THE MINEFIELD OF PICKING A WINNING HORSE
The almost magical ability to be able to pick the correct Selection for your Offers is going to make or break your results and requires years of experience and analytical ability.
Beware the minefield.
Promo Offers are useless without the ability to consistently find value in the market.
Put simply; if you can’t pick the right Horse you might as well hand your cash over to the Bookmaker now and save yourself the hassle of trying to follow the promos.
Anyone that tells you that doing the form is easy; that is; crunching the market and spitting out correct selection after selection for every race and every meeting on the cards, is likely trying to sell you something.
This is the hidden minefield and the real reason why Bookmakers are happy to bend over backwards to give you so many Promo Offers – because 99% of Punters simply don’t have the time, experience or ability to find these horses.
Whilst we’ll go into complete detail on the following pages about just SOME of the variables you need to crunch when panning for gold, the reality is that unless you’re a proven Pro Punter (in which case, why are you reading our advice on picking a horse?!) you’ll be better off joining our Premium Membership and having all of this work done for you.
MASTERING FIELD SIZE
One of the important metrics to master – Field Size is simply the number of total selections on the field minus Scratchings.
Combined with Market Data this is a key determinant of expected performance.
Regardless of how you look at it, Field Size (along with Field Conditions) is an incredibly important factor to take into account when choosing a Selection.
Yes – the market price should take into account the Field Size, however a market price also assumes that the same race is run under the same conditions a hundred times in order for the probabilities to even out.
Heck; we know that Winx usually goes $1.10 pre-race which means there’s a 9% chance she’s to lose yet she’s managed to hit 32 races consecutively (at this of publication) including 20 Group 1s (new World Record) so the Law of Averages doesn’t necessarily always play into your favour (assuming you were to lay the mare!).
With that being said, in our experience Market Prices need to go hand in hand with Field Size and Track Conditions because a wet track and a wide open field can make it a race for any Selection regardless of the actual probability of that horse to salute under normal conditions.
A large Field Size suggests a very wary approach to your pick whereas a smaller Field Size can allow us to comfortably take up multiple Promo Offers with confidence.
MARKET PRICE FLUCS
With the theory that “the Market is always right”, fluctuations in a selection’s price can provide extremely important information about punter confidence and expected performance that should be combined with other information to validate an edge.
Prices fluctuate in a high liquidity market quicker than you think; allowing you to get in front of the Market or even to take advantage of false favourites and other dumps or pumps in price that let you get a more competitive position over at the Bookmakers.
Typically when making a selection we’ll bring in all market information from several sources including the prices both before and after 9am where Minimum Bet Rules tend to kick in and Punters traditionally begin to stake their positions in the market.
If you were to blindly follow the price and back the 1st Favourite on every Promo you would be leaving a lot of value on the table which would eventually back-fire on you and result in a loss, but by combining Market Price Flucs with the rest of our analysis we can take advantage of information that we might not yet be privvy to (race delays, weather, racing announcer tips etc.) and factor that into our analysis.
A Selection that starts off strong before pushing out may still be a solid selection that the market has forgotten about, or it could be that some important variable has changed and reduced the value of that pick.
WEATHER AND TRACK CONDITIONS
$1.60 shots get beaten by $32 starters all the time when track conditions and weather play havoc with the race flow and speed of the run.
Always factor in weather and ground quality.
When the track begins to turn to mud under a torrent of rain, especially when earlier races are showing a significant amount of negative variance, you would do best to heavily weight your Selection choice in favour of unpredictability.
Simply put, at Puntalyser our experience has always been that we expect short priced favourites to perform far worse than their price in inclement weather, with long shots (who nobody is paying attention to) able to absolutely destroy the field once the quality of the run becomes ludicrous.
Factor into the “Gambler’s Fallacy” and the “Sunken Cost Fallacy” whereby the market is extremely reluctant to push out a short priced favourite (say under $1.80) despite the fact that a $1.60 runner in good weather is nowhere near equivalent to a $1.60 runner in wind or rain.
This is one of the most subjective aspects of picking a Selection as there is no way to predict how horses will perform.
Depending on the other market and Promo Offer factors the entire strategy can completely change!
Past Performance is never indicative of Future Performance, but it is a spotlight pointing in the right direction.
Taking all Selection performance into account can control for a variety of difficult variables and allow you to spot hidden value in the market.
When Winx jumps at $1.12 you have people putting hundreds of thousands of dollars on her despite the incredibly low payout.
This is because her Past Performance is incredibly consistent and inspires confidence that she can do it time and time again.
However, from a purely statistical perspective, each race that she runs increases the likelihood that “her time” will come and the probability of the win swinging against her.
We’re not advising that you lay Winx every time she runs, but simply put this example is to show that despite her world record breaking runs and ability to turn on the turbo boost on the home stretch, by no means is her Past Performance a guarantee that she’ll continue to perform like this.
Likewise, Past Performance in any normal race can be a great indicator of fuzzy outcome, but in and of itself is only relevant to the race that was previously run.
Once Track Conditions, Field Size and Selections change then you should only use Past Performance alongside all other Selection variables to narrow down your perfect choice.
Even though a horse may be likely to salute, if its price is too short it simply isn’t good value to back it especially one the Corporate Bookmaker takes their cut.
When you’re only making a fraction of your initial stake it may be time to consider another pick.
It’s a common scenario that we see at Puntalyser – a Selection that on paper has all the right reasons to back it, and heck, we even rate it favourably and think it has a high likelihood of winning.
However, you need to consider how Selection price affects your total outcome – is it really worth placing $150 on a $1.40 horse that will, at most, return $60?
If it’s a Money Back offer, then the risk reduces significantly because of course you’re getting full cash back, but if it’s a Bonus Bet then the 30% reduction in face value is actually almost the same as the cash you’d get if you won.
In other words, a short priced Favourite run against a Bonus Bet offer may actually be far more likely to cost you money and you’d be better off laying the promo on Betfair and hoping for the place so that you can make a double collect.
Be wary of anyone suggesting that you simply back Favourites as these are also the picks where Bookmakers are most sharp; ensuring that they always get their 10-20% margin on the price – meaning you’d be lucky to get $2.00 on a horse that trades $2.50 on Betfair.
Some Jockeys are, simply put, better in certain races, and worse in others.
Whilst the Market Price tends to factor this in, there are no hard or fast rules and no guarantee that a Favourite Jockey will salute.
Be very aware of constantly under performing Jockeys.
As another one of the hundreds of variables that go into picking a Winning Horse, the selection of Jockey (on top of Gear) will have a tremendous effect on your Selection’s chances of winning.
Horses are temperamental creatures and we’ve seen this up front in 2018 with Chautauqua where, despite his six-time G1 winning $8.8 million in prize-money, he refused to leave the barriers during trials six times almost resulting in being banned by NSW Stewards!
Add this to the fact that some Horses need to be pushed; others need to be coaxed and yet others are happy to do most of the heavy lifting for their Jockey, and you realise that the choice of the rider is incredibly important for the morale and performance of the Horse.
Jockeys, of course, each have their own riding style and are not necessarily a good match.
Whilst number crunchers will tend to focus on the shorter priced Selections anyway, knowing which Jockeys match which Horse temperament can be the key to finding value that the Market is simply ignoring.
Sectional Times provide an opportunity to analyse a Horse’s performance over time, allowing an insight into whether improvement is consistent or a statistical anomaly.
Sectional Times are available for all Horses under every Race including Trials.
Because they provide a standard and measurable way in which to gauge running speed and other performance aspects, they can be a fantastic tool for identifying areas of improvement, favourite gear, riding style and Jockey performance and the subsequent effect on the running style and results of the Selection.
Furthermore, since statistically a $50.00 Horse can still outperform a $2.00 favourite (usually not very often) it allows us to determine, objectively, whether this is because the Market Price is simply not reflective of current performance or perhaps whether the effect of riding style, weather or any of the other hundreds of variables in a race, were working against the Favourite and for the Long Shot.
Like all of our other analysis, Sectional Times should be used as a way to narrow down Selections and not as the “be all and end all” as, once again, past performance is not indicative of future performance, but can be validly used to weight the expected result as well as to remove unfavourable Horses that have a habit of performing terribly no matter what the running conditions are like.
Take this tool with a big grain of salt – most analysts have no idea what they are talking about with even the smallest of condition changes capable of ruining even the “best” and “most well thought out” Speed Maps.
Essentially a graph of the expected running positions of each Horse in a race, Speed Maps are incredibly subjective and almost impossible to objectively create.
In fact, if you were to take 5 Speed Maps from 5 of the top performing analysts you would likely find that they were all different.
Even a small change in weather conditions including wind, rain or ground softness can completely change the layout. Furthermore, once you factor in the other market conditions as well as Gear and Jockey, late Scratchings and other regularly occuring changes then your Speed Map is essentially useless.
In theory, Speed Maps allow you to shortcut your way into finding Selections that the Market has yet to price properly, but since they are already a summary of other Analysis you should only use them to confirm your hypothesis rather than the cornerstone of your Selection process.
THE BOTTOM LINE WHEN IT COMES TO WINNING HORSES
Let’s face it – picking Winning Horses is hard for even the best analysts, and impossible for the average Punter.
If this wasn’t the case, then you’d be chilling out on drinking fancy cocktails on a bed of Russian models in your 50-room mansion in the middle of a tropical island instead of reading advice on how to improve your Punting, wouldn’t you?
Not only do you need to be incredibly sharp – you need years of failed experience and hundreds of thousands of dollars in turnover to even begin to get a feel for how to pick a Winning Horse, let alone the tons of hard numbers and analysis on top of your gut feeling.
To go from zero to hero would usually take you years but fortunately there’s an easy short-cut; simply sign up to become a Premium Member with Puntalyser.
We do all the hard work for you with form and Promo Offers being crunched and spat out into combinations of bets that consistently produce Winning Horses – currently to the tune of an average of $2700 profit each and every month.
Rather than trying, and failing, time and again; costing you hundreds if not thousands of dollars – allow us to provide you all the very same analysis we put on ourselves using professional analysis strategies which have taken years and thousands of bets across hundreds of meetings to produce and validate.
Every single one of the thousands of bets and Promo Offers we’ve taken is publicly available for complete analysis in the Results section so you can see what it’s like when you’re able to find Winning Horses.
We’re among Australia’s cheapest Horse Analysis and Racing Tipsters yet we also produce top quality results wrapped up in industry-leading technology but you’ll have to sign up for it to take advantage of this analysis.
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