Mark has been covering NSW racing for well over a decade, mainly in his roles at corporate bookmakers. In 2016 he jumped the fence and has been punting full-time instead, as well as offering his tips and ratings to paying clients.
The webinar is a very interesting look behind the scenes at how a pro punter does the form for a race – Mark took us through his process for a real race at Randwick as well. A few things that stood out:
It might sound obvious, but as a successful punter you really need to have all your tools laid out and easily to hand if you’re going to make best use of your time.
Mark uses a custom database – the same one as Key Bets analyst Cameron O’Brien – and preparing for a race is clearly made a lot easier by having everything that’s needed all in there. Mark could quickly and easily get all the stats for each horse and compare the previous runs and preparations. It made it easy to see how the horse typically progresses through a preparation and thus where it’s likely at currently.
There’s a stack of form factors and different aspects to doing the form, so knowing where to start can be difficult. Mark said his first step is always the speed map – a logical place to start given you can immediately look at how the race will likely pan out and then keep that in mind as you do the form.
What Can The Horse Do - This Time?
The format of Mark’s database shows the horse’s form history by run, but it’s not just a case of calculating a rating or seeing what the horse has done at its best. By looking at each performance as part of each past preparation, you can take each performance in its context. You can then line that up with where the horse is currently, and make a more educated assumption about how it’s likely to perform in the upcoming race.
Mark’s long history with NSW racing really shines through: he clearly knows the horses and their histories well. This sort of experience is very important as it’s where a punter can get an edge – bookies don’t have this knowledge these days and neither do a lot of large punters, many of whom use a data-driven approach.
By concentrating on just one area (NSW, in Mark’s case) and learning it inside-out, an individual punter learns things that bigger players don’t see.