Some Tricks of the Trade

Remember: these systems are offered with no guarantees. Test them yourself by 'paper trading' without real stakes before risking any money.

1) Happy Birthday
What do you think the result would be if a child of say 7 years old were to run a 100 metre race against a 15 year old? I think the older child would win, don't you? Well although horses have a shorter life span, just a few months difference in age can make a big difference to strength and ability when they start racing.
Now in our part of the world every racehorse is considered to have its birthday on the first of January, regardless of when it was actually foaled. So a horse born on 30th Jan is considered to be a two year old at the same time as one born on May 1st. That three month difference in real age 'though can make a big difference in strength and ability.
So, when you look at two year old races early in the season it pays to check the month in which the contestants were actually foaled. You can generally find this information in the Racing Post and Sporting Life.
Now generally breeders aim to get their foals all born around the same time, but sometimes you will find races where some runners are three or four months older than their competitors. By itself that doesn't guarantee a win but add the info to your selection method and the extra age and strength can make a significant difference, expecially when the going is extra soft or heavy.

2) Horses for Courses
Why do you think that phrase is in the common language? It's simply because it's well know in the racing fraternity that certain racehorses just love certain courses. No one quite knows why a horse may feel at home more on a particular track but it happens frequently. The more unusual tracks, e.g. Brighton, particularly tend to have their specialists. When a horse runs at its favourite track it often takes on a second life.
If you take the time to familiarise yourself with the horses that love one track rather than another, the rewards are there for the taking.

3. Tendencies of the Draw
This is only a consideration for flat racing because there are no stalls used with the jumps.
It is proven to be possible to get an edge by studying the tendency that particular starting stalls may have on the winner at individual race tracks. Just because there is a particular bias at one course doesn't mean it will be repeated elsewhere. You have to make your own statistics. However such study can bear fruit.
For example, in the late eighties shrewd punters noticed that at Thirsk, in sprint races of five or six furlongs on soft going, when the stalls were placed on the stands side it was only the horses drawn with the very highest numbers that would be competing at the finishing post.
Maybe that was a very specific set of circumstances but, when they occurred, those in the know took full advantage. One guy in particular managed to twice win over £200,000 by forecasting the first three horses home in the correct order when these conditions arose. He did it by betting on a range of permutations of the highest drawn horses, then sat back and let fate deliver the goods.
Put in the work to check your results and find the patterns before everyone else does.

4. The form of the Trainer
Once a trainer stable has really 'got into its stride' it can often start to turn out winner after winner.
Again there is no point in waiting until a stable's success rate is common knowledge. You have to spot the emerging trend early and hook into it from the start. That may not sound easy, but here's a strategy to give you a good chance:
Write out a list of the top 20 or 30 trainers that you'll find from the Racing Post, then award them points for each winner, second third or fourth they run on a daily basis.
Total up the results each day and you'll soon be able to spot emerging trends from individual trainers.

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