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  • Monday, 20 May 2019
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Horse Racing Strategy default

Betting Strategy a must for punters

I heard some sound punting advice this week from our newest addition to the team, Michael Gannon. Like a company competing in its industry, a punter has to have a specific capability that gives them the edge over the market. If it sounds a bit complex and overdone it's worth reading on because betting strategies aren't difficult to acquire and they're useful to call on when you're looking for a fill-up or to end an ordinary run on the punt.

To explain more lets look at a few betting strategies in action.

Maidens and trial form


I personally give maidens and similar races a wide berth. But interestingly these are the races that our GTO form analyst Michael Gannon identifies when he is looking to find winners. Maiden races on their own aren't the solution here but combined with Michael's dedicated study of trial form, it provides more than it's fair share of value opportunities.

Often the form for these races is full of runners who have demonstrated their inability to get the distance. You're left guessing who's the best of a bad bunch. But trial form provides a third dimension here, showing up horses that are on the up.

Trial form analysis is a very valuable skill in horse racing. The information is very scarce amongst punters as many punters either don't have the time to do the homework, or put little trust in its relevance. There is no doubt that it takes a good eye to notice the horses who are travelling well with more in store versus the ones who are giving everything in an attempt to edge closer to fitness. Even if you can read the runs well enough you'll still have to use the knowledge to gain maximum benefit.

Michael's application of his trial analysis to Maidens or lower class races, fits nicely together to help identity the wheat from the chaff and find value more times than not.


Horses for courses



The highly respected Deane Lester brings a lot of knowledge to the table which is no doubt his competitive advantage when it comes to horse racing. Deane recently explained to punters on Radio Sports National that he loves punting at Geelong's synthetic track, while many punters prefer to give it a wide birth. His affinity for the track comes from consistent analysis of racing patterns and speed maps over the course, improving his own odds for success when he identifies runners with early speed from the right barriers. He says, with the right combination of early speed, barrier, the synthetic track and over a short enough distance, front runners are very hard to peg back.

A simple set of knowledge, developed through painful analysis, but straight-forward in its application.


Past the post

horse racing replays

Racenet's Paul Joice, like Michael and Deane, does a lot of home work to provide his incisive comments to punters. His point of difference comes from what he looks at during racing replays. While most analysts flick on to the next race as horses hit the line, Joice continues to watch attentively. Joice believes when horses have past the post, jockey's have eased off the whips and relaxed in the saddle, the true condition of a horse can be seen. Do they look like they could run again? Is the jockey having to calm the horse down or ease it back to the yard? It's the edge that Joice gets while most of the media is focusing on a good run in the straight.


These examples aren't the typical exercises that social punters are likely to get involved in. You probably just don't have the time to watch trial footage, perform detailed speed map analysis or watch race footage. But every punter does watch a lot of race footage over the years. We are all getting exposure to hours and hours of racing vision when we punt. So with limited time available how can we develop a betting strategy to give us a competitive advantage?. Here are a few bits of advice I put together from my discussions.

  1. Is there some aspect of form analysis where you rate yourself highest. Knowledge of a track? Shorter distances? Mid distances? Weight-for-age races?
  2. How can you maximise the value from that knowledge? For Michael it's applying his sound knowledge of trials to Maidens or races where runners have had minimal wins. One of Deane's applications is using track knowledge and speed maps to identify compelling racing patterns.
  3. What is a realistic staking plan where you can benefit from your strategy. For example, you may like to have a bet in each race when your punting with your mates. That's fine. We all do it. But think about staking-up on those races where the race is playing to your strengths.

Mike Steward

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