Guest post by John Waters
Do you know how big Racing is in the British Isles?
On a quiet day in the UK there are, perhaps, 4 race meetings.
This means a total of 350 runners per day!
And… this is over 363 days (COVID-19 allowing).
Add in the increased numbers running on Fridays, Saturdays, Festivals and in Ireland, and you soon reach a figure in excess of 200,000 runners over a 12 month period.
There are over 1500 trainers, and probably a similar number of dams & sires. Each of these provide clues as to what horses you may want to follow, and you will soon realise the extent of the task of tracking horses that may prove profitable.
You can quickly lose track of when the horses you want to back are running. Nobody wants to see a horse they like go round without an opportunity to back it.
Luckily Race Advisor Pro provides an easy way of tracking horses with it’s Eye Catcher feature, and any horses you are tracking that are running on the day will appear in the Eye Catchers section of your Dashboard.
So how do you decide which horses to follow?
Sadly there is no easy answer.
One way is to watch every race you can and make notes on the horses that impress you – not an easy task but certainly one that will improve your knowledge of horses and horse racing.
Be prepared for many hours sat in front of a screen, with pen & paper, free from interruptions while you try and pick out future winners.
These horses won’t necessarily be the winners. They could be those that finish in the places, but seem to be coming through towards the end (meaning that perhaps they would prefer a longer run), or those that seem at ease in the early stages of the race but fade towards the end (indicating a shorter run to be desirable).
You’ll see some horses that seem to thrive in the mud, whilst others seem incapable of producing their turf form on an All Weather track.
Perhaps the most important question to ask for each horse is whether it forms part of a system (and therefore backed blind), or if it is part of a profile (meaning it is only backed if other criteria are met).
Amazingly enough, with the Eye Catchers tool, you can do both.
You need to start the notes for horses that are part of a system with the System Name, or those that are part of a profile with the qualifying conditions to meet that Profile – for example:
Highly Sprung is a horse I have profiled as I write his record is 60 Runs, 10 Wins and a further 10 Places. Following Blindly throughout his career would have resulted in a +5.33 Points profit for the Win however if you only followed on Turf this improves to 10 Wins from 47 Runs with a further 8 Places for +18.33 Points profit for the win.
Another source of horses is word of mouth – you may be surprised at the resources you have that you are not aware of!
In August 2019 I picked up on a horse called Fr Humphrey through a member of this site who is owner (or part of the syndicate owning it) posted that it was going to run and was worth a look.
As a result of this, from 9 Runs I have picked up 2 Wins and 2 further places for a profit of+16.85 points – all because I read the forum posts regularly.
By the way… if I was profiling Fr Humphrey I’d probably go for distance 2 Miles & 5 Furlongs or more.
Another way to decide on horses is to follow those that are succesful for you with other systems – If a system repeatedly throws up a horse and it regularly wins or places then maybe it is worth tracking.
As an example you may have a system that looks at Sandy Thomson trained Chasers running at Kelso – a few years ago you would have come across Harry The Viking which had 2 wins and a place from 5 runs (I know he was still running in February) who has managed to show a profit to level stakes throughout his career (24 Runs 3 Wins 9 Places 25 Points Win Profit 35.6 Points Place Profit).
Maybe you can look at 2 year olds who have had 2 wins or more, to see if any of these are worth following – to do this you probably need to start tracking the winners of 2 year old races and hopefully these will provide a source of ongoing winners.
Sadly there comes a time when you need to remove horses from those you track – the system I use is I look at the last 2 years results to see if I continue. For Flat Horses I review at the end of October and for National Hunt I review at the end of April.
EDITOR: I hope this insight into how John tracks his horses has been useful for you. If you have any questions please leave him a comment below, and if you’d like to follow along John’s tracked horses thread in the forum, you can do that here.