Top racing professional sharing method to help you crack the code and beat bookmakers with UK & Irish racing.
Before reading this article, consider racing is about a bunch of factors. It’s super important you analyse and find the right balance. In this blog, we are covering less obvious factors which we consider highly relevant.
Knowledge is power, our quest is to make you a more efficient gambler!!
POOR VALUE ODDS BASED ON TRAINER
Betting blindly on big name trainers will cost you money!
Did you know betting all the runners from top trainers Willie Mullins, AP O’Brien, Gordon Elliott, Dan Skelton, Jonjo O’Neill & Michael Appleby is an expensive hobby.
Over the past 12 months Mullins had 223 winners from 1015 runners, that’s a solid 22% strike rate. However, betting 1 point on each (at SP) would have lost around 212 points. To make money from betting each of the Mullins runners, you would need to average odds higher than 4.56. However, those 223 winners had average odds of just 3.60.
AP O’Brien had 185 winners from 1231 runners, betting each with one unit would have lost 167. That’s the equivalent ROI of (minus) -14%.
JJ O’Neill 67 winners from 500 runners, a point on each would have lost 105!
The point i’m trying to make, runners from top stables are often over-bet (false odds) and generally poor value.
You need to think outside the box, not join the herd!!
EXTREMES OF GROUND
It’s easy to benefit when ground changes from one extreme to the other, because recent form is likely to go out of the window. That in turn makes it easier to find extra betting value, which of course is a professional gamblers dream!
Take it from me, while the betting public & bookmakers are privy to the same information, they are usually more reserved with how odds should stack. To make understanding easier, an example of such:
If a proven heavy ground runner would be 10/1 for a race on good ground, the bookmakers are likely to chalk up 7/1 on favoured ground. However, true odds are probably nearer 4/1!
A look through each runners profile (form) will help identify a runners favoured ground. If you don’t have much experience, use the racing post PM to get a fix on performance on varied ground.
DUAL PURPOSE HORSES FAVOURABLY HANDICAPPED
What is a dual purpose horse, the answer is a flat runner who switches back to jumping or vice versa.
Pay careful attention to how a runners h’cap mark progressed in the other sphere. For example…..
A horse who started the last hurdles campaign on a handicap mark of 100 and is now rated 125, it means they progressed 25 pounds. If that same runner hadn’t progressed (h’cap mark) during the previous flat season, chances are they will do better now! The same applies to racing on the flat before returning to hurdling!
Furthermore, when assessing form don’t forget to take on board the opposite, if a runner transgressed in one sphere it’s likely to do the same when switching codes!
Hope this makes sense, because it’s a big pointer!
SWITCH TO CHASING FOR EX FLAT HORSES!
When a horse switches from flat racing to hurdling it’s a normal transition. However, when an ex-flat horse moves to chasing, it’s big no for me!
This is particularly the case with exposed (raced a lot) older types. The reason is simple, they are seldom natural jumpers. On that note, if they where they where naturals they would have gone chasing earlier.
While some ex-flat horses become decent chasers, it’s not standard. All i’m saying is let them prove it first!
With this in mind, expect to see chasing bred horses progress past those who started racing careers on the flat.
It is highly likely, a horse who started in point-to-points or bumper races will make a natural chaser. And, this is especially the case when they had just a few qualifying runs to get a h’cap mark over hurdles. These types are likely to progress 10-30 pounds over the bigger obstacles, while ex-flat runners will go the other way!
Big Profits in beginners chases if you get to grips with the understanding!
CHANGE OF STABLES
This is where you need to understand trainers, and whether moving stables is positive or negative move.
As a general rule, top trainers clear out horses who are not reaching the required level. It’s less rare than you think for a horse who cost 250K being sold for 10K to a smaller trainer. Suffice to say, moving to a lower grade yard with fewer facilities isn’t necessarily a positive move.
With that said, some trainers have success with big stable duds. Dr Richard Newland would be one of them, so get researching.
The opposite also applies, a horse who is doing well at a small yard is often acquired by a top trainer.
In fact, racing is like football, in that top players from lower clubs will likely be acquired by the bigger clubs. And, those not making it at the top-level move to lower division clubs!
The message - Get a better understanding of what to expect!
WEIGHT COUNTS MORE IN SMALL FIELDS
A big field h’cap with two of the fancied runners weighted at different ends of the scale is judged on merit. However, the same two runners in a small field (3-6 runners) is a different consideration. In fact, i’m often tempted by the runner receiving a big amount of weight!
For example, a Chase with one of those runners carrying 12-0 (stone) and the other 10-7 is 21 pounds difference. It’s a massive number when a race is likely to become tactical.
The longer the race distance, the more impact weight makes. A sprint on the flat can’t be compared to a two-mile race. It’s the same with minimum distance jump race compared to one over marathon trips. The ground is another consideration, because giving weight on heavy ground will be harder again.
PERFORMANCE IN DIFFERENT SIZED FIELDS & WEIGHTS
When assessing a race, it’s wise to take on board how each runner performed in varied sized fields. It’s a fact, some horses are at their best in a big pack, whilst others don’t like being crowded.
Another consideration, front-runners are more likely to get an uncontested lead in a small field. On the other hand, hold-up horses will benefit from the strong pace which is usually associated with big fields. While horses are individuals, a runners profile should point to preferences.
On that note, same rule applies to weights. Some horses are better carrying big weights against poorer opposition, where others do best when receiving weight from better opposition.
Practice makes perfect, start your process of understanding now!
FRENCH HORSES JOINING UK/IRISH STABLES ARE BADLY HANDICAPPED
Take note when French horses are debuting in the UK or Ireland!
One of my little secrets, I bet French racing everyday with big money. While I’m not in a position to pass on these bets, I can at least share my findings on French horses moving to the UK or Ireland.
I’ve done a lot of reverse engineering in comparing how UK/Irish trained runners perform in France and Vice versa. It helps me understand what to expect in Group/Listed and claiming races. However, this is slightly different, because i want to point out horses moving from France to the UK have inflated ratings.
Suffice to say, when these ex French horses go straight into handicaps they have a difficult task. I should also mention the racing post (PM) are guilty of over-rating French form, and even more importantly so are the bookmakers!
From my learnings, i can share jumpers have more excessive h’cap ratings than flat horses. Upto 15 pounds on occasions, meaning a massive burden to those first racing in UK.
Fazit - When you see an ex-French horse first racing for a big stable in the UK/Ireland, be weary!
PAY ATTENTION TO TRAINER FORM
If you use the racing post one of the tools is trainer form. It’s easy, just click on the horses name and a profile box will pop-up. Next to the trainers name you will see winners/runners over the past 14 days. By clicking the trainers name, another box will open to show how runners performed over the past fortnight.
When judging a trainers recent form we need to take on board expectancy. For example, if all winners where short odd favourites they were expected to be competitive. A short example…
If Gordon Elliott had 6 winners from 50 runners over the past two weeks with average odds 3/1, betting blind would have lost 26 points. Delve a little deeper and you will see how the yards fancied runners performed. Many beaten favourites is not a good sign, but a load of placed runners at big odds could be!
Think outside the box! - If a small trainer sent out five runners and had three of them placed at 33/1, 50/1 & 66/1, it’s fair to suggest they performed above expectancy.
Be realistic with your assessment!
TIME OF YEAR - LAID OUT FOR A HANDICAP
If you look through the profile of older handicappers, many will win at a certain time of the year. In fact, trainers often target a certain race and will want to peak on that day.
I should add, it’s not just about being at peak fitness, because another requirement is a winnable h’cap mark. Assuming it is that type of race, the trainer will run his charge down the field without full fitness.
Take note - In handicaps the runners get an increased mark for running well, and a reduced mark for running moderately. The downward slide can be manipulated!
Hopefully, this helps you understand how a trainer will get a handicap mark to fall, and more importantly how to find nicer priced winners!
Last but not least, watch how some stables prepare young horses qualifying for handicap marks. Many are raced over the wrong trip or not fully fit. Once they have a h’cap mark based on previous (usually 3 races) performances, trainers get them fit and change to a more suitable distance!
DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL GAMBLER ?
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