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Picking A Winner From Watching Races

(Last Updated On: March 13, 2014)

There are several well known people that find their winners by watching replays of races, and two in particular are very successful using it. These two are  Pricewise and Patrick Veitch. Both use replays to fine tune their selection process and go about selecting their wagers.

It’s a very diverse method, and extremely subjective, but to get a true angle on how to use it we need to break down exactly what it is we are looking for.

One of the best places to start is to utilise, in the first instance, the free footage available on both the Racing UK website and the At The Races website. The At The Races website have a very handy tool that we can implement for free once our analysis is complete. More on that later.

During this post I’ll use an example to clarify the key points you should be following in order to get the most out using race replays as a selection process. If you haven’t already then I strongly recommend you grab a pencil and paper and take some notes as we go through.

This can also be used as a powerful aid in solidifying any opinion you may have on a selection that has been found using another approach.

As you may know, I personally specialise in handicaps. What you probably don’t know is that I always spend part of my working day watching maiden races. This is very important as it allows me to keep an eye on any future handicap debutantes.

Okay, so let’s look at a race from today.

For this example I’m going to use the 5.45 at Wolverhampton on the 8th March.

Looking at the race card you can see that the favourite was Euro Charline a horse trained by Marco Botti. It’s only previous race was a maiden over course and distance so, it was straight to the video replay of which you can watch below by clicking on the link.

http://www.attheraces.com/VideoConsole/?va=WOL_2013_11_16_05_1950

(you will need an account to log in and watch, but it’s free to sign up on the website: www.attheraces.com)

Head over and watch the race now, and then come back here.

Now that you’ve watched it for the first time, turn off the commentary and watch it again.

Although commentators give us an accurate account of what is happening as it unfolds, it can cloud our personal judgement. You will have noticed that the commentator in the video suggested that Euro Charline runs a bit green, which to an extent is correct, but as a single phrase it sticks in the mind as a negative. But if you hadn’t heard that, then I’m sure you would agree that the turn of foot shown by the run in would increase confidence for her in her next race.

Never forget that rule 1 of watching race replays is to turn your sound down so you can’t hear the commentary.

Okay, now that we’ve seen the video that’s great. But the bigger question is…

How do we translate this into an effective method of picking a winner?

To do this you need to take notes of the following factors while you are watching the race:

  • How the horse settled in the race
  • Its position in the race, was it happy to sit off the pace or did it like to lead
  • How many other horses were in the race
  • The speed at which it picked up at the end (turn of foot)

Now watch the video again but this time make notes on these four factors for Euro Charline. You may need to watch it a couple of times to get all your notes.

Mark off your notes to see if you got similar information to me.

Euro Charline was right up there with the pace, and settled well despite pulling very slightly half way around. That was just a sign of inexperience. There were eleven other horses in the race and this didn’t phase her. Finally she showed an impressive turn of foot to comes away and win by several lengths.

Okay I’m going to be hones, I watched this race as part of my daily routine just a few hours after it took place and then, using the At The Races tracker, I was alerted when she was next running. Which was on…

…the 8th March!

So now we’re looking at the race on the 8th March and we have to determine whether Euro Charline looks to be a good bet.

To do this we need to think like the trainer. After all, they’re the experts in knowing where to place their horses.

In this case we can see that she was running at the same distance, same track and with eight other runners. The conditions where the same as last time except this was a better class and she’d been put in as joint top weight.

Looking back through her last race and weighing up conditions today, she made a good bet at 3/1. The market agreed, and she eventually went off 5/4 favourite and won by 9 lengths.

What you’re looking for is whether you agree with the conditions of the race the trainer has put the horse in, based on the information you discovered when you watched the replay.

Put this horse in the tracker in At The Races as your first horse and it will alert you to the next time she runs. When you get the alert, check the race conditions to see if you agree with the trainer’s placing of her and then, depending on how the handicapper has treated her, she could be a good bet. Of course, it’s possible that she could now be over-bet based on her last two performances which would mean a lay bet for us.

This is a very effective method of finding selections using race replays, and it always will be because very few punters are prepared to spend the time it takes watching past races.

I would strongly recommend that you have a go using this approach, it continues to pay dividends to those that do!

Look at replays of horses that are running in Maidens and, even if they don’t win, analyse the way the horses have run and ask yourself questions about whether it would need a step up in trip or if would suit a smaller field?

Then those runners that you think have potential note in your tracker so that you get the alert when they’re next running and you can follow this process to decide whether they are making a good bet or not.

Eddie Lloyd

I have been a professional gambler for 3 years now and spend all my days searching for "value" within Horse Racing. I'm also a keen musician and love travelling around the world.

8 Comments

  1. This great if you do not have other priorities all day long.
    I learned a long time ago all by myself to watch racing and take notes for the next time it runs just like the gold cup.
    But when you have internet failure on smart TV or your satellite does not give you racing you will not have a lot of time for music and jetting off as you will be sorting out these things to let you make this money to do all the things you say , selling systems is the best way to make money from racing.

    1. Hi Liam,

      Thanks for your comments. I appreciate that it does take time to analyse a race and this method may not suit everyone especially in today’s busy world. However it could be a method adopted by many for their weekends betting. All the articles I write are geared toward helping people make their betting more efficient and profitable.

      Eddie

  2. Last season i asked a well known person who runs his own website and tips and is excellent at what he does etc and he is one of the writers for the betting school,,i asked him how did you know what do you look out for?,he couldn’t tell me and said it was a skill which he developed over the years,now i can watch a horse who gets blocked in on the rail for next time,a hampered horse for next time,but in big fields when the draw is against a horse,its on the opposite side of the winner how do you know if it would of won if it was on the right side of the draw? that would be a great tool to have in my armory of knowledge.the above is a very welcome start for me Micheal i do lots of things in my racing stats ratings but if i can watch replays as i have the time to master this would be excellent like atr’s Hugh Taylor and the brilliant Patrick Veitch that’s what he does a lot of and to be in there league would be a dream come true or even yours Micheal thanks

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your comments. Once you have mastered the art of race reading then you could then add other filters on top that could determine the effectiveness of the draw. I’ll write something about draw bias as we head into the flat season. I hope that helps.

      Regards,

      Eddie

  3. you can watch all the replays for FREE on the sporting life site but you have to join skybet to log in to the replays which is also FREE to join .,. plus i see no point betting on 5/4 shots when you can bet evens on red or black on the roulette table via the live roulette of super casino or jackpot247 be it live or autowheel

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your comments. I must apologise for stating that Racing UK offered free replays. I hadn’t realised that they had removed this feature and as I subscribe myself they are always available.

      I bet the horse at 3/1 which offered significant value and even at 5/4 was a good bet. I’m sure you are aware that betting on roullette is NOT a profitable method as the house has the advantage over you. The correct returns on either black or red would have to be 11/10 and that would be to just turn over. However in horse racing the oddscompiler is offering you his opinion on the horses chance and therefore if one can better that opinion then you will make money 😉

      I hope that helps.

      Regards,

      Ed

  4. Interesting if you have time, thank you. Unfortunately you cant watch free replays on RUK anymore unless you subscribe to them. I have criticised them for this but it didn’t make much difference. If you have a basic subscription to racing post you can watch so many replays a month depending on your subscription. Good luck. JP

    1. Hi JP,

      Again I must apologise for stating that Racing UK offered free replays. I hadn’t realised that this was the case as I subscirbe myself. The method could still be adopted through the At The Races website and I will try and find another resource.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Regards,

      Eddie

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