Picking Winners As Easy As ABC
As punters we can sometimes over analyse races. It’s not difficult to do – after all, there is an endless amount of statistical data that we can delve into in order to make some sense of and to pinpoint the winner in the ‘chaos in motion’ that isknown as a horse race.
Sometimes we can do so much form analysis that we end up being ‘unable to see the woods for all the trees’ - or in this case ‘the winners for all the statistics’. When this occurs it can pay to step back and simplify things.
One way to do ‘simple form analysis’ is to categorize the runners in each race according to their racing style. Most horses have a preferred racing style which they tend to follow in each run. Racing styles can be classified into three distinct types -
A - Horses which ‘run on’ in their races – i.e. horses which improve their running position in the home straight.
B - Horses which ‘stay in the same position’.
C - Horses which ‘weaken’ in the home straight.
A – Horses Which Run On in their Races.
Statistics show that around 90% of all races are won by horses which ‘run on’. That being the case, shouldn’t we be concentrating on horses with this racing style when trying to pinpoint winners? You bet!
B – Horses Which Stay in the Same Position.
The only way that a horse which stays in the same position throughout a race can win - is if it leads all the way. Our research shows that just 10% of races are won by horses which lead from start to finish - that's an average of less than one per meeting. Looking at that low strike rate its easy to understand why some trainers such as Bart Cummings don’t like to see their horses leading and why we should be wary of backing horses with this racing style.
C – Horses Which Weaken in their Races
If a horse has a racing style where it weakens - it's unlikely to win. Here we are talking about the position a horse holds during the running of the race compared to its position at the finish. Horses which weaken tend to be non winners and are therefore generally not worth wagering on.
To ascertain each horse’s general racing style grab a form guide like The Sportsman which shows each galloper's running positions at their past nine starts. By casting an eye over each horse’s recent runs you should be able to categorise each horse as having a Type A, B or C racing style. Mark ‘A,B or C’ next to each runner and in just a minute or two - all your form analysis is done!
Once you’ve identified each galloper’s racing style, dismiss those identified with Types B or C. We are now left with the horses with a Type A racing style – those which ‘run on’. As we’ve already seen, these horses account for around 90% of all winners and are therefore the ones we should focus on.
Sometimes you’ll identify a race where there are only a few horses with a ‘run on’ racing style and picking the winner will be relatively easy. In other races the majority of entrants may be run on horses and selecting the winner won’t be quite as straight forward.
Most winners, and thereby the best gallopers tend to be horses with a 'run on' racing style. For that reason you’ll find that in lower classes of races there will be fewer run on horses. On the flip side, in quality races you’ll notice that many of the horses engaged have a run on racing style.
If you carry out this ‘simple race analysis’ and bet on horses on the basis that they have a ‘Type A’ racing style - not only will you find it’s a very effective way of finding winners but you’ll also be pleasantly surprised by how many of those winners will be at good odds.
By Mark Hall Aussieraces.com
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I consider myself a good handicapper and I completely agree with your analysis. And because it is simple, some readers may treat it lightly. Punters like to make things complicated and thus confusing. Far from it. You have indirectly addressed, pace, running style and improving form of the race and horses. I hope many more would take your approach seriously.