The Distance Factor in a Thoroughbred Horse Race
Distance is extremely important in thoroughbred racing, certain distances can favor the conformation, temperament and running style of a race horse. Therefore, there will be an exact distance or distances (win range) at which the great majority of thoroughbred horses will be capable of winning.
Knowledge of this fact will be important when evaluating the Pace of a race, the Current Form of its entries, and certain trainer moves; thus successful handicappers will pay meticulous attention to identifying a horse's win range and distance preferences.
Additionally, by understanding that the win range of most horses will be limited, horse players can avoid backing horses entered at unsuitable distances. The racing record of a horse can often help to identify its preferred racing distance(s).
For any horse which has won a race or finished within 1-2 lengths of the winner at today's distance, the racing company, strength of the performance and recency of the effort can be good indicators of suitability to the distance.
In the absence of hard racing data, such as whenever sprinters are stretching out in distance or when routers are cutting back; a study of the Pace, Current Form, and of the distance preferences of its sire can shed light on a runner's potential to win at a given distance.