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How To Use Race Analysis to Spot Winning Racehorses - Part 1

By: betfair1

Classification, Pace, Prize Money and Draw Bias.

Spotting a winner

Racehorses develop to full maturity at different rates.

It may be another year or more before an early 2 year old sprint winner can be said to have long-term prospects.

It is impossible to gauge the speed of a youngster’s physical development from the outset.

At the beginning of a horses career there are many unknowns such as:

• The horses final build.
• How its pedigree will affect it.
• The class of the horse.
• The stables at which it will train.
• What will be its favourite distance.
• Will it be a mudlark or a natural firm goer.

Early on all you can use are the results and ability the youngster has shown in its early races.

Analyzing horse races

Analysis of horse races simply means interpreting the results.

It does not mean describing the action.

There is a mountain of information to include in analysis of any given horse race and not all of it can possibly be objective.

The aim of analysis is simply to determine whether a horses form is good or bad. Whether a horse is reliable or not.

Where to start?


The overall quality of a race can be determined by a basic classification which ranges between Class A (highest quality) all the way down to Class H (the lowest quality of regional racing).

The higher classified races involve better horses and better horses produce more reliable form. In turn, more reliable form produces more reliable results.

The contrasting reliability between high and low classification racing has been blurred slightly with the introduction of lower quality All Weather racing.

All Weather tracks produce more reliable form from lower quality horses due to the consistency of speed provided by relatively equal/ even ground conditions.

For example, high class group races on turf are often run almost entirely at a trot with a 3 furlong sprint finish at the end. This can render any attempt at form study totally unreliable.

Prize money

Another indicator pointing towards reliable form is prize money.

It goes without saying that when more money is at stake, owners and trainers will be preparing and entering better horses in the race.

This does not always make it any easier to find a winner.

What it does mean is that your form research may be better rewarded at the big festivals of Ascot, Cheltenham and York rather than the less predictable regional racing at Hamilton or Chepstow for example.


Another key determinant of unreliable form is inconsistent pace.

Whether the race is run at a trot with a sprint finish, or whether the leaders go off way too fast only to get drawn back later on.

Either way professional inplay Betfair punters will analyze the pattern that a race is taking as it unfolds before them on fast live digital feeds.

Successful inplay punters will make instant decisions as to whether the pattern of the race is set to benefit or deter the particular horse or horses they are following.

Draw bias

Certain courses are known to have particular draw bias where one side of the track is recognized as traveling faster than the other.

This can be for a host of reasons that only the stewards and long time course walkers will know about.

Factors may include:

• Uneven watering.
• Compaction by decades of pounding from horses hooves.
• Compaction by heavy vehicles on the track.

In Part 2 of this series i explain how and why you should look for “improvement” in racehorses.

In Part 3 we look at pedigree, potential and breeding. I also outline the statistical indexes that you can use to measure speed and stamina.

In Part 4 we look at the benefits of paddock watching and how to visually examine a racehorse to spot a potential winner in advance of the media and the crowds.

Bet Fair and Bet Well.

Information about the Author:

Mike J Davies is a Horse Racing Expert, LSE Day trader, and a Betfair Trader and Advisor. Professional Horse Racing Systems and Guaranteed Profitable Betfair Strategies =>

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