Wednesday , 23 April 2014
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Predicting A Horses Improvement

I thought it was time to look at something a bit different, after all that is how we make profits as bettors. Have you ever considered whether a horse is improving?

If you haven’t then you should. In fact you shouldn’t only consider if it is improving, you should also consider if it is declining. Do you want to bet on a horse that has shown a significant decline recently?

I’m sure you don’t, I certainly wouldn’t. What I’m about to show you is a quickfire method to find out whether a horse is improving or declining and analysing a race on this using nothing but the Sporting Life and Racing Post websites. What we are looking for are horses that may be considered outsiders but have shown they are improving significantly and therefore could make good value bets.

First of all head over to www.sportinglife.com and then open a race you are interested in and click on the Ratings tab. You will see something like the image below.

Predicting A Horses Improvement 1

Ideally we would want every horse to have 6 ratings, but the more ratings that each horse has the better. Don’t forget that these ratings are read from left to right. The most recent race is on the far left and the race on the far right took place the longest ago.

What we are looking for is steady improvement in these figures. You can see straight away that Unidexter has been consistently improving over the last 6 races. Poetic Verse hasn’t been improving but has been putting in consisten performances over the last 5 races. Orlas Rainbow has seen a small improvement in the last 3 races and Crystak Peaks has also seen an improvement in the last two races.

Now we have this knowledge we visit the Racing Post website and take a look at the horses previous form. We use the Racing Post because it allows us to display the last 6 races for all horses at the same time.

Predicting A Horses Improvement 2

Now we are looking to calculate the average distance to winner in races that are similar to todays races. When a horse has won a race then we consider this to be 0 distance to winner. In this example the race is a class 6 All Weather race with £1,704 going to the winner.

Elusive Thought has two similar races at Lingfield and Kempton and distance behind winner for these races were 3.5 and 2.25 for an average of 2.88

Crystal Peaks has three similar races with distances behind the winner being 0, 6.75 and 8.25. This gives us an average of 5.

Good Speech has no similar races.

Poetic Verse has two similar races at 10 lengths and 12 lengths for an average of 11 lengths.

Orla’s Rainbow has two similar races at 31 and 16.5 lengths for an average of 23.75.

Lady Of Yue has three similar races at 8.75, 12.5 and 8.75 for an average of 10.

Pacquiao has no similar races.

Great Ormand is in three similar races at 10, 15.5 and 27 for an average of 17.5.

Unidexter is in 5 similar races at 7.5, 6, 7.5, 9.75 and 37 for an average of 13.55

If we put all the averages in an easy to read table we get…


Elusive Thought 2.88
Crystal Peaks 5
Good Speech N/A
Poetic Verse 11
Orla’s Rainbow 23.75
Lady Of Yue 10
Pacquiao N/A
Great Ormand 17.5
Unidexter 13.55

Now we can see straight away that Elusive Thought and Crystal Peaks have the best figures. We don’t know about Good Speech and Pacquiao so we can use the market to base our judgement on these horses.

From our improvers we can see that Unidexter has not only been improving but has an eight point rating lead on Elusive Thought and a 9 point lead on Crystal Peaks. This can be considered a significant improvement. The average length is a long way behind the top two but this kind of improvement cannot be ignored and the odds are likely to be offering us some serious value.

When using this method, as a general rule, you will probably want to consider placing your bets as each-way. You can now go and use this method of analysing races and put it into practice on its own or use it in combination with your current methods.

About Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help punters improve their betting profits and think outside the box with their betting strategies. To date he has written over 450 articles on the site and recently started UK Racing News which has become a leading news site for horse racing in the UK and IRE. Check out my personal blog or my Google+

One comment

  1. Great article, but there is a significant mistake: the ratings on the Sportinglife website have the most recent rating on the right, and the eldest on the left.

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