Whilst we don't proclaim the following to be wholly original,
what follows is mainly commonsense. One could do a lot worse
than reading guides like this at regular intervals to jog the
memory and to 'get back on track'. It's easy to slip into bad
habits, but exceedingly difficult to break away from them. Here
goes then, in no particular order of priority:
1) Ignore sprints . If your horse misses the
break, it won't have time to get back into contention. The draw
can also have a significant affect.
2) Don't bet in extreme Going
conditions . Don't bet in extreme Going conditions
unless you are backing a horse proven on extreme going
3) Steer clear of Handicaps
. In theory, all horses are given the same winning chance,
and these races can turn into a lottery (especially so as
field sizes increase). Data from the database indicates that
the strike rate in Non-Handicaps can be double that for
4) Leave the Veterans alone
. In general terms, winning strike rates reduce as horses
get older. Personally I won't bet on 8yo or older horses on
the Flat other than in exceptional cases.
5) Back Horses in Form . As
with the age of horses above, winning strike rates generally
decrease as the last time out finishing position increases
(i.e. horses finishing 2nd LTO have a greater next time out
strike rate than horses finishing say 5th LTO).
6) Fancied Horses . The
first 3 or 4 horses in the betting probably account for
around 80% of winners. Only venture outside of these horses
if you have strong reasons to do so.
7) Field Sizes . The bigger
the field, the more chance there is that your horse won't
give its true running (more chance of getting boxed in,
hampered, clipping heels, etc). RaceXpert
strike rates decrease sharply as field sizes increase.
8) Speed Ratings . If you
use speed ratings, the strike rate of the top rated horses
dramatically increase the more points clear it is of the
second top rated horse (i.e. a horse who is 10 points clear
of its nearest rival wins a greater percentage of races than
a horse who is only say 3 points clear of its rival).
9) Early/Late Season. Give
your bets extra consideration during the first and last 5-6
weeks of the Flat Turf season. A horse's fitness has to be
taken on trust at the start of a season, and the end of
season is renowned for shock results.
Following any of these hints should be enough
to put the percentages more in your favour.