Musings From The Professor: Replay That


In our last tutorial we addressed the significance of creating your own prices as a yardstick against which to measure the current market for a race and identify value runners.

But how do you sharpen your ability to 'rate' the winning chance of each horse?

Form study is essential but you can supplement this with an analysis of race replays, which act as a hugely useful weapon in the punter's arsenal to provide information that isn't readily available on paper.

Sites such as racingnsw.com.au and racing.com allow you to watch replays of thoroughbred races free of charge, so why not make use of these sites?

Horses jumping in the air at the start, pulling hard in the run or savaging the line having been badly held-up are visually obvious.

But it's important to note there are plenty of subtle clues about performance that can be drawn from the images as well.

Moreover, these are typically the most valuable as they’re often overlooked by compilers and might just give you the edge you need.

Our friend Daniel O'Sullivan from The Rating Bureau identifies a number of factors to be on the lookout for when watching race replays:

1. The Start - a level of explosiveness out of the barriers is often a sign that a horse is in good condition and, especially for juveniles, has some level of talent.

2. Barrier - pay close attention to horses drawn wide that showed commendable speed out of the gates only to be restrained because of 'traffic' inside them.

A more favourable draw might allow them to settle further forward next time and significantly enhance their winning prospects.

3. In The Run - horses that are travelling under a hold from the jockey when others are being forced along is another positive indicator of ability, irrespective of the result.

4. Acceleration - a sharp 'turn of foot' is a vital commodity for any racehorse.

Sectional charts, which indicate a horses pace through different parts of the race, are a great source through which to single out horses that can accelerate in a field travelling at or near top speed.

5. Finishing Off - pay close attention to horses that are 'strong through the line' relative to the opposition.

Runners who have to spend petrol early yet are still pushing hard at the finish should be noted.

Conversely, horses with a soft run who were only fair through the line, should be marked off.

6. Track Bias - a common occurrence in Australia, this can also be a positive indicator of ability.

For Instance, if a surface is very 'leaderish' and runners are struggling to make up ground all day, then a horse who finishes strongly against the pattern warrants respect.

It's important to note that your video analysis can be used both pre and post-race.

On top of the above-mentioned things, a candid review of the performance of horses you have backed can help to eliminate bad bets from your ledger and reap greater rewards from your punting.

Until next time!

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