HOW TO: Easily Find A Winning Horse 98% Of The Time

I’m sure you’ll agree that finding winning horses can be tough, and it’s even harder to find winners that are going to make you a profit.

Well, there is a way that you can make finding winners much, much easier.

In fact, there’s a method that you can use to target the right races to allow you to find winners rapidly, and it’s a method that we use right here at the Race Advisor.

The basis for this method are VDW (Van Der Wheil) ratings, but we’ve taken a new look on an old approach, to super-charge finding winners.

TIP #1: Not All Races Are Made Equal

Every race that takes place has a different set of race conditions and horses in it.

That makes every single race different.

Yet, most bettors still try and treat every race as if they were the same.

You don’t want to be like most bettors! Start treating every race differently. Make sure you consider…

  • Race type
  • Distance
  • Ground conditions
  • Prize money
  • The other runners in the race

TIP #2: Discovering The Right Races To Bet On

Going through a race to determine whether it has the right conditions can be time consuming.

Not only do you have to check the race conditions, you have to determine how the ratings you’re using performed in them historically.

We get around that by using Race Ratings. These are ratings which score the race on a particular factor, for example VDW ratings.

You can check to see how to the top two, three or four strongest horses in a rating performed over similar races in the past, and this gives you a strong indication of how they’re likely to perform in today’s race.

  • Choose the rating you’re going to use (for example VDW)
  • Find similar historic races you have ratings for
  • Calculate how well the top two, three or four rated horses performed in these races

TIP #3: Finding The Right Races In 4 Seconds

We do this on every race, both live racing and at Aldermist, at the Race Advisor.

Focusing on our VDW rating, we look back at over 1.68 million runners and find out how our customised VDW ratings performed in every race that had similar conditions to the race we’re looking for the winner in.

Using this information we can calculate a VDW race score.

Winning Horse Image #1

Of course, if we’re doing this, we’re going to do it for winning and placing horses.

It’s not uncommon to see scores of 98% chance or higher from the VDW Race Scores.

TIP #4: Understand What VDW Race Scores Mean

It’s all well having a winning race score of 81% and a placing race score of 98%, but what the heck does that actually mean?

It means that historically, in races similar to the race we’re looking at, one of the top four VDW RA Pro rated horses have won the race 81% of the time, and have placed in the race 98% of the time.

Wouldn’t that make it easier to decide which races you should focus on?

In seconds you know whether this race is a race you can confidently use the Race Advisor’s VDW ratings in or not.

  • Read the first four tips again, make sure that everything is clear so far, if not leave a comment below with your question and let me clear it up for you

TIP #5: But What Horses Are You Using? (these ones!)

The horses that we consider when looking historically to see how they performed, are the top four rated VDW horses.

But these is not your standard VDW ratings, this is the Race Advisor custom VDW Score.

Winning Horse Image #2

Every race card has this, including at Aldermist’s Like-Real Racing, as you can see in the image above.

This score works in a way that means the best horse is the one with the lowest score.

In the 14:00 at Aldermist on the 16th April you can see that this would put Star Foot (1), Destiny’s Gold (3), Jodies Jem (2) and Mortens Leam (7) as the top horses.

TIP #6: How Does This Help Me Find Winning Horses?

If you know that one of the top four VDW scored horses has won 81% of the time, and placed 98% of time, in historically similar race… you’re already a country mile ahead of all other bettors ?

Of course, historic results don’t guarantee future results, but we can expect at least one of the top four VDW Score horses to perform well today.

It’s one of the quickest way to shortlist the races you want to use, and one of the quickest to shortlist the strongest horses in the race.

TIP #7: Do These Horses Actually Win

Here’s the finish position for the 14:00 at Aldermist on the 16th April:

Winning Horse Image #3

Three out of the four top VDW Score horses came in positions 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

And out of the next five races that day at Aldermist there were two which had race scores at a similar level. There results were…

14:40 Aldermist 16th April Results

Winning Horse Image #4

Only a six runner race, where the top three VDW Score horses had the same score of 6. Horse number 2 was the winner.

14:50 Aldermist 16th April Results

Our top four horses in this race came in the top four finish positions.

Aldermist is Like-Real Racing. Which means it behaves exactly like a real race, any strategy which works on Aldermist will work on live racing.

But, just in case you had a niggle of doubt, here’s the results on a random day in January at Lingfield, without filtering out the races with lower VDW Race Scores…


As you can see, if you follow the seven tips above, this method works.

You can do it one of two ways:

  1. Use your own ratings, calculate the past ratings of all horses, find similar races to the race you’re looking at, calculate how well the top four horses performed, calculate a Race Score to see if the rating is predictive under similar conditions, if it is predictive, rate the current race and find the top four horses.
  2. Create your Race Advisor account here and start using it on Aldermist immediately.

Practice this method at Aldermist Like-Real Racing and have your profitable strategy ready for when live racing resumes.

If you’re already using this method, or a similar one like outlined in this video, I’d love to hear how you’re getting on.

If you’ve never looked at Race Scores, please let me know if it’s a tool you’re going to put in your workshop.

I’ll look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

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. in getting race cards from normal sources they do not always provide ratings how do i access such cards? what other rating systems are there and is VDW the best?
    cheers Alan!

    1. I’m going to be biased, but I’m going to say that our ratings are the best πŸ™‚ You can get an example of our cards and how they work by logging into your account at, there’s a password reminder underneath if you can’t remember your password. You can use this method with any rating, and is one of the ways we decide what factors to use on a specific race. The VDW is well understood and we’ve upgraded ours to improve performance, which makes it a strong one for us to put on our race cards.

  2. Hi Michael etc al,
    I’m a big fan of VDW, and heartily recommend his seminal work “How to be a successful Punter”, sadly out of print now, but if you ever come across an old copy…it’s well worth a read.
    I would limit myself to just the biggest value handicap of the day, with a minimum value of Β£20,000 to the winner, thus avoiding the dross that increasingly seems to comprise horse racing (when there is any).
    Top four recent form figures (lowest is highest)
    Top four class ratings (total prize money divided by no.of wins)
    Horse MUST have won over distance (+/-1 furlong)
    Horse MUST have won on the going
    Horse MUST have won in same class of race (or better)
    If in doubt no bet!!
    As VDW himself put it, NEVER expect a horse to do something it has not already proved it can do.

    All the best, hope this helps

  3. I do like this approach myself.
    Using Aldermist today, i have gone with races where VDW win chance is over 70%.
    Choosing the top 4 horses in these ratings, i then try to ascertain the 2 out of those 4 horses that are most likely to win.
    To increase my profit potential from betting on 4 horses, i now tend to bet to profit on my 2 strongest contenders & use the remaining 2 horses as saver bets. So that i more or less get my stake back again if one of these do win. But i do prefer to eek out a little profit from my saver bets as it still then makes the race feel like a winning one, which is important for keeping my attitude upbeat.
    Another thing i like to do sometimes is to list ‘PR odds’ column in order of strongest first & then see how many of them come in the first 4 ratings of the ‘5278’ column. So if 2 of the top 3 horses in the ‘PR’ column are also within the top 4 of the ‘5278’ column then i continue to analyse that race, if not then i move onto another race. I like to do this when i am in rush for some reason, as this can be easily found out in just a few seconds per race. It has seemed to work fairly well so far for me.
    I look forward to using this new found knowledge for when the real racing starts up again.
    Many Thanks,

  4. Hi Michael
    An interesting approach. As you know VDW is essentially based on the last 3 form figures and class (based on average prize money won) supported by a form rating). Without giving too much of the game away how do β€˜your own VDW Ratings’ duffer?

    I find VDW ratings work best in higher class ratings do you find the same ?

    1. We make a few adjustments to our VDW ratings to improve the performance, and then create a score from both of them πŸ™‚ I generally bet in lower class races personally, so I don’t see a specific trend for them to perform better in higher class races, which doesn’t mean there isn’t one, I’ve never investigated it. I tend to focus on using ratings under race conditions where they’ve historically performed better than others.

  5. i would like to play around with your virtual racing but dont fancy paying (at the moment Β£40) any ideas
    and yes i have already used my free trial


  6. I will take a look but 80% winners using top 4 contenders isn’t a number to brag about. What percentage finish 1st and 2nd and do the exacta’s pay more than $24 for $2 ?

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