The following is a Ratings2Win Education Article

Benjamin Franklin was alleged to have said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Whether it was Franklin or Einstein is not relevant. The point I am making here is that this saying adapts well to betting. So to recap, if you do the same thing week in and week out then you will continue to get the results that you have always got. In order to be a successful and winning punter, you must be prepared to either develop the work ethic and discipline required towards researching those factors that have a profitable edge (undervalued by the market) or subscribe to a reputable service that is able to evidence their results whilst providing the necessary support to assist you in your journey towards greater betting success.

Most factors available in the general race form are already valued by the market correctly. This means that using this type of data to predict likely winners will make winning from racing a difficult task. That’s not to say that you won’t find your fair share of winners, but it does mean that there is likely no profit advantage to be had. For example backing horses that have a 40% winning strike rate over those that have just a 5% winning strike rate provides no advantage to the punter as win% is a factor already valued correctly by the market. API (Average prize money index) is another factor not worth considering when determining value bets.

If you are indeed to profit from racing as a form analyst, then here are some important form factors worth considering:

Overall race times:

Nearly all official race and sectional times recorded are incorrect by varying degrees. If you (like myself) value speed as an important factor in the decision making process of whether to bet, then having access to corrected race and sectional times is a must. R2W outsources its time verification to a private organisation that performs the same tasks for some of Australia’s biggest punters. The annual cost is a significant five figure sum that is simply not practical for most punters.

The good news is that all R2W speed and sectional ratings are calculated from these independently verified times. That means that most of our clients have access to speed ratings that lead the market in terms of their performance.

Sectional times:

It is a fact that nearly all quality thoroughbreds have the ability to reel off fast sectionals. Obviously race and sectional times need to be viewed in the context of what happens early in a race. Just because a horse runs fast time doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be able to repeat that effort at its next start. The winner may have been a back marker that was running in a race that was run at a very fast pace early. The fast pace aided the winner and was therefore responsible for setting up the overall time. By contrast, just because a slow time is recorded doesn’t necessarily mean that a horses performance was substandard. The same horse (a back marker) may have in fact run an exceptional sectional/s off a slow early pace that may go unnoticed at the horses next start. There are obviously other first/last section pace scenarios that aid different types of horses. Learning these will assist you in understanding performances that stand out.

Race/Speed Maps:

Having a good understanding of the likely early speed in a race, is perhaps the single most important asset that a form analyst can possess.This statement is based on the premise that as a starting point, horses not suited by either the draw and/or the early speed are at a significant disadvantage despite being potentially capable of running either fast time or sectionals. Early speed is therefore a critical factor in the success or failure of most horses. Being able to accurately assess the likely early pace shape of the race then allows me to profile each horse in terms of what they are capable of running both in terms of overall time and sectionals that is relevant to today’s race.

R2W Axis Professional shows you in an instant the likely early speed grid for each race so you can easily identify those horses likely to be suited by today’s race both in terms of early speed and barrier draw.

Video analysis:

Much has been written and debated over the years with regards to video analysis. Personally I believe that all serious form analysts should take the time to watch as many replays as possible. Of course watching race videos and knowing what to look for are two very different things. It can take years before you are able to master and interpret race vision accurately. In saying that though, I have decided to compile a list of shortcuts that will help overcome the steep learning curve otherwise encountered.

Use sectional data

In order to understand whether an on pace effort or fast finishing burst is meritorious, you need to understand the way the race was run. Having access to speed ratings for both the first and last section of a race provides a necessary advantage.

An example is that when the first section of a race has been run fast, what else are the back markers going to do except appear to run on. However when the speed is slow early and I see a back marker taking ground off the winner then that is certainly a run worth noting.

Optical Illusion

An important factor in video analysis is that you are seeking to identify those horses capable of good acceleration. These types of horses move through the grades faster than others and often make better betting propositions moving forward.

Watching standard race vision, and in particular those horses who appear to accelerate as they move towards the inside running rail in the latter stages of a race are subject to this optical illusion. These sideways shifts towards the rail always suggest a sudden burst of acceleration. Often, these horses don’t sustain this apparent acceleration. Under these circumstances they should be eliminated as a horse to follow.

Watch what happens after the winning post

Watching events unfold after the winning post can often provide insight into what will take place in the future. This is especially relevant for the place getter and any horse that finishes say within 3 lengths of the winner.

An example of this, without revealing too much, is to watch for scenarios whereby the leaders that might otherwise appear to be tiring near the line are still in front 300-400m after the winning post. Depending on the likely early pace for the horse next race, these can often make good bets in suitable races at their next start.

Final words

If you have been betting for a number of years without winning consistently, then it’s time to take charge and make the necessary changes to your betting approach. Long term punting success is a goal often sought but rarely achieved. In saying that though, the skills and knowledge required to be a long term, winning punter can be learnt. R2W is all about – Keeping you in front!

Our Mission Statement

“To arm our clients with the necessary tools, information, knowledge, education and understanding that enables them to profit from racing on a consistent basis”