PUREFORM

Australian Horse Racing

 



News

The Edge

We all want to be competitive in everything we do. And no more so that with punting on horse racing.

Success in punting on horses, in fact most things reduces down to an information war - the people with the best information make the smart moves.

Books have been and still are the best source of general information, and this applies at least as much in the art of racehorse selection and staking as in any other field.

Author Paul Segar has produced textbooks which cover all aspects of punting. The books alone stand as a complete reference but also provide 'food for thought'. You can develop / improve your own ideas as well as learn some new techniques.

Each book is written in plain English with plenty of practical examples in each chapter. Browse the contents of each book or email for further information, if required.


Improve your punting knowledge today - buy one or all of these books.

Read the books but want more? It's time to do a course.

The Pureform Introduction Course uses a computer program to show you how and when to bet and how to do it successfully. Check out the details

 

The Benchmark Handipper Course continues from the Introduction Course and gives you further weapons to apply when making quality value selections. More...

 

 

Buy all three books now:

$70 posted







Maidens

Maiden races are for horses yet to win a race – a horse can be beaten a nose or the length of the straight but until it wins that first race it is classed as a maiden galloper.

There are no benchmark ratings for maidens which from a punting viewpoint is one system weakness. In New Zealand, handicappers allocate a rating of 45 to first starters and a rating of 47 for those first starters with a trial win. This is a reasonable starting point for all first starters with clearly some making massive improvements.

Maiden events vary from set weight races according to age and sex to handicap events based on recent performances. This makes maiden horse racing quite difficult to assess. As has been touted by the pundits, maiden events can vary from almost group 1 level all the way down to the weakest of weak events and for many provincial and country venues can total half the day’s races. In modern racing, midweek city racing now often boasts three or four maiden events of a very high standard. Gone are the days of the trainer setting their horse for a quick maiden “kill” in a city maiden as often these events are very strong in both depth and number. The provincial and country maidens are usually weaker but at times produce some very strong performances. This is one area of weakness of the system – most maiden winners get around the same rating. Consider the Racing Challenge later in this article.

So maiden races are very difficult to rate and it is the various quality of the events which usually determines the subsequent winner. In most maidens there are at least four previous different events or form lines making up the previous form with some runners having raced against each other. For these four (more or less) events, the key is to decide which race is the strongest and then determine the best runs from that strongest race. One race may have 3 or 4 runners previously competing against each other in the upcoming race and from another race there may be another 1 or 2 runners previously raced together. Usually one of these events will be superior and runners from the superior race will finish closer to the winner. Maidens are often won by first starters in which case no amount of form study will help. First start maiden winners are usually found in the weaker maiden events. It is rare to have a first start maiden winner in a strong maiden event. Why run a strong first start winning chance in a competitive maiden when a weaker event is just as good?

Many horses find winning their first race a major challenge and may take 20 or more starts before success – some are quickly retired. Many potential maiden winners are hard to train and maintaining fitness is often difficult. This is one reason why many maiden winners succeed again quite quickly even though it may have taken 20 runs for that first success. The trainer has found the secret to the horse’s fitness and while remaining fit can be placed appropriately a number of times. The same horse may return for its next preparation and never regain enough fitness to win at a higher level.

For some horses winning a maiden was a major challenge and then winning that next race is almost as hard as winning the first race. The first start maiden winner entered for a class one event is a classic example of a trainer knowing his charges limitations. Why go for a class one event with a first start maiden winner? Clearly the horse has limited ability and will most likely spend its racing days in the lower end of the ratings section and there is nothing wrong with this at all. How nice it is to find a useful performer, like Rembetica, in a low ratings race. The horse, when in form and ready to race, simply outclasses the field.

Rule Number 3: Always look for horses showing form and be wary of first up performers

 

The Racing Challenge

Just to show some possible variations consider the following race, a Benchmark 64 event for 3yo’s and older:


3yo+ BM 64

Form

Horse

Wt

Jockey

Rating

Details

1

Another Winner

58

B Wesson

62

4yo G

1

Kingston Amode

58

J White

62

6yo G

1

Ima Tofer

56.5

A Prentice (a 1.5)

62

5yo G

1

Work In Progress

56.5

A Smith

62

3yo G

1

Jamaican Gambler

55

B Prentice (a 3)

62

4yo G

1

Oneforthemoney

54.5

R Blue

62

3yo F

1

Honor The Day

52

C Prentice (a 4)

62

4yo M

This is a theoretical race which consist of 7 last start maiden winners which are all entered into this Benchmark 64 event and so consist of 62 ratings and set to carry 58 kg and with no higher rated runners accepting, the minimum topweight is set at 58 kg. Not a race that you will see that often but some races may have four or five first start maiden winners. Each horse has only had one race start.

So all the winners are rated the same benchmark rating but as everyone knows, there are winners and there are winners. Some horses win in a canter, others flogged to the line, some are unlucky and just surge nearing the finish others get the gun run and stagger over the wire. And yet, everyone one of these performers is rated at 62. Of those winners, the horse that canters in often fails next run, the horse that leads tails off and the run on horse may instead be the front runner. Only one race starts tells little about the actual horse, except that it has ability having won a race.

A quick look at the adjusted weights (after apprentice claims) sees a spread of some 6 kg. How can that be when they are all rated at 62? Simply some of the horses are female and some are young and additionally ridden by inexperienced jockeys. At the time of writing, 3yo’s were receiving a 1.5 kg weight allowance with female runners receiving a 2 kg allowance. Combine this with an apprentice claim and suddenly the weights carried for identical 62 rated horses is far from equivalent.  Assuming C Prentice can ride with some gusto then Honor The Day becomes some sort of weight special; or is she? Is the trainer putting the apprentice on because it has no chance or does it have so much on the field that it’s an easy victory for the beginner apprentice? Let’s add a further complication: The barrier draw:

3yo+ BM 64

Form

Horse

Wt

Jockey

Barrier

Rating

Details

1

Another Winner

58

B Wesson

3

62

4yo G

1

Kingston Amode

58

J White

6

62

6yo G

1

Ima Tofer

56.5

A Prentice (a 1.5)

5

62

5yo G

1

Work In Progress

56.5

A Smith

7

62

3yo G

1

Jamaican Gambler

55

B Prentice (a 3)

2

62

4yo G

1

Oneforthemoney

54.5

R Blue

4

62

3yo F

1

Honor The Day

52

C Prentice (a 4)

1

62

4yo M

Some brief general comments about the runners in this race. Another Winner came from last to win by half a length in a small field. Kingston Amode raced handy outside the leader and was too strong. Ima Tofer and Work In Progress both led throughout holding on well to just win while the bottom 3 had gun runs mid-race off the pace finishing on to win well by half a length. In fact the winning margin in all seven events was half a length with each field consisting of only 7 runners running the same overall and sectional times.

The final two parts of the puzzle are trip handicapping and race characteristics. Trip handicapping, a term coined by Andrew Beyer and also known as speed mapping, is getting some idea of where each horse will be in the run and how the horse runs its race. This leads into the likely race characteristics. No pace in the race produces disadvantaged backmarkers and so on. Most punters like to follow trainer/jockey combinations, not possible in this example.

So as can be seen from this contrived example, all horses 62 rated with almost identical form can produce a very interesting event with a spread of weight and chances. Now given the information, which horse is best weighted, best suited and most likely to win? And, what are your chances of picking the winner? Night meetings run at Moonee Valley often produce evenly matched events with the chances of selecting the winner around the 6-1 level. So what to do in this type of event? In most cases, pot the favorite as it has the same chance of winning but shorter odds.

Although the horses all start the event with the same ratings and in the barrier stalls together, the final result will span far more than 3 or 4 lengths and this is the reason why there is still horse racing. As they say, nothing in racing is certain, except there will always be another race.

This 3yo+ BM 64 race is due to be run in a week or two. Return to the website for the race result.


 

Here's the result:

Horse
Bookmaker Odds
Work In Progress
$3.50
Kingston Amode
$5
Ima Tofer
$6
Honor The Day
$6
Oneforthemoney
$8
Jamaican Gambler
$10
Another Winner
$10

Market 114%

The race had the 3yo set as favorite and after jumping well surged to the front after working a little from the wide gate. Another Winner missed the start and tailed out early with Honor The Day taking the sit right behind the leader. Ima Tofer lobbed into the one one and cruised to the front around the turn, Honor The Day had trouble getting a run and railed through for second while Another Winner charged down the outside to nab Kingston Amode who passed the tiring Work In Progress nearing the post.

The result of the race was:

1st Ima Tofer

2nd. Honor The Day

3rd Another Winner

4th Kingston Amode