In the November PPM, I chronicled my journey into the Victorian State Library to obtain a copy of the very first formguide I kept for research purposes and expressed surprise at how little information was available to the punter in the Herald Sun formguide of Anzac Day, 1967.

The one thing that impressed me was the number of tipsters in the tipsters’ panel; there were 16 against the five we have today. But the real surprise was the fact that if a horse ran fourth or worse there was no beaten margin! How things have changed.

Nowadays we have all the beaten margins, in-running positions, the broad details relevant to number of starts in the dry and wet, track information, distance statistics, first-up form and the number of wins and distance ranges of those wins. We also have stewards’ information and sectional times and on it goes to the point where compared to the old days we are, frankly, spoilt rotten.

I continued the article with mention of four Internet sites totally devoted to Western Australian racing (,, and my own and how influential they are to my own betting.

It’s amazing to think back and realise that in 1967 I would not have even known the names of the WA city tracks, much less have the huge volume of information now available with a few key strokes of the computer.

To add to the above websites, there is a new service available for Perth where race videos, race results, stewards’ information, turn and finish photos, trial videos, trial results and commentary and head on film of the last 400m are available for WA residents.

Go to the site for more information; it is certainly ground breaking and raises the punters’ arsenal for WA racing to a new level.

This month I am travelling East and will briefly visit a few websites I have noticed offer Eastern state punters an array of information. Some of the sites have similar information available, such as the general form; however, some have extras which make their site worth perusing.

I must admit I could have spent literally days scouting around these sites if I had delved into every nook and cranny. It’s better if I at least point you in the direction and you can do the Captain Cook discovery tour yourself.

The first is at As I scroll through the front page I notice “Free Form Guides” and Northam is listed for today as well as Gawler and Geelong (I am writing this article on Geelong Cup day). I am actually interested in Race 1 at Northam so I follow the links and, lo and behold, all runners have a video comment (3w ht, rallied strongly etc), for their last five starts and that includes comments from distant tracks like Kalgoorlie, York and Narrogin.

The same is available for Gawler and Geelong; this is quite a service and it is FREE.

A further look shows there are free newsletters relevant to horseracing, breeding and sports as well as a Black Book service which notifies you by email every time a particular horse or trainer or jockey or sire or even the dam of a horse is entered. Now that is a service from heaven for some punters.

Add the Stats and Data section where a jockey’s performance at every track is detailed as well as jockey/trainer combinations and we have a site well and truly worth tapping into.

Moving on let’s look at As I did at Racenet, I had a look at what was available for Northam and another navigation goldmine appears.

A pre-post market was available (goodbye newspapers for those punters who need a pre-post market to work off), as well a Neural Algorithm priceline.

Whoa, Roman! What is a Neural Algorithm? Without delving too deeply it is a program that slots “x” number of factors into a computer program and then attempts to copy those processes the human brain uses in analysing the factors.

You’ll also find a mountain of information about jockey and trainers’ statistics at the track as well as barrier positions for a range of distances, plus the magical “Head To Head” where all runners in the race who have met one another before in a race have the respective results displayed. Now, at times this might not really be a strong form factor (one runner may have been checked or injured and subsequently spelled) but at least it’s a starting point.

A visit to the Timeform page allows you to delve into the famous UK originated ratings service via Australian and European ratings as well as a Group 1 section. You also can tap into the top 20 Timeform runners anywhere on the day so you will not miss where the best in the world are racing.

I am finishing this article on the morning of the US Breeders’ Cup meeting and this area would have been an ideal one in which to check those horses the Timeform people thought were the best.

In the Live Odds part of the site you can have displayed on the one sheet, all the TAB approximate dividends plus the Betting Exchange Betfair and private concerns such as Sporting Bet, IAS and Betchoice.

This is really something and the smart punter should seldom be cursing themselves at having missed a winner that paid significantly higher dividends outside of their own area.

It also highlights the TABs at which the odds are significantly poor, which allows punters taking running doubles, for starters, to have a feel about where the value resides in the next leg. Another area which requires you to sign in (it’s free), allows you to visit Course Stats. In the section under Racing go to Feature Form and you’ll find a Don Scott-type ratings page.

This site is so full of information and stats I must admit to having felt a bit punch drunk after trawling the various areas. It all depends what you see as important in racing but whatever it is, this site will have something on it. I won’t even start on their sports section.

One site which I found a major surprise was Surprisingly, because you would never be able to tell by the website address, this is the Tasmanian TAB site.

To access the best features firstly you must find the heading Australian Racing and click through the options until you strike the race you are after.

By clicking on the horse’s name you can research the horse’s history at the track, distance, jockey, dry track and wet tracks and the coup de grace, the trainer. A click on the trainer’s name finds you with the results of that trainer’s runners for the last three months or last 50 starters with details of SP, track distance, class, jockey, all wins and their best 10 rated races. The latter factor of 10 best rated runs certainly gives the punter the ability to use those ratings to judge that horse’s wining class range.

Although I feel it’s extremely archaic compared to the previous sites, it’s important to mention for a starting point as it offers you the nominations and weights early in the week for those who like to study the weights and possible runners a day or two earlier, though Racenet and Racingandsports offer the same service.

The only useful extra for the punter compared to the other sites I have mentioned is the Australian and New Zealand Classifications, as per the Timeform figures, for those who want to know what the handicappers think on an overall basis over several distance ranges. Personally, I find their distance ranges too broad but that’s just my opinion.

I would like to mention which has a free area worth investigating. This is their horse database covering “all horses that have raced in Australia and New Zealand since 1997” and it provides an interrogation service in a number of ways.

You can search by first-up, second-up, distance, weight, jockey, track and track conditions (you can do these searches as a separate search meaning you do not have to read all of the horse’s form career to locate this information) and if you have a memory lapse or just plain want to have a look, you can click on the race date in the form line and the actual race details are highlighted. Expertform’s free service is an excellent one.

In the process of researching this article I looked at hundreds of pieces of available information at various websites; it was mind boggling stuff and included video replays (normal and head on – how brilliant is the head-on service), video comments (sensationally done), stewards’ information (many clues there and this includes post race information beyond on the day occurrences where the trainer reports the results of vet examinations), photos (home turn and finish), blackbooks (emailed info so you will not miss any horses you follow), jockey stats (who is best on well fancied runners), trainer stats, pre-post markets (no more newspapers needed), barrier information, live odds (can compare the odds of several services). How good would it be if ALL of this was available on the one website?

I have been somewhat stunned to realise what differences exist compared to what was available for punters some 40 years ago when I first started. In those days the average punter had to keep their own records and I saw an example of this the other day.

A friend of mine used to buy three copies of The Sportsman each Saturday: one for doodling and highlighting pertinent facts and the other two so he could physically cut out the form of each of the better class horses and paste them onto cardboard! Nowadays, a couple of clicks on a keyboard reveals the same information.

In this article I hope I have introduced readers to some aspects of racing websites they might have never really thought offered anything of use and I must point out there are areas I did not investigate on some sites otherwise
I would have had to write a book as opposed to an article! 

All I can suggest is that you decide what areas of the punt you need stats on and start investigating the sites mentioned.  I am positive your punting will be all the better for the effort. If that happens then my research will have been well worth the effort.

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

By Roman Kozlovski