Last month, in the first part of this series, I talked about my general approach to analysing midweek form. This time I’ll take things a little further.

I talked about ASKING QUESTIONS of yourself when you look at the form. This aspect of things is where you try to look for what I call the “hidden traps” in the form.

In Maiden races, for example, you may see that a horse has run a good 2nd or 3rd at a minor track in Victoria, but in the same race there are other runners who also have similar formlines but at other tracks.

The trap is that a good 2nd at one track may not be good enough when weighed up against another horse’s 2nd at another track. It’s a fact of racing life that various courses run STRONGER Maidens than others, most of the time.

I am always prepared to give more credence to a placing in a Maiden at Ballarat or Bendigo than to a Maiden at Swan Hill or Bairnsdale.

Watch out, too, for dual entries from a stable. These can trick you, and you need to be very alert to what might be going on.

Now, as I said last issue, I am a fan of the Pat Carey team and yet I missed a clear winner from this stable at Bairnsdale on August 29 (perhaps one of the reasons was I was having a day off from PPD Club tipping and didn’t concentrate my mind enough on the form!).

Carey had two runners entered in the Maiden 1200m for colts and geldings, the first race on the card. They were Day Out, who had been backed into $2.60 favourite when debuting at the same track on August 13, and a newcomer named Rising Moon.

Carey scratched Day Out and left Rising Moon in. The 3yo colt, with the under-rated Sally Wynne aboard, won the race and paid $9.50.

Had my mind been totally centred on the job in hand I could well have been alerted to the scenario: Carey scratches the apparent best of his two runners, and relies on a newcomer to represent the stable.

I deduce from this that he decided not to have the pair clash. Instead, he will “save” Day Out for another race. Two wins, then, instead of one.

Remember from last month that I recommend you keep a list of horses you have culled from watching race replays. I feel this is so essential in your armoury that you really should make a point of watching the replays.

You can secure all the Victorian city and provincial/country and Sydney metropolitan meetings replays from TVN for only $15 a month. If you are only half-serious about your betting it’s worth the money!

If you haven’t seen the “live” running of a race the best place to start when you look at the replays is to get a copy of the stewards’ reports. These will give you some idea of what went on, and you can start your assessment of the race using the comments from the stewards.

Perhaps you’ll see something like: JoJo was held up for clear running on the home turn, and was checked at the 100m when attempting to secure a run through a narrow gap.

Just type in JoJo on your TVN internet service, the race will come up and you can look at it as many times as you like. You can then assess whether JoJo’s chances were ruined by the interference, or decide that he was not going to win anyway.

In assessing the video replays, and when examining any aspect of a horse’s formlines, always keep in mind what your main mission is (to find the best chances) and what you must be constantly be aware of:


?Look for signs that a horse is racing into form. This may not mean a 2nd or 3rd last five starts; it could be a 6th, a 7th or an 8th, and the run could still have been a warning sign that a horse is close to producing his best.

There’s a lot of instinct involved in all this. Nothing is really clear in most races. Rarely will you find an absolute stone bonker standout, and when you do you can more or less accept that just about everyone else will have spotted it!

What you are looking for are the horses with GOOD CHANCES that may be missed by the crowd. You want Value. It’s the long term key to success.

Do you want to have to back four winners at 6/4 or one winner at 8/1?

NEXT MONTH: More on discarding the no-hopers, and drawing up a step by step selection plan to help you pick a good percentage of winners at good odds.

Click here to read Part 3.
Click here to read Part 4.
Click here to read Part 1.

By Brian Blackwell