Racing Post Secrets

Today I want to share with you a quick way to find strong runners from fields using nothing but the Racing Post. But… we are going to be doing this in a way you have probably never seen before. Doing this highlights horses that are underbet in the market and can produce a positive profit. Of course, you should always combine all your analysis techniques together but this is a powerful method and I’m sure you’re going to love it.

We start by opening a race, and in this example I’m going to use a race from Plumpton.

RP Secrets 1

The things that we want to take note of are the race type, Handicap Chase, the going, Good To Soft, the distance, 3m2f, and the prize money, £3,249.

Then we click on a horses name and get a window that looks similar to…

RP Secrets 2

The first thing we want to look at is the Race Conditions column. Scan down the list quickly and take a note of any races that are the same race type and similar distance, going and prize money. Doing this we can see there are no similar races, the closes we get is the Handicap Hurdle on the 7th February 2013 and the Chase on the 27th February 2013. Looking at the Race Outcome for both of these races we can see that our runner came a very long distance behind the winner in both. On the 27th Feb he came 35 lengths behind the winner and on the 7th Feb he came 8.25 lengths behind the winner. When we combine this with not a single win or second place we can remove this horse from contention.

And… that’s it!

This is form reading boiled down to just a few essential elements and which alone can make you profits. Master this and you will not only be profitable but in a very strong position to continue developing your techniques further.

You need to do this for every runner and compare them. I will choose another runner in the race now and do the comparison so you can see exactly what to do. When you do this comparison you need to imagine that it is just the two horses racing each other. Who do you think will win between them?

By thinking like this you will prevent yourself being overloaded with all the possible comparisons for every runner in a race.

RP Secrets 3

We can see that Alteranthela has far more races for us to base our assessment on. There are similar races on 11th March 2013, 18th December 2012, 10th March 2011, 5th December 2010, 20th November 2010 and 1st November 2010. Looking at these races we can see that this horse has never won any of them and has come a long way behind the winner in most. But, there is a very important difference, there have been a lot more places in them than our previous runner and more importantly these positions match race conditions that are much similar to todays race. This horse has also won a race before which means that it has proven it is capable of winning.

If you were alert whilst going through these conditions you would have noticed something else to do with the lengths behind winners that this horse has come. Take another look now and see if you can spot it. I’m going to tell you what it is but don’t cheat, see if you can find it first and then continue reading.

The best performances that this horse has put in have come within a month of the previous race. When there is a big break in racing there is a much larger distance to the winner!

The last race was less than a month ago, on the same course under almost exactly the same conditions as today. In this race this horse came second by 8 lengths. Do we think he will be our previous horse, very likely and here is why…

  • He’s proven he can win
  • He has a lot more experience over similar conditions
  • Performs best when coming back to race within a month
  • Has had more second and third places

If we compare that to what we know about our previous runner, Soutine…

  • Has never won a race
  • Hasn’t raced under very similar conditions before
  • The closest he’s come to winning is 7.75 lengths

Not only do we not know as much, it doesn’t seem to fit the profile of the race as well as Alteranthela. We would be comfortable saying that we think Alteranthela is likely to beat Soutine.

What we are doing by using this process is building a film in our heads of how we think the race will be run between these two selections. Now that we have marked out Soutine as being likely to be beaten by Alteranthela we can continue this process by taking the next runner in the race and comparing it to Alteranthela.

Go ahead and try this right now. Pick a race that has less than 10 runners, it’s best to start in small fields, and do this right now. Don’t do anything else, just this method, consider it a trial. If you do that for at least one race a day for the next two weeks I can promise you that you will start to see you betting improve!

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. Hi, initialy i think i signed up to race advisor around one year ago, and to tell the truth i think i found it very poor, also with poor returns on tips . However i have noticed over the last month or two that it has improved significantly, sounding a lot more professional, i am new to following racing(around two years) so im no expert, keep up the good work

    1. Thanks for your comment Paul. Not sure it was the Race Advisor you joined though as we have never provided a tipping service.

  2. thank you very much sounds great, but can anybody please tell
    me were you get the prize money for previous races. once again
    thank you very much eddie

    1. You need to go to the Horses history by clicking on its name and then you need to select the race and it will open the results with the prize money in the information at the top.

  3. Once again Mat, great information. Shows that the only way to be successful is to put in the effort.

  4. There could be a good starting point there. Not sure about the amount paid to the winner making difference to a horses performance. I would be looking at the class performance and how it performed in a better class or grade of race. Also weight and jockey and how horse and jockey perform on a certain course. There are so many pointers to look at. Going being the main one. Official Rating being another. Not that official ratings give you accuracy they are just there as a pointer. Horses are funny animals. One week they race prominantly, the next they go lame or do not want to race, the following they can be bang in form. Never an easy thing picking a winner. It does make it a great challenge though trying to home in through study. I also pay small attention to Sire and especially Dam Sire over certain trips. Like for example Beneficial has a great progeny for 2m 4f or further. Alflora and Bob Back for around 3m. Motivator and Manjuro are also very classy horses and jump well and Dom Alco are very good in the air and generating kinetic speed from jumps. The type of horse I love to watch is Dynaste because if you look at the speed and distance he builds up over jumps its nothing short of amazing and I have yet to see a better horse jumping fences.

    Love your work Michael. Keep up the analysis. We all have different ways to home in. Not always accurate but we try. 😉


    1. Thanks for the detailed post John, some great info there for others to use. 🙂

  5. Hi Michael, I have never seen this done before but the way you have presented it it looks like i have been doing this all the time.
    A great idea and stops boiling your brain’s every time you sit down to break the race.
    Just lately I have been making silly mistakes with my form reading but this should help me.


  6. Hi Michael – this is a useful and easy-to-use method for narrowing down the field. Thank you.

    In the introduction you mention how this approach can identify underbet horses and value bets, but can you just clarify how this is achieved? If your analysis concludes with a non-favourite, can we assume we may have found a value bet?

    1. Thank you Paul. This is more to read form very quickly, the value bet in this approach is more instinctive and is something that is picked up over a bit of a longer period of time.

      Don’t think of it as a favourite being no value. Instead convert the odds to a horses chance of winning (1 divided by the decimal odds). Now look at these and compare them to the results of the form reading you’ve done following this. Does you still think the horse at 2.00 has a 50% chance of winning? If not then stay away from it, if you think it probably has nearer a 60% chance of winning then bet.

  7. Hi Michael.

    What a fantastic blog you have going here.

    I used this method for the first time on the 7th of May, having road tested it on the 6th, and found 8/1 winner Danzoe, so a big thanks.

  8. Further success today with KING OF THE DANES ( 4/1jf ) beating second choice ZAMOYSKI down at Goodwood, the exacta paying £15.80. Also had REFLECT ( 11/2 e/w ) who ran 2nd at Haydock, only beaten by a very well handicapped rival in Swinging Sultan ( 7/2f ). REFLECT should go one better next time given suitable conditions.

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