In this issue I’ve tried to come up with a way of selecting win-only back bets in horse racing which can be done the night before the day’s racing, and more importantly without the need for form analysis.

This can, I feel, only be achieved by putting a certain degree of faith in the journalists at The Racing Post, and specifically, if you want to get your selections the night before, from their corresponding website,

I have come up with a template which has proved successful recently and, if followed, will allow you to select horses with an above average chance of winning. The only problem with the template (and it’s not necessarily a problem) is that 100% qualifying selections as per the rules you’ll read about in a few moments do not come along too often, but when they do, they jump out at you and you can back them with confidence that they will be very competitive ALL THINGS REMAINING EQUAL. I mention this latter point because the ideal for any system (and the weakness of any mechanical system) is to qualify selections with the live betting market, because money is the key in horse racing.

It’s all very well selecting a horse the night before, but in doing this we are missing out on potential gambled on horses nearer race time. OK, so before we unravel the system I’ve found that could ensure we’re not spending hours and hours analysing form, OR needing to be around to watch the racing OR follow it live, I think you should realise that in order for us to achieve the above 2 goals we have to sacrifice in other areas already mentioned – specifically the fact that we cannot be reactive to any money or shortening in price that has come for any other horses (a la 16/1 system!). We have to be reliant on the analysis of third parties, and being human, they can get it wrong at times! I have been keeping a record of all qualifying selections and have come up with what I believe to be the ideal template we should be using on a daily basis. Examples of course will show this template fully:


BETTING FORECAST: 15/8 Palmetto Point, 7/1 Botham, Straight Face, Withywood, 8/1 Candyland, 9/1 Run For Ede, 10/1 Ella Y Rossa, 14/1 Mariaverdi, 25/1 Hannahbecc, Rangali Belle, 33/1 Ponte Vecchio. SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Potentially a lively market with reasons to anticipate improved efforts from Straight Face, Botham and Withywood, but PALMETTO POINT (nap) has more concrete claims and may still be a step ahead of the handicapper. Straight Face could pose most problems. Palmetto Point:great price gap here. Result: 1st at 5/6


This is The Racing Post Betting Forecast available from the night before racing starts from about 8pm onwards. Our first step is to note the price gap between the first favourite and the 2nd named horse in the Betting Forecast. Looking here, the first favourite, Palmetto Point, is priced at 15/8 and the 2nd favourite Botham is priced at 7/1. Remember earlier I mentioned we are looking for horses who “jump off the page”? Well from a price gap perspective, this is the case here – very obvious indeed.


Here we are looking for optimism and confidence from another of The Racing Post’s journalists: SPOTLIGHT. Spotlight provides us with his VERDICT at the base of the race card, as well as a spotlight on all horses in the race. The first place to look is VERDICT. I have mentioned this phrase before, and told you that I use it as a trigger for any bets I want to make using a selection strategy NOT based on any form analysis. The phrase is simply “hard to beat” (or a variant thereof, such as “tough nut to crack, impossible to oppose” etc). If this trigger phrase is not there, then we must build up evidence to convince us to back the horse in question. In this example, I have singled out 2 pieces of information provided by Spotlight’s Verdict, the first is the fact that Spotlight has coincidentally napped the horse. A nap is the best bet at the race course that day. Spotlight tells us that Palmetto Point has “concrete claims” – and he “may still be ahead of the handicapper”.

This is enough evidence for me. The result? 1st at 5/6. An unexciting price and as the title to this article suggests, if you don’t want to do any form analysis then more often than not you will be singling out horses whose chances are obvious, and when chances are obvious this is reflected in the price.


BETTING FORECAST: 4/6 Dylan Thomas, 5/1 Red Rocks, 13/2 Finsceal Beo, 7/1 Duke Of Marmalade, 10/1 Maraahel, 66/1 Red Rock Canyon. SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Dylan Thomas is going to be an exceptionally tough nut to crack, but at the prices it is possibly worth taking a chance that FINSCEAL BEO can recover her early-season brilliance. Her trainer’s record with top-class fillies speaks for itself.

POINT 1: Funnily enough this is not the ideal price gap, but when we take the price gap seen in the context of the grade of race (top class), it takes on greater significance.

POINT 2: Remember those trigger words? Well, here is a prime example “exceptionally tough nut to crack” This is the IDEAL example we are looking at for POINT 2. The result? 1st 8/15.


BETTING FORECAST: Evs Ibn Khaldun, 8/1 Abeyance, Forsyte Saga, Morestead, 10/1 King´s Wonder, Novas, 14/1 Looter, St Jean Cap Ferrat, 33/1 Royal Manor, 50/1 Atlantic Diamond, 100/1

Amwell House. SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Not much to go on in the way of form and the betting should be informative with big stables represented by newcomers. Morestead will be a factor if fulfilling debut promise and St Jean Cap Ferrat is a likely improver, but IBN KHALDUN is the only one with up-coming Group race engagements and likely to be hard to beat with a promising run behind him.

POINT 1: A very significant price gap

POINT 2: “likely to be hard to beat”

RESULT: 1st 4/9. It is a real pity about the price here as this is another ideal example of what we are looking for a price gap.


BETTING FORECAST: 13/8 Choisette, 6/1 Paddy Jack, Richardthesecond, 8/1 Bahamarama, 10/1 Speedy Senorita, 12/1 Orpen´s Art, 14/1 Diademas, 20/1 Baytown Blaze, Maracana Boy, 25/1 Frizzini, Myriola, Only In Jest, Rightcar Ellie . SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: A couple of interesting runners but the one to appeal most is CHOISETTE (nap), who is ideally drawn for one that races up with the pace and whose second to a previous winner (pair clear) on her AW debut last week gives her a leading form chance off tonight’s 2lb lower mark.

POINT 1 – The price gap is very definitely there – 13/8 – 6/1.

POINT 2 – Again Choisette has coincidentally been or equivalent trigger words, we are looking to build evidence. So here we have Spotlight’s best selection at the meeting, a horse who is well drawn and was clear of his rivals in a similar race last time out. From a handicapping perspective, Choisette is also “2 lbs lower” RESULT: 1st 11/10


BETTING FORECAST: Evs United Nations, 7/1 Credential, Time To Regret, 10/1 Forest Viking, 12/1 Sion Hill, 16/1 Cottam Eclipse, Splodger Mac, Weet Yer Tern, 20/1 Filey Buoy, 25/1 Height Of Esteem, 33/1 Pixie Princess, 50/1 Afric Star, Marryl.

SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Though his recent efforts are far from inspiring, UNITED NATIONS, clear on official ratings, is likely to prove hard to beat. Forest Viking looks most interesting of his distinctly moderate opponents.

POINT 1: Look at the price gap – jumps off the page doesn’t it?

POINT 2: those magic words appear – “ likely to prove hard to beat”

RESULT: 1st Evens

The above are what I term “template examples” ie this is the ideal we should be looking at for all future examples. The one off-putting part of this strategy is the inevitable short prices. Horses like United Nations at Evens do not come along too often alas, and more typically we will be looking at odds on prices. There are borderline examples I would like to show you which are not as obvious as the above examples.


BETTING FORECAST: 4/7 Sense Of Joy, 5/1 Mistress Greeley, 8/1 Rosaleen, 10/1 Dusty Moon, 12/1 Celtic Slipper, 25/1 Eva´s Request, 66/1 Fly Kiss , SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Listed and Group race form is notable by its absence but promise aplenty, notably in the shape of SENSE OF JOY, who made a deep impression on her debut. Dusty Moon and Mistress Greeley, likewise, are unbeaten but Rosaleen achieved more when winning at Thirsk and could prove second best.[FC]

POINT 1: Yes we have a decent enough price gap here

POINT 2: This was the clincher for me – the description used by Spotlight “ deep impression” Very expressive wording

RESULT: 1st 4/7


BETTING FORECAST: 15/8 Franchoek, 6/1 Conny Nobel, 13/2 Red, Susie May, 8/1 Tobougg Welcome, 10/1 Lady Traill, Madam Vouvray, Pertemps Power, 16/1 Right Option, 20/1 Regal Ovation, 33/1 Apache Chant, On Watch, 40/1 Salto Chico . SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: FRANCHOEK (nap) found his stride much too late when favourite at Haydock but the winner was an unexposed Prescott charge (who won again next time) and the return here to 2m from 1m6f will be firmly in his favour. Several of today’s rivals run over this sort of trip for the first time and Pertemps Power, for one, is open to improvement now he goes handicapping, but Franchoek looks clearly the pick on the existing racecourse evidence.

POINT 1: Again a decent enough price gap

POINT 2: The lack of trigger words mean that we must build up evidence – the horse is napped – the step up in trip “ firmly in his favour” – “looks the clear pick on the existing evidence”

RESULT: 1st 4/7

13TH SEPTEMBER: 350 LINGFIELD BETTING FORECAST: 5/4 Rockfield Lodge, 9/2Alls Fair, 15/2 Sunny Sprite, 9/1 Farpedon, 10/1 OceanaBlue, 12/1 Raiding Party, 14/1 Imperial Mark, 20/1Master Of Arts, 22/1 Eastbourne, 25/1 Sweet Dane, 40/1Peer Pressure.

SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Unless one of the newcomers is decent – and there are one of two halfinteresting ones on paper, worth a market check – this is likely to go to ROCKFIELD LODGE (nap), whose latest Haydock second is decent enough form and who had run well enough here the time before. With a BHB rating of 78, one of the newcomers will have to be around about an 85 horse at least to beat him, without the benefit of previous experience.

POINT 1: A none too spectacular price gap when looked at relative to the templated exampled

POINT 2: again coincidentally napped, The clincher for me was the following comment “with a BHB rating of 78, one of the newcomers will have to be around about an 85 horse at least to beat him, without the benefit of previous experience”

RESULT: 1st 4/5

A Potential Lay System Uncovered Too?

I’ve noticed as I have been collecting these examples that some price gappers lose more often than they win and the clues are there. As well as this there are certain race types and, again, evidence provided by Spotlight which lead me to leave the qualifier alone from a backing perspective. Let’s look at some examples:


BETTING FORECAST: 11/8 Westfield Dancer, 5/1 Good Man Again, 11/2 Ad Murum, 15/2 Midnight Gunner, 11/1 Chevalier Errant, 12/1 Professor Hegarty, 14/1 Hehasalife, 18/1 Snipe, 20/1 Barracat, 25/1 Blazing Hills, Rolfes Delight .

SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: WESTFIELD DANCER has produced dominant performances on his last three starts, is unbeaten at this course and can defy another rise in the weights. Ad Murum and Midnight Gunner could give the selection most to do.Evidence that would lead me against backing thishorse is the “another rise in the weights” The horse waspulled up at 9/4.


BETTING FORECAST: 11/8 Abydos, 5/1 Know The Law, 6/1 Zero Cool, 8/1 Hope Road, 12/1 Bankable, 14/1 Moral Code, Perfect Cause, Waymark, 16/1 Give Me A Break, 20/1 Ezdiyaad, La Lunete, 50/1 Viva Vettori, 66/1 Ardmaddy, Kaateb, King Zeal, Sierra Rose.

SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Much slower ground than ABYDOS encountered when a promising third on his debut at Windsor last week when followed home by Know The Law and Waymark but he looks sure to have more to offer and is the one to beat as long as he handles it. Yes, he qualifies under Point 1: the price gap, BUT “much slower ground” is too much of a question mark for me to entertain a back bet – the horse was unplaced at 5/2


BETTING FORECAST: 11/8 Back In The Red, 4/1 Luck Will Come, 5/1 Shaded Edge, 12/1 Lord Of The Reins, 14/1 Fast Freddie, 16/1 Polish Prize, 20/1 Darling Belinda, Emma Jean Lad, 25/1 Futuristic Dragon, Victory Spirit, 33/1 Golden Brown, Ten For Tosca . SPOTLIGHT VERDICT: Not many that can be strongly fancied with the main question being whether Back On The Red can reproduce his recent improved 5f performances on turf under today’s different conditions. If he can he will take plenty of beating despite his 12lb penalty, but an interesting alternative is the quietly progressive SHADED EDGE who did well to overcome the outside stall when off the mark over C&D last time. Prime example of too many “ifs and buts” despite a reasonable price gap. The horse came 4th at 7/4.


If you concentrate only on the “templated examples” as were seen at the head of the article, the strike rate should ensure a decent profit in the long term if you have the discipline to cherry picks those examples which “jump off the page” Some further pointers: if you can to follow the live market, this will help add confidence to, or lead you away from, backing a potential qualifier. I like to see the price of a price gapper remain as it is in the betting forecast, or better still, shorten in the live market. Confidence is always increased with the top class races. One example from the templates is that of Dylan Thomas, while others appeared more recently in the Class 1 and 2 races at Doncaster. I keep a log of potential price gappers and my blog is available to view at I have had to transfer from www.back-lay-trade-horsesfootball. as I have trouble accessing it here in Ireland for some reason.!

My new approach to each-way betting using the betting forecast can now be viewed. I have changed tack from speculative to more obvious candidates and have, since 15th September, found winners at 11/2, 11/2, 6/1, 9/1, and 10/1 as well as placed horses. I cannot, of course promise this will continue but you can monitor and, I hope, learn from the new approach.