Picking Winners

Picking a regular supply of winning horses is not as difficult as some punters imagine. There are “sticking out” winners to be found each week by simply following logical, winner influencing factors.

Winning Factors

Before we list our top 7 factors for finding winners, let’s lay a little ground work for the horse racing season that includes a few profitable gems.

The Gambling Year


This period brings a smile to your bookies face as they expect to make some healthy profits. Frost and snow not only causes havoc to the race fixtures with abandonment, but also the horse training schedule at the yards. Some trainers try to get around the problem by using all weather surfaces to keep their runners fit, but others may have to make do with basic road work and steady cantering. Time to reduce our stakes and concentrate more on the all weather (AW) fixtures. Plus follow recent winning trainers (their yard may not be as severely affected by the weather) and back horses that have ran within days, their fitness is assured.


Although the flat season kicks off in March, we want to wait another month or so for the form to establish itself. National Hunt (the jumps) is back into full flow after the winter break and lots of fancied runners are winning. Time to dust off our betting banks and increase stakes.


The flat season is still in its infancy with the big guns wheeling out their smart 2 year olds to gain some experience for the classic trials. Leave the supposed good thing alone until it has proved its worth. This is also the time that the mediocre 2 yr olds from last season are flying past the “good things”. The improvement from 2 years to 3 can be great. We want to keep with the jumps season and only start backing the flat horses with form at the back end of May.


The weather has usually settled down making the ground more consistent for the midsummer months. Time to increase our stakes, there’s plenty of established form to take advantage of in condition races where we will find the winners more often than handicaps. Following good handicap form into conditions races will make your bookie weep.


The month the fillies leave their old form behind and improve. Concentrate on all fillies and mares, especially those coming back after a break. It’s also the time when horses that have had a long campaign over the summer months suddenly lose their form. From the second half of September on, like January and February, it’s best to follow horses that have ran within days. Form from the big meetings at Doncaster, Ayr, then finally Ascot can produce rich pickings if followed into “weaker” company over the coming weeks or so.


Just like the midsummer months of the flat, this is the time to pull our betting boots on. The softer ground National hunt horses are back out and a high percentage of the “form” horses win! There’s usually plenty of profits to be made by everyone except for the poor bookies. Follow horses that can show a turn of foot after the last (fence/hurdle) up the run in on soft going.

The Top 7 Factors For Finding Winners

Tip 1 Has it (honestly) got a realistic chance of winning? (Class).

Owners enter their low class horses into “higher” class races every week with big dreams of winning some decent prize money by some fluke. Always compare the class of the horses recent runs, the odds of its last races and its finishing position. Back horses that have been knocking on the door recently in similar company.

Tip 2 – Going/Distance

Back horses that are proven (won, placed or within say 6 lengths of winner on the flat, 12 lengths over the jumps) on the going and at the distance. Simple.

Tip 3 – Fitness

Another obvious decider. Horses running within say 35 days are usually fit. Coming back after a lay off? Check the trainers recent form.

Tip 4 – Showing Improvement (Speed & Rating Figures)

The speed of a horse is an obvious factor to winning races. A good recent speed figure can point to winners with amazing regularity if combined with these other winning factors. Look for horses that have recorded their personal best figures in their last race. Last time out (LTO) figures that are both their personal best and superior to the rest of the field can pinpoint decent priced winners. If the horse is coming from a handicap LTO to a conditions race or into the same/lower class race “today” then even better.

Tip 5 – A Turn Of Foot (Race comments)

It’s surprising how many decent priced winners there are from horses that have shown to be able to quicken up or run on well in a recent race. Just by checking the horses last 3 race comments for a “ran on well” or “quickened to lead” can lead to a prime source of winners with occasional big prices.

Tip 6 – Proven Winner

You can’t get better form than winning form. Winners are more likely to win again. There can always be excuses for “placed” horses, wrong going, distance, boxed in, not boxed in etc. I don’t know the stats, but a huge percentage (75%+?) of ALL race horses will never win a race during their racing careers. As in life, leave the losers to their excuses and follow proven winners.

Tip 7 – Price/Odds

The vast majority of winners come from the first 3 or 4 in the betting! Yes it would be lovely to back 20/1 winners every day, but the betting markets are usually a very good indication to the horses winning chance. If you want to back winners concentrate on the first 4 in the betting.


Horses with good recent form, preferably winning form, running against limited opposition within their class, when at their peak, progressing or improving – do win the majority of races, all year round. They are a constant source of winners for anyone to exploit. Almost every winner worth backing falls into this category.


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Top rated form rating analysisPin-point horses with outstanding winning chances at a glance with our exclusive last run figures (FormRatings “secret formula” rating) + Speed + Total rating figures. Combining these 3 crucial factors provides lots of successful betting opportunities weekly!


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