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 due to 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 and on the beting exchange. I may 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 .

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