How Can You Find Success With the Van Der Wheil Method?

Michael has written about the Van Der Wheil (VDW) method at great length in Race Advisor so instead of going over old ground, I’m going to show you how I used VDW ratings to achieve a 44% win rate with an ROI of 98%. I began with £60 in my Betfair Exchange account and used £10 level stakes just to test out the system. After a week, my account had over £500 so needless to say; I am excited about the long-term prospects of the system.

I’m not about to tell punters lies; you WILL endure significant losing streaks no matter what system you use. As a result, it is sensible practice to use level stakes and not overbet whether you are on top or ‘chasing’ losses. In this piece, I’m going to show you how I used the VDW software on Racing Dossier to achieve the profits outlined above.

Racing Dossier Saved Me Time & Frustration

Michael has created a helpful guide that allows punters to calculate VDW ratings for themselves. When it is all laid out for you, it appears far less daunting and complex than you initially think. The trouble is, calculating the ratings is a time-consuming process. With Racing Dossier, I was able to get the ratings immediately, and this allowed me to get down to the business of eliminating horses and picking winners.

If you end up purchasing Racing Dossier, you can learn how to use it to find VDW ratings for races in this video.

On July 26, I found 11 horses using this method which is far more than normal by the way. On that day, the system yielded 7 winners at an ROI of little over 180% using SP stats. Here is how I used the VDW system to great effect. Please note that I focused on Flat handicap races only (no All-Weather).

The first race was the 14:40 at Bath; a Class 5 handicap with 12 runners (Our Lord was a non-runner)

It is important to understand that everyone will read these figures differently and I am just showing you how I analyse them. The first thing I did was order horses via VDW Form, and I generally remove any horse below 90. However, Storm Melody and Debonaire David had very high VDW Ability figures, so I left them in. As a result, the 12-runner field was now reduced to 6 contenders.

It is true that the occasional horse will slip through the net but remember; up to 85% of winners are in the top 5 horses in the betting forecast. I like to continue with my analysis before I look at the betting forecast but if you decided to check at this point, you would see that Burauq and Jaganory were outside the top 5.

Then I saw that it was 266 days since Storm Melody had a good run, so he was discounted. Although Debonaire David had a Contender rating of 6 and good VDW Ability, I eliminated him because his Form and Average Speed Rating on Today’s Going (SHorAVG) were the lowest.

Only Babyfact and Malcolm the Pug remained. When you narrow down the field to this extent, it is up to each punter to decide which way to go. Using the figures on the page only, I could see that Babyfact had inferior VDW Form but better VDW Ability, a much better Average Competitive Speed Class Level (ACSPCLTD), far superior Speed on Today’s Going and a slightly better Average Competitive PFP Class Level (ACPFPCL).

While both horses had a 1-4 rating in the all-important 5278 Contender Finder Rank, Malcolm the Pug had yet to win a race.

Going beyond the figures into a form check; I saw that Babyfact had five Class 5 races in 2017 with a win and three third places. Malcolm the Pug, on the other hand, had one second place in four Class 5 races and fared no better than fourth in the other three.

At this point, I could have delved even deeper and found out the relative quality of each race, but instead, I went with the data I had which said that Babyfact was the pick for the race. He was the 9/2 second favourite so he clearly had a chance. Also, the talented Dane O’Neill was the jockey which was a bonus. In the end, Babyfact was the front runner and never looked threatened as he eased to a 2 ¾ length victory.

On the same day, I looked at the 17:10, also at Bath. It was a Class 4 handicap with 8 runners. At first glance, this seemed like a hard race to call as all 8 runners had decent figures.

However, I removed the lowest two VDW Form horses as their Days since Last Good Run figures were far too high. King Oswald and Master Musicmaster was outside the Top 5 in the betting forecast so now there were four contenders.

Waves was eliminated because of low ACPFPCL and SHorAVG scores and on this occasion, I also removed British Embassy as it did not score 1-4 in the 5278 Contender Rank and it had the lowest Contender Score. Once again, I was left with two contenders; Zlatan and Fast Dancer. Both horses happened to be in the top 2 in the betting with Fast Dancer as a slight favourite.

In the end, I leaned towards Fast Dancer as he had better VDW Form, VDW Ability, ACSPCLTD, ACPFPCL and SHorAVG figures. As for the race, Fast Dancer remained in touch throughout and made a dash for home in the final furlong. He pulled away from Zlatan and won by 2 ¼ lengths.

Final Words

I am sure some readers will scoff at the methods I use or believe they have a better way, and that’s okay because not everyone uses horse racing data in the same way. I am extremely happy with the way things have gone so far and will continue using sensible level stakes with the VDW Method in the Racing Dossier for the considerable future.

Patrick Lynch

Patrick graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway with an MA in Literature and Publishing but decided he would rather have the freedom of a freelance writer than be stuck in a publishing house all day. He has enjoyed this freedom since 2009 and has written thousands of articles on a variety of topics but sports betting is his passion. While his specialty is finding mismatches in obscure football leagues, he also likes to use his research skills to provide punters with detailed winning strategies in horse racing. You can check out his personal blog on or Twitter @pl1982 where he writes content to help small businesses achieve success.


    1. Hi David,

      If you could refresh the page, we have now fixed this. Thank you for your patience.

  1. In their Book “Searching for Positive Returns at the Track: A Multinominal Logit Model for Handicapping Horse Races”, by Ruth N. Bolton and Randall G. Chapman, They found that For American racing at least That their vesearch suggested that “average amount of money earned per race in the current year” and “average speed rating over the last four races” were the two most important factors. “Lifetime win percentage” was also considered a significant variable, but not so much as the first two. Thus maybe VDW should be amended slightly to give preference to monies earned in the current year

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