.insiderinvestments.co.uk