The Selection Process
One question I am often asked is "How
do you Select Your Bets?"
Well obviously not all bets are the same
and some require far more preparation than others.
The identification of a possible bet starts at Noon
the day before. I
will download the cards, print them off and have them
to hand. At this
stage there will be no betting forecasts as that just
muddys the water and steers you in directions that you
should not go.
I immediately rule out the races that
I know its not profitable to bet in or that don't suit
my expertise or style of work. Usually these are 30
runner sprint handicaps, nurserys, big field maidens
with many unraced horses or small field tactical races
that are not likely to be truly run races. I usually
end up with about 6-8 potential races to play in, although
there may be others that are identified by particular
horses I have noted in running previously which are
race that day .
The next step is to add my Speed Ratings
to each race and identify Class issues and weak over
rated horses that are going to be
over bet by the public .
Once I get my shortlist of races, which
is usually about 4-5 handicaps, with a couple of maidens
and conditions races I can get to work.
My next task is to get some sort of historical
perspective to see if there is an edge. I am particularly
interested in sorting out "blocks" of horses
that can't win the race . They can be identified through
historical trends, quite often age statistics, weight
statistics etc. One example was the Stewards Cup where
you can safely rule out every 3 year old that runs in
the race as a very safe guide. I always look at previous
years results and the types of horses that are needed
to win a particular race.
There is significant emphasis placed on
my own unique Trainer Research.
I am not interested at all yet at the
most likely winner of the race at all. I want to be
able to reduce a 12 runner race to 1 or 2 possibilities
, or a 16 runner field to about 3 possible winners and
history can help immensely with that task.
Once I have done that I always ring the
racecourses for going updates, weather forecasts and
assess what the likely ground might be. That in itself
helps enormously to rule out many of the field .
I am not interested in betting in races
where I don't know what horses are capable of beating
me . I want to make sure that my final selection is
protected from horses that I can't rate, or whom could
improve, or whom are able to win on old form . I don't
want the thrills of a race, I want to feel safe and
comfortable that my bets are racing with limited risk
At this stage, usually the night before
the race I will have started my
message and generally add things I find when I study
as I go along. I
have one eye on making the next days message as detailed
and informative as possible without compromising the
study. I am now down to only hand full of horses that
can win the races I look at, and I have a mental tissue
in my head .
My next step is to cross check every horse
I see with information about them, press clippings,
notes I have made about their
previous races, comments from their connections, previous
analysis I have researched about them which I save etc
etc. This often proves very helpfull. I then run a few
more statistics and cross check a few things and test
ideas out and see if they hold water .
I have now got a very good idea of the
Best Bets the next day and I spend the next few hours
with the form book and the best possible resource, the
Video where I have a large collection of races going
back seasons that I play to look at to help get a picture
of whether the horse is capable of doing what he or
she are being asked to do . The vIdeo analysis is the
most important part as it gives you great confidence
I check prices at various online
bookmakers, make a few phone calls and speak to
a few people to cross check certain horses . It pays
to talk to other judges as it is a solitary lonely experience
and you can get caught up in the study, get stale and
miss things. I now have a very good idea of whether
I will be recommending a bet or not the next day
Finishing touches are put on my message
and then the final thing happens....sleep! . I never
make a final decision till I've slept on it and gained
a fresh perspective in the morning.
Once that final test has been passed and
I am confident that my bet isn't going to collapse in
the market or be affected by changing weather conditions,
non runners etc then I can send my message.
Then it starts all over again for the
following days business .