The trouble with form…

…is that its basic precept is founded on the notion that horses will repeat themselves performance-wise each time they hit the track, which of course is completely impossible.

The way to read a race in my view is to assess the governing factors of each race and how that may or may not permit the horse to replicate its average (not best) form. There are also other factors to take into consideration: the paddock inspection, the trainer’s recent success, the market, the jockey’s state of mind and breakfast, and the undefinable quality of whether the horse has got out of bed on the going side.

Then you have to take into account any likely improvement, or any previous decline that has resulted in a relenting from from the handicapper, or that mysterious thing of running into form with older horses. There are those out there that like to win in August only, so watch out for those fellas in the coming weeks. Exhausting innit? No wonder so many casual punters simply pick grey horses, or follow jockeys or trainers, and back the one whose name has special resonance for them.

And I suppose this why I really prefer to back in maiden races. You can put a line through much of that previous selection criteria for a start and make a judgement based on potential. These yute don’t usually have non going days yet either, not yet being wise to the older tricks of the trade. Some might throw their chance away with a slow start, or by getting too gee ed up in the parade ring, but the downside of those possibilities is far outweighed by the joy of a race where I don’t have to puzzle through mounds of form on top of everything else.

So stuff yesterday’s racing with its feature Group Ones and races all over the country all day long; today with three cards and six maidens to choose from is my idea of an easy Sunday morning. It stops just short of perfection though – that would be when the going is soft all over the land.

Bucking the trend: always the best horse in the race

Posted on July 25, 2010, in Horse racing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. So you weren’t impressed by my meanderings yesterday? 😀 what about trainers and their ‘plans’?

  2. Watch the market. A plot horse can be uncovered but not all trainers can pull them off.

    Noseda is one that can.

    I sense no plots today 😉

  3. Stephen Foster

    Stop being coy & just give us the winners.

    • Well I’ve missed the first @ Carlisle: the Jeward Live after Racing Stakes.

      So the next is @ Ponte where the fav is not a false one but I’ll be backing the Smart trained Flash City.

      • Not a good start. Next to Ascot where I’ve backed the Malthouse which came in and now is going out again 😦 Obvious danger the Hannon runner.

  4. *Formless horse dots up*


  5. 2.50 Asc – tricky looking fillies maiden siding with Snow Magic but taken an ew punt on Shamardal Phantom
    4.45 Car – short-priced Swinbank fav – will take on with Opening Nite who might appreciate the drop back in trip
    5.00 Pon – Autumn Riches to overhaul Stoute’s filly Entitled

  6. Stephen Foster

    Diva pockets fuller after the last than before the first by my reckoning. We can’t ask the Lord for more than that.

  7. I want to say twas/’t’was/’twas/t’was?

    a good day giving me a nice enough pot for Goodwood 🙂

    The Highlight was the L15 with Malthouse/Rio de la (DH Damn)/Bay Willow and the Shamardal Phantom who let it down somewhat by placing.

    The joy of side bets

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