Racing and betting is all about 'the angle', right? We're all looking for a new angle on an old theme? Too right

Sometimes we think we've found THE angle, but time takes its toll and the angle that produced so many winners over 3 months then goes on and produces twice as many losers over 6 months!

But we keep searching, ferreting through the form and the results for that one blinding ray of light that will lead us from the darkness. I'm a habitual angle hunter, mainly I suppose because it's my job as a writer for this magazine to do the best I can to find a different viewpoint.

Just recently I decided to look at the Weights factor. Yes, I know it's been done before, and we're still battling through the mire, but I thought there had to be some new angle that hadn't been explored before.

That's when I got lucky. Through the mail came some research material from a keen P.P.M. reader who lives at Townsville in Queensland. Fred had conducted a survey of some 171 races in the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne areas and come up with very interesting results as far as weight goes.

Fred compared the weight horses carried from one start to the next and how they performed. His chart is reproduced at the end of this article. Now, admittedly, a survey of 171 races does not a system make! But I hazard a guess that if the test was extended to 1,000 races or 2,000 races the percentages would not change very much at all.

The test is most interesting in that it shows that 107 of the 171 winners were within a half kilo either way of the weight they carried at their last start - 20 had a half kilo more, 49 carried the same weight while 38 carried a half kilo less.

That means that 62.5 per cent of the 171 races were won by these horses. Now, for the purposes of form study, this is a most interesting statistic. It indicates that we should be paying a lot of attention to horses in this weight range (from race to race).

They seem capable of winning a high percentage of all races. Another interesting aspect of Fred's survey was that more horses won next start carrying LESS weight than won carrying MORE weight from their last-start outing.

Sixty-eight of the 171 winners carried LESS, while 54 carried more.

The others carried the same weight.

We can also deduce from the survey that we might reasonably expect horses carrying the same weight, or a half kilo less, to win just over half of all races. Surely this is a significant factor and certainly one worth further study.

We are now planning an extensive look at this angle on weights by putting the statistics for the last 12 months at city tracks through special computer analysis. We will let you know all the results early in the New Year.

Meantime, make a careful note of reader Fred's findings, and see how you can profitably apply them to your study of the form on raceday. I will be most interested to hear from readers who find a way to usefully apply the information.

If the statistics can, in fact, be used in a bold manner, you might consider eliminating from contention any runners who do not fit the 62.5 per cent weights pattern; that is, you consider only horses who are carrying the same weight or a half kilo less or more than from their previous outing.

This will enable you to cut out examining many horses on a program while at the same time doing so with the prospect in mind that you are going to be looking at hitting a winner (possibly!) once in every two races.

This, of course, is providing you can pick the right horse from the contenders!

WEIGHTS TABLE

Weight Difference (kg)

Winners

Percentage of Total Winners

+4.0 2 1.2
+3.5 0 0
+3.0 4 2.3
+2.5 10 5.8
+2.0 0 0
+1.5 10 5.8
+1.0 8 4.7
+0.5 20 11.7
+0.0= (same) 49 28.6
-0.5 38 22.2
-1.0 9 5.3
-1.5 7 4.1
-2.0 6 3.5
-2.5 4 2.3
-3.0 0 0
-3.5 0 0
-4.0 1 0.6
-4.5 3 1.7

By Richard Hartley Jnr

PRACTICAL PUNTING - DECEMBER 1993