It is said that ‘form is temporary, but class is permanent,’ and this certainly applies in horse racing as in the full spectrum of sports. However, savvy punters know how to make hay when the sun shines and learning how to find the horses in terrific form is a key aspect of making money in the long run.
For some punters, form is everything, and they routinely ignore other factors when making their selections. At Race Advisor, we don’t agree that form is the be all and end all. However, we do acknowledge its importance. That’s why Michael created In-Form Fancies as part of his Racing Dossier, and I agreed to a field test.
Using In-Form Fancies
If you have Racing Dossier, you can make the most of Michael’s hard work by checking out In-Form Fancies which is devilishly simple to use. There are just four criteria to look at:
- 5278 Contender Rank: Only look at horses with figures of 1-4 as they win between 52% and 78% of races.
- DiffTpSHorPro: This rather complex looking table merely looks at the gap in quality between a horse and the top horse in the race. You should focus on horses no more than 10 points behind. Any horse with a figure of 11 or more is eliminated.
- Hrs Win%: The horses win ratio; must be 16% or more.
- DSLGR: Days Since Last Good Race; should be 60 days or less.
The above is an example of a race with no qualifiers. As you can see, the only horse with a DiffTpSHorPro score of 10 or less also has a 5278 figure of 5.
Here is an example of a qualifying horse. Upavon ticks all of the boxes and is being turned out extremely quickly after a good run.
Upavon is the fourth favourite at 7.6, so he is potentially a value for money selection. His last race was a victory in a four horse Class 5 event the previous day. While he has had some less than impressive runs in 2017 as a whole, two-second places in Class 2 events means he is worthy of consideration.
Of course, both runs were on AW surface so you must take that into account. Also, Upavon has won his last 3 races at Brighton; one Class 4 and two Class 5 events. Finally, two of the three races were over practically the same distance. Hey, no one said horse racing was easy! As it happened, Upavon finished fourth behind Coronation Day.
The following race at Brighton threw up another In-Form Fancy; Easy Code.
Again, the horse has a good chance of winning according to Betfair as he was joint favourite 3 hours before the off. However, his last race (a win at Wolverhampton) was a Class 6 race over AW so we must take this into account in what is a Class 5 event on turf. As it transpired, Easy Code was only third.
I came across a winner at this race in Leicester.
Dark Power ticked all the In-Form Fancies criteria and was also the favourite on Betfair about 3 hours before the off. He has won his previous race just 19 days previously at Nottingham and another race at the same source two races before that win. However, the wins were Class 4 and 5 respectively, and the race above was a Class 3 event.
My interest was piqued when I saw that Adam Kirby was on board; he rode Dark Power in the race above. In the end, Dark Power defeated Stanhope by a length.
What To Do When There Is More Than One Selection
Occasionally, you’ll come across a race with more than one contender as you see below.
If this happens, you have three options. The first is to ignore the race entirely. The second is to back both horses, and the third is to analyse them further to ascertain the best selection.
Even though there are only 5 runners, it is a fiendishly difficult handicap to call. Both Kensington Star and Great Fighter have a good chance of winning but if the bookies are to be believed, so do two of the remaining three.
Great Fighter has 4 wins from 10 races this season but has yet to win a Class 2 race. Kensington Star has 2 wins from 8 races this season but has not won anything above Class 4. Regarding form, you would have to choose Great Fighter as he won a 12-horse Class 3 event just two races ago.
In this case, we should also look at the other contenders since there are only three! Sebastian’s Wish is the favourite but has never raced in a Class 2 event let alone won one; his best win was in Class 4 company.
Yorkidding meets all the criteria, but it has been 76 days since his last good race. Otherwise, you would be tempted as he has four Class 2 wins in the last year including one at Haydock in June. However, that was in a significantly longer race. The other three wins came over a similar distance, but they all happened last season. Codeshare is the outsider and has just two mediocre runs this season; third in a Class 3 and second in a Class 4.
In this instance, a no-bet was the sensible option. For the record, Yorkidding won the race.
I hope you found this article useful and informative. If you don’t have time to delve deeper into races, you will still earn a long-term profit by simply selecting the horses that meet the In-Form Fancies criteria.
Although Michael created it, he would be the first to tell you to delve as deep as you can with the selections if you have the time. The extra effort could be the difference between good and great ROI. Remember, bookies hate punters that research!