The pod racing scenes appear to be incredibly dangerous, if not deadly for many of the participants. The pod race-cars move at a speed that could easily kill a standard human should the pod fail while moving. Furthermore, there are Tusken Raiders and murderous rivals to increase the degree of danger. With that in mind it seems utterly immoral, if not totally Sith-like, for Qui-Gon to risk Anakin's life, a child's life, in the race, unless he sensed via the force that he would certainly survive.
Sure, Qui-Gon had a mission and he was trying to protect the Queen, Naboo and so on, but he was a veteran and well-trained Jedi-knight, if he needed to come up with an alternate plan it could have been simple. He could have gone through the town robbing members of the underworld or something similar, at least it wouldn't have been as immoral. Qui-Gon seemed to sense that Anakin was totally bad-*ss, but its not clear that he knew Anakin would survive. From the movie, it appeared, that Qui-Gon just had a hunch, rather than force-acquired certainty. On the other hand, its been awhile since I've watched those scenes that lead-up to the race, and the novelizations often expand on the plot-points better.
Did Qui-Gon have some kind of force-inspired precognition that Anakin would survive the pod-race?