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VDW The Elementary Mechanical Procedure


VDW Update (1985 booklet)

"There are are numerous and varied ways to pinpoint horses which should be candidates for the winners enclosure and some years ago I put forward what seems to have become known as the VDW approach."

"The VDW approach is a method, not a system, which produces a numerical evaluation of the odds based on relevant factors thereby creating a picture from which it is possible to determine if there is a winner IN the race not OF the race. Having done this, evaluate its capability of doing so in the present situation."

"Taken step by step and starting with the principal meeting he agenda is:

1 Select the most valuable race on the card,
2 Consider the next most valuable.
3. Select the most valuable race from other cards.
4. Rate the entire field for ability.
5, Select the most consistent from the first 5 or 6 in betting forecat.
6. Apply selected rating method to entire field."

"....early signposts on road to success given by VDW at this juncture were:

1. Narrowing the field.
2. Looking at horses that win a high percentage of races with regard to their Form figures.
3. Studying the first 5 in the betting forecast of non-handicap races and the first 6 in handicaps.
4. Using two rating methods.
5. AND perhaps most important of all, combining these points...'subject to other consideration'."

THIS IS ME, right I have done all that today.

Using the Daily Mail for information the selected race is the feature race of the day at Pontefract 3.10 with the highest prize money and the greatest percentage of winning form.

1*. 11*
2*. 13*, 76*, 119* Black Cherry
4*. 6*
12*. £83, 76*
13*.£87*, 78*, 120* Spirit Raiser

VDW again "In march 1981 I suggested, 'to confirm what the figures say it is necessary to study the form of all concerned taking particular note of the class in which they ran , the courses they ran on, the pace and going of the respective races, distances won or beaten by and most important of all how they performed in the later stages of each race."


Hi Jackform Jackform

I have had a look at Past Winners of this race and recent winners have been 4 Y-O and Two of the past winners came straight from PRINCESS ELIZABETH STAKES (Sponsored by Investec) (Group 3) (1)

Loaves And Fishes meets that criteria and is a EW Price 16/1 at Present.

The Other Runner who contested the Epsom race is merry Me, but has had one run at Windsor Since.


Chesham Chesham and I didn't even do the 'subject to other considerations' bit :D. Beginner's luck I think it is called.

I had Black Cherry Top on my Class Ratings, but the winner did not come out well for the LTO Performace, one of those do you forgive the LTO Run questions. It was a good race today and the Form should work out well. I think they will have to go down the Handicap Route again for Loaves And Fishes

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 15.36.14.png


Bath 7.00 by VDW elementary mechanical procedure.

Col headings - cloth no, £ class, consistency, Formcast, RPR

2*-39*-10*-76*-88* Jaywalker, LTO 12,up 5lbs, same class, outpaced rallied 4/6 -8L Newmarket S
5*34-8*-78*-88* Silverica, LTO 14, dropped 2lbs, same class, ran on led 1/6 +hd Salisbury S
7*38*-18-77*-88* Free To Love, LTO 25, up 5lbs, same class, made most headed kept on same pace 2/7 -1.25L 6f Bath F

Comment: Silverica then Free To love look best of the three named.

My problem with the above is not being able to work out what the odds should be so I have priced up the RPR with 126% overround, although plenty of time for market moves:

1. 8/1 RPR odds required (12/1 market 08.50)
2. 11/2 (7/1)
3. 11/2 (5/1)
4. 13/2 (10/1)
5. 11/2 (9/2)
6. 5/1 (5/1)
7. 5/1 (6/1)
8. 10/1 (6/1)
9. 20/1 (6/1)
10. 10/1 (30/1)


Does it work for racing in America?

Will Rogers Downs (fast) RP Spotlight selection Baydar.
22.45 Market expected 09.15* no's 1, 3, 8 indicating a win restricted to these.

1. 3* 4/1 ATR f/cst (5/1 mkt) Fools Paradise. 2nd to Baydar LTO
3. 1* 5/2 (11/10) Blue Moonrise. Said to be better than LTO
7. 3* 8/1 (12/1) Yield. LTO 8 months agO?
8. 4* 7/4 (2/1) Baydar. LTO C&D. Top trainer in form.
10. 2 * 10/1 (14/1) Inagoodway. 2nd best trainer currently. Looks e.w. shot at best.

Comment: The obvious seelction is Baydar.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
BAYDAR just doesn't know how to run badly and gets a confident vote in this allowance heat following an impressive success here last month. Fool's Paradise and Blue Moonrise are others to be interested in.
Top Tip: BAYDAR (8)
Watch out for: FOOL'S PARADISE (1


Not too bad yesterday considering struggling with form data :) .

Will Rogers Downs (fast) RP Spotlight selects Gato Guapo.
22.45 (race 8) Market expected 09.10 no's 1, 4, 7, 9 indicating a win restricted to these.

1. 4* 4/1 ATR f/cst (7/2 mkt) Miltontown. LTO won C&D. On a 3 timer with solid claims.
4. 2* 6/1 (11/4) Vangilder. LTO 7 months ago?
7. 3* 5/1 (5/1) Grade One. Top trainer in form. An e.w. possible
9. 3* 5/2 (2/1) Gato Guapo. Has form previously in higher class.

Comment. My preference is for Miltontown.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
GATO GUAPO was a little disappointed last time out but went very close in more valuable events at Turf Paradise and Sunland before that and has leading form claims on his Will Rogers Downs bow. Miltontown has really taken this venue and won't give up on the course hat-trick without a fight, while Vangilder is also considered.
Top Tip: GATO GUAPO (9)
Watch out for: MILTONTOWN (1)


I must say that regardless of win or lose, this is the first VDW thread I've seen that actually sticks to a basic set of criteria and doesn't involve tortuous logic to explain why something won 16 years ago. Good luck!


How are you all today - Good? Perhaps I can change that by returning to Che Van der Wheil :handgestures-thumbup:.

A good long read for you copied from the internet twenty years ago from a forum where the author was a dedicated interpreter of the VDW correspondence:

Quote: ' I have recently suggested that to achieve a regular strike rate of 85% or thereabouts, VDW must have used Multiple Betting - backing more than one horse in many of the races he describes. From the examples, that I am aware of, the prices of the winners quoted would lend themselves to having been the subject of multiple betting. My reasons for reaching this conclusion are that when I run a computer program looking at all odds on winners of 20/21or shorter it is extremely difficult to obtain a strike rate of around 80%. Of course, VDW's listings do not show any odds on winners. I also wondered why he spoke about staking plans in his very early letters, but never mentioned Multiple Betting. Furthermore he devotes a chapter to Multiple Betting in the book Systematic Betting (The logical approach to racing winnings) which is usually regarded as the only book that VDW actually penned although published by Raceform in spring 1990. It does seem, however, that VDW's first sojourn into the subject was a letter of the 26th December 1981 but this was not carried in The Golden Years of Van der Wheil. But, reader Ronald Walker's letter of the 23rd January, 1982 approved the quality of the VDW letter but not the suggestion.

VDW's letter of the 26th December, 1981 (was Kempton Park abandoned or had he already sorted out the winner of the King George over his Christmas lunch!) in the book 'The Ultimate Wheil of Fortune'. This is almost four years after his first letter to the SCHB on the 2nd February, 1978. This, I think stresses, that his methods were always being added to or altered and were a portfolio of methods, which sometime in the future should be defined into a list in time order, as I feel that, maybe this will make the methods easier to define. Maybe, this is what Tony Peach tried to do but in my opinion spoilt his efforts by introducing letters by other readers possibly to fill up his publications. Anyway, that is of course a personal opinion Back to the subject matter - Multiple Betting - which VDW is quick to point out is not those fancy bets, the bread and butter of bookmakers, like doubles, trebles, yankees, patents, round robins etc. In this context it refers to backing more than one horse in the race also strangely enough now also known as 'dutching'. VDW was aware that this type of betting was considered sheer folly by many as of course any race can usually only have one winner and you only have one winning bet. However, there is sound reasoning to use this style of betting when any race is suitable as it gives you a better chance of being on the winner.

VDW said that everyday there were races where only two, or at the most, three horses have any real chance and the rest are just making up the numbers. An American ‘dutching’ exponent said you should make sure the horses you intend to use are contenders and not pretenders. Once you learn how to cut a race down to its real size, you will be in a position to play the bookmaker at his own game.

The bookmaker ensures a profit by making his book over-round but he of course is at a disadvantage as he has to take account of all the runners. Once you have learnt to sort out the real contenders from the pretenders, by making your own book within the market you will take a profit whichever wins. When you back a single horse, you are taking one against the field and the bookmaker has the rest running for him and naturally each additional horse you back reduces the odds against yourself.

When you think you know the winner can only come from two or three horses in a race and you can back all of them and still make a profit, then surely this is a method equal to a punter’s dream! However, it still requires careful study to ascertain that a profit can be made and furthermore that the percentage profit is acceptable. I did read that the highly respected Alec Bird used multiple betting but stressed that even a regular small profit was acceptable.

Although, there are several ways to back a number of horses in the same race, VDW more or less suggested just two. Firstly the relatively straightforward method of adding to your selections, as follows: your two horses priced at 1/1 and 3/1. You add one point to each of your selections and stake that on the other horse:

Horse A at 1/1 Price of horse B plus 1=4points Horse B at 3/1 Price of horse A plus 1=2points.

Then to find out if a profit can be taken multiply the stakes together 4 x 2 =8 and take away an addition of both stakes 4+2=6 which shows a profit of 2 points; a profitability of 33% - which serious punters would consider a very acceptable proposition. VDW says ‘there are many good opportunities without cramping your play (when the expected profit is not worth striking a bet) and once again Temperament comes in to play!'


Hi Jackform Jackform

“The Four Quarters Of Horse Investing” could fit into your post above and also a Odds Line can be created. You could then see which of your contenders is being offered at value odds . The Template allows you to decide how close each contender is to the other contenders and then choose the best odds line.

The idea is that around 80% is used for your contenders and 20% for S—-t hppens and none of your contenders win. But in theory if you have only backed those contenders who are being offered at value odds you should finish in the Black

The book is out of print now and I paid around $49 some years ago it was recommended to me by Rob Morris who you would know from Smartsig Magazine.

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This is my sermon on the theology today! :eek: Taken from the correspondence that details the 'elementary mechanical procedure'.

VDW letter to Sports Forum April 6, 1978, 'Narrow the field to gain a winning strip.' He advises selecting consistent horses from the first five in the betting forecast in non-hcaps and the first six in hcaps by adding the last three placings of the respective horses for a numerical picture. He concludes a high percentage of winners come from the three lowest figures.
VDW letter to Sports Forum August 25, 1979 (some 17 months later), 'Speed is no use without form' (rather misleading as two subjects are covered in the letter). He writes that another of the many ways to reduce the field , which can be used in conjunction with the previous method is as follows. Check all the field and note those placed 1 to 4 in their last two outings. From these select those with the five most recent runs. Finally select from these the three most consistent.

Gulfstream (going forecast fast) RP Spotlight selects Flora Fantasy. (All data from RP online)
10.49 Market expected 09.15* no's 3, 5, 7 indicating a win restricted to these.

1st method/2nd method = column headings

1. 9/9 (8/1 mkt) LTO 3 Mar
2. 12 (16/1) LTO 12 Apr
3. 5*/5* (5/1) Royal Meghan. LTO 12 Apr 2 of 8 -6L GS 8f .
4. 15 (12/1)
5. 5*/5 (10/11) Flora Fantasy. LTO 19 Mar? won GS 6f - hat trick claims
6. 5*/5* (9/1) Baby Ice. LTO 5 Apr 3 of 8 GS 6f
7. 11 (5/1) LTO 10 Apr

Comment: No RP betting f/cst so I took the early market. Overall as an exercise with the data available the three named look the possibles :) .

ATR form verdict in comparison.
FLORA FANTASY bids for a C&D hat-trick after two impressive wins and rates the one to beat again, with Royal Meghan and Gioielli feared most.
Watch out for: ROYAL MEGHAN (3)
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If VDW was Dutching to achieve his 85% S/r then nothing wrong with this other than his inability to clarify. Re us creating our own tissues as a means of finding value. I tend to swerve the need by waiting until i have the situation where there is only one horse i would be interested in backing in a race. I then create a minimum acceptable price and only bet if this or better is offered. Of course part of this process includes considering strengths in the opposition as well as the negs in my pick ( and there are always some ) but it does make a difficult task more straight forward.

Securing value is an important aspect of maintaining profit, and each to there own but personally i find no interest in backing a horse who i do not feel has the best chance of winning simply because it runs at a value price. There is a contradiction involved with this MO which does not suit my own.
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