Everyone is looking for the best angle to analyse the  form on the races. You might be shocked if you ever really take the time to consider some of the angles to look at in deciding on that illusive final bet in just one race. Here are just some quick points to consider in that never-ending quest for the Holy Grail.
  • Race time
  • Sectional Times
  • Class rise /fall
  • Speed maps
  • Track Bias
  • Front Runners
  • Backmarkers
  • Video analysis
  • Breeding
  • Wet Sires
  • Beaten Margin
  • Weights
  • Jockeys
  • Trainer
  • Age
  • Distance Change
  • Strike Rates
  • Prize money Average
  • Barriers
  • Consistency
  • Todays Track Conditions
  • Proven at Distance
  • Proven at Track
  • Proven in Wet
  • Prize money Change
  • Price last start
  • Career Stats
  • First Up Stats
  • Blinkers/Winkers
  • Travelling stables
  • Market Movers
This is just a small cross-section of points consider. Mind-blowing isn’t it.
It is not my intention to try to explain angles on doing the form as there has been many books written on the subject and I had a chapter in my own book Professional Punting My Personal Approach. However below I will give you my basic thoughts doing the form manually.
What I will say is that you can do the form for free or use data bases or rating services up to $10000 per year. That choice is all yours. However short of backing favourites in every race the strike rate wont differ all that much between doing the form manually to using the most up to date data alive. The real profit will still come from seeking Value and an Edge.
It is easier to get 5% better odds   on a selection than to lift my winning strike rates by 5%.I use computer generated times as most people do not have the time or savvy to work them out manually. They are not the Holy Grail in fact my strike rate is better working form out manually but my time is better spent now doing risk analysis and seeking overlays and perfecting money management.
My Old Proven Method of Form- Manually.
I do miss manually working out the form as it was always very rewarding. However as I demonstrated above you can Analyse until you Paralyse. You need to find an angle that is Simple, Logical and Proven over time. For all the changes in racing over 30 years some things remains constant.
  • Big Tracks like Flemington suit horses coming from of the speed
  • Tight  Tracks with short straights  like Canterbury or Caulfield or Country tracks suit on pace runners
  • More horses win sitting in the first half of the field than the tail.
  • A horse with a good strike rate will most occasions out perform a poor strike rate.
So that use to form the first basis of my study. If the races are at Caulfield today for example and its a rock hard track with the rail out its pretty easy even with the old Best Bets in hand to put a line through 70% of runners in any given race based on their racing pattern. The modern media experts call it speed maps. But they are only looking at the start of the race. You need to see the pattern of horses at the business end eg last 400m or for that matter the whole race.
Whilst on that here’s a great tip!
  • Black book on pace runners not flashy finishers. You will consistently get more winners & better prices.
The next thing I use to do is try to access if the horse is suited to todays race or better still is this the race it is being set for. That’s why I stick to Black Type races as all trainers & owners have a set goal & path for their horses and they are quality animals that cost in some cases millions at the Sales. The low-grade races such as maiden runners are just trying to get a return anywhere! We owned one such horse like this so I speak from my hip pocket here.
  • The next thing I use to do is trying to access if the horse is suited to todays race or better still is this the race it is being set for.
  • Look at todays distance and Class e.g.  1500m Group3.
  • I have always found the best way to get a good guide of a horses ability ( and this is not rocket science) is look at what Distance & Class it last won at or had its best win at.
You will see very quickly doing this that in this example there may be 5 horses that have recorded their last win before a spell at 2400m. Today they are having their 3rd run from a spell over 15oom. Clearly this is short of their pet distance were they peaked last campaign. So put a line through them today. Perhaps make a note to watch them in the run for the future.
Also as above todays race is a Group3. You will see quickly with any form guide that certain horses have tried many times at today’s class and failed time and time again. There last win or best win may have been a Benchmark 85 race even though the last run this campaign was a ripper and people can’t stop raving it. Flashy runs don’t put food on the table- proven statistics do.
Here’s another  great tip!
  • Avoid 3yo Only races – as these animals are at a very experimental stage of their careers. They were running around in Golden Slippers over 1200m last campaign and now they are trying out for Derbies over 2500m! Take my advice wait until they are 4yo & up as by then the owner knows exactly what race distance & grade  best fits the horse.
I still like a crack at the big 3yo races because I use time ratings  , but I just saying if you cut out 80% of these races you will save a lot of money on the punt. By now by using this simple technique of deleting the process of horses that are clearly not suited to todays race conditions being class , distance and racing pattern you should only have a handful of horses left to analyse.
It’s at this point with only a few horses left to look at that you can delve deeper into each ones history and hopefully pinpoint a winner. Each punter needs their own style inform research and really you just need a few Key Core Elements that you think are important in highlighting a future winner. Keep it simple and I think the task wont be so daunting.
Its has been written that the punter has never had it so good. Here are just a few things available to us:
Sky Channel and TVN ,Sectional times, Fast and extensive databases Foxtel  and online race replays, Wireless internet, iPhones and other Smartphones, Easy access to approximate exotic dividends, Overseas racing live ,Professional advice, Racing Retro, Free Form guides, Corporate Bookmaker, Lay betting, Rating & Tipping Services.
The list is endless and yes it is a different world to 20 years ago when I use to frequent the track and bet with the bookmakers with the good old Best Bets in hand. It is fantastic now but we may just have it too good. I believe there is potentially too much information for the punter and if you try to access it all it a bit like to many golf lessons at once” you will analyse to you paralyse ” and get so muddled that you wont make  a clear decision.
Just keep your form study & betting simple.
Draw up a Matrix and answer these few questions.
  • Work out what are perhaps your top 6 criteria’s that you believe will determine the outcome of todays races?
  • • How you are going to determine your selections?
  •   What reliable source will I get the form from.
  • • How much of your bankroll you will wager on each selection
  • • Where you are going to place your bets
Then don’t waiver from this plan. Keep it simple, believe in it , become a specialist , don’t be influenced by all the hype out there and seek the best prices available. I hope this helps you.

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