This is the 333rd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.
The 1st September brings about a change in my racing pattern, and a welcome change at that. It's when I start looking through the "Jumps" results & analysis section of the Weekender looking for well-handicapped and improving horses.
I'm know I'm not alone in this and I'm sure that others will have their own particular way of finding future winners. How I look at the results is as follows:-
1) First-off, for each race winner I highlight its name in its previous race. That way I can spot races which have produced more than 1 next-time-out (NTO) winner. Any race that produced a NTO winner deserves a closer look; but races that produce 2 or more NTO winners deserve close inspection.
2) Next, for each meeting I make a note of those horses which have produced a race-time which is "quick" for the day. At the same time, I assess the manner in which these "quick" races were run and won in (ie. was the winner "eased-down", or hard-pressed by the runner-up).
3) I make note of younger horses running well (if not winning) against older horses. I believe that horses don't get better (faster) with age – they get slower but, as they are more experienced, they make fewer jumping errors and adopt a better running rhythm to ensure they have the stamina to finish the race.
4) For all noted horses, I look at their entire racing history and try an identify factors which affect their performance, such as going, trip and type of track, as well as making note of horses which are related to other winners especially those of higher grade races.
5) Finally, I make use of one of the several free "horse-alert" systems available on the internet which send out emails notifying you when one of your alert list horses is due to run. My list is kept on the Easy Odds website (www.easyodds.com).
Over the course of the "jumps" season, I will probably make note of between 200 – 250 horses. Some won't last long on the alert list as I can make mistakes like anyone else. But sometimes I can find real gems amongst the also-rans. What I can tell you is that when a horse that you have noted lines-up for a race for which you reckon is its optimum in terms of trip, going and course and is priced-up at generous odds – then you can wager with confidence.
Confidence is both the friend and the enemy of the gambler. The excellent article written by David Ashforth about Australian gambler John Mort Green in this week's Racing Post produced an excellent quote from the man; "Money lost is only money lost, but confidence lost is everything lost."
About 10 years ago, I was a member of an internet horseracing forum called Smartsig, and contributors were continually striving to find winners via the most simple systems possible; "KISS!" being the operative word (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). If you produce your own list of horses which you know have demonstrated their well-being, fitness and ability and you believe you know their optimum conditions then you know that when they run (as the song goes) you can "Kiss with confidence!"
There may be a selection this afternoon, possibly at Salisbury. Tomorrow (Friday) Haydock looks like it could be an interesting meeting with wagering opportunities. I will be heading-off to Ascot on Saturday, so selections will be posted on the Betting League website before 10:00am on Saturday morning. If any bloggers/twitterers are going racing at Ascot, then get in touch.
Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.
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Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience – never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad