system that I outline is made of seven
key elements, in Part 2 of this series i
looked at Fitness, Form and the
Competition, and in this the final part
of the series I discuss the Distance,
the Going, the effect of "Hangers" and
the Size of the field.
I finish with a quick
and simple outline of the system "Quick
Reduction For Instant Handicapping"
Trainers can so often
use distance to their advantage, by
running horses at their "wrong distance"
they can get a marked reduction in the
weights allocated for a horse, and then
return the horse on good ground at its
Again guess where the
clever money will be.
Trainers will not be
able to predict the going for a given
course in advance of entering a horse
for a race, but nevertheless, poor
performances due to unsuitable ground
will result in weights falling for any
When the conditions
improve and the horse is back on its
favourite ground expect a superior
performance due to the reduced weight.
All these factors
provide useful pointers for the
specialist but what we really need is a
quick and easy system in order to get
started and find viable horses for our
field to use in the Handicapped
Incidentally, not as
bad as it sounds.
In handicaps many
horses can "hang" at the start, this
means they get off slowly and get stuck
right at the back and can't get out for
a good part of the race.
If, however, this
horse manages to get out of its
predicament and challenge for the lead
at any point during the race, or even
dispute for a place, then it should be
logged as a field inclusion for the next
professionals make a generous profit
following this system.
Longer handicaps, and
particularly at certain courses, are
known to cause enormous numbers of
hangers which leaves horses which could
have been contenders totally out of the
running for the entire race.
To recover from this
situation and challenge or even win the
race is an outstanding achievement often
missed by the press and novice punters.
Size of Field:
Let's examine closely
the Handicap race data:
Runners in the field/ Winning
* 2 to 5 Runners, 1435
races, 41% winning favourites
* 6 to 7 Runners, 3762
races, 34% winning favourites
* 8 to 9 Runners, 5674
races, 29% winning favourites
* 10 to 11 Runners,
6115 races, 23% winning favourites
* 12 to 13 Runners,
6357 races, 23% winning favourites
* 14 to 15 Runners,
4222 races, 23% winning favourites
* 16+ Runners, 6652
races, 19% winning favourites
As I say, concentrate
on fields of less than 12 runners. I
know there are lot of races with more
runners than this, but we have to draw a
You can see the
significant drop off in performance
after 12 runners.
Handicaps above 12
runners are just not viable; leave them
to the fun punters.
If the mugs want to
lose their money so easily on Saturdays
and Sundays then so be it, and while the
bookies are kept in healthy profit by
the fun punters, they wont be so
concerned about losing money to
There is an ecosystem
there and everyone plays a part.
Reduction For Instant Handicapping:
For races with
10 - 12 runners:
Using the Racing Post
weight tables, take the 6 top weighted
horses in the race.
From your Betting
Exchange tables pre race take the top 5
horses in the betting. You will find
that approximately 3 horses, sometimes
more, sometimes less, will be in both
These horses should be
included in your initial field.
For races with
8 - 10 runners:
Take the top 5 horses
in the weights and the top 4 horses in
the betting. Cross reference and
For races of 6
- 8 runners:
Take the top 4 horse
in the weights and cross reference with
the top 3 horses in the betting.
Now look very
carefully at the very recent form of the
horses that you have identified.
* Look for evidence of
the cyclical form that I have discussed
in the section on Form.
* Look for a very
recent pattern of placing in races and
* Look for evidence of
attempts to reduce the weights by
unsuitable course or distance
* Look very
specifically at horses if they have not
been run in the current year, and assess
whether their weight and place in the
betting is based on form from several
The horse could be
running "green" and have trained on the
gallops, look for a sharp fall in the SP
close to the race.
You should be able to
identify 2 or 3 horses with a real
chance of winning the race and these
MUST be included in the field as your
If you have 2 or 3
horses which could also spoil the party,
"danger horses", include these in your
Dutching field, but only to cover the
wager placed on the winning horses.
i.e. a break
even/danger horse bet.
So many handicaps are
run at distances over a mile and over
jumps so for the adventurous these are
good horses to use inplay strategies and
automation rules to cover liability
The beauty of
handicaps is that the selection of odds
at longer prices can lead to excellent
Dutching opportunities developing, with
up to half the field being covered for a
very reasonable price.
The main problem in
assessing handicaps is that they require
a good deal more pre race analysis and
expertise, and so can be more time
consuming in terms of pre race effort
and form analysis to identify possible
The rewards come from
the higher odds available which can
lead, with determination and dedication
of course, to excellent and lucrative