What I consider to be the two most influential factors to the result of a race are often the least discussed among amateur/recreational punters.
Forget form for the moment.
How many times do you watch a race and think to yourself, “I am in a world of trouble here” or “How is this thing going to get off the rail?” or “this horse is just too far back” etc.
It is common to see punters get frustrated, upset, irrational and start blaming jockeys or making ridiculous comments like ”the race was rigged” or similar statements.
When I used to frequent racetracks I would see it all the time and every time I go back I still see the same old thing.
Like anything, it’s about taking some responsibility for your own actions and doing a speed map is where your form process should start.
Don’t look for someone else to blame if your laziness or lack of skill caused you to lose.
Look at the distance of the race in question and the barrier draws each horse has.
Other factors of importance are:
• Who is riding it?
• Who has drawn around it?
• What stage of its preparation is each runner at? (this can help gauge fitness levels)
• Is there any gear change (like blinkers first time) that are a dead-set give up of the trainer’s intention?
• Where does the horse normally position in the run?
• Where does the horse normally position in the run at this distance?
Draw up a speed map as if you were actually riding it yourself.
What would happen if the horse inside of me goes to the lead?
Think about what other horses will look to come across and look to settle on the speed, and which ones will be necked and taken back.
From there you can then visualise the race in your head and have a clear mental picture of where certain horses are most likely to be, both in the run and approaching the turn.
Now there is tempo to address.
If in a race of 12 acceptances there are 2 horses that always go forward and either lead or sit just off the lead, and the remainder of the field have no barrier speed at all, then clearly the tempo is likely to be slow/moderate.
If that’s the case then regardless of form, do you want to be on a horse likely to be a backmarker in the race?
If you blew up last time when the horse you backed was 4 pairs back on the rail approaching the turn, with nowhere to go, then surely it’s better to know that before the race and save your money.