Can You Be Successful From Last Time Out Winners?

When it comes to picking winners, punters are enamoured with the form guide and what better way to make money than to back a horse that won its last race? Around 50 years ago, race lovers apparently made substantial sums of money from backing Last Time Out Winners.

It transpired that horses in National Hunt races were being turned out rapidly and winning their subsequent races. Given the relative lack of information about racing in those days, it took the bookies some time to figure out what was going on. Eventually, they discovered what was happening and adjusted their odds accordingly.

In the modern era, it’s more difficult to get anything by the bookies given the extraordinary amount of information at their disposal. As a consequence, you would expect this relatively simple method of picking horses to be unprofitable but is this really the case? Read on to find out.

Days Since Last Ran (DSLR)

As usual, I looked at statistics from 2012-2016 when checking out the performance of last time out winners in their next race. Given the propensity for trainers to quickly turn out horses after a win in order to get another victory before the penalty catches up with the horse, I looked at DLSR which of course is also days since their last win.

1-7 DSLR

Code Bets Wins Strike Rate P/L ROI
Overall 4524 1234 27.28% -187.28 -4.14%
National Hunt 1245 405 32.53% 6.61 0.53%
Flat 2030 462 22.76% -191.68 -9.44%
All-Weather 1249 367 29.38% -2.21 -0.18%


As you can see, betting on quick turn outs in Flat races is likely to be a disaster while you would make a small profit on National Hunt events and a miniscule loss on AW. Let’s look at other DLSR statistics.

 8-30 DSLR

Code Bets Wins Strike Rate P/L ROI
Overall 39959 7066 17.68% -6894.96 -17.26
National Hunt 13648 2825 20.7% -1773.86 -13%
Flat 18151 2753 15.17% -3472.76 -19.13%
All-Weather 8160 1488 18.24% -1648.34 -20.2%


Those results would make your bank manager weep. Let’s take a look at 31-90 DSLR and see if the outcome is any better.

31-90 DSLR

Code Bets Wins Strike Rate P/L ROI
Overall 58651 7959 13.57% -10537.95 -17.97%
National Hunt 21699 3352 15.45% -3988.62 -18.38%
Flat 25170 3004 11.93% -4639.36 -18.43%
All-Weather 11782 1603 13.61% -1909.77 -16.21


Once again we see a sequence of hideous results. It’s obvious that you’re only likely to make a profit by looking at last time out winners that had their win in the last 7 days. For the rest of this article, I will be focusing solely on horses within the 1-7 DLSR bracket in National Hunt and AW races only since there seems to be little merit in checking out Flat races.

Number of Runners

I thought this might produce some interesting data since you would, in theory; expect better results in races with fewer runners.

No. of Runners Bets Wins Strike Rate P/L ROI
1-10 1640 562 34.27% 46.91 2.86%
11+ 854 210 24.59% -42.51 -4.98%


Unsurprisingly, you’ll end up doing much better by looking at races with 10 runners or less. With these 1-10 runner races in mind, how did National Hunt fare against AW?

Code Bets Wins Strike Rate P/L ROI
National Hunt 813 289 35.55% 0.76 0.09%
All-Weather 827 273 33.01% 46.15 5.58%


You make a profit on each but it is almost nothing over National Hunt races. With AW events, the 5.58% ROI is pretty reasonable. I’ve taken the liberty of looking at a year by year analysis of the above AW results.

Year Bets Wins Strike Rate P/L ROI
2012 175 52 29.71% 13.1 7.49%
2013 216 61 28.24% -14.6 -6.76%
2014 181 65 35.91% -2.47 -1.36%
2015 132 40 30.3% 6.29 4.77%
2016 89 43 48.31% 31.08 34.92%


In 3 of the last 5 years we’ve seen a pretty decent profit and so far in 2016, we’re looking at a remarkable ROI of almost 35%!

The next logical step is to analyse the results from each individual AW track. Please note that data from Chelmsford City is only available from 2015. I decided to look at data from 2014-2016 below.

Track Bets Wins Strike Rate P/L ROI
Chelmsford City 44 15 34.09% -0.51 -1.16
Kempton 52 16 30.77% -6.26 -12.04%
Lingfield 87 37 42.53% 7.87 9.05%
Southwell 92 31 33.7% 14.45 15.71%
Wolverhampton 127 49 38.58% 19.35 15.24%


The ROI for Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton is fantastic and we can seemingly eliminate Kempton and Chelmsford City from the reckoning. To date in 2016, your ROI at Wolverhampton would be 38.76% and at Southwell it would be 105.55%. At Lingfield it would be just 6.65%.

There have been 20 bets that fit the criteria at Southwell this season and 13 of them have won for a Strike Rate of 65%! Additionally, 10/14 favourites have won at Southwell for an ROI of 65.07% while 6/10 favourites have won at Wolverhampton for an ROI of 50.9%.


When it comes to making a profit from Last Time Out Winners, the following criteria need to be met:

  • Last ran 1-7 days ago.
  • All-Weather course.
  • Races with 1-10 runners.
  • Focus on Southwell & Wolverhampton in particular.

While the overall profit on AW tracks is reasonable over the last few years, it seems to have gone to a new level in 2016. Whether it is just a temporary state of affairs is hard to tell. However, it is a potential profit maker for the time being and is well worth investigating further.

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. my face has just gone white as I paid a small fortune for this info last year well part of it anyway. yep I gave up on it as it wasn,t worth the effort. you have just made it more clear now and will look at it again. thank you and blown away.

  2. I’d be interested to see what happened in the last year. To be blunt, I don’t have much time for these sets of results that are examined retrospectively. Past performance is no guarantee of future success. What logical reason is there that it wouldn’t apply to Kempton as much as the others? I would suggest that what needs to be examined is how many times the horses ran over the same distance, in the same class of race and on the same type of going. That, surely would give a much-reduced number of candidates, but probably result in a better strike rate all round.

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