Proven mathematical laws are the governing force of horse racing betting. Consequently every bet we place is conceived then predicated from statistical analysis protected by a maths-based edge with perceived value attached. Our formula is simple because we are yet to be convinced that a complication of a system is proportional to profit. So what do we mean by a maths-based edge? It means finding something with a solid mathematical core, something historically profitable and something that is unlikely to change or suffer fatigue going forward. Then, if we can filter negative influences from the original proposal and provide a sound rationale for doing so, we can claim that betting edge.
The Racing Horse approach to horse race betting is simple and heavily supported by pertinence and the mathematics that accompany it. Before considering a wager we employ essential prerequisites with argument weighting. Our raison d’être was important in 1950, valid now and will be relevant in 2050.
The most important part of any bet ever made is the form of the trainer. The sum of the other parts are not as important and this component remains the cornerstone of any of our wagers! Acknowledging trainer statistics/mathematics before wagering is obligatory and this decisive and indicative test assists in removing negative traits, randomness, opinion and bias, are reveals how well the stable's horses are, delivering an up-to-the-minute litmus test on their well being.
Though we recognise there are occasions when a trainer looks to be returning to form after being on the cold list, we only deal in and accept winning percentages/strike rate which are relative to an individual trainer. As a general rule, if the trainer has a national average of 15% we would expect him to be hitting those numbers in the past month or so to qualify for nomination.
There any amount of random factors that can affect a result and it takes small margins to win most races. These issues are more likely to be compounded if the horse has issues of preparedness or fitness. Furthermore, if one accepts that handicap racing forms more than half of all races on the cards of UK race meetings a few pounds of improvement or decay can mean the difference between winning and finishing down the field.
Each horse has a potential ability level, whether they achieve it is another matter. The better the horse is trained and looked after the more it is likely to achieve, but it is accepted that genetics and skeletal soundness are factors outside the trainer’s remit. Finding the bandwidth to which each horse can aspire needs a trainer totally in tune with his charge and, whilst some achieve to various degrees of success, most trainers fail in this regard. Based on this inconsistency we only trust recent form, we never depend on what a horse did 14 months ago, preferring form from the last 2 months.
Regarding trust, there are various rating services available but in a general sense we lean on the Racing Post Ratings (RPR). When making a wager we want our horse to carry the best or very close to best RPR. They are an excellent starting point in two ways, first they help in the standard of races where there are no official handicap marks and, as a second opinion against that of the official handicapper. Conversely, we accept the BHA handicapper mark is relative to this day as opposed to the RPR which is adjusted to the weight carried in today's race against the best bit of form shown in the last 12 months. Context has to be applied.
We were very fortunate to spend a day with Monty Roberts (The Horse Whisperer) and he gave us lots of information on horses and we adhere our betting to his doctrine. He told us that every horse that has ever been born or ever will be born has optimum ground conditions. The onus rests solely on the bettor to find out before making an investment what that is!
As with ground conditions all horses have an optimum distance bandwidth which can change as the horse ages. We know this will be decided on several factors including course confirmation, how the horse has performed at home in different scenarios, and the preferred distance of the horses parents and other relatives. This is another area where the onus is on the bettor to reason the above with what they have seen for themselves on the track but whilst a grey area, one to mathematically-measure and consider.
So our intended wager has a tick in every box and a winning chance looks obvious, why would anyone compromise the wager once the horse arrives at the course after weeks/months of schooling and training? We know that trainers are not duty bound to give the ride to the best jockey available! They might use an apprentice, someone who is contracted, rides work or a favoured son. The owner might have some input or the decision might be political. But the bettor has no such restrictions. It is hard to measure or be scientific about the importance of jockeyship, but they are the trainer’s conduit/connection to the horse and it is often their decisions that dictate the result and a consequent profit and loss.
The points listed probably represent 90%+ in importance towards a winning bet. Of course we are not privy to stable shenanigans and nobody on earth knows what random factors will come into play during the race, our job pre betting slip is to have as many negatives removed then apply our mathematical edge.
Finally, the absolute key to success in betting is the ability to identify value bet situations where the odds available are greater than the true chance of winning, and then to have the discipline to methodically bet only when these situations arise. If this is done the laws of mathematics and probability dictate that in the long term, you will make a profit.