23 tips in the search for value

Last week’s article emphasised the importance of value in punting. So now the all important question is where can you find it? Well there are many pockets of value that you can research further and implement in your own punting: 1.Don’t put the cart before the horse: do your form and compile your assessments before looking at the odds available, not after. 2.Horses on a seven day backup are seriously under-estimated by the betting market. 3.The same can be said for outside barriers. The market exaggerates the importance of inside barriers which means there is often good value to be had from horses supposedly drawn poorly. 4.Avoid backmarkers and instead focus on on-pacers. Horses that settled in the first six last start lost just 3% on turnover next time out, compared to those that had settled 7th or worse last time out who lost 15% on turnover at their next start. 5.Make sure you have a very good idea of where your horse is likely to be in the run, because what happens late in a race depends so much on what happened early. Really place an emphasis on finding horses in races that will be run to suit. 6.Blackbook horses that have run fast overall race times relative to (a) the record for all horses at that track and distance; and (b) all runners on the day. 7.Find horses that have run strong sectional times, especially the last 600 or 800 metres. 8.Look for staying types with sprinting capability because that acceleration is what separates them from other stayers. Good milers and stayers need to be able to produce very good 1000m splits. 9.No matter how impressive a performance was last start, don’t just assume the horse can reproduce it next time out. It’s very hard to repeat or surpass a career peak. 10.Bet around ungenuine horses as many of those types get priced on potential, but never actually realise it despite numerous gear changes. 11.Concentrate on horses with good current form and be quick to put a line through out of form horses. Strong efforts from previous campaigns don’t guarantee a good run today. 12.But do be prepared to allow a horse a forgive run if there were genuine excuses last time out and they had strong prior form. 13.Assess a horse before worrying about which stable it is from. Good trainers with big teams have plenty of dud horses even if they are well bred. 14.Claiming apprentices have a poor record on favourites so be wary of this scenario. 15.Know the historic record of the best stage of each horse’s earlier preparations as this pattern often repeats. 16.Give a bonus to Smerdon and Moody and runners at Caulfield, Kavanagh and O’Brien at Flemington, and Kavanagh, Vasil and Griffiths at Moonee Valley. 17.Use any of the free websites full of stats to find under-rated trainers and jockeys before the market catches on. 18.Don’t dismiss the shorties because we have shown many times that the favourite-longshot bias is alive and well and that the most profitable market rank is the favourite, followed by the second favourite and so on. 19.Get full value for your winners by utilising a smart money management approach. That immediately excludes all of level staking, progressive plans and gut instinct. 20.Always shop for best odds – make it your goal to try and beat a certain benchmark (eg top fluc, or the weighted average price on Betfair) on every bet you make, even the losing ones. 21.Claim your bookie bonuses: the corporates are very keen to acquire new customers so you may as well rake in whatever bonuses you can, while you can. And keep an eye out for their various specials (eg money back for 2nd) so that you make bets with an edge in your favour. 22.Ask for a price on Betfair. Don’t limit yourself to just deciding when you should take an available price, instead you should take advantage of the market volatility and be asking for a price so that you get matched as close to the top of the market as possible. 23.Be a contrarian – you must be prepared to directly oppose mainstream public’s opinion since the alternative is to share your diluted dividend with other players. Finding a winning edge as a horse racing punter is a constant challenge in an ever-changing market. Value is everything so make sure it’s your number one focus. Good punting David Duffield