Forecasting is an integral part of horse racing. It involves predicting the outcome of a race and betting accordingly. But how many horses have to run for a forecast to be valid? This article will explore this question in detail, looking at the various factors that influence the number of horses that need to run for a forecast to be valid.

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## What Exactly is a Forecast?

Forecasting is a bet type in which the punter predicts the exact finishing order of the first two horses in a race. It is usually one of the more difficult bets to make and requires a deep understanding of horse racing and the form of each horse in the race. The punter needs to select the two horses that they think will finish first and second in the race and state them in the exact order. If they are correct, they will win the bet.

## What Are the Different Types of Forecasts?

There are several different types of forecasts that can be made in horse racing. The most common type is the “straight forecast”, where the punter must select the two horses that will finish first and second, in the exact order. The second type is the “reverse forecast”, where the punter must select the two horses that will finish first and second, but in any order. The third type is the “combination forecast”, where the punter must select three horses that will finish first, second, and third, in any order.

## How Many Horses Have to Run for a Straight Forecast?

For a straight forecast to be valid, there must be at least two horses running in the race. This is because the punter must select two horses that will finish first and second in the exact order. If there is only one horse running in the race, it will automatically finish first and the bet will be void.

## How Many Horses Have to Run for a Reverse Forecast?

For a reverse forecast to be valid, there must be at least three horses running in the race. This is because the punter must select two horses that will finish first and second, but in any order. If there are only two horses running in the race, the bet will be void.

## How Many Horses Have to Run for a Combination Forecast?

For a combination forecast to be valid, there must be at least three horses running in the race. This is because the punter must select three horses that will finish first, second, and third, in any order. If there are only two horses running in the race, the bet will be void.

## Factors Influencing the Number of Horses Required

There are several factors that can influence the number of horses that have to run for a forecast to be valid. These include the race type, the type of forecast, the odds of the horses, the bookmaker, the track conditions, and the number of runners.

## Race Type

The type of race can affect the number of horses that are required for a valid forecast. In some races, such as National Hunt races, only two horses are required for a straight forecast. However, in other races, such as flat races, three horses are usually required for a straight forecast.

## Type of Forecast

As discussed above, the type of forecast being made can also influence the number of horses that are required for a valid forecast. A straight forecast requires two horses, a reverse forecast requires three horses, and a combination forecast requires three horses.

## Odds of the Horses

The odds of the horses running in the race can also influence the number of horses that are required for a valid forecast. If the horses have long odds, it is likely that more horses will be required for a valid forecast.

## Bookmaker

The bookmaker that is offering the bet can also affect the number of horses required for a valid forecast. Some bookmakers may require more horses than others in order to make a valid forecast.

## Track Conditions

The track conditions can also impact the number of horses required for a valid forecast. If the track is wet, more horses may be required for a valid forecast.

## Number of Runners

Finally, the number of horses running in the race can also affect the number of horses required for a valid forecast. If there are fewer horses running, it is likely that more horses will be required for a valid forecast.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, how many horses have to run for a forecast depends on several factors, such as the race type, the type of forecast, the odds of the horses, the bookmaker, the track conditions, and the number of runners. Generally speaking, a straight forecast requires two horses, a reverse forecast requires three horses, and a combination forecast requires three horses. However, these numbers can vary depending on the other factors mentioned above.