Post Race Analysis – What you should look for

I would say that the majority of punters are only interested in whether their bet won or lost. They don’t watch the race while it is happening, and they don’t watch it after it has happened either.

This is a big mistake, especially when you are learning to bet profitably. If your bet has won then you have done your analysis correctly, if your horse didn’t win then there is a possibility that you didn’t do your analysis correctly, although this is not always the case (we can’t win them all).

If we have to choose a specific set of races that we want to watch after the race has been run, then we would want to be focusing on the races where we didn’t find the winner. It is these races that we could have something to learn from.

But the big question is what are we looking for and do we need to be expert race readers in order to gain any benefit from watching the replays.

The good news is that you do not need to be an experienced race reader to benefit from watching the replays. You just need to apply some common sense, the race reading will come with experience.

Ask yourself these questions…

  • Did your selection run a good race?
  • Do you think that it showed a good effort with all the chance of winning?
  • Did it get bumped or knocked?
  • Did it stumble or get blocked?
  • Did the horse only lose by a short distance?

If you answer yes to these questions then you made the right selection, it just didn’t win today. Then we can ask ourselves the following questions…

  • When did the selection start to fade?
  • What was most likely to be the issue, going, distance, class?
  • Did the jockey not give the horse a good ride?
  • Was the pace too fast for it?
  • Is there a specific horse that it couldn’t compete against?

Make notes of your answers and this will not only give you more information on this exact runner next time it is in a race, but it will also help you to refine your handicapping by indicating what you should be considering that you aren’t or what you should be putting more emphasis on.

If you answered no to the first set of questions then do not think you are doing something wrong outright. This may not be the case, first of all take a look at the winner of the race. Sometimes a horse will win a race that shows no indication that it has a chance. The quickest way to check this is by looking at the winners odds. If they are very high then the market didn’t get any indication that the horse had a chance of winning either. If the winners odds are low then it may be that you missed something. Now we start by going back to the form books and looking for anything that may have indicated that the horse had potential. The chances are that you missed something in the form and if you had seen it then you may not have changed your selection but you would have known there was another runner with potential.

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. Form reading definitely takes time, it usually takes me between 20 and 40 minutes per race and that is with experience. Big races can take longer. However anything worth learning takes time 🙂

    2. I hit the enter button before finishing by mistake on my last reply. The post race analysis however doesn’t take as long as the actual form reading, I will usually spend about 5-15 minutes on a race watching the replay and making notes.

  1. An excellent article – as you say this part of form anaysis is often overlooked. A good idea is to identify the class of race you are watching. When you spot something and then realise that this race is of top notch then the penny drops.

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