• Hi Guest, The software has been updated but I have not had a chance to tweak anything yet.
    It took longer than I had hoped, so I just turned it on and hope everything is OK
    If you spot anything that does not look rigfhyt then please let me know.
    Ark Royal
  • There seems to be a problem with some alerts not being emailed to members. I have told the hosts and they are investigating.
  • Hi Guest, If you are seeing that Lurker has appeared under your name then please take a look here to see why. AR

VDW platform variation


I shall not post on this thread again as it possibly irritates some members that my posts do not strictly adhere to the original VDW methods.
@Jackform tbh I have not followed your thread because I do not use VDW methods but on a decent forum such as this all members should feel able to post without fear or favour so I would urge that you please re think your above.


I shall not post on this thread again as it possibly irritates some members that my posts do not strictly adhere to the original VDW methods.
I would take no notice, the Thread has been going very well , you seem to be doing just fine with your take on VDW.


More than a year since I last posted on this thread but I am still ploughing on with my take on the VDW basics. The only amendment from before is that I now compile my own class rating. I swerved Leicester today because of the forecast soft going and Brighton because of the low grade card.

Catterick (going forecast GS)
2.35 Probability % 09.00 nos 1, 2, 3, 4 indicating an open contest. Theoretical strong fav 1/1, contender 2/1, not expected longer than 4/1.

1. 5* 7 (my rating) Ventura Knight 10/3 early, LTO 24, dropped 1 grade, dropped 3 lbs, D. 3rd in class 2 LTO. Johnston 17/Sousa
2. 5* 10 Poet's Dawn 3/1, LTO 10, dropped 7 lbs, up 1 grade. In form just hcap rating ? T Easterby 8
3. 3* 5
4. 5* 8 El Chapo 11/4, LTO 17, dropped 8 lbs, up 1 grade, C&D. beat Poet's Dawn C&D 17 days ago up 5lbs. Fahey 15/Hanagan
5. 3* 4

Comment: Looks tight and possibly just for watching but if pressed I will stick with the top rated Poet's Dawn.
Last edited:


I have been posting in another place and believe it or not admin advised me that many of the younger members had not heard of che Van der wheil - and it wasn't April 1st :eek:. That being the case I posted the following, which may be of interest to some here:

Just put some info on the table in the form of a recap and go from there:

This synopsis is from a free booklet issued to buyers of the Raceform Handicap Book in 1985, some seven years after Che Van der Wheil first wrote in the Sports Forum of the Sporting Chronicle Handicap Book, 'VDW Update' edited by Tony Peach.

'It is perhaps worthwhile at this stage to reiterate and clarify for new readers some of the early signposts on the road to success given by VDW at this juncture, they 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-hcap races and the first 6 in hcaps.
4. Using two rating methods. (ME - I will refer to this again later as IMO it caused confusion by wrong interpretation).
5. AND perhaps most important of all, combining these points, 'subject to other considerations'.

From the final page:

Selecting races for application of the various factors must be methodical as well. The basic method is to select is to select the race from each card having the highest prize money, but for obvious reasons it would not be wise to use a novice hurdle full of non-descript animals. It often happens that other races on a card will lend themselves to this method especially at the principal meeting but endeavour to keep as far as possible to the upper limits. Moving away from the basic principle starts to put the odds against you.
The whole concept may seem complex and beyond the capabilities of many, but in fact it is extremely simple and becomes quick and easy to perform providing it is done methodically. Taken step-by-step and starting with the principal meeting the agenda is:

1. Select the most valuable race on the card.
2. Consider the next most valuable race.
3. Select the most valuable race form other cards.
4. Rate entire field for ability.
5. Select most consistent from first 5 or 6 in betting forecast.
6. Apply second rating method to entire field. (ME - this is part of the confusion as this meant second method of assessment not rating figures as many believe).

First method of rating (assessment) letter dated 6 Apr 78.

First, consistent horses win a high percentage of races. Second, the first 5 in the betting forecast of non-hcap races and the first 6 in hcaps, produce a high percentage of winners. If we add the the last three placings of the respective horses in the betting forecast together, we have a numerical picture. This can be very illuminating, and show, subject to other considerations, the good betting propositions. A high percentage of winners comes from the three lowest figures. Leaving out sellers and novice hcaps it often traps the winner in all races on the card.

Second method of rating (assessment) letter dated 25 Aug 1979.

Another of the many ways to reduce the field, which can be used in conjunction with the previous method I gave is as follows. The combination of the two usually isolates the probables.

1. From the past two placings of each horse mark all those with the form figures 1 to 4 (in the race illustrated none had a second place so marked those with a fifth place).
2. Select in days the five most recent runs.
3. Select from above the three most consistent by adding together the last three placings of the respective horses.

(ME - note no mention of class by prize money, size of field, preference for non-hcaps or hcaps, Nothing about rating figures except in the example race given 'Cobnut Selling Hcap' where two sets of rating figures were given with the comment, ' It is interesting to speculate by what criterion weight of money could force Royal Inheritance to a 5/2 favourite from aforecast of 10/1. Ratings alone?')

OK we are up ,and running again and those interested can follow it with me


Over the jumps today, which is rather early although there are a good few top trainers involved.

Ludlow (going forecast GF)
3.00 Probability % 09.00 nos 1, 3 ,4 6, 9, 10 11, 13 indicating an open contest. Theoretical strong fav 3/1, contender 6/1, not expected longer than 12/1.

1. 3* 5 Ozzy Thomas, LTO 35, +6 lbs, up 1 grade, C&DD. Has a tough task with top weight
2. 1* 2
3. 2* 1
4. 2* 2
5. 2* 4
6. 4* 7 Belmount, LTO 15, +6 lbs, same grade, C&D. won LTO should go well
7. 3* 5 Mont Royale, LTO 32, dropped 3lbs, same grade, inconsistent
8. 1* 3
9. 1* 0
10. 3* 4
11. 3* 5 Bob Tucker, LTO 144? Dropped 3 lbs, D, 4th LTO in May but track fitness has to be considered
12. 1* 1
13. 1* 0

Comment: Looks open opposite the level of my rating and Braqueur D'Or 3* 4 Nicholls/Sam T-D is the probable fav. My selection is Belmont as an each-way shot.
The winning fav looked different class today and fairly skipped away. If you could rework the race knowing the latest odds etc would the race work out the same or would it be of no consequence?


@dicko14, the answer is no, although it was always a theoretical 'contender' at the odds. I may be getting it wrong as I have been drifting away from the original concept of identifying possible winners from those with consistent form from the short odds division of the market. Attempting to correct that I have amended my ratings to give consistent runners more prominence. Not only that the aim of the 'elementary mechanical procedure' was to 'narrow the field' then research those 'subject to further consideration' and that is where more effort is needed. That's the short answer to your query :teasing-blah:.
Last edited:


I have swerved Ayr today due to the forecast soft to heavy going. I opted for the feature race at Exeter as it has a fair smattering of winning form, although I did consider the Worcester 1.50 and 2.20. Worcester card is a bit unusual as the first race is the feature race with seven of my top twenty trainers having runners but none of them have been out for six months or more. The 2.20 would be better for VDW where Skelton and Williams have ruunesr with recent outings - Get Ready Freddy being the fancied runner with consistent form.

Exeter (going forecast better than GS)
3.45 Probability % 09.20 nos 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 currently indicating an open contest. Theoretical strong fav 9/4, contender 9/2, not expected longer than 9/1.

1. 4* 17 Barton Rose 4/1 early. Charlie Longsdon with a 7lb claimer up looks like they may have concerns re the weight.
2. 2* 2
3. 2* 3
4. 3* 12 Triple Chief 8/1, C&D
6. 0
7. 2* 3
8. 3* 6 Third Act 11/2, BF2. C Tizzard/ T J O'Brien
9. 1* 1
10. 1* 4
11. 1* 4

Comment: I need to give the three named more consideration but Barton Rose is currently the obvious selection.
Edit 09.45.
Barton Rose LTO 29, +23 lbs? same grade, good win last time but the weight increase is the concern.
Triple Chief LTO 150? Up 4 lbs, same grade, consistent but track form is the concern.
Third Act LTO 31, dropped 7 lbs, nil from 10 fencing.
Mr Medic LTO 13, up 17 lbs, dropped 1 grade, 2 from 4 fencing and had a run, but weight increase is a concern. Being supported and now top of the market. Would have been my 3rd choice for consistency.
Last edited:
With the true odds at 10/1 the field reduces to the 5 market leaders.
For me the 3 to concentrate on are 7,1&2.
The concern with 7 is DSLR.
Last edited:
Had a go at working the race using top 6 in betting which stay within the true odds range.
1 Barton Rose 4 - 29 ***
3 Mr Medic 8 - 13 **
8 Third Act 9 - 31 **
2 Moorland Jack 10 - 31 ***


Yesterday's result was satisfactory as the three most consistent made the frame. I made an error on my pen and paper chart for Mr Medoc but never do back-fitting so will leave it at that.

York ( going forecast soft side of GS)
3.55 Probablity % 09.10 nos 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10 currently indicating an open contest. Theoretical strong fav 3/1, contender 6/1, not expected longer tan 12/1 (Count Simon not considered as out of the long hcap).

1. 3* 7
2. 3* 8
3. 3* 4
4. 5* 11 Dominating 9/1 early, LTO 7, up 4 lbs, up 1 grade, D2. Has 5 wins, improver. Johnston 21/Norton.
5. 2* 2
6. 4* 13 The Grand Visir 7/2, LTO 48? dropped 3 lbs, same grade. 5 of 19 LTO here class 2. Not rated consistent today. Haggas 19/Sousa
7. 0
8. 1* 4
9. 3* 13 Star Rock 9/2, LTO 20, dropped 7 lbs, up 1 grade. Progressive, won maiden and class 3 Newmarket.
10. 1* 0
11. 1* 2
12. 1* 2
13. ?

Comment: Gold Star, Suroor 28, is consistent but marked down on time although said to have clocked a fast time at Wolverhampton. It looks like a punters book on the three named.


Star Rock has good form, won a Maiden in May beating God Given who is now BHA 105

Off Track and then returned to win a Handicap and beat Cribbs Causeway a LTO Winner who was dropping in class


I unearthed my tattered copy of Braddock for reference trying to get some inspiration where it advises form/class is the way to go. So, whether it's form/class or class/form it supports the belief that that is where to start looking for possible bets.Reading through it I was rather disappointed to find little mention of time, market and trainers. Anyway, with regard to the VDW 'methodology' I shall return to star * classification to identify 'possibles' and then subject them to detailed further consideration to see where i get to :confused:.

BRADDOCK (A synopsis of the selection method)

This selection method is encapsulated in a selection formula, which incorporates four cardinal principles - Form, Fitness, Class, Conditions – which collectively and individually have almost total effect on the results of horse races.


This is the foremast and dominent constituent of the formula with the other factors serving only as modifying agents. Form is the factor in selection which should never be underestimated.


Fitness is the constituent that is always likely to have the mafor influence on form.


This can have a most powerful influence on the selection and can be defined as the quality of competition a horse races against. A horse wll be assessed from its performances and ba adjudged on its level in class.


The final principle of the selection formula and will act as the important balancing mechanism in the selection decision. The conditions covered by the formula for consideration are: distance, going, weight (penalties), course/draw, jockeyship, sundry factors.

Distance – Most horses have only one distance at which they can produce their best form.

Going – Most horses have a preference for a certain type of going and may be unable to produce their form on other going.

Weight – It is the leveller of ability. The more weight a horse carries the slower it will run. Penalties in a race must always be very seriously considered for weight is a factor that will defeat even the best horses.

Course/Draw – The peculiarities of courses may be an important consideration in certain circumstances. The draw is mainlyof significance in 5/6 furlong races where there are large fields,and one side of a course gives a particular advantage to a horse.

Jockeyship – The qualty of jockeyship resolves to the selector’s individual perception of a particular jockey. It can be the difference between winning and losing a race.

Sundry Factors – The fitting of blinkers demands an added consideration by the backer.
Morning @Jackform nice to see you back posting your informative ideas.

Braddock needs updating on several fronts - I can understand the ignoring the markets as part of the rating process but not trainer form and he has the effect of the underestimated- the draw / influence of the draw on the race. - it is far wider than suggested. Is your Braddock edition pre - AW weather racing - I have 2 editions I will check to see if the 2nd is updated to include AW courses.