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Ainslie's Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing Paperback – March 15, 1988

4.4 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 3 edition (March 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671656554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671656553
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I checked out the 1967 version of this book in the library when I first became interested in horse race handicapping. It was so full of information that I ended up buying it. A few years back, I loaned it to my brother and later asked for it back so I could review some stuff. But, his dominating wife had thrown it away. Well, enough of this boring stuff. This book does a good job of introducing a new, novice, or disorganized horseplayer to the fundamentals of handicapping--a fancy way to say picking winners at the track. Ainslie covers distance, speed, class, form, track conditions, breeding, and jockeys and trainers very thoroughly. The reader should avoid the laundry lists of specific qualifications for horses that appear periodically in the book. This book was published before the advent of Beyer speed figures and other new concepts in handicapping. Also, as in most how to pick winners books, Ainslie has sections of the Daily Racing Form from races where he made a big score. Racing authors seem to never have DRF examples of races where they lost their shirts. But, it is a useful treatise to learn the fundamentals of handicapping though even the lastest edition (1988) is a bit dated. I would advise the reader to learn the general concepts in the book and to avoid the specific criteria for picking horses. It is an excellent place for a new horseplayer to start. Now, if someone could write a book for my brother telling him how to stand up to his wife.
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Format: Paperback
I read the original version many years ago and can say with absolute certainty that this book is a must read for novice handicappers. The section on the form factor alone is worth the price of the book as it will steer the beginning player away from many false favorites and towards logical overlays.
While not in itself a guide to instant profitability (no book is) this book provides a solid foundation of knowledge on which to build. The insights contained in this book would take many years (and dollars) to learn through trial and error handicapping and will put the player way ahead of other novice handicappers.
A seminal work in the field of horse race handicapping, this book provides a lot of useful info on a wide range of topics. While there may not a lot in here for experienced players, if you're just starting out then this should be the first book you read.
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Format: Paperback
Let's start with the obvious. Ainslie wrote in a different time: before exotic wagering, which he considered a gimmick, became 70+% of the daily handle. His specific advice about WPS betting and money management, as a result, should be discarded. Likewise, his advice about which trainers and jocks to follow has aged poorly.

At the same time, there's information in here that's invaluable, such as the sections on understanding trainer intent, and on post parade and paddock behavior.

This book has a special place in the history of handicapping, and for that reason alone, is worth having, but in the modern player's arsenal, it should be an added coloring and not the central philosophy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will blow you away with the angles he comes up with. Stuff i never even though of. The real "problem", if you want to call it that, is he is a hardcore handicapper, using a VERY WIDE base of knowledge for all of his ideas---but this was all written pre-internet/computer revolution. So, I would say that it was too much information for me to utilize, but it really opened my eyes to the professional world of handicapping. This book is NOT for the casual/weekend horse player. But, then again it was a cheap read.
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Format: Paperback
I checked out the 1967 version of this book in the library when I first became interested in horse race handicapping. It was so full of information that I ended up buying it. A few years back, I loaned it to my brother and later asked for it back so I could review some stuff. But, his dominating wife had thrown it away. Well, enough of this boring stuff. This book does a good job of introducing a new, novice, or disorganized horseplayer to the fundamentals of handicapping--a fancy way to say picking winners at the track. Ainslie covers distance, speed, class, form, track conditions, breeding, and jockeys and trainers very thoroughly. The reader should avoid the laundry lists of specific qualifications for horses that appear periodically in the book. This book was published before the advent of Beyer speed figures and other new concepts in handicapping. Also, as in most how to pick winners books, Ainslie has sections of the Daily Racing Form from races where he made a big score. Racing authors seem to never have DRF examples of races where they lost their shirts. But, it is a useful treatise to learn the fundamentals of handicapping though even the lastest edition (1988) is a bit dated. I would advise the reader to learn the general concepts in the book and to avoid the specific criteria for picking horses. It is an excellent place for a new horseplayer to start. Now, if someone could write a book for my brother telling him how to stand up to his wife.
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Format: Paperback
I, like another reviewer, bought the original 1966 edition of this book. I recently checked out the 1988 edition in the library and reread it. It is still a valuable book particularly when many horseplayers are getting away from a comprehensive method of handicapping and relying too much on Beyer figures. Ainslie, as in earlier editions, is still biased towards New York and East Coast tracks. But, if you want to get serious about playing the horses, consider using this book as a starting point.
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