It’s common practice for punters to start their racing analysis about half way through the process. This is because it has become generally accepted that to make a profit at horse racing you need to find…
Don’t worry, I’m not going to argue that you don’t need to find the winner of the race (although that does depend to an extent on your bet type) but what I want to show you right now, is that by doing this you are making it much harder to make a profit.
Because if you start by looking for the winner you have missed out on a crucial stepping stone. It’s like standing at the edge of the lake and trying to jump to the island in the middle straight away, rather than using the stepping stone between you and the island.
When you first start your form reading what you should be doing is focusing on one thing only, and that one thing is not finding the winner. It’s finding contenders.
We can classify a contender as a group of horses that have a very strong chance of winning the race. It’s this group we should be focusing our initial analysis on.
The reason is, that there’s usually more than one horse that has a strong chance of winning a race, in fact there is often more than two. By jumping straight into looking for a winner we’re making the job much harder for ourselves. Most successful bettors are only going to win about 20% of the time, if you start by focusing your efforts on finding contenders then you should be able to pick a group of 3 containing the winner around 70% of the time.
As you can see the difference is huge. Just psychologically this stage is very necessary because it is easier to do and the success boosts moral and gives confidence to continue. There are different methods of classifying a contender but my personal is a horse that finishes within 2 lengths of the winner. I actually adjust this slightly depending on the race conditions but starting with 2 lengths is a very good starting point.
So what we want to do is change your approach. It doesn’t matter whether you are using ratings, form reading or building systems. The first step should always be to identify the horses within your racing niche that are contenders in the race. As always, you should be focusing on a specific niche within racing to do this on.
Once you are finding the contenders then the jump to making a profit is comparatively easy. Why?
Because you are already finding the runners that are strongest to win the race. All you need to do now is determine the best way to bet them. And a little tip for you here…
Betting the strongest is not always going to make you the most profit!
By changing your approach to this you are going from something that is very difficult…
- Look for a single horse that is going to win the race
To something that is significantly easier…
- Look for multiple horses that have a strong chance of being near the winner
I assure you that if you start to do this you will find your racing analysis becomes much easier. Once you’re finding the contenders successfully we look at how to bet them. I will look at how to do this in another article.