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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