How To Analyse A Race (THE RAPID METHOD)

Today I’m going to be using some of the tools at the Race Advisor to analyse a race rapidly.

There are two things that are very important in analysing horse races:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Speed

In the modern world, time is the most valuable asset you have. This is partly because modern technology allows us to be in constant contact with other people.

Which means, there’s always something vying for our attention.

And the problem with that is… it means that we don’t focus on what we actually want to do, but rather split our focus, usually resulting (from the betting perspective) in a worse analysis than we should have done.

However, the benefit of having modern technology is that we can use it to assist us in making our decisions. Which is exactly what I’m going to do today.

Narrowing The Field

When analysing a horse race, the first thing that you must do is reduce the field.

In the race I’m using as an example, the 15:15 at Wolverhampton, there’s only nine declared runners and one is already a non-runner.

But there are plenty of races with 15 or more runners, and in these races reducing this number to a manageable amount is vital.

The quickest way, although some may call it crude, is to use the odds of the horses. Here are the current odds:

Unless something very strange happens, then the chance of Apex King winning this race is going to be very slim. The odds are suggesting a 1% chance of winning, and there’s no way that I would ever bet on something with only a 1% chance of winning.

Heck, even if the bookies have it wrong and it has a 3% chance of winning, I wouldn’t consider betting on it!

Sometimes these horses will win. And on those days we’ll wish we’d have backed them. But in the long-term, unless you have a vast bankroll, they’re not going to win often enough for them to be viable selections to bet.

So… we remove them from contention.

In this example, that reduces the field to seven.

Still too many horses to be considering, so we need to reduce the field even further.

How do we do that?

I use one of our tools that creates an odds line for every race. And this race looks like this…

Based on this analysis, the four top rated horses in the race (which is just over half the field we’re still considering) have an 81.24% chance of winning. And ALL of them are potential value bets.

Dutching all those selections at the time of writing would generate odds of 1.43, or a 70% chance of winning the race.

If we trust our odds line, which I do, then that’s a pretty good starting point!

So much so that it’s tempting to just place that bet and move on. But I won’t 😀 we’ll keep going to see if we can reduce the selections down further.

Good Or Bad, The Truth Is Important

Once we’ve narrowed the field down, we need to ask if the horses left are actually any good at racing.

Seems like a silly question, but when was the last time you asked yourself that question when you were analysing a race?

We all assume that because a horse is trained and races, it’s going to be good at racing.

However, the truth is that very few horses are actually good at racing. Most are poor to average. Occasionally we can find a horse that’s good at racing in a low quality race. These gems, when found, should be immediately bet on as they’re going to keep the bookmakers that little bit poorer. But the majority of time, we’re going to be looking for the horse which isn’t bad, as opposed to the horse which is good.

So let’s consider the DSLWR (Days Since Last Winning Race) and DSLGR (Days Since Last Good Race).

The two for concern are Cardsharp and Above The Rest.

Both are in our top four. Giving us doubts about both runners. Cardsharp has the worst projected speed in the race in our SHORPRO rating (speed projection), and a declining form performance. Above The Rest doesn’t have anything immediately obvious to make us want to completely disregard the horse, but our opinion has dropped.

The Final Furlong

Now that we’re left with just three runners:

  • Oh This Is Us
  • Above The Rest
  • Island Of Life

The last two checks I’m going to take are pace and speed.

In this race the pace is predicted to be fast. That means that if there’s more than one leader type horse, there’s a strong chance they’re going to tire each other out by racing to be at the front of the field. In this situation it’s usually the mid-pack horses which perform the best.

There are five horses which are leader types in this race, and they include Above The Rest and Cardsharp.

Although Above The Rest doesn’t have a high leader score compared to the others, if leaders race off and this horse tries to keep pace with them, it could tire quicker than it should.

Another cause for concern.

Looking at speed charts we can see that both the final two are well matched, and that Above The Rest has only performed well on All Weather over 6 furlongs and that was on standard/slow ground.

Which leaves us with:

  • Oh This Is Us
  • Island Of Life

How The Heck Do You Bet?

Now we have two selections which we believe to have nearly a 50% chance of winning the race.

But how do we bet on them?

Here are some of the possibilities…

Win Bets

We could simply place two win bets on the horses. At current odds of 2.94 and 6.92, a profit would be made if one of them one, but your bet would be skewed towards Island Of Life at 6.92 with only a small return if Oh This Is Us won.

Dutch Bet

Instead of win bets, we could place a dutch bet. The combined odds would currently offer a 48.5% chance of winning, so we’re only talking a small amount of value here if nothing changes, making it not the best way to bet.

Each-Way Bet

There would be no point in betting on Oh This Is Us each-way. The odds aren’t high enough to make it a worthwhile bet. Which means this could be an option for Island Of Life only.

These are the main type of bets. Of course there are lots of other ways to look at betting, such as place betting or including them in an exotic. You could also do an 80/20 bet where you place 80% of your stake on the horse to place and the rest to win.

Me Personally?

I’m going to be placing a win bet on Oh This Is Us and an each-way bet on Island Of Life.

This isn’t to say that these horses are guaranteed to win. Nobody can guarantee that. But I hope that you can see horse racing analysis doesn’t need to be overwhelming or super-complex. We can look at the most important elements of a horse race and distill them down to make our analysis a quick and rapid process.

UPDATE: Post-Race Analysis

Now the race in over, it happened pretty much as predicted, except that the jockey left it way too late to start asking Oh This Is Us to catch up. As soon as they realised it was too late he stopped trying and the horse dropped back. The way I bet generated a no-loss position at BSP, but depending on when the bets were placed you may have come out with a small profit

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


    1. They’re Race Advisor tools. Currently we aren’t taking new members as there’s some big features we are in the process of rolling out, but will let you know when they are available again.

  1. Hi Michael

    Using the free SR i use Apex King top rated, LOL, and OTIU second, can also handle the going nd is a distance winner. Reckon you have just about called it right.

    1. Hey Emma, they’re Race Advisor tools. We aren’t currently accepting new members as we’re in the process of some big new feature roll outs, but will let you know when we are.

  2. Interesting race. It happened pretty much as predicted except that the jockey left it way too late to start asking Oh This Is Us to catch up, the jockey quickly realised and stopped trying. The way I bet generated a no-loss position at BSP, but depending on when the bets were placed you may have come out with a small profit

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