Finding Profitable Front Runners

I added four new Run Style betting systems recently, free for subscribers on the Betting Systems link once logged in.

Two for front runners, flat and jumps, two were for held up horses, again for both flat and jumps and I gave these out on August 15th this year.

Since then up to yesterday, September 9th, 27 days, these have made an overall profit of over 70pts to BSP including 2% commission already removed.

So with over 2080 pts profit already made from these since the start of 2020, and not one losing year from any of them, these look to be continuing in the right direction.

To get these yourself, just login and hit the Betting Systems link on the menu, or click here now to sign up >>

Don't miss out on these as the freebies are being removed............................................soon!

Looking more into these run styles.

I wanted to look further into these run style figures, so for those who are unaware, our run style figures take how the horse has run in the early part of it's races and give it a 1 if it led, a 2 if it was just behind the leaders, a 3 if it ran in midfield and a 4 if it was held up or slowly away.

You then also get an overall run style figure on our race cards showing the most common run style from each horse for it's last five runs.

As most horses do have a preferred run style, then you can see how the horse is likely to run and from there, find where the pace will be, how that will be affected by the stall the horse is starting from and more.

Taking the best front running jockeys.

Many jockeys are known to be very successful when riding from the front and I am sure we would all say that currently Joe Fanning is one of these.

Joe and others seem to have a clock in their head that tells them the correct pace to lead at and then they can turn up the pace when the time is right and get the win, leaving all other jockeys and horses behind.

Before looking at the jockeys however, I wanted to really find the horses that were out and out front runners, so I started off with the following set of rules.

Click all images on the page to enlarge if needed.

So we are only looking at horses who led in each of their last three races, shown by Lto 1, 2 and 3 RunStyle, equals 1.

I also made sure we are only looking at flat races and I set a limit to any BSP's of 51, so that no huge winner affects the profits or losses too much.

To be fair, I was really trying to find a decent winning strike rate rather than a massive profit for this query but this is something I usually begin any search with. You can always change this when you see how each BSP group performed when filtering your results.

A little surprisingly, just these basic rules showed an overall profit straight away of over 350 pts and a near 15% strike rate!

So as a basic set of rules, just backing horses that led in their last three races, will be a very good starting point for a flat based racing system.

You could even leave it there but I have been wanting to find some more niche or micro systems recently and thought by only using those jockeys that have been proven to ride successfully from the front, I could improve things further.

So I used the Result Breakdowns on the Inform Racing system builder, to see which jockeys had the better strike rates when riding these front runners.

The Inform Racing system builder breaks down all form categories and shows you which are worth pursuing and which aren't. These include amongst many others, race distance, going, horse age, horse sex, finishing position last time out, Betfair prices and more.

Below is the breakdown for the jockeys and I sorted the list of first of all by the number of wins they had before on these out and out front runners. I then played around with the top 20 or so before copying my initial list into excel so I could decide on which actual jockeys to use.

Once you have done this you may want to watch the video below to see how to copy and paste your list of Jockeys from the system builder into excel and then separate each jockey by a comma. This way you can then paste them all at once to the system builder and save yourself a lot of time.

Take a look at the video here >>

Just a note that on the video it shows a list of Trainers, but we are looking at Jockeys here, so when you add your list you want to use the category Jockey Name and not Trainer name.

Once I added my list I ran the system again getting the following set of results.

An increase in profit to over 54O pts, with a large drop in the number of bets. Plus a slightly better longest losing run and a much better strike rate of over 20%

So now we have the best front running jockeys, on the horses that have been proven to want to be front runners.

Now I just wanted to combine these details with the best courses, where front runners excel.

Horses for courses or run styles for courses.

Many courses are thought to be favoured by front runners where a horse can get an easy lead and take the race from the front.

When partnered by one of the better front running jockeys the success is surely likely to increase even further, so I ran the system again and then looked at the breakdowns for the list of courses.

The list above is just in alphabetical order but I sorted this time by winning percentage and got some surprising results.

For example and as you can see, Epsom has only had 3 winners from 32 absolute front runners when ridden by our selection of jockeys and Haydock, only 6 from 50 runs.

Unfortunately it is not possible to list the courses in the same way as you can jockeys or trainers so these each have to be added separately into the system builder, so once I selected my preferred 18 courses I added these to my rules.

Note, when adding more than one course on the system builder, you need to add them as a group. You can find out how to do this by looking at the video below, which was made using the previous version of the system builder but the group function remains the same.

How to add a group using the Inform Racing system builder >>

This now gave me the final set of results below.

As you can see the profit has actually dropped slightly, however the longest losing run is just 12 and the strike rate has leapt to not far off 30%. 

With an average winning BSP of 6.89, better than 11/2, I think you could be confident going forward with this set of rules.

You will also notice that the last three bets have all won at 7/2, 9/2 and 4/1, which is nice and the system has made a profit every year since 2020, for both win and place bets.

Overview and summary. 

It is possible to back test too much and squeeze in just the winning criteria for any system that you are creating, however I always say that as long as your rules and filtering in particular make sense, then you shouldn't have a problem.

I mean, knowing that about 30% of all favourites win is a form of back testing in itself. Similarly, knowing what jockey rides most winners for any named trainer is also a form of back testing.

The truth is you have to back test to get started as any idea has to be based on previous results and then it is down to how sensibly you filter your rules and using our result breakdowns will make this easy peasy!

Using this idea for front runners combines the best front running jockeys at the best front running courses they have ridden at, when on those horses that have proven to like to front run.

Whilst it is possible that the courses will continue to favour those leaders, it is likely that the jockeys could change over time. Although it seems like Joe Fanning will go on forever now, he and others will be taken over by another list of winning jockeys who can ride well on a front runner.

Therefore any system using jockeys and to a similar extent trainers too, should be reviewed from time to time, perhaps from season to season.

Updating the list of jockeys and courses, will keep you on top of who is riding best and where.

Don't forget you could also filter these results by race distance and/or going for example or any other criteria that you feel or find when you look at your results, makes a difference to the results.

Finally, my list of jockeys and courses for you.


You should be able to copy and paste this comma separated list into the system builder yourself. Remember to use Jockey Name >> In, not Jockey Name >> Equal

Rose Dawes, Zak Wheatley, Ross Coakley, Hayley Turner, Pat Cosgrave, Stefano Cherchi, Martin Dwyer, Jim Crowley, Marco Ghiani, Sean Levey, Jack Mitchell, Saffie Osborne, Tom Eaves, Pierre-Louis Jamin, Kieran Shoemark, Andrew Mullen, Daniel Muscutt, Silvestre De Sousa, Callum Rodriguez, Oisin Murphy, Ben Curtis, William Buick, Jason Hart, Joe Fanning, Hollie Doyle,


These will need to be selected from the dropdown list on the system builder and as mentioned before, put in a group.

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Ian Welch

Creator and owner of Inform since 2003, I have over 30 years of racing and betting experience to share. Speed ratings are my main passion whilst updating the website and writing the odd blog post keeps me busy and hopefully other users well informed.

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