Our meth­ods man re­veals his port­fo­lio of meth­ods to find more and more win­ners

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Our sys­tems guru tells why you should al­ways aim for the top

Ina re­cent ar­ti­cle I dis­cussed fail­ure and learn­ing from mis­takes. Matthew Syed’s sem­i­nal book Black Box Think­ing ex­plores how the best or­gan­i­sa­tions and peo­ple em­brace the con­cept of fail­ure. Did you know that Sir James Dyson spent more than 15 years and created over 5,000 pro­to­types be­fore his Dyson DC 01 bagfree ,‘ cy­clone tech­nol­ogy’ de­sign vac­uum cleaner proved suc­cess­ful com­mer­cially? The harder you prac­tice the more suc­cess­ful you get.The old adage is true.

Pre­vi­ously, we have looked at the psy­chol­ogy of punt­ing and what it is that we are look­ing to achieve from our interest in horse racing. I doubt whether most peo­ple re­ally know or even find what they are look­ing for. My own phi­los­o­phy is sim­ple: I like to find win­ners. Back­ing them suc­cess­fully and com­bin­ing them in prof­itable num­bers is an­other mat­ter en­tirely, how­ever the fre­quent losses do not de­tract from my en­joy­ment. I don’t ex­pect to win all the time but I do still hold out hope of that one big win on the ITV Seven.

I don’t bet for a liv­ing, which is as well re­ally. I just en­joy the win­ner-find­ing process and de­vis­ing ways and means to ar­rive at a de­cent se­lec­tion by the quick­est and most con­sis­tent route pos­si­ble.Reg­u­lar read­ers will be fa­mil­iar with the TOP Racing Sys­tem ar­ti­cles that were fea­tured in this magazine some six years ago. (Where did the time go?)

The ar­ti­cles charted the progress of the meth­ods over a 12 month pe­riod and as we went along I ‘tweaked’ the rules to max­i­mize re­sults. The word that math­e­ma­ti­cians and sci­en­tists give to this process is‘it­er­a­tion’:the ac­tion or process of it­er­at­ing or re­peat­ing, such as a pro­ce­dure in which rep­e­ti­tion of a se­quence of op­er­a­tions yields re­sults suc­ces­sively closer to a de­sired re­sult (www.mer­ri­amweb­ de­sired re­sult be­ing to find win­ning se­lec­tions more of­ten.

I fea­tured the TOP 10 Sys­tem in the July 2017 ar­ti­cle and said that the rules had been sim­pli­fied. I had thought about re­nam­ing the sys­tem the‘Trend­set­ter’,but to avoid any fur­ther con­fu­sion let us go back to the orig­i­nal names of the sys­tems. They are my own Mag­nif­i­cent Seven and I hope that read­ers will agree that the trimmed down it­er­a­tions make far more sense.

In the pref­ace to the self-pub­lished TOP Racing Sys­tems book, which was a com­pi­la­tion of the orig­i­nal Racing Ahead ar­ti­cles,I pointed out that I am not an orig­i­nal thinker on the mat­ter of pick­ing win­ners. If you Google the term: ‘Horse Racing Sys­tems’ you will get over 1,750,000 re­sults.Take your pick from that lot! The books I read by David Dun­can, Clive Holt, Peter Brad­dock et al. are the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind my win­ner-find­ing ef­forts. The ba­sic tenets of the old school are still rel­e­vant, even if peo­ple are more dis­posed nowa­days to for­mu­lat­ing their picks at the click of a but­ton.

The TOP Racing Sys­tems are quick and easy to use. The ref­er­ence is the Racing Post but you can use the best of the tabloids to achieve the same re­sult. The only sys­tems that cause a lit­tle bit of con­fu­sion are the Top Trainer and Top Jockey sys­tems.Who is the‘top’trainer or jockey at any par­tic­u­lar course? The han­dler with the most wins nu­mer­i­cally,or the one with best win­ners-to-run­ners strike rate? If in any doubt I would sug­gest you look at both train­ers’ en­tries.

Read­ers may be won­der­ing about the days-since fig­ure rule(s). The rea­son I have done this is twofold: 1) to limit the num­ber of se­lec­tions i.e.make them man­age­able, (hence the rea­son for re­strict­ing the num­ber of run­ners in each race);and, 2) to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween the lesser and greater an­i­mals. In lower class races on the Flat the horses tend to run in­con­sis­tently so we need to catch them when they’re hot.Over the jumps,horses tend to need more of a break.The rules are not set in stone.Read­ers are free to come up with their own it­er­a­tions. Some might pre­fer a ‘no days-since’ rule for Class 1 events as the top horses tend to run less of­ten. In­deed,you may wish to ig­nore any dayssince stip­u­la­tion.

I do not in­tend to keep a full record of se­lec­tions.Now,this might go against what I have said be­fore when be­moan­ing the lack of trans­parency from the top tip­sters. How­ever, I sim­ply do not have time to keep a daily record and I will con­fine my se­lec­tions and re­sults to Satur­days only. Hav­ing said that,I some­times have to work on a Satur­day too and theWordPress blog goes miss­ing, but I will en­deav­our to at least put out any picks on Twit­ter us­ing the hash-tags: etc.


1. Se­lec­tions found via the Past Win­ners records for any race or ‘Ten-year trends’ 2. Favourite Records must give re­sults for the last 10 re­newals of a race 3. There must have been at least 5 win­ning favourites of the race 4. Back the FORE­CAST favourite in the race on the card with the most num­ber of win­ning favourites 5. Do not back in split di­vi­sions


1. Fore­cast favourite must be priced at 6/4 or LESS 2. Next horse in the bet­ting must be priced at 4/1 3. Favourite must be top rated by Racing Post Rat­ings (RPR) 4. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 28 days ago (Class 1 – 3) 5. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 14 days ago (Class 4 – 6)


1. Horse must be tipped by both PostData and Ver­dict and RP Rat­ing 2.Horse must be Course OR Dis­tance win­ner 3. Horse must be the fore­cast favourite 4. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 28 days ago (Class 1 – 3) 5. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 14 days ago (Class 4 – 6)


1.Horse must have­WON its last TWO starts 2.Horse must be a Course OR Dis­tance win­ner 3. Horse must be top-rated by Racing Post Rat­ings (RPR) 4. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 28 days ago (Class 1 – 3) 5. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 14 days ago (Class 4 – 6)


1.All-Aged HAND­I­CAPS be­tween 6 and 14 run­ners (ex­cept ap­pren­tice, ladies, sell­ing etc.) 2. Horse must be in the top three of weights (or form ex­pert top rated) and the bet­ting fore­cast 3.Horse must be a Course OR Dis­tance win­ner 4. Horse must be the top-rated in the race ac­cord­ing to Racing Ahead Form (RAF) 5.Horse must be run­ning no more than 7 days af­ter its last run


1.Horse must be top rated by Racing Post Rat­ings (RPR) 2.Horse must be a Course AND Dis­tance win­ner 3.Horse must have­WON last time out 4. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 28 days ago (Class 1 – 3) 5. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 14 days ago (Class 4 – 6).


1. Top trainer at any par­tic­u­lar course ei­ther wins or strike rate 2.Horse must be a Course win­ner 3.Horse must have­WON last time out 4. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 28 days ago (Class 1 – 3) 5. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 14 days ago (Class 4 – 6)


1. Top jockey at any par­tic­u­lar course ei­ther wins or strike rate 2.Horse must be a Course win­ner 3.Horse must have­WON last time out 4. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 28 days ago (Class 1 – 3) 5. Horse’s last run must be LESS than 14 days ago (Class 4 – 6)


• All races must have be­tween 6 and 14 run­ners • In Na­tional Hunt races the days since a run must be LESS than 28 days

In the first three weeks of Septem­ber there have been 6 win­ners from 15 run­ners (40%) with a re­turn of 26 points which is an ROI of 173%.


Un­for­tu­nately, De­foe (as feared) did not have the class to win the St Leger.His run in the Zet­land Stakes at the back end of last sea­son was no fluke.RogerVar­ian’s horse sim­ply wasn’t good enough. Stradi­var­ius on the other hand ran a blinder but wasn’t quite able to main­tain his win­ning mo­men­tum in the fi­nal fur­long, fin­ish­ing just un­der a length back in third hav­ing been pipped in the shadow of the post by Crys­tal Ocean - who must surely be an­other of those Stoute horses-to-fol­low next term.


EN­ABLE (23pts) is un­beaten when rid­den by Frankie Det­tori and is the clear an­tepost favourite af­ter rout­ing her ri­vals in a host of top Class 1 events in Eng­land and Ire­land in the sea­son to date.There is no doubt­ing that she is a high class filly who appears to have no go­ing con­cerns. It is hard to knock her chance. How­ever, there is a horse that scores the max­i­mum 30 points who may be worth look­ing at if you are not tempted by the slim prices be­ing of­fered against John Gos­den’s filly.

DSCHINGIS SE­CRET (30pts) has won his last three starts for the Ger­man based han­dler Markus Klug. The colt’s lat­est win was over the Arc course and dis­tance in the Prix Foy run at Chan­tilly. On soft go­ing the four-year-old won read­ily from An­dre Fabre’s CLOTH OF STARS (15pts) who was un­beaten this sea­son go­ing into the race. True, the Godol­phin run­ner was hav­ing his first run since May, but Dschingis Se­cret beat an­other Godol­phin owned horse Hawk­bill in the Longines Grosser Preis von Berlin, also over 12 fur­longs, the time be­fore. The word ‘read­ily’ again ap­peared in the race com­ment.Wil­liam Hill had de­cided to go it alone and op­pose the horse at 33/1, the best price avail­able with other firms was 16/1 at the time of writ­ing this ar­ti­cle, and so the each-way was there to be taken. I clicked on the 33/1 on the Racing Post odds com­par­i­son page and signed into my Wil­liam Hill ac­count, the each-way stake was en­tered and… ‘Un­for­tu­nately we can­not place your bet as the price of your se­lec­tion has changed. Dschingis Se­cret EW – the price was 33/1 but has now changed to 12/1.’ De­spite a num­ber of bril­liant horses be­ing en­tered i.e. Or­der Of St Ge­orge, Cracks­man, Ulysses etc. the RAF se­lec­tion would ap­pear to be a de­cent pick. Un­til next month – Happy Racing!

Don’t for­get to fol­low all the #RAFPick ac­tion on Twit­ter: @Lark­spurRac­ing and check out the blog ev­ery Satur­day at: tony­lark­spur.word­

Cloth of Stars



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