Hello. My name is Josh and I thought I would share with you my approach to what I call ‘profiling’ and to introduce you to some horses that it may pay to keep an eye on in the future. (to add to your geegeez tracker of course!)
There are many ways to find winners in this great sport of ours and no doubt you will have your own favoured approach when choosing which horses to back. One of my preferred methods is unearthing horses that have demonstrated a clear preference for certain conditions. It takes a great deal of time to find these horses but it is well worth it.
In this article I plan to touch on my approach to profiling and to highlight a few horses that it may be worth following.
So, what do I mean by profiling?
No doubt there are many different interpretations and approaches to profiling but for me it is about finding a horse with a clear preference for at least one of the following conditions:-
- Course – an obvious one I know but it is still a great angle in.
- Days since run/rest pattern – one of my favourite angles in. Some horses demonstrate a clear preference for the amount of time they spend off the track between races. This could be down to breeding, or down to the methods of the trainer or something that I haven’t even thought about!
- Time of year/month – we all know about seasonal horses. Finding horses that clearly favour the summer months for example is always a great angle in. Some horses simply appear to always peak at a certain time of year.
- Number of runners – again, nothing new here, but horses are herd animals and some simply do not like to be crowded, preferring single figure fields that they can dominate. Some horses prefer open spaces so they can see their fences clearly and on the other hand some horses prefer lots of runners to give them a lead. Some may be front runners and can get an easier lead when there are fewer runners.
- Course direction – a horses preference for left handed/right handed/straight courses is an essential checks for me. There are many horses that show a clear preference for going one way or the other and some flat horses only perform on straight tracks.
- ‘Surface’ – I am not talking about AW or grass here but whether the track is flat through to undulating. This preference can be hard to interpret sometimes and actually the ones that stand out most are those that prefer flat courses. Some horses, whether it is because of how they are built, or whether they suffer from sore shins for example, just cannot handle undulating tracks.
I am aware that there is nothing new that I have mentioned above, however I have found that it pays to keep horses that show a preference for one or more of these conditions on side. I have over 100 such horses that I am currently tracking, some with confirmed conditions, some in the ‘development stage’. This number is growing all the time. It takes patience as you can spend a couple of hours looking through 50 or so horses and find nothing!
Before sharing a few of them with you it is worth pointing out that these preferences are a ‘way in’ and standard form analysis should always be used before wagering. Clearly a horse will have a ground and distance preference, maybe even a particular jockey preference. They will also have a rating and a class ceiling that should not be ignored as well as any other number of factors that you may use. As always you want to find value and often I want horses that have a high place SR within their set conditions to allow for a good EW bet. I like to keep things simple and straight forward and often one clear preference is enough for me to take notice.
I should add one more point – the horse must have demonstrated their preference outside of maiden/novice company. As we know horses can simply outclass rivals in these races and conditions do not matter as much. As such I am often looking at exposed horses and focussing on their performance in handicaps.
It is best to demonstrate the above in practice.
Below are a few horses that have won for me in recent weeks that may be worth following in the future. I will also highlight one or two I am looking forward to seeing in the next few weeks…
This grand old servant is now 11 years old and he may not ever win again but he is worth highlighting as he was a 12/1 winner for me at Cheltenham last November. He actually sparked my interest in ‘profiling’ when I unearthed his preference about a year ago.
When returning to the track within 0-30 days he has the following record:-
Runs 9; Wins 7; Places: 2 – He has only ever finished out of the places once
Importantly he has run 12 times when returning outside of this period and only has 1 win and 2 further places to his name. Clearly he is a high class horse that wins plenty, but this preference jumped out at me. I added him to the tracker and waited, and waited some more. He then popped up within the rest period. He suited the conditions of the race and was an obvious EW bet. Thankfully he went on to win. Backing every one of his runs in this period has been worth some 32 points to industry SP. For me this is invaluable knowledge to have on your side.
A recent example from the flat is…
A couple of months ago, before his last 2 runs, I noticed his stats at Catterick:-
Runs: 7 Wins: 5 Places: 1 = 44pts ISP. Only once out of the places.
I though he was worth tracking. On the 6th May he turned up at Catterick again, some 18 months or so after his last visit. Stevie Donohoe (8 runs 4 wins) had been booked and he was 10/1. Other conditions were fine and I had a good EW bet. He needed a strong pace as he comes late and fast and thankfully he got it here. He won in the shadow of the post at 6/1sp. He returned to Catterick again just over a week ago. I had a slight doubt about the class/rating level, but he just loves Catterick and he went in again at 17/2 (bigger odds in morning). I may never back him again but he has done his job for me now and has won me some 20 odd points.
A couple more of interest…
Conditions: he is what I call a ‘small field horse’.
Performance with 7 runners or less.:-
Runs 8; Wins: 4; Places 2. More than 7 runners – Runs 9; Wins 0; Places 4.
Now, this is not to say he can’t win with more than 7 runners, but he has a clear preference (and/or trainer is very good at plundering races with 7 runners or less. Either way, it pays to follow). He also has a clear class ceiling and is yet to win above class 3. On the 24th May he ran in a 6 runner race at Southwell, he was 4/1 in the morning and won at 7/2.
Another rest pattern horse that has always ran well when returning within 16-30 days of his last run.
Runs 10; Wins 4; Places 3 = 24pts ISP.
When returning at other times – Runs 16; Wins 1; Places 4. To me that is a clear preference and one I will continue to keep an eye on. Thankfully I unearthed him before his run at Carlisle on the 13.03.14. He was returning within 16-30 days, had the good-ish ground that he needed and after further form analysis was worth a bet at 8/1 EW. He won well. He is 10 now but hopefully he has won more win in him somewhere when getting his conditions.
Of course they do not all win but I hope these three examples help to demonstrate how angles like this can really pay and make this great game even more enjoyable.
I will leave you with a couple of horses I am looking forward to reappearing soon:-
It is his record in June that stands out:-
Runs 6; Wins 3; Places 1.
All other months -Runs 29; Wins 1; Places 9.
The wins in June were in consecutive years (1 in 2012, 2 2013) which makes me think the trainer is good at getting him to peak this month and the horse looks like he enjoys the summer months. He ran today and I had a small interest bet in him at 10/1 given that he has placed 3 times in May and it is June tomorrow. He came second at Chester and very nearly won, however he was trapped wide all of the way round. I will be very interested in him if he comes out in the next month or so and I hope his price allows an EW bet. I would add him to your geegeez tracker and we can see how he does next time out which I assume will be in the next 4 weeks.
This horse has a summer record (June,July,August) as follows:-
Runs; 10 Wins 5; Places 1. He has run 10 times outside of this period in handicaps, no wins and only 2 places. (Incidentally all wins in non-handicaps have come in these months as well)
Four of those wins have been on the flat but I suspect Peter Bowen may well be aiming him at something this summer and given that he appears to peak at this time of year he is worth keeping on side.
A rather long article but I hope you have found something of interest in there and hopefully both Hydrant and Kians Delight will winning soon. There is something very exciting about unearthing a horse with a clear preference and adding them to your tracker. Arguably it is a simplistic approach but it works for me!