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Thoughts and selections

F Frontrunner one of the aspects i find interesting about your MO is the wide variety of race type you work, and you have overtly explained your thinking behind this. I think i recall you saying your a long term record keeper of you past bets and just wondered if you have ever conducted an audit of profitability via race type and or any other occurrence...............my question was in part triggered by your above comment that this year you are swerving any odds on selections.
Hi mick mick , as my methods have changed over the years, I am not sure how relevant very long term records are. But an audit is probably due for my bets for last couple of years, and I will get to it in due course. I find I have tended to do better in maidens etc, or with unexposed horses in general as part of my process is to look for horses that haven’t done something before that may see them improve.

The reason for swerving odds on shots this year is that there is nothing to gain if you are backing to level stakes or similar, as even if they win it barely covers the stake for your next bet. And if I increase my stakes significantly for the odds on shots, then that is dangerous because they can and do get beaten, and obviously with bigger stakes a loser is going to hurt more and I know it could cause me to lose my discipline. Interestingly, before today I have picked 3 odds on shots so far this year, swerved all of them and all have won, but I am not getting tempted to change this rule as I know no matter how good a horse’s chances look they can still lose.
 

mick

Sire
Cheers F Frontrunner and your opening sentence is a valid and interesting point. Something i have noticed about myself is that over a number of years some aspects of my thinking tend to go full cycle. Its no big deal as i can understand why and accept that its part of the continuous learning curve.
 

Coseleymon

Yearling
F Frontrunner one of the aspects i find interesting about your MO is the wide variety of race type you work, and you have overtly explained your thinking behind this. I think i recall you saying your a long term record keeper of you past bets and just wondered if you have ever conducted an audit of profitability via race type and or any other occurrence...............my question was in part triggered by your above comment that this year you are swerving any odds on selections.
F Frontrunner one of the aspects i find interesting about your MO is the wide variety of race type you work, and you have overtly explained your thinking behind this. I think i recall you saying your a long term record keeper of you past bets and just wondered if you have ever conducted an audit of profitability via race type and or any other occurrence...............my question was in part triggered by your above comment that this year you are swerving any odds on selections.
Its good to look at your bets and find your strengths, i have kept records for 20 years and a couple of years ago i did as you asked and found i was much more successful over the jumps than the flat . Further research found the reason for this was i tended to do better in handicaps where i knew more about the horses that had been around for a couple of seasons and where i had more of an handle on there ground requirements
 

mick

Sire
Its good to look at your bets and find your strengths, i have kept records for 20 years and a couple of years ago i did as you asked and found i was much more successful over the jumps than the flat . Further research found the reason for this was i tended to do better in handicaps where i knew more about the horses that had been around for a couple of seasons and where i had more of an handle on there ground requirements
Good post and me too. I also totally agree your MO of seeking "reasons why" to support the numbers prior to making any changes. Its an interesting topic imo which seldom attracts much discussion.
 
Cheers F Frontrunner and your opening sentence is a valid and interesting point. Something i have noticed about myself is that over a number of years some aspects of my thinking tend to go full cycle. Its no big deal as i can understand why and accept that its part of the continuous learning curve.
Thanks mick mick . I know what you mean. Although I am not completely changing my methods, I do make little changes from time to time to try and improve things, especially when going through a bad run. As you know, I had a bad last month, I have been looking at different things. My main method has remained the same that I am still using the stats, but been experimenting with changing the sample sizes I use as that can make a big difference, too soon to say if it’s for the better.
 
Wordsworth only 2nd behind his stablemate, so relieved to have escaped from getting involved. I didn’t play in running, but from early stages I felt as if he was acting as a pacemaker for the other one, but maybe I got it wrong and the horse just isn’t good enough.

Only two winners on multiple, Al Aasy @ evens and Chives despite a big big drift out to 5/1, but no returns as I only did trebles.
 
16th May

Group 3 Lacken Stakes (4:40 Naas) - Win bet on Mooniesta @ 13/2

Mooneista emulated her dam Moon Unit to win the Woodlands Stakes (Listed) over 5f here last time. Moon Unit had won the race as a 5yo, she had a good record here at Naas with 2 wins and 2 places from 4 runs and was equally effective over 5 and 6 furlongs and won at Group 3 level. Mooniesta also ran well to finish 3rd in the valuable sales race over 6f here last season, so I don’t think return to 6 is a problem. This is a step up in class but she looks a fast improving filly, and I think she could run well today.

She was 5 lengths behind A Case Of You on her return at Dundalk, but she probably needed the run as she was very weak in betting, and as I say she has improved since then whereas ACOY was disappointing last time.

Fillies have a very good record in this race, of 7 runnings of this race 3 have been won by fillies from just 12 that contested. There are 3 fillies in today’s race, with Pale Iris also improving but my preference is for Mooniesta.
 
Great finish to the race with four of them in with a chance at end. Bit unlucky as Mooniesta headed in final stride by A Case Of You, but no complaints, she ran very well and that’s all I could have asked for. Sometimes these close finishes go in your favour, sometimes they don’t.
 
17th May

3:05 Redcar - Win bet on Stardust Gambler @ 10/3

Form of Stardust Gambler’s debut 2nd (50/1) looks well above what any of the others with experience have shown. The winner Vintage Clarets again won easily under a penalty next time, and the 4th, 5th & 6th have also won next time, two of them by wide margins.

SG was unfancied on debut, not surprising considering Ollie Pears rarely gets debut winners, but his 2yo’s show a lot of improvement 2nd time. Shown below is his record 2TO with horses that had placed on debut, admittedly all those winners came from July onwards.

AD091E56-F4C9-46A2-AC4E-E67A743B55D8.jpeg

She is stepping up to 6f but I don’t think it is a problem. Dam only raced up to 5f and was only a 60s rater, but was related to winners over 6f and further. First season sire Cotai Glory has made a good start with 5 winners so far, none over 6f yet but 4 of the wins came 2TO from just 8 runners.

There are some slight negatives like the wide draw, and there are newcomers from trainers like Archie Watson and Mark Johnston who do well with 2yo’s, but I think her experience will be useful so the newcomers will probably need to be pretty good.
 

markfinn

Sire
The reason for swerving odds on shots this year is that there is nothing to gain if you are backing to level stakes or similar, as even if they win it barely covers the stake for your next bet
Morning - I was catching up on good work here and noted the above - which would be my pre 2021 idea - not sure now and I have been using anything that returns around 80% of stakes - thinking being - that the selection is based on ideas that are profitable at SP ( and would be used to bet on a 100/1 shot ) so at least a win does build another stake or chance

1621245859630.png

The over betting is a concern but its out of punters hands - we can only work with what we can get .
 
Thanks markfinn markfinn . Not saying that backing odds on can not be profitable, many people do make it pay. I have a friend, who only backs long odds on shots in a double, for example he will look to find two selections at prices of 1/2 & 1/3 and back them in a double which returns at evens. Sometimes they lose even at those prices, but on the whole it works for him.

For me it doesn’t work, maybe because price range of my selections varies so much. When I back one at a big price then I don’t have a lot of expectation, but when I back an odds on shot, I am expecting a win. And level of disappointment when a selection doesn’t win is directly proportional to level of expectation. This is the weakness I have that if I lose on one at a very short price, then there is a chance that I will try to chase my losses especially if it seems the horse has lost unfairly. I think if I had backed that 4/6 chance on Saturday, the same would have happened especially after the way he was ridden. But if you can be completely disciplined after a loss, then I see nothing wrong with backing odds on.
 

markfinn

Sire
Thanks markfinn markfinn . Not saying that backing odds on can not be profitable, many people do make it pay. I have a friend, who only backs long odds on shots in a double, for example he will look to find two selections at prices of 1/2 & 1/3 and back them in a double which returns at evens. Sometimes they lose even at those prices, but on the whole it works for him.

For me it doesn’t work, maybe because price range of my selections varies so much. When I back one at a big price then I don’t have a lot of expectation, but when I back an odds on shot, I am expecting a win. And level of disappointment when a selection doesn’t win is directly proportional to level of expectation. This is the weakness I have that if I lose on one at a very short price, then there is a chance that I will try to chase my losses especially if it seems the horse has lost unfairly. I think if I had backed that 4/6 chance on Saturday, the same would have happened especially after the way he was ridden. But if you can be completely disciplined after a loss, then I see nothing wrong with backing odds on.
Correct - never chase .The habits we acquire are more often the result of correct personal characterisation - fortunately win or lose doesn't really effect my thought pattern - but it is hard learnt behaviour and not natural and maybe will revert if circumstances change.
 
One with experience won the 3:05, but unfortunately not my one - Stardust Gambler was only 4th. I did think the winner will improve but not as much as this. Market was important again, big drift on mine and winner was gambled.
 
18th May

I have changed my bet on this due to the drift, I was ready to back win only @ 18/1 but then it went 28/1, I decided to back each way in extra places market (4 places) as I could still get 16/1 for it. They wouldn’t let me put on as much as I wanted though in this market, so had to reduce stake, but maybe it’s for the best as I am not very confident anyway.

6:05 Hexham - Each way bet in extra places market (4 places) on Enemy At The Gate @ 16/1

Quite a risky one, especially as there is a big drift, but it’s also the price that has tempted me a bit.

This maybe isn’t the strongest novice hurdle even though there are a couple rated 113, namely Grange Ranger & Itsnotyouitsme, but both of them have had a few chances and tended to finish 2nd a bit too often. Lalochezia ran a good 2nd on debut here over further, and he doesn’t need to improve much but price of around 5/6, 10/11 looks too short to me.

Selection is making his hurdles debut after showing some promise in couple of bumpers. Finished 3rd of 4 (18/1) on debut in a bumper that included two previous winners. Didn’t really build on that next time here when 5th of 9 but it wasn’t too bad an effort.

I think the step up in trip today will suit on hurdling debut. His half-brother Wilton Milan won twice over hurdles (Paul Nicholls) over 2 and half miles.

Donald Whillans has an ok record here, including in novice hurdles. There are some similarities with his winner here in November, Lady Villanelle, who won on hurdling debut after similar runs in couple of bumpers. That winner had drifted from 15/2 to 14/1 before coming back in to win at 17/2. I am hoping for similar with this one as market drift is a bit of negative at the moment.

Another one I will be watching in the race is Don Brocco, he is a massive price at 80/1, and I don’t think he can win today but he has run in a couple of good races, I think he will be interesting when handicapping. If he finishes in first 5 or 6 today, that will be a good effort.
 
20th May

3:30 Market Rasen - Win bet on Just Call Me Al @ 5/1

Yet to win over fences from 4 runs, and the fact that he fell on last two of those at Sedgefield is a bit of worry, but this looks a much weaker race, and his earlier run in a 2 mile chase at Carlisle in October that interests me. That was a good effort to finish 4th of 12 (beaten 4 lengths) from a 5 lbs higher mark than today, form of that race has worked out really well with 6 horses winning 9 races between them since then.

He has run well in jumpers bumpers since then, with a win and a placing. Jockey Sean Quinlan has a good record for the trainer (6 from 35, +10 LSP) and has won on this horse before.

I also considered Scartare as his close 2nd here from 2 lbs lower gives him a chance, but it’s difficult to back a horse with career record of 0 from 37. Mister Tickle also isn’t without chance, but Gary Moore’s record here is quite poor.
 

mattyboy

Yearling
The 5.55 at Lingfield this evening looks a very interesting race, with most of the field having something to recommend them.

My eye was initially drawn to Starfighter, because of Jamie Spencer jockey booking, (he hasn't ridden the horse before), I'm thinking it is very interesting he is at Lingfield when there are meetings at Goodwood, York, Newmarket and Haydock on the same day, (and David Simcock has had live contenders at Goodwood where Jamie rode yesterday). The jockey certainly appears to be in form; his wins on Ad Infinitum and Luckiness yesterday were classic Spencer rides.
I do feel Starfighter has a chance, and he may well be suited to hitting the front late, (as suggested by previous trainer Ed Walker after winning at Salisbury back in 2019). He ran well last time at Haydock after trying to make the running under William Buick before getting overhauled, yet responding when falling behind Mr Coco Bean.
However, Starfighter does look quite exposed now and this is competitive.

My eye has now been drawn to Viola. This is James Fanshawe's only runner of the day, and is still pretty unexposed. She was noted as winning comfortably by the Racing Post when getting the job done over C&D last August. That was only a 0-75 class 5, as opposed to this 0-80 class 4. However, it was a 3 year old only handicap in the height of summer, and she beat a Sir Michael Stoute trained horse that almost won in a class 4 handicap at York next time out.
I don;t think Viola stayed 1m6f at Nottingham on her next start, (that was also a class 3 0-95 race and the soft ground may have been an issue). Fact that Viola's sire is Lope de Vega suggests that this may have been the case, (although dam has also produced Mon Frere, who stayed 2m3f over jumps, that one was by Pour Moi who is more of a stamina influence than Lope). Additionally, Viola is a half-brother to Dark Acclaim who achieved peak RPR of 101 over 1 mile, (by Dark Angel).
I'd forget the subsequent run at Kempton; Viola was clearly below form that day - being beaten 14.5 lengths as a 3/1 favourite and hasn't run since - Danny Muscatt reported he ran flat)

James Fanshawe is 3/10 at Lingfield since the start of 2016 in non novice/maiden races with horses reappearing after at least 121 days off the track, so I sense she may well be ready tonight., (especially as she is the yard's only runner on this Saturday evening card). Danny Muscatt isn't riding, (been aboard on all the horse's seven career starts), but on such an action-packed day of racing, I don;t think that is a huge negative as Linfield is quite obviously the poor relation of the day, in glamour terms. Angus Villiers is well worth his claim, and in fact it means Viola races off the same mark tonight as in that comfortable win last August.


As I say, this race looks good on paper. Probably two-thirds of the field look interesting for one reason or another. However, I think Viola is worth an interest at 11/1
Whatever wins this race could be one to follow as the season goes on, I feel!
 
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After much thought, I have decided to take a little break from any betting. The break may last for weeks or even months, it will depend on my confidence level. I will update this month’s results later.

I will still be working a race most days and post on here as normal like I was going to have a bet in it, in fact I will be going into much more detail about how l would have reached a selection, so be warned of long boring posts :). I feel that documenting my thought process in this way could help me see where I am going wrong with my bets. And hopefully this will also lead to more discussion from other members about the race I am looking at. I have my own way of approaching a race, but I always welcome any input from other members with their different approaches to the same race, as I feel there is always something to gain from these discussions.

One of the reasons I look at different types of races is I see every race as a different puzzle and I like the challenge of trying to solve it, so it never gets boring for me even when I am not betting.

The race I looked at today was the 3:00 at Wolverhampton, a 3yo+ maiden over 7 furlongs, 12 declared to run.

First a little bit about how I work a race. I start by creating a sample of past races that I feel are similar to today’s race, then apply some stats to this to find what has been an important factor in similar races in past. This will usually give me my shortlist for the race, in most cases then I will look at more detail at form and pedigree and other stats etc of only the shortlisted horses. Perhaps it is better explained with a worked example.

For above race, looking at my race sample it tells me that the horses that had placed form have done much better than expected in similar races in past. As there are only two horses in this race that have placed form, namely Dinoo and Miquelon, these are the ones I will concentrate on. Only time I will look at other horses is if I find some big negatives about these.

Form is a positive for both horses. Dinoo has the stronger form, having finished 2nd on debut at Newmarket last season one place ahead of a subsequent Group 2 winner. Form of his 5th place in Group 3 Solario Stakes is a bit mixed, the 4th horse has won a Listed race but the 6th has struggled so far from mid-90s mark. In the context of this race, it is still very strong form.

Miquelo finished 2nd on his British debut after only one run in France in 2019. He was no match for the winner, but winner looks a progressive horse having won 3 of his 4 races and is now rated 90. 3rd horse was beaten a nose in a maiden here last week. So Miquelo’s form looks solid too.

After looking at form, I still can’t decide between the two, yes Dinoo’s form is stronger but Miquelo’s is more recent whereas with Dinoo it is an unknown whether he has progressed from 2 to 3.

Next I am looking at is an area of possible improvement. In this race, none of these have run on all weather before, so I feel this is one area where possible improvement could come from. The way I try to guess this is by looking at pedigrees, and records of sires and damsires in similar conditions. And for this race, pedigree suggests that switch to all weather is a positive for both Dinoo and Miquelo, but a bigger positive for Miquelo thanks to his damsire Dansili whose record on all weather is very good.

Looking at trainers record at the course, I am specifically looking at horses that they were running at the course for first time, below chart shows that these two trainers are in top two places when sorted by A/E, with horses they run at Wolverhampton for first time. So again a positive for both, and still difficult for me to choose between them.

B35072A0-12D5-4B01-AFD1-B51775CF914A.jpeg

Draw is not that significant. On my numbers, it’s a positive for Dinoo, and only a slight negative for Miquelo so wouldn’t be enough to put me off.

Age is also a slight negative for Miquelo, as stats show 3yo’s do better than 4yo’s in these type of races at this time of year.

Next I am looking at market for clues, and this is where the big negative is, and this is what would have possibly made me swerve the race. Miquelo was well backed 2nd favourite last time and ran close to expectation, today there is a huge drift from 5/1 to 16/1, and past experience tells me they rarely win after a drift like this. Dinoo was 5th in Group 3 last time, as he was 4th in betting that run could be described slightly below expectation. Today, he has gone odds on now and also would not be a bet for me as it doesn’t look good value at that price considering it is first run as a 3yo and also for new trainer.

If I was going to have a bet today, I would have probably gone with each way on Miquelo at current price of 16/1 or place only bet on him.
 
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