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How best to read form ?

tacker

Gelding
I thought it might be interesting to see how individuals approach race reading ?
The chances are that we have our own ideas and rarely deviate from what we are used to, certainly that would be me, a bit old fashioned but hopefully always opened to suggestions.
Using attheraces won't be everyone's first choice but it suits me in that i like the layout and find it easy to use, for instance when looking at low class handicap at say wolves i will click the formscan button as a starting point to get a sense of whether or not we have horses that have a habit of beating each other or notice that the handicapper has maybe overreacted to one or two runs.
So then if i want to chase a little deeper by clicking on the name you get to see every race this horse has run in and when choosing a race to examine further a quick gander around the "future form" immediately gives a clearer idea of the standard of race beyond just the numbers involved.
Obviously you need to see how the horse performed during the race but not all racing is on ATR so i always have page open with The Sporting Life who cover the others other than chelmsford, this can be time consuming and i know others use databases to eliminate horses etc....(ATR) is free.

Anyway without waffling on it might be worth trying to select a race and engage in exchanging thought processors on how we all read form and see if something worthwhile comes out of it, maybe not but you never know.

At the moment i'm taking an interest in the 3.15 donc thurs which in my opinion has some absorbing form lines that those with a interest in such like might care to share their thoughts and approach to selecting a bet.
 

markfinn

Sire
Area of interest to myself as its not something I have ever considered

1st bit easy enough to answer -Certain courses - older horses in lower class sprints 5 - 7f - currently I have race alerts for these and try not to look to hard at racing unless I have an alert - dont follow horses and dont have a tracker -

Collateral form - going to struggle here -

Looking at Proform - in this race the IMO the two progressive horse look to be Vivonn and Alphinista - cannot see that they have met before so looking for a common denominator
 

Frank Boyle

Yearling
Little bit ironic as I nearly answered this question in the CommonRace Thread.

I use ratings to find horses best recent runs and then write notes on each run highlighted.
The trainer is also rated and usually if the top rated run had a trainer rated above a certain rating he would be my choice.
Alpinista for me too...
 

retriever

Gelding
I don't follow form in the traditional sense because I can't.
I guess it could be laziness, but also because I think for me, it would be a very inefficient use of time. No doubt my head would hurt at the end of it and I would be so confused with the race in question that I would never bet on anything.

I see 'form study' as a 'Latitude' process - going West to East and back again - comparing the candidates across a multitude of conditions, strengths and weaknesses.
Whereby, using just the plain statistics is a 'Longitudinal' process - North to South and back again - comparing conditions that are very similar though time.

Aside from using stats, my other main method would be to follow horses that I have seen when watching re-runs. If they were unlucky in running or showed a good turn of foot then I would take a chance on them if conditions were similar next race - sometimes blinkered to all the other runners.

So I can't add or say much on 'form' thought processes, as on the whole, as I don't or can't. Hopefully, you will get some decent replies though.

As an example, the race in question ( 3.15 Donc ) - Age 3 or 4 only, no headgear and (LR) days since a run ( 26 to 120 ) - leaves Pista and Dubious Affair - which took less than 5 minutes to do.
.
 
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tacker

Gelding
So a quick look at formscan shows next to nowt which means i need to read the form of all to get some idea of where we are.

DUBIOUS AFFAIR...Rated 99 and clearly progressed through handicaps from an opening mark of 74 up to 88 before running 2nd in a 4 runner listed race , so if i.m reading it correct he has gone up another 11lb for that which strikes me has harsh but this isn't a handicap so best to simply come to a conclusion that he will be fine on the ground and dist but falls short on ability for a group 2.

MAKAWEE.. Again her overall form suggests she is wanting, but most consistent and fine with ground and dist but her last win may 19 off a mark of 79, now 97.

MONICA SHERRIF...Won 5 races on the trot and ended her 3yr old 2019 season on 102, made her comeback run in the ebor which was excellent and showed she is fully up to winning this with one huge caveat, all her best form is with plenty of give and donny is good and getting faster.
This doesn't mean she can't act on this quicker surface but it has to be a worry.

VIVIONN...She won on HD off 83 and improved enough to try group3 on seasonal debut fin last of 3 btn 6L and then ran GOLD WAND to just under 2L with plenty good horses behind, stays on 102 and might be a threat if staying the 14f which this will be her first try. Could be she would prefer softer ground.

BELIVE IN LOVE...first of the 3yr olds so gets 9lbs from the mares, this filly was beaten on HD off 71 but has improved through the ranks to a mark of 88, she the won by 10L on soft ground which was a unknown beforehand and her 11/4 sp looked silly after her win.
Fav here and now rated 107 but while she is another that has progressed with time and the extra distance i worry that 10L win lto is somewhat flattering, the 2nd MONDAIN reads as a 90 horse and i can't help thinking BIL was very much suited to the soft going which she won't get at donny.

PISTA...Just the 3 runs which started with a nondescript effort at leop 10f but followed that with a 6L maiden win soft going.
Thrown into a listed race 14f good, she stayed on really well to get the better of Sunchart 99, she was 14/1 that day so maybe surprised connections at just how much she had improved. The obrien horse that day DAWN PATROL 107 further supports that this filly was good though she was getting 5lbs but still it was only her 3rd race.

SNOW... Another obrien filly is fully exposed but fully entitled to be here, Aquited herself well in the irish oaks before going up in distance and finishing a well beaten last of 3 at goodwood 14f g-f, perhaps best to judge her on the oaks form so she has to be a threat but even with dettori on top her stamina is in doubt.

Normally i would now read what the experts say and see if i've misread things but this is hard work so in conclusion i'm in favour of banking on PISTA continuing to improve and benefiting from this long straight.
 
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mick

Sire
Looking at the thread title i would say there is no right or wrong way only that which over time best suits yourself. I also find there is no easy way it is a complex subject teeming with apparent contradictions and false tells. I recall back in the day that form reading was often described as science + art i prefer fact + opinion but in either case its the latter part of the equation which is both the straighter and the sod.

One aspect can help find your niche and specialize making best use of your form reading time by attempting to learn more about less. Also while it can be informative to glean the judgement of others grow the confidence to back your own especially at the most difficult time when yours is very much a minority pundit and market view.

In this game imo there are no experts, and this is worth keeping in mind the next time your "form read" pick has been dismissed by most and shows as a big priced forlorn hoper. :) Re My way when i write up a horse to post on here i try to explain my thinking and hold nothing back because i do not have any holy grail secrets. Every horse we back will have some possible negatives involved and the best edge is achieving correct balance but explaining this thinking is seldom an easy ask.
 
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tacker

Gelding
mick mick
In truth it is unrealistic to think you can put into a few sentences the complexities of for instance "collateral form" simply because it takes you down a never ending road, so the best you can do is give a flavour of what your thinking is and signpost to further investigation by the reader.
We're not journalists and mislead each other in how we use the wrong word etc... re-"experts" was meant to mean racing journalists who themselves often say the silliest things probably because it all needs to be in shorthand.

Systems and ratings are extremely well covered by forums but not so much straightforward reading of the formbook, two years ago i brought this subject up on EHRF but was told nobody is interested in form and in large part that was true, this thread was meant to be a rolling thread where thoughts regarding form might be thrown into the mix at any time.
 

mick

Sire
Systems and ratings are extremely well covered by forums but not so much straightforward reading of the formbook, two years ago i brought this subject up on EHRF but was told nobody is interested in form and in large part that was true.
Well if correct then the best possible reason for starting to take an interest. Its really none of my business but i do suspect that a downside of computers is that increasing numbers of punters seek and expect quick click solutions, and perhaps the future edge will be the Pen and A4. ?
 

tacker

Gelding
Well if correct then the best possible reason for starting to take an interest. Its really none of my business but i do suspect that a downside of computers is that increasing numbers of punters seek and expect quick click solutions, and perhaps the future edge will be the Pen and A4. ?
You might have a point about computers etc...but if you have an expensive computer and subscribe to databases or whatever, you might be inclined to concentrate on those things rather than spending two hours studying form and trying to put some words together to explain your thinking, which is what i did last night with the 3.15 donc.
I had a email from somebody who was a regular on other forums but after a poor run with his betting decided to give forums up all together and felt it gave him a different perspective on betting horses, hopefully he has full control of his betting now but says he won't be back on forums.
 

mick

Sire
I had a email from somebody who was a regular on other forums but after a poor run with his betting decided to give forums up all together and felt it gave him a different perspective on betting horses, hopefully he has full control of his betting now but says he won't be back on forums.
Well that's interesting did he elaborate. ? I only use this one and had it been available 40yrs ago it would have saved me plenty of along the way grief. I have my share of poor runs but during same i only blame myself not this forum.

I must say i rather like the idea and shall now start drafting a post blaming you and other members for my next 20 losers. :) Actually i blame this forums Admin who constantly block my attempts to Reg with a second identity, because i feel sure that the second mick would argue the case against backing those losers or indeed any bets posted by the first. :eek:
 
mick mick
In truth it is unrealistic to think you can put into a few sentences the complexities of for instance "collateral form" simply because it takes you down a never ending road, so the best you can do is give a flavour of what your thinking is and signpost to further investigation by the reader.
We're not journalists and mislead each other in how we use the wrong word etc... re-"experts" was meant to mean racing journalists who themselves often say the silliest things probably because it all needs to be in shorthand.

Systems and ratings are extremely well covered by forums but not so much straightforward reading of the formbook, two years ago i brought this subject up on EHRF but was told nobody is interested in form and in large part that was true, this thread was meant to be a rolling thread where thoughts regarding form might be thrown into the mix at any time.
Straightforward form reading can mean different things to us all Tacker you have a process that works for you using the ATR website and gets you plenty of winners and (i think) you enjoy the sorting out of the puzzle each race presents.
The tools we use will influence the way we work a race i use HRB & also pay for a ratings spreadsheet and have developed a method/process of working my way through a race of interest,so i'm using the latest technology to get my stats and numbers and i apply a few filters (all the usual & obvious things)...but it's all written down on an A4 pad,old habits die hard!!!.
Good luck if you have a bet in the 3.15 at Doncaster.
 

markfinn

Sire
Potentially a great thread - taking punters under the “bonnet “ of ratings has to an interest to any would be experts. Its the aim of so many to leave work behind and take up punting for a living - not many will achieve it simply because the reality is that punting is possibly harder than the current day job.
The data bases are great, no more need to have shelfs full of the old form books - no more card index’s - press a button or two and the numbers spew out, but the quality of the info out is only as good as the info put in by the data supplier , or and more importantly as good as the quality of the question asked.
Ratings are only collateral form reading converted and expressed into numbers - the BHA and others produce lengths per sec equations etc for all to use if required - if It was my aim to live from punting I would want to know as much as possible about all this and much more.

Some races are more difficult from others to take on from this line of attack, which races do members believe are best for collateral line of form.
 

Chesham

Sire
There are numerous ways to read Form

Head To Head Form, similar to T tacker use of ATR Data

problem when they have not met as I don’t think ATR has a collateral tool for assessing indirect Collateral form

I think mick mick will have that tool using RI (it did when I used RI many years ago.

HRB have one

C3684E3E-EAF3-41DB-9422-AEF3329F681A.jpeg
The above is just an example from the 3.15 race today and other horse in the race can be compared

These are all pre race examples
Well In Form

E2FA25B5-6057-438A-91A5-60A36633581A.jpeg49FC8BD3-B2DC-46B7-8401-C23BB59163B6.jpeg
Trainers Course form when certain Race conditions are evident


8D260C97-CF4A-490B-8C93-AF0A6463E6EC.jpeg
Pedigree Handicapping to predict that a horse is likey to improve on known form
F9F80DBE-A967-43A4-B029-E82D75C13AC5.jpeg
Key Race Form
34D1A279-E130-45B3-A38C-A95F8453D185.jpeg

I could go on Sectional Time form, Pace Disadvantage Form. Gap to close form, Claiming Race Form,
Speed Form, Class Form,



Form is an endless study with numerous options to crack a race open leaving one stand out .

Each race in practice is different and therefore different techniques may be called upon.
 
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For what it's worth my workings for the 3.15Doncaster, Park Hill stakes.
Believe In Love,jt top rated on my spreadsheet,and i also have a system alert from HRB telling me she is a qualifier for this race,i have my own HRB ratings set & checking them against my system shows a 100% win rate for the trainer in this race type at the track in September.
very skinny odds though @11/8. :handgestures-thumbup:
 

mick

Sire
Some races are more difficult from others to take on from this line of attack, which races do members believe are best for collateral line of form.
Or which do members feel they have better knowledge of because i think this connects with my above Re seeking some form of specialization. My own is all aged and 4yo + Hcaps of 5 - 10 fur. Any past form direct or collateral also calls for implementing judgement as to its true worth and relevance to the future ask.

Ratings you trust can give a clearer insight but again it comes down to not what we have but the way that we interpret and use it. ? If aspects of our ways are a little contrarian then imo better still.

Edit : Just reading Chesham Chesham above yes RI does have the collateral tool but i find it can prove more hindrance than help often showing conflict over kill.
 
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