Who can remember Van Der Wheil, or the Flying Dutchman as he was also called? He first made his impact on the British betting scene in the letters page of the old Handicap Book in 1980, and well do I remember the influence he had on me. If I were more conscientious I would go up into my loft, remove my old Handicap Books from under their gathering layer of dust and check the facts of what I am about to write. But I'm not going to, because some of what he said then has become so engraved on my betting psyche that it will never be forgotten. His letters continued all through the 80's - informative, challenging, and also provoking a great deal of heated discussion.
VDW was a great believer in consistent form; nothing very startling in that. He looked for his winners from the first four or five horses quoted in a reliable betting forecast. Again not the most revolutionary idea in the betting world. But then he introduced his method for assessing a horse's ability. As far as I am aware, he was the first to do so - previously the notion of ability was a matter of personal opinion, but the Dutchman changed all that. He was able to give ability a numerical value, based on facts not opinions, and in the intervening years a whole anthology of systems has been spawned using the VDW factor for ability as the main source of inspiration. And what was this ability rating? For anyone who may still be in doubt, here is the VDW secret.
He added up the amount of money a horse had won for winning races (not for being placed), divided this by the number of races won and then knocked off the final two figures. The resulting number is the horse's ability rating. So, if a horse has won £50,000 in five races, then it has an ability rating of 100, or if another has won £88,000 in eight races, its rating would be 110, that is ten points superior to the first one. Fortunately, all the figures required for working out the ratings are supplied in a convenient way in the Racing Post.
The only races VDW used with his method were high-value ones with medium sized fields. As I'm writing these notes on the 11th September (a day to remember), I look at the Doncaster meeting and one race stands out, the Park Hill Stakes with nine runners. One of the runners has consistent form (it won its last race), it has an ability rating of over 200, one hundred points clear of the next highest and is trained by probably the top trainer at the course. Also, I hear it has been laid out for the race. They don't often come much better than that, and of course it won. It was Alexander Three D, trained by Barry Hill.
Regarding consistent form, taken over a horse's last three runs, VDW simply added the form figures together, so that 111 gave a rating of 3, the most consistent, and 000 a rating of 30, the least. Therefore, taking the first five horses in the betting forecast, he would work out the three most consistent and if one of these had the highest ability rating, then that was a possible bet. But there was more to it than that. There was always talk of a 'missing link' which caused endless discussion and argument in the Handicap Book's correspondence page. What the link was I have never been able to work out. Perhaps there wasn't one, unless it might be the individual temperament of each punter. VDW once gave his complete formula, as follows: - Consistent Form + Ability + Capability + Profitability + Hard Work = Winners.
After all that serious betting stuff let's have something on punting that's a bit more light-hearted. It's a news item that appeared in the press earlier this year, but some of you may have missed it. Even if not, it's worth another look. We all know that everybody placing a bet has to be optimistic and a bit crazy, but this jobless punter from Paignton in Devon takes, not just the biscuit, but the whole bloody packet! He placed a bet with Hills at odds of 20 million to 1 that Elvis Presley will ride into London on missing racehorse Shergar, and play tennis against the fugitive Lord Lucan in the Wimbledon Men's Final. Our punting devotee from Devon wanted to stake £10 on the wager, but Hills limited his stake to 5p, with potential winnings of £1 million. I'll leave the last word to our peerless punter from Paignton. He said, "Hills were obviously nervous about my bet." I wonder if the bookies will be nervous about the selections of this classic system - Racereader Plus. I've seen lots of systems that are based on its ideas and that must be a recommendation in itself. It's suitable for both Flat and N.H. racing and is a sound sensible approach to finding winners. Here it is - Racereader Plus.
The newspaper to be used is the Daily Mail, and we are looking at each nonhandicap race at each meeting, with the following exceptions: -
• All races for apprentices only.
• All races for amateur riders only.
• All maiden only races.
• All races with less than eight or more than twelve runners.
1. Look at each horse in the qualifying races and award points on the following basis. Last run 1st - 5 points. 2nd - 3 points. 3rd - 1 point.
2. Previous run 1st - 3 points. 2nd - 2 points. 3rd - 1 point.
3. The horse with the highest score must be rated 75 or above by the Daily Mail Formcast.
4. The horse must be quoted in the first four in the betting forecast of the Daily Mail.
5. If more than one horse qualifies, the selection is the horse with the highest Formcast rating.
6. For National Hunt racing there is no bet on any horse that has fallen or been pulled up in either of its last two races.
Set aside a betting bank of twenty points. For example, if your normal stake is £10, your bank would be £200. Your first bet is one point and remains that until your bank plus profits reaches thirty points, at which time your stake increases to 1.5 points. At forty points your stake becomes two points and so on. Should your bank drop below twenty points your stake remains at one point.
Labels: Betting Systems