If we assume, as many punters do, that inside gates are the best, doesn't it follow that we should look very carefully indeed at good-form horses racing from these barriers?

Let's say that we have done all our homework on the form, and we come up with two key chances in every race. Can we zero in and say that one or both are BEST BETS if they draw gates 1 through to 5?

It's something worth thinking about. Statistics fans might also like to throw in the TAB number angle. That is, if one or both selections are in the top four TAB numbers (1 to 4) it will make them much BETTER bets (using as the basis for this the fact that TAB numbers 1 to 4 will win around half of all races).

What if we just looked at the first few favourites in a race and tested them on barrier Position? What if we chose the horse with the best draw, assuming that No. 1 is the best?

Well, it could work, and maybe computer buffs out there might like to spend some time checking it out. My own feeling is that although we'd get some winners, probably a good percentage, it would probably not be enough at the odds available to ensure a profit in the long term.

However, maybe we should approach the whole thing from a different angle. What about unfancied horses in gates No. 1 to No. 5 which are between TAB numbers 1 and 4?

Now we could be looking at some windfall longshot returns. On the same tack, though in a different direction, what about horses with TAB numbers 1 to 4 who are drawn WIDE? Why shouldn't this approach lead us to some excellent winners?

There's a case to be made for both approaches. It all depends on how much you care to take barrier positions into account. As we know, some punters place a lot of consideration on the draw, others are happy enough to ignore it.

There has to be a sort of middle ground on this aspect of the form process. When I see experts overseas making such a fuss about barrier positions I always start to think that maybe I should take them more seriously than I do!

I found the following "inside gates" system in a book that was published in Sydney some 40 years ago. It looks like a good one, so I thought I'd pass it on for PPM readers to check out in these modern times.


  1. Ignore any runner drawn outside barrier No. 3.
  2. To be considered further, any runner in the first three barriers must have won or been placed 2nd, 3rd or 4th last start. Eliminate any of the runners who do not fulfil this requirement.
  3. To be considered further, a contender must have had its last start within the previous 21 days.
  4. To be considered further, a contender must be listed at 6/1 or under in the pre-race betting market.
  5. To be considered further, the horse must be mentioned at least once in the tipsters' panel (at least four tipsters needed).
  6. The horse that passes all these requirements is the final selection.

This is a system that will provide you with some good bets. It makes a contender pass some stringent requirements. By the time you've finished, what will you end up with?

  1. A horse that is drawn well (assuming inside gates are the best!).
  2. A horse who ran well last start.
  3. A horse that is coming in off a recent run (21 days or fewer).
  4. A horse that's well fancied in the betting market.
  5. A horse that at least one or more tipsters fancies.

That's not a bad lineup of factors, is it? Why wouldn't you be happy to back a horse like this? You might like to give this system the "once over". You may discover that with a bit of fine-tuning you can improve it a lot. If you do, please drop me a line and let me know!

Click here to read Part 1.

By Philip Roy