It was my wife’s birthday recently. She’s a pretty new wife, 2.5 months to be precise, although we’ve been together for coming up ten years. To celebrate we arranged for our friends to join us in a local pub for a bit of food and some quiet drinks. Quiet wasn’t exactly what happened, but I’m getting ahead of myself. There were twenty of us and I was sitting at the table when suddenly I felt like I was slightly distant from everyone.
You’re sitting in your seat and for just a tiny moment you feel like you are standing 10 feet back and looking at everything that is happening from a distance. If you’ve ever experienced this then you know what I mean. And I promise I wasn’t taking anything I shouldn’t be!
It was during this moment that it occurred to me that one of the greatest pleasures in life is sharing experiences with those we love. I’m honestly not sure if there’s anything better than this.
Sharing experiences is also not one of the greatest pleasures, but it also happens to be the fastest way to learn. It may be that this is because during my career I’ve never seriously used anything that I was taught in a classroom. That’s not to say it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work for me and with the internet becoming a bigger and bigger presence in our lives the most important skill you can have is knowing how to find those sites that help you learn. And I hope that you think the Race Advisor is one of them.
This experience stayed with me throughout the rest of the evening and as we said goodbye to our last guest at 6am on Sunday morning, as I mentioned quiet wasn’t exactly what happened, I knew exactly what I was going to write about today.
In fact I found it hard to sleep because I had so many ideas whirring around in my head. It all comes from a thread that was started in our members forums where I was helping one of our Racing Dossier users to develop a new race card and strategy for a particular set of race conditions he was analysing.
And today I’m going to share what I showed him. While it was designed for a specific set of race conditions, it will work in any set as long as you apply some logic to your analysis when you’re using it, which I know isn’t going to be a problem for you.
As humans we like to over-complicate things. Especially if it is something to do with solving a complex puzzle like horse racing. Why? Because we struggle to believe that a simple solution could provide the answer.
That’s why most punters try to use far too much information in their horse racing strategies and systems. It’s not necessary.
We don’t need to put everything in. What we need to do is…
…put a few of the most relevant information in!
So the strategy I’m about to share with you only uses three pieces of information.
Not enough you may be thinking. There’s no way that can work.
I assure you that these three pieces of information, combined with your common sense, will be more effective than the vast majority of betting systems that are available.
The first piece of information is what I call the Horses Win Percent. This is simply the percentage of races that the horse has won in its career.
But how often do you look at that piece of information?
Don’t worry if you never have, the vast majority of people haven’t either.
Yet would you want to bet on a horse that has only won 1% of it’s races when the rest of the field have won 10% or more?
Well we would, but only if there was some huge reasons to suggest that the horse was going to be winning today. They would have to be significantly bigger reasons than before we knew that this horse just does not like to be competitive.
But before we start using this to look at the individual horses, you want to look at all the horses in the race together. Do they have similar percentages or are they all different. If they all have similar percentages then it’s likely to be a much more competitive race.
This is an excellent starting point. We are looking for races that are not super-competitive. Then we can look at the same number on an individual level. If you can combine this figure with the odds or forecast odds then that’s even better. Is the favourite a horse that historically likes to win the race more than the others?
Of course this isn’t the only piece of information that we need to look at, but this will give you a good overview of the race competitiveness and which horses are likely to be most competitive using just a few seconds of your time.
Next we want to know if the horse is a consistent performer or not. But if we’re looking at a race on the all-weather and we’re simply using information from the last seven races, these could be over any race type.
That’s not specific enough for us. We need to know how consistent a horse is under the same race type as the one they are running in today. We’re not trying to work out if they’re a good horse, we want to know if they have a chance of winning todays race under todays conditions. If we’re going to do that then we need to be specific.
Personally I like to use the last six races over the same race type to do this, but you can make this number larger or smaller. Using this information we can see if any of the runners are consistent losers or consistently uncompetitive
When we find them we compare their win percentage and consistency together to see if there is a correlation. Generally the horses that have a low win percentage will also be consistent losers. But, occasionally, you get one that is a consistent winner even though their win percentage is low.
These we need to look at carefully. They could be horses that are moving down in class having been ridden at levels too high for them or horses who have had a long layoff after extended poor performances and are now coming back.
Either way we want to take a closer look at them to make sure that we aren’t missing anything.
The final piece of information is something that I don’t think I’ve seen written anywhere else before. We want to know what level of race each horse has been competitive in. Being competitive doesn’t mean winning, it means being near the winner.
One of my preferred methods of doing this is to use the earnings a horse has, which is available on both the Sporting Life and Racing Post race cards.
You can look back through a horses history and see what prize money was available in the races where they took home winnings. Using the last three races they took home winnings in is a good number. Take the median of the three available prize monies.
Do this for every runner in the race and you will quickly see what level each horse has been competitive at and how they compare to all the other runners.
These three pieces of information combined can be a very powerful way of finding winners. If you’re a member of the Racing Dossier then you can get this information in just seconds using the Horse Win Percent, Cst6S and ACECL ratings.
Take this and use it as it is or adapt it to suit your own handicapping style. Either way let me know what you think and how you’re using it by leaving a comment below.
Oh, and if you’d like me to make a video showing how to do this then let me know 😉