In previous articles in this series, I've looked at how to streamline an approach to form and selection, and last month I provided a Ratings Guide for the various classes of races.

We can use these class guides to produce our ratings. But we need to keep firmly in mind that various principles need to be adhered to in order to produce viable and successful ratings figures.

Last month's article contained information on 'the right races' so we can move on from that point to discuss other aspects of form, with the view in mind to cutting some corners.

I've devised the following 12 angles on form. You can use all or some of them. They are under three headings of Class, Ability and Form.

Factor A
(1) Horse must have performed WELL in similar class of race. Check back on the form, and if you can find good performances in the class of race now being contested, then the horse can be considered further.

Factor B
(2) Check 'average earnings' and highlight the top 5 in the rankings (the Sportsman's Chart Form liftout has all Average Earnings details). If you don't have access to these, each horse's total earnings must be divided by its number of starts to get the Average Earnings figure.

Factor C
(3) Give added thought to those runners who have recently WON in the same class as the current race. (Recent means within the past 28 days.)

Factor A
(1) Tick off all last-start winner They become contenders for stronger consideration PROVIDED they can pass the demands of other areas of the form approach (i.e. Class, Fitness, etc.). A last-start win can be a useful pointer but not just on its own; the win needs to be tested.

Factor B
(2) Horse has run 2nd, 3rd or 4th, within 3.5 lengths of the winner, at its latest start in the past 28 days.

Factor C
(3) Horse has shaped encouragingly for 5th to 8th, less than 5 lengths from the winner, when unfancied at 10 / 1 or longer.

Factor A
(1) Horse has a win strike in excess of 40 per cent for its entire career. These are very consistent horses but we require 10 runs or more.

Factor B
(2) Horse has a win strike of between 25 and 39 per cent from 10 starts or more. Once again, these will be consistent and reliable performers.

Factor C
(3) Horse has shown 2 wins and 2 placings from its last 5 starts, the most recent within the previous 21 days.

Factor D
(4) Horse is in the top 3 lines of betting in the pre-post betting market.

(5) Horse is in the top 3 Most Favoured in the tipsters' poll.

(6) Horse is to be ridden by a jockey in the top 10 in the city where the current race is being run.

Now we have our various Factor A, B, C and D assessments. Remember that last issue I provided the Fitness Formula factors. All will be drawn together for final analysis.

What we're doing with all this is finding a quick way to pinpoint the runners who are going to figure as the main chances. By the time the series is finalised, we will be in a position to quantify all the various aspects, and tie them in with the Class Ratings that were published last month (June PPM).

In the next section of the series, I'll be listing the Factors we need to assess for raceday Track Conditions and for Weight. As we all know, weight is of supreme importance in any analysis of raceform and we cannot afford to avoid taking it into consideration.

However, my approach makes weight study a very simple task. In fact, it's a simple, mechanical process that will enable you to select the 'best weighted' runner very quickly and easily.

Much the same goes for Track Conditions. We can get a handle on them very quickly, and eventually assign a figure to them.

In the September issue, we'll go right through the ratings Process, with directions on how to get your final rating figure for each contending runner, and how to make a priceline.

The final part will be in the October PPM. In this issue, the total package will be reviewed with a complete set of rules.

Click here to read Part 4.

Click here to read Part 5.

Click Here to read Part 6.

Click here to read Part 2.
Click here to read Part 1.

By Richard Hartley Jnr