Use The Experts Views To Find Winners – Stats Reveal All

I was looking through the Racing Post paper a couple of days ago and in particular the brief description about each horse for every race called ‘Spotlight’.

This three or four line paragraph is all the expert who is doing the race has to give us about the horses past form, overall profile and chance in the race and I wondered if there was any way that this could be used to help find a winner or two.

Incidentally, whoever writes the Spotlight section in the Racing Post, also writes the Verdict at the end and compiles the Betting Forecast too. Bearing in mind they are pricing up the race, it is worth looking out for when the Verdict selects a horse at say 8/1 or bigger, as they have gone through the race in fine detail and still pick something they have not put in as one of the first two or three favourites, so there must be something about this selection that has some value and is worth a small each way bet.

Anyway I digress. Back to the Spotlight description and how you may like to go through these each day to see if you can find something that stands out compared to the rest of the field.

I would suggest you only want to do this in races for older horses and in the main handicaps as these horses have a few years of form for the Racing Post expert to go over and therefore a more accurate Spotlight description hopefully.

What I decided to do was start each horse with a zero and go through the description giving one point for a positive comment and taking off a point for a negative comment, then add up the points to see if anything stood out.

The first race I ‘rated’ was the 2.20 at Musselburgh and my scoring to the spotlight description is shown below so you can see how I got the score for each runner.

Court Of Law +1
Changed hands after cosy Irish point win last May; +1 comfortably held when third in two novice hurdles this season (2m4f/3m1f) -1 but has scope to make some progress on today’s handicap debut +1

Bobs Legend -3
Pulled up over C&D on last month’s stable debut -1 and was soundly beaten when dropped back to 2m at Catterick recently -1; others much more appealing. -1

Urban Kode +2
Held on gamely to score over C&D (good) eight days ago +1, his third win over hurdles +1; only due to go up 4lb +1 but takes his chance under 7lb penalty today.-1

Pixie Cut +2
0-10 over hurdles -1 but edging down the weights +1 and ran fairly well from the front when fourth at Uttoxeter (2m, soft) recently; +1 well worth another crack at 2m4f and could have a say.+1

Sendiym +3 
Won pair of good-ground 2m4f handicap hurdles at Sedgefield in September +1 and went close off today’s mark over fences this following month; +1 never really threatened when returning from break on the Flat last week -1 but is a player if that run did him good +1 and cheekpieces refitted.+1

Ceilidh +1
Tailed off when making handicap debut at Newcastle (2m, soft) in December; -1 not yet fully exposed+1 but needs today’s longer trip to unlock some improvement.-1

So the ratings for this race gave Sendiym the top figure with a +3 and he did go on to win at 11/4.

Other Races Rated

Looking at the other races that I rated this way, I found that a horse needed a +3 in total at least to be considered with quite a few races having a top rated of only +2, so I left these alone.

There were a couple of other notable successes yesterday and they were:

3.30 Musselburgh
Silver Duke +4  Won 6/1
Improved form when third in C&D juvenile contest on New Year’s Day +1, his fourth start over hurdles, and subsequent handicap third back here was also a good effort +1 (form been well advertised by winner); +1 should make his presence felt again.+1

Silver Duke was joint top rated at +4 with Ginger Jack who came second.

6.10 Chelmsford
Third Strike +3 Won 9/4
Can start slowly -1 but took advantage of reduced mark when breakthrough winner at Kempton (1m2f) early this month +1 and followed up in good style in apprentice handicap at same track last week; +1 escapes a penalty +1 and hard to beat if things go his way off 1lb lower.+1

Of the other races I rated where the top rated was +3 or better, I had 2.30 Musselburgh Light The City Lost 7/2, 3.40 Sedgefield Stilo Blue Native Lost 5/2, 4.05 Musselburgh Endeavour 3rd 7/2 and 4.15 Sedgefield Ballymoat Lost 7/4.

So a 7 point profit for the day.

One For Today.

I have gone through the 4.10 Warwick Handicap Chase today with the plus and minus values for each runner.

Orange Nassau +2
Had a good time of things last season, winning three handicap chases, +1 and returned from a summer break with good second off 1lb higher mark at Carlisle in October; +1 not so good there next time and well held (excuses first occasion) since; -1 has form over this C&D +1 and not discounted +1 but will need to bounce back to very best.-1

Union Jack D’ycy +1
Course winner +1 who returned to winning ways at Towcester in November +1, keeping on strongly +1 in uncompetitive event; -1 no impact in either start since -1 and although this is less demanding +1, he is still 5lb higher than for the Towcester success.-1

Carli King +5
Started out in handicaps off a lowly mark and steadily progressive in the last year or so +1, winning three times +1, most recently in 3m5f handicap at Market Rasen on Boxing Day (made all); +1 not in the same form at Catterick last time -1 but smaller field will help +1 and conditions ought to suit; +1 one to take seriously.+1

Ballypatrick =
Only rules win came in Fakenham novice chase two years ago; -1 ran some good races in competitive staying handicaps last season +1 and satisfactory return in November; +1 disappointed at Fontwell last time though -1 and vulnerable -1, despite continuing to ease down the weights.+1

Loughalder +1
Won a couple of times over C&D last year +1, including this race off a 15lb lower mark +1, and should be somewhere near peak fitness after a couple of runs this time round; +1 on the downside, he hasn’t done a great deal in either -1 and comes with risks attached. -1

Safran De Cotte =
Been a while since his last win -1 and although he’s a thorough stayer +1 and on a handy mark +1, he was a shade disappointing here last time; -1 extra yardage here won’t inconvenience him +1 but might prove vulnerable once more.-1

Qulinton +3
Made all to win over 3m3f at Stratford in May +1 (hurdles -1) and racing off a 9lb lower mark now; +1 best run for a while when third over 3m6f at Bangor a fortnight ago +1 and dangerous off the same mark if that wasn’t a flash in the pan +1.

So that is how you can go through a race fairly quickly and get your own ratings going by what the experts description of each horse is.

Please Note:

I have just seen that Warwick has been abandoned due to waterlogging!! So this race will not go ahead. I will try and post another race up later today so you can go through it looking at my marks for each runner but I want to get this posted right away. The Spotlight description of the abandoned Warwick race is available in the paper version of the Racing Post and online, although this is part of the members area now I believe.




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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