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Jack's blog attempt


At a loose end as I think the wet weather has put the kibosh on finding anything on the cards -18 withdrawals already when I looked at the Bangor-UNDER- Dee card! I was going to go off at a tangent with some thoughts I have been having re compiling ratings. Instead I have been thinking about what in my opinion are insoluble problems for betting on horses. Some members may not agree and will probably tell me so :D, but I can take that.

1. It is impossible to reduce the form of horses accurately to a single figure (I think I got that from Beyer) as there are too many variables involved.

2. There is no such thing as true odds (except for true mathematical odds according to the number of runners) either before or after the event! If it were so then the layers would always balance their books and they don't. Also if a race was to be run several times under the same conditions a different result could occur very time.

The fact is the best we can achieve is to get as near to 'reality' with our opinion and those that get nearest will be the winners.


The Charlie Scroggins racing review (this is my alter ego as per VDW, but not a word :prankster: )

In 1951 at the age of 15 I worked in Manchester as a pattern-card-maker apprentice (£2.50 a week).
During the half hour lunch break I sat among the tradesmen where they debated making four selections for a Yankee from the cards in the Daily Mirror.
The aim was to pick runners to beat the forecast favourite from winners and seconds last time out. Ignoring race where there were more than 3 such runners in total.
I was then sent to the local greasy spoon to make contact with he bookies runner sitting in a window seat to hand over the bet and 11/- (55p, which may not seem a large sum today but represented over 2 hours tradesman's pay of 25p an hour).

After almost 70 years I thought I might try the system again today using my daily paper:

Uttoxeter (going forecast GS with some S)

12.20 Mongol Emperor
12.50 Give Us A Swig
1.20 Naizagai
3.53 Kayarnah


The Charlie Scroggins racing review (this is my alter ego as per VDW, but not a word :prankster: )
No words from me other than best of Charlie. :) Re wages my first job was with a local printer ( his daughter was my girl friend ) the wage for a five and a half day week was £6.50p per week which was the norm at that time. After a year i got caught out playing away which made things a bit awkward with daddy as well as daughter, and an older mate got me a start hod carrying at £5 per day, younger members will laugh but this was considered fantastic money at the time.
  • Haha
Reactions: BC


Charlie Scroggins does VDW, sort of - for something to do! :D

Hereford (going forecast GF/G)

1.15 Marada
1.50 El Presente
2.25 Ziggy Rose
3.00 Tikinthebox
3.35 Fugitives Drift
4.15 Miss Zip
4.45 Thomas Kershaw
5.20 Translink

Betting down the card to the Ryder staking plan stop-when-in profit, and no bet shorter than 1/2.


Having a go at beating the layers with a pen-and-paper chart using Professor Frank George's selection criteria as advised in 1978.

Taunton (going forecast GF showers) RP Spotlight selects Andaleep 3 pundits agree 10 oppose)
3.10 Market expected 09.20* no's 4, 8,1 indicating a win restricted to these. Theoretical strong fav 7/4, possible contender 7/2, not expected longer than 7/1.

1*. 24 = 7/2 fair odds (7/2 mkt) Get Back Get Back
2. 9 = 11/1 (12/1)
3. 6 = 18/1 (11/1)
4*. 26 = 3/1 (2/1) Friend Or Foe
5. 13 = 15/2 (16/1)
6. 10 = 10/1 (12/1)
7. 7 = 14/1 (11/1)
8*. 13 = 15/2 (10/3) Andaleep

Comment: Omitting Andaleep and dutch the other two. Chart looked fairly straightforward overall with Friend or Foe quite strong early.

Top three of other ratings in comparison.
Rose To Fame, Friend Or Foe, Get Back Get back = RPR
Winds Of Fire, Foreign Secretary, Get Back Get Back = D. Mail Formcast
Winds Of Fire, Nebuchadnezzar, Foreign Secretary = ATR Predictor


Had some success with long-shots recently mainly looking for weight advantage.

Plumpton (going forecast S with some GS) Class 3 hcap hurdle over almost 8f wit 12 runners.
3.05 Market expected 09.40* no's 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 indicating an open contest. Theoretical strong fav 11/4, possible contender 11/2, not expected longer than 11/1.

1*. 18 = 11/2 Fineform (13/2 mkt) Medalla De Ora
6* 18 = 11/2 (11/2) Cawthorne Lad
9* 19 = 11/2 (11/2) Meteorite
10* 15 = 7/1 (11/2) The Twister

Comment: Fineform rates the above as the form horses to consider. With it looking open on paper the possible contenders at 11/2 no's 1, 6, 2 could be dutched for interest. However, as that is not the object of the exercise I am looking at Officer Drivel each-way 20/1 mkt with some form LTO.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
CAWTHORNE LAD is very interesting on his return and debut for the shrewd Jonjo O'Neill yard. The four-year-old paid his way in juvenile hurdles for Tim Easterby during his last campaign and even more is expected of him this winter. Medalla De Oro is another who leaps off the page under a 10lb claimer, with last-start scorers Meteorite and The Twisler also considered.
Watch out for: MEDALLA DE ORO (1)
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Couple of months since I last had an original thought :( . It is said that most betting coups take place in non-hcap events. That being the case I just checked out the first race at Catterick for interest.
According to the runes (early market) it is forecast as a foregone conclusion for Bareback Jack 4/6 (D McCain/B Hughes) followed up by Jayaaah 5/2 and Tonyx 4/1. My tissue has them at 11/2, 6/1, 13/2 (possibly a guide to my form assessment ability). However, I have Reassurance 40/1 market at 7/1, so could this be the one? Began career OK but not gone on and may not like the soft going.


12.25 Fakenham (going forecast S with some GS showers)
I'm So Busy and Ripper Roo are the top tips and fancied in the market. My choice for an e.w. coup would be Swedishhorsemafia 12/1.


In two minds whether to post this at all or even on the Inner Sanctum. It's a consensus tissue derived from several pundits ratings. Just the bare bones now as it might die the death after one post if it does not look viable.

Kelso (going forecast S with showers)
2.50 market expected 09.50 no's 3, 6 indicating a win restricted to these.

1. 7/1 (market 09.50), 5/1 (pundits fair odds ), 4/1 (theoretical 20% overround)
2. 17/2, 4/1, 3/1 (Jonniesofa)
3*. 11/4, 7/1, 6/1 Quick Wave
4. 13/2, 50/1, 40/1
5. 13/2, 9/2, 10/3
6*. 9/4, 9/2, 10/3, Duc De Grissay
8. 14/1, 13/2, 11/2

Comment: Jonniesofa comes out best at the early prices for me.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
QUICK WAVE was an impressive eight-length winner at Catterick earlier in the month and even a 7lb rise may not be enough to stop her form taking this contest as well. Vintage Clouds has disappointed in both starts this season but he may improve for a wind operation and is only 2lb above his last winning mark. Crixus's Escape and Jonniesofa both failed to complete on their most recent outings but it is far too soon to be writing them off.
Top Tip: QUICK WAVE (3)
Watch out for: VINTAGE CLOUDS (1)
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Hello Jackform Jackform , I've been catching up on this thread and I have to say I've not had an original thought in months as well, I'm just rehashing ideas which I stopped using ages ago usually because they didn't work. I suppose it is madness to expect a different result now.

A thought will come for both of us given time

Good luck today


@ hedgehog, thanks for the thought hopefully you are right. I tried putting together another pundit consensus today and it turned out rubbish. Mind you it did remind me that following top trainers can be lucrative with Captain Chaos just winning at 10/1 and most of the fancied runners by pundits PU :prankster: .
Jackform Jackform I remembered an old idea I used as part of a spreadsheet that would eventually give an estimate of probability given various factors likelihood of winning. It was one of the better factors as I remember. It took over an hour to get the values for the factors but about 10 minutes to populate the spreadsheet.and get a result. I think I'll look at that spreadsheet again. It may spark a thought!

Good luck tomorrow


hedgehog hedgehog, I am a pen-and-paper chart man (it's an age thing as I have been following UK racing for 70 years this year, in fact on my birthday next week I will become too old to be accepted as a Chelsea Pensioner - and that's old! :eek: ).

Enough of that, I charted the Newbury 2.25 on another thread continuing with the theme of following trainers where Nicholls, Henderson, King and Tizzard from my seasonal trainers merit list have runners. The early market put me off as with 7 runners each-way is not attractive and the early market fav is too short to be of interest. However, it did bring to mind the advice of Tim Drakeford, who I have respect for:

Quote,"We have said that systematic betting is based on a scientific premise: that the past forecasts the future. It is also based on the scientific premise that certain principles or laws underlie the apparent chaos of the universe. So, what are the underlying principles at work on the racecourse? You may have heard the old saw that fast horses win races. This is a tautology, because by definition, of course, the fastest horse in the race on the day always wins. The trick is to find the one which will be fastest on the day before the race is run! To me, this trick has three aspects. First, the horse must have the ability to win the race. Second, the horse must be able to show its form - that is, to live up to its innate ability. Thirdly, and absolutely vitally, the animal must be fancied by the people connected with it. If they are definitely not trying, then the horse will not win, and if they are not trying very hard it is less likely to win than might otherwise seem the case. These are the questions, then, that the punter must answer before choosing a runner on which he might bet.

Does the horse have sufficient ability to win a race of this type?

Are the circumstances right for the ability to be shown on this occasion?

Do connections expect the horse to win or go close?

If the answers to these three questions is an unequivocal "yes", then the punter has found the right sort of horse on which to invest his money. Whether he should actually do so or not depends on the final imponderable, value."

(I will leave you to digest those thoughts and hope to hear from you again)
Hello Jackform Jackform , a good trinity there, I'll give it some thought how I can measure each of those factors though I have to be honest I'd want to do that in the simplest way as I find it I do something complicate I end up confusing myself.

Thank you for telling me that, it is much appreciated

Good luck and stay well


hedgehog hedgehog, simple is not easy with racing as there are so many possible variables. Not only that the layers have the simple approaches well-covered and most of the complicate ones too for that matter.

a) Class/ability - the inner sanctum publishes class ratings/prize money as per VDW/infineform site gives overall and course prize money/I sometimes use the Dowst% 33% win and 50% place over career.

b) Right circumstances - I prefer a good run in the past month taking into consideration going, distance, weight-change, class of race.

c) Connections expectations - I check the early market odds about 10.00 to note where the support is and then market moves until just before the off.

However, if you wish to try a very simple system here is one that I got in 1970.

1) 3 to 6 runners inclusive any type of race Flat or NH (AW?)
2) Avoid bets at odds-on.
3) Back the SP favourite (alternatively the betting forecast favorite say from the RP?)
4) Two or more races at the same time take any qualifier at the principal meeting, other meetings not considered.
5) Staking I would suggest the Ryder plan from the 1960's.

Loadsa possibles today :eek: from RP online and suggest Ryder staking down the cards stop-when-in-profit.

Hun 12.30 Interconnected
Hun 1.30 Timetochill
Chp 1.55 Eamon An Choic
Chp 2.57 Poker Play
Hun 3.05 Quiana
Chp 3.27 Funambule Sivola
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Jackform Jackform , I can see the first two but the third is problematic as I'm finding winners tend to drift from their overnight price. In fact the price the night before is a better indication of a win than sp.

I'm using Irish racing website and it is easy to get earnings per run which at least allows for young runners not having won much but having few runs

Good luck and stay well