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VDW The Elementary Mechanical Procedure


Well Plumpton went okay there! 3 wins 1/8, 5/4, 11/4 and a non runner.... I wouldn't have gone anywhere near African Dance at those odds, so this would have been 2 out of 4 and I'd have been pretty happy with the result. Well done! Southwell I think you'd have done well to extract much from, with just the two winners from six races, no matter how the stakes were manipulated, but then you did point out how the AW and this method weren't overly compatible.

VDW doesn't always get a good response on here, but as long as we ignore the hype it tends to generate I think there are snippets worth picking up from it.


davejb davejb agree that there are snippets worth picking up as you say. In fact the criteria advised by VDW still hold good after 43 years. The selections I am posting are just reducing the field and should be 'subject to further consideration' for betting. As for yesterday in the end it was only a point down overall to a level stake. Today with small fields it will probably more difficult to achieve an edge.

Lingfield (going forecast standard - showers)

12.40 Born To Sire, Voi
1.15 Power of States, United front
1.50 Host, Edward Elgar
2.25 Invincible Larne, Sir Oliver
3.00 Aleatoric, Wemyss Point
3.35 Outrage, Verne Castle
4.05 Supercontango, Rainbow's Pony


Tried a 'working platform' at Happy Valley for something to do with the 2nd elementary mechanical procedure approach.

Happy Valley (going forecast turf G)
2.15 Betting forecast no's 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 11 indicating an open contest.

4*. 4* (9/2 f/cst) Sunshine Warrior. Progressive. Trainer Cruz 9% (past 14)/11% (past 5 seasons)
5*. 5* (5/1) Magnificent. On a fair mark. Trainer Ting 10%/13%.
6. 4* (10/1) Reel Bizzy. Made all over C&D last month - up 5lbs. Trainer Shum 10%/11%
9*. 4* (7/2) Delightful Laos. C&D twice, stayed on strongly for 2nd LTO. Trainer Cruz 9%/11%

Comment: £118K to the winner so they will all be trying :D . I know little about the form at the track but a punters book omitting Reel Bizzy at the current odds looks feasible.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
Sunshine Warrior returns to the turf where he was, a winner two starts ago. He gets Zac Purton up and he's proven a formidable force in this grade over the course and distance. Magnificent can roll forward here under Vincent Ho and play catch me if you can. Delightful Laos has a powerful finish on him but will need luck if he is to come from last once again. #2 Star Shine is consistent in his spot.
Watch out for: MAGNIFICENT (5)
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I'm flogging a tired horse following VDW, but persevering :prankster: with the 2nd elementary mechanical procedure trying to find runners to consider.

Fakenham (going forecast heavy - rain)

12.53 Imperial Nemesis (next Invincible cave0
1.23 Whitlock (next Tonyx)
1.55 Aubusson (next Golden Whisky)
2.28 Shantung (next Yauthym)
3.00 Barden bella
3.35 Midnight Glance (next After the fox)
4.05 First Assembly (next First One D'Ana)


Everyone was happy with that :dreads: . We have another VDW 'key' race system bet today at sunny Donny in SHISHKIN but at 1/5 mkt 10.15 everybody knows but nobody is backing it.


Assessed the grade 2 novice hurdle with a 2nd elementary mechanical procedure at Doncaster as it is another that rates as a VDW 'key' race, although I am not a fan of non-hcap contests.

Doncaster (going forecast S with some GS) RP Spotlight selects Fern Hill (15 pundits oppose)
2.40 Market expected 10.50 no's 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 indicating an open contest.

The following rated VDW 6*

2. Ashtown Lad 2 tips (BF) OR 135 (15/2 mkt 10.50). LTO 49, 5/8 -19L? Dowst % 40/50
5.Castle Robin 1 tip OR 130 (9/1). LTO 21 6/20 -6L? Dowst % 33/83
6. Emir Sacree 4 tips OR 131 (15/2). LTO 43 1/12 +1 1/4L*. Dowst % 50/50
10. Pat's Fancy 3 tips OR 133 (5/1). LTO 49 2/8 -7L. Dowst % 50/100

Comment: Looks difficult for punters on paper and if I had to I would dutch Pat's Fancy and Emir Sacree.

ATR form verdict in comparison
Emir Sacree won on his debut for Nicky Henderson in handicap company at Ascot but he will need to back that performance up with that coming on the back of a lengthy absence. With that in mind, the vote goes to BOBHOPEORNOHOPE, who is unbeaten over timber and showed a terrific attitude here under a penalty in November over 2m5f. The step up to 3m should bring about further improvement from the six-year-old, who represents a trainer/jockey combination enjoying a fine season. The main threats might be Ask A Honey Bee, who may prove happier back on a flatter track, and Ashtown Lad.
Watch out for: ASK A HONEY BEE (3) (My VDW 4*)


Today's VDW system runner is Sed 3.00 SIGURD 5 tips 5/2 mkt 10.45.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
SIGURD brushed aside a 7lb penalty for scoring over 3m1f at Catterick in late December when following up over the same C&D by a distance six days later. He's 14lb higher than that latest success now off 108 but was rated 125 in his pomp and still looks well treated as he bids for a hat-trick. Event Of Sivola was knocking on the door prior to a first-fence fall at Ayr last month and could prove the biggest threat to the selection, ahead of Game Line.
Top Tip: SIGURD (2)
Watch out for: EVENT OF SIVOLA (4)


Today's selection for the first 'system' advised by VDW is Chep 2.50 YOUNG BUCK (P Nicholls/H Cobden).

Just faffing about now as I try to swerve heavy going :(.

VDW caused confusion with a poor choice of words in some of his correspondence, which he did try to correct, but not satisfactorily i.e., rating and ratings?
I define rating as measurement and ratings are the outcome.

Catterick (going forecast hvy - showers) RP Spotlight selects Gypsy Lee Rose (6 pundits agree 6 oppose in the jumps feature race of the day)
2.30 Market odds 10.25* no's 1, 2, 4, 6 indicating an open contest. Theoretical strong fav 5/4, contender 5/2, not expected longer than 5/1.
Ratings are D.Mail Formcast/My own form ratings.
1*. 77*/30
2*. 75/36*
3. -/9
4*. 77*/47* Whatsdastory (2/1 mkt)
5. 76*/18
6*. 78*/39* Gypsy Lee Rose (7/2 mkt)

Comment: Is it necessary to do any 'subject to further consideration' to 'narrow the field' or just dutch them?

ATR form verdict in comparison.
CARROLLS MILAN was far from disgraced despite finishing last of three in Listed company at Newbury in December and should appreciate this drop into handicap company for Fergal O'Brien. A mark of 129 remains just about fair for one so unexposed over fences, and the eight-year-old could account for these. Whatsdastory bumped into one at Taunton last month and may well benefit from another prominent ride here, while Gipsy Lee Rose has found one too good the last twice at Kelso and deserves a change of luck soon.
Watch out for: WHATSDASTORY (4)
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Another race assessed by ratings rather than 'elementary mechanical procedures' - that is where the top 3, plus joint, coincide in both sets.

Sandown (going forecast Hvy - rain) RP Spotlight selects Alnadam (2 pundits agree 12 oppose).
2.55 Market expected 10.00* no's 1, 2, 3, 6 indicating a win restricted to these. Theoretical strong fav 9/4, possible contender 9/2, not expected longer than 9/1.

Ratings are D.Mail Formcast and My own form ratings.

1*. 3/1 (10.00 mkt) 70/47
2*. 9/2 76*/55* Champagne Mystery (13/2 My fair odds) N Henderson/N de Boinville
3*. 7/2 77*/49* Alnadam (7/1) D Skelton/H Skelton
4. 14/1 77*/28
5. 12/1 77*/46
6*. 13/2 78*/54* Evander (13/2)
7. 18/1 71/29
8. 12/1 75/32
9. 10/1 77*/30
10. 11/1 76*/32

Comment: Interesting that Formcast rates the field within 3lbs except for Benatar the early market fav and Up Helly AA King. Nine of the field are tipped whilst the early market restricts chances to four.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
ALNADAM won on his penultimate start over C&D in decent fashion before appearing to find Kempton too sharp for him over Christmas in a competitive novices' handicap. The return to Sandown will benefit him and Dan Skelton's gelding is worth another chance. Gardefort was probably inconvenienced by a quick turnaround at Wincanton and he is better judged on his second at Ascot the time before, while Evander is of interest in a tongue-tie with the jumping test likely to play to his strengths.
Top Tip: ALNADAM (3)
Watch out for: GARDEFORT (9) (30 = 12/1 my fair odds)


Good class card for a Sunday at Musselburgh, not that my choice of race proved of interest for punting :(, although it is what could be known as a VDW 'key' race. No Formcast on Sundays so I tried Raceformbook ratings instead to identify those that coincide with my ratings.

Musselburgh (going forecast S) RP Spotlight selects Theeunderthrufive (7 pundits agree 3 oppose)
2.25 Market expected 09.55 no's 1, 2, 5, 6 indicating a win restricted to these.

Ratings are 12 month Raceformbook and My form ratings

1*. 7/1 (09.55 mkt) 127/28
2*. 11/10 145*/51* Threeunderthrufive 8 tips (4/1 Myfair odds) P Nicholls/AP Heskin
3. 33/1 121/35
4. 50/1 126/25
5*. 15/4 138*/39* The Golden Rebel 3 tips (11/2)
6*. 9/4 132*/48* Fantastikas (4/1) N Twiston-Davies/S Twiston-Davies
8. 80/1 104/20
9. 50/1 0/0

Comment: Is it cut-and-dried for the Nicholls yard, everybody seems to think so? Too short as far as I am concerned opposite the risk, but I wouldn't bet against it.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE has is 2-2 over hurdles for Paul Nicholls and could remain unbeaten in this sphere under Adrian Heskin. The bumper winner looked better the further he travelled at Ludlow in November and this step up to three miles can only bring about added improvement. Born Patriot bumped into a smart type when second at Thurles in December and the booking of Richard Johnson catches the eye, while Fantastikas and Gold Miner are others worth taking seriously.
Watch out for: BORN PATRIOT (1)


Just bumping along again today due to the prevailing weather conditions, but something has to win every race :D. As far as the VDW working platform approach goes this is working well enough, butt-about-face (to be polite) following ratings when the proper path is to 'narrow the field' and then compare with ratings for confirmation, however, generally it's gone OK for a few examples. No Formcast ratings today so the 12 month Raceformbook was used instead along with my own questionable form efforts.

Newcastle (going forecast standard to slow) RP Spotlight selects Return Ticket (4 pundits agree 4 oppose)
4.10 Market expected 10.35* no's 1, 4, 7, 8 indicating a win restricted to these.

Ratings are 12 month Raceformbook and my form ratings.

1*. 4/1 (10.35 mkt) 120*/41* The Steward (4/1 My fair odds)
3. 250/1 37/17
4*. 3/1 124*/30* Gylo 1 tip (11/2) D Skelton/H Skelton
5. 16/1 104/7
6. 90/1 0/16
7*. 9/4 0/44* (Return Ticket 5 tips 7/2 my fair odds)
8*. 5/2 128*/30* Romeo Brown (11/2)
9. 11/1 0/15
10. 250/1 56/0

Comment: Looks difficult to weigh up on paper given all the unexposed form. Return ticket fails to qualify with no support from Raceformbook. Could Gylo be the one from the Skelton yard?

ATR form verdict in comparison.
GYLO's third here 19 days ago looks a strong piece of form, as the Ladbrokes Trophy second and subsequent Sky Bet Chase runner-up Aye Right was back in sixth, while the winner has since performed well for second in one of these races behind the smart Proschema. With that in mind, Dan Skelton's charge wouldn't be a surprise winner and makes more appeal than The Steward and Romeo Brown.
Top Tip: GYLO (4)
Watch out for: THE STEWARD (1)
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Try another bumper.

Kempton (going forecast standard to slow) RP Spotlight selects Honest Vic (3 pundits agree 9 oppose)
3.50 Market expected 09.45* no's 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 11 indicating an open contest.

1* 8/1 (09.45 mkt) 33 (Espirit De Somoza)
2*. 9/2 14
3. 25/1 25
5*. 17/2 34
6. 20/1 22
7*. 3/1 36*/* Ecco 4 tips (15/2 my fair odds) P Nicholls/L Williams (3)
8*. 7/2 43*/* Honest Vic 4 tips (6/1)
9. 16/1 26
11*. 5/1 42*/* Mill Green 2 tips (6/1) N Henderson/N de Boinville
12. 22/1 28

Comment: Looks open on paper. Ecco from the P Nicholls yard in preference to Mill Green for me.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
HONEST VIC was fifth behind Thyme Hill in the Long Distance Hurdle on his last start over timber and commands plenty of respect, for all this race is somewhat of a different test. Ecco has been running creditably over hurdles too and could also finish on the premises, while Esprit De Somoza commands plenty of respect as a recent jumpers' bumper winner at Lingfield and there may also be more to come from Adjali (14 = 20/1 my fair odds) following recent wind surgery.
Top Tip: HONEST VIC (8)
Watch out for: ESPRIT DE SOMOZA (1) (33 = 8/1 my fair odds 4th system choice)


Read another thread where back-fitting of back-fitting runners claimed as successful were listed as a way forward and i can't subscribe to that at all :eek: . Here is an absolutely straightforward VDW rating as per his second 'elementary mechanical procedure' arrived at PRIOR to the race being run.

Taunton (going forecast GS with some S - showers) RP Spotlight selects Silent Man (3 pundits agree 11 oppose)
3.05 Market expected 10.50* no's 4, 5, 6, 7 indicating a win restricted to these. Theoretical strong fav 2/1, possible contender 4/1, not expected longer than 8/1. This mis a VDW 'working platform' with extras from me, which can be ignored.

Column X headings: Placings, LTO, consistency, RPR, D Mail Formcast.

1. XX00X = 3*
2. X000X =2*
3. XXX00 = 3*
4*. XXXX0 =4* Dentley De Mee, 4 tips. LTO 12, -7lbs, =cls, Wcn. 1/6 +1L. Dowst% 5/41.
5*. XXXXX = 5* Silent Man, 4 tips (D). LTO 98, +5lbs, +1cls? Lin. 1/9 +15L*. Dowst% 36/45
6*. 0X000 = 1*
7*. XX0XX = 4* Sunny Express, 2 tips. LTO 25, +5lbs, =cls, Mus. 2/9 -19L? Dowst% 0/50
8. X000X = 2*
9. 00000 = 0*

Comment: Silent Man looks best of these overall on paper, if fit? Dentley De Mee looks the danger without Formcast support.

ATR form verdict in comparison.
SILENT MAN has returned a wide margin winner at Ffos Las and Lingfield the last twice and although the 11-year-old has been lumbered with a 13lb rise for the latest of those victories, a hat-trick could feasibly be on the cards. Dentley De Mee has been raised 4lb for scoring over 3m1f at Wincanton last time and can fight it out with Marble Moon, who is sporting a first-time tongue-tie, for the silver medal.
Top Tip: SILENT MAN (5)
Watch out for: DENTLEY DE MEE (4)


This seems fairly complex stuff, Jackform Jackform !😐

Perhaps his age has caught up with Silent Man.
I think connections don't bother too much about placing if a win seems out of the question. He did try, imo, but, just couldn't maintain his finish.

A difficult race for betting, imo, so well done!


S Sandhog, it's only complex in the manner that I put it together, being systematic, basically the VDW 'elementary mechanical procedure' to 'narrow the field' is simple. He wrote of, "...many ways to narrow the field and put the odds in your favour." I had a quick trawl through my old handicap book cuttings and came up with a few:

6 Apr 78. Select the 3 most consistent runners form the first 5/6 in the betting forecast.
25 Aug 79. Select the 3 most consistent runners from the in 5 the field with the shortest time off track.
13 mar 80. With ratings take the 5/6 rated and couple them with the 5/6 consistent in handicaps. Non-handicaps consider the top 4 rtings.
? 81. Consider the 2 races with the highest prize money on the card. If the fav is at reasonable odds and not too many runners take the first 5 in the betting market and from these select the 3 runners with the shortest time off track.
18 Apr 81. Note the 5 most consistent horses and from these the 3 runners with the highest ability (class by prize money/wins).