We’ve all seen the ads with 800 numbers and 900 numbers for psychics who can tell your future and solve your problems. Makes you wonder why these clairvoyants don’t just play the lottery, doesn’t it? The truth is that it is very difficult to predict the future and make money from it. On the other hand, that’s exactly what handicappers do when they handicap horse racing.

Who wouldn’t want to be a psychic handicap and just look into a crystal ball or read tarot cards to find the winner of the next race? I think the closest most of us will ever get to that is using our intuition in a useful way. There is still much confusion about what human intuition might be. Some say there is a sixth sense that operates in a dimension beyond human understanding. Others say that it is the subconscious that picks up on subtle clues that the conscious mind misses.

Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that some people swear by it and claim to be able to use intuition to pick winners. When I handicap I am aware of hunches. If I keep looking at a horse’s name in my past performance, I might ask myself why I am attracted to that particular horse. If I can’t remember anything about it, like seeing it get blocked during a stretch run or being blown away by its recent performance in some way, I’ll credit my subconscious with being fixated on that runner.

I’ve had good hunches and bad hunches and to be honest they’ve probably evened out. I know people who seem to profit from their intuition, while I will often ignore a hunch that will then win or play a hunch that will lose. Like I said, I think I’m betting on hunches. When you are tired or lack confidence, you may find that the forebodings come faster and are more numerous. If they really come from the subconscious here is something you should know.

The subconscious mind is childlike. If you’re struggling with an answer to which horse will win a race, your subconscious mind can give you a clue, even if it’s just a guess, because it’s trying to please. This is why forensic hypnosis is so questionable, and many courts will not allow the testimony of witnesses who have been hypnotized. On the other hand, I’ve personally seen it used to search memory to find lost items.

The best advice is to know yourself. Only you can know if hunches from your subconscious are reliable or not worth taking seriously. My experience has led me to believe that good handicapping should be at least ninety-five percent of the basis for forming opinions about races.

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