1. With the current maximum number of meetings jockeys can ride in per week being nine, look out for a top name having just the one ride on an afternoon card before going on to a later meeting, or making the teatime effort at a late fixture for the one booking.
2. Never, never, never back a horse in a three mile plus chase with over 11 stone on its back. I know the odd one will creep in but, generally, this is the best value call in racing.
3. Look for a top man over jumps doing a light weight for a yard he seldom rides for.
4. Number crunch the stats of an established race before you have a bet. They are readily available and mean everything to finding winners.
5. Check trainers you follow at a course where you know their target horses: Victor Dartnall and Nick Williams at Uttoxeter, for example.
6. Always look for course specialists at ‘freak’ tracks such as Carlisle, Kelso and Towcester. Southwell is a punter’s paradise as long as you stick to the regulars and take your time in picking when they are handicapped to strike.
7. Know your trainers and look for well-handicapped horse transfers to yards which are renowned for their first time out strike-rate. Sir Rembrandt was a classic case in point when he won at the Paddy Power meeting in November 2007. He left Robert Alner for the harder training regime of Victor Dartnall and was a 15-2 certainty on the day.
8. Watch the top apprentices in the Heritage Flat handicaps. With confidence high in the saddle those seven-pound, five-pound and three-pound claims really do make a difference, as Dark Missile (22-1) and William Buick showed in the 2007 Wokingham.
9. Please don’t get lazy on draw preferences which are more important than I can emphasise. Use the draw as a crucial part of ‘working’ a race when you are getting the likely tactics sorted out.
10. Always read ‘Value Scope’ in the Daily Mirror on Saturdays.

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