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How To Find And Profit From Front Runners

Reading James’ recent Noted For Today posts highlights again just how much information you can gain from the run style figures and the benefits that can be gained, especially for the front runners, even if it doesn’t provide the winner every time.

We take the in running comments from a race and very cleverly, if I do say so myself, turn these into a figure that explains just how that horse began each race.

Horses that led or were with the leaders get a 1, horses that were prominent and ran just behind the leaders get a 2, horses that started off in the midfield get a 3 and those held up or steadied at the start get a 4.

Briefly, a horse that gets an easy lead up front (1) can set the pace and kick at the right time leaving the field struggling to catch up, a horse that likes to be held up can take advantage if there are many who like to go forward by finsihing strongly when the front runners tire after all taking each other on for the lead.

Front Runners

I want to concentrate on the front runners today, showing some examples of just how you can make money when finding the right horse in the right race.

The first race is from Monday’s 4.15 Pontefrat, where the horse in question is Talent Scout.

Looking at the snapshot below of the In Depth Form Tables/Run Style Figures. you can see that the majority of numbers are 4’s showing horses that like to be held up and a few 2’s for those that like to be prominent.

If you look at the figures for Talent Scout, he has 7 1’s from his last ten races and his ‘Most’ figure is the only horse in the race with a 1.

This means that Talent Scout is likely to be the only horse that wants to get to the front and lead, meaning he may be able to set a steady pace and kick at the right time.


There are a couple of things you also want to look at, such as the draw and the overall profile of the horse. If a horse is drawn really badly he may not get to the front very easily or if he does he may use up too much energy in doing so from the wide draw.

Also check that the horse hasn’t led in all of his twenty starts and has finished last each time. Clearly in a situation like this, front running is not doing the horse any favours!

On this occasion and for the other examples shown here, there were no real issues with either the draw or the form.

In this race, Talent Scout led and was only headed in the final furlong. He didn’t win but he came third at 12/1 rewarding any each way money and for in running punters went from an opening Betfair price of 16.13 to a low of 3.75, allowing an excellent opportunity to back and lay.

Knowing a horse is likely to get a lone lead up front means that you can back the horse before the off and then lay some of that bet back if the price shortens, so even if a horse doesn’t always win, you can get rewarded in other ways such as the each way bet, place bet only or in running trade.

Two more examples from yesterday

There are a couple of other examples I can show you, of horses that you could see from our run style figures, that were likely to lead and repaid those that saw these opportunities.

4.20 Brighton, Highlife Dancer.

Again the only horse that has a 1 in the Most column, where the majority are showing a 4, so we expected the horse to get to the front early which he did.

highlife dancer

Highlife Dancer didn’t manage to hold onto the lead but did well to rally when headed and kept on to second place at 7/1. His in running price dropped from 9.06 down to 5.9, so a small opportunity there too.

Finally 8.40 Kempton and Desert Strike.

Here there were two horses with a Most figure of 1 however Addictive Dream was a non runner which left Desert Strike who led from the start and because of the lead that he got, managed to hold onto the third place at a decent 16/1 price.


The in running price only dropped from 20.49 to 18.0 so not really a chance for the in running bet on this occasion but a good each way price that could have been taken knowing the horse would get a lead on his own up front and had the chance of holding onto a place if not winning.

In the 3.50 Brighton there were two horses from the twelve runners with a Most figure of 1. Megalala had 7 1’s from his last ten races, Mr Percy had 6. In the race itself, Megala made all from the front and won at 7/1.

Finding these selections.

The In Depth Form Table is found using a link under every race card and shows three other form tables as well which are Race Conditions Table, Official Ratings Tables and Race Class Tables but for this we are just looking at the Runs Styles.

Incidentally, the ‘Most’ column is also shown on the main race card in the R/S column so you can find any selections there without clicking the link, however you may want to look a bit deeper into the actual figures themselves.

So there are plenty of opportunities here where a horse at a good price can be backed each way or in running because you can see that the horse will get a lead on his/her own from the front.




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Ian Welch

Creator and owner of Inform Racing.com 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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