These days the serious punter yearns for information and on first glance in the newspapers on the east coast you'd think Perth racing barely exists. Coverage is very basic with, at times, not even pre-post odds available.

There is, however, hope for Internet users.

For a complete service you must visit the best Internet racing club site in Australia at

The front page has areas of interest for the locals but we Easterners want form, so click on CRIS (Customer Racing Information). The first page to greet you is headed WA Meeting Details and by playing around with the Select A Current Meeting feature you'll discover that access to recent past meetings is available, while the Advanced Meeting Search option allows you to access information for upcoming meetings.

The Display Race and Trial Performances is where you want to be if you require the full form career, including official barrier trials, of any runner. just enter a horse's name and click on Find Horse.

Enter a jockey's name in Rider First and/or Surname, adjust Number of Performances and click on Find Rider to obtain all the recent form of the jockey. All this and we are still on page one!

I've selected the Ascot meeting on April 21 to start with and I'm presented with a coversheet for the whole  meeting. By clicking on Open Race Book at the bottom of the page, you can view THE on-course racebook, except
for sections relevant to on-course patrons.

It's worth noting that when on a horse's career page a click on the date of any race will send you to a complete results page for that race, the information including race conditions, rails position, weather, track rating, prizemoney, blinkers information, barriers, weights allotted and carried, jockey, in running positions, margins and individual times for each runner, plus TAB dividends, times, sectionals and stewards' comments - it's all there.

This information is available to as far back as February 24, 1996, and there's also an instant link at the top of the page to the Australian Stud Book for those wishing to study pedigrees.

Basically, for my bigger bets, I am a favourites' punter, so I needed to know more about a mare called Scenic Cruise, the pre-post favourite, in the first race. By clicking onto the race name, the Voile D'Or, I access the field and a click onto her name shows me all her starts in detail.

Her overall career statistics show only four wins from 21 runs but a closer study reveals that from eight runs at 1600m she's had only one win, while after six runs at 1250m or less she is yet to win. Forgetting those runs, her form career now reads three wins from seven runs between 1300m and 1500m. I am quite happy to back her as I
now know today's event suits her perfectly. No such form detail is available on the east coast for Perth racing.

As if this is not enough information there is another magical option called Horse Comparison, where all runners in today's race are listed if they have met recently. At a glance you can see the track, class of race, date, margins and in-running positions for the times they have met.

If ever there was one section of this site that offered the chance for latching onto winning overlays I am positive it is here.

Buried away in the racebook are all the Ascot barrier statistics since May, 1987, while the Trainer and Rider Statistics (top 24 by percentage) show the dominance of Paul Harvey with a strike rate of 24.7 per cent, excellent by any standards.

All punters want "secret" information and a study of Paul Harvey can provide it if you look for it. Recently I came to a race of close contention so I decided to study the full career of each of the main contenders and I noticed that one of the chances, Ostraval, had been ridden three times by Harvey in a previous preparation for one win and that he'd ridden this horse last start at Bunbury.

The "hint" was there: Previous experience on the horse and he'd followed it to town. I scored a juicy 9/2 winner for my efforts and followed it up with another win at 7/2 to boot.

As I write this article there is an instance of a Paul Harvey "tip" in race 8 on April 26. He's riding Blazing Morn, a horse he booted home last start (his first ride on the horse) and this time he has dumped Brush The Saint, a genuine contender, whom he's ridden at its last five runs. You will know my fate when you read this ... but I am on!

You'll also find Stewards' Last Start Information, plus a form comments section on every runner and the full results from the previous Saturday's metropolitan meeting, which includes the Stewards' Reports.

Race Download allows those punters who know how to use a spreadsheet the option to download all the form details into a csv (comma separated variable) file which eventually allows the creation of a form database for all runners. I can see system punters drooling at the prospect and it's all free!

There's another side to the website and this is the post-race options such as the official photo finish strips. I've found many Perth winners just by studying the photo strips (I print them and keep a folder accordingly) as I make note of any winners or placegetters on the relevant pages.

As you'll realise by now, this website is a punter's bonanza. I've lost count of the number of main contenders I've been able to delete due to the availability of a horse's full form career. A perfect example is the issue of first- and second-up runs.

For the April 26 meeting I am betting against a horse called Clockwork Orange, who is first-up over 1200m. This horse has won first-up but at Northam! To me, this is too big a step first-up for a city run but if I had just used a basic formguide I would be thinking it has a chance.

Time will tell if I am right.

It pays to delve into the form and I now wish to let you know of one punter who does just that and with amazing success. His nom de plume is The King Of Belmont and after I provide you with his figures you'll soon see why he is the King.

About two years ago the King and I discussed the issue of Perth in that, basically, the same horses met each other regularly and that surely the formlines would be easier to follow than in the Eastern States.

After witnessing his success for several months I decided to challenge him head to head on all Perth Saturday races from January 25.

It's important to realise he has no knowledge of any on-course happenings as he operates solely from Victoria but I think you'd agree his statistics are very, very impressive at 38 winners from 113 races (33.62 per cent), returning, at SP, 149.80 units for a profit on turnover of 32.56 per cent.

In contrast, his apprentice, The Prince Of Belmont, as I call myself in humble deference to the great man, has yielded 29 winners (25.66 per cent), returning 109.15 units for a loss on turnover of 3.40 per cent. You must remember also that we are discussing SP figures, so there would most certainly be extra profits for The King and a small profit for The Prince based on best fluctuations.

In preparation for this article I recently interviewed The King and asked him: "Why is it better betting on Perth than on the east coast races and what advantages do you believe you have betting there?"

His key points were these:

  1. All horses have officially trialled so you don't have to guess their potential ability and any horse that has had four or less starts has its recent trial form included in the form.
  2. The racebook has the class the horse is eligible for listed and shows when an apprentice cannot take his full claim.
  3. Form is easy to line up as there are very few borderhoppers (interstate visitors).
  4. A high percentage of tracks are usually fast or good, so very few wet tracks riddles.
  5. Pools later in the day tend to be full of either beer-lubricated bets or are missed because punters are travelling home from racetracks, thus providing the opportunities for overlays.
  6. Racing is not on seven days a week, so there are fewer meetings to worry about if you miss one and usually they are not all that relevant to city racing, anyway. If you miss a week in Victoria you miss many meetings and your formwork/ formlines can become blurred accordingly.

The King's advice is sound and his figures indicate what one dedicated punter can achieve when full attention is paid to formlines in just one area like Perth. That's unlike Victorian racing, where you have formlines from four points of the State to consider and the satellite stables of interstate trainers as well, and the same database of horses race against one another almost every week or fortnight.

My advice is to start doing Perth form now. Record all selections, noting the reasons why you risked some contenders, print the photo strips, record reasons for defeat (I know the King dislikes distance races in Perth), watch the video replays, study the times and stewards' reports and basically become a serious devotee of Perth racing.

By Roman Kozlovski