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CASCADE SYSTEMS LTD

 

FORM MASTER

 

THE COMPUTERISED RACING SYSTEM FOR THE SERIOUS PUNTER

 


 

CONGRATULATIONS!!

If you are reading this it means that you have just bought what is undoubtedly the best horse racing form calculator ever invented! Developed and refined over a period of decades from a successful manual system FORM MASTER is the result of over seven years of computer software development. But how does FORM MASTER differ from so called racing systems on the market?

Firstly FORM MASTER can be used by anyone willing to learn a few basic racing principles. FORM MASTER does nothing 'magical'. It simply takes know facts about a horse, its rider, its trainer and certain other pertinent facts then performs a statistical analysis for each horse.

Secondly FORM MASTER does not rely on 'interpretation' of racing information. All you need is the FORM MASTER system a suitable machine on which to run it, the guide and a copy of the 'Racing Post' newspaper for that days racing.

But enough preamble, you have purchased this system because you want to win and the only way to do that is by reading this guide from cover to cover.

 

A WARNING!!!!

DO NOT USE FORM MASTER FOR BETTING PURPOSES UNTIL YOU ARE COMPLETELY FLUENT AND UNDERSTAND FULLY THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE QUESTIONS THE SYSTEM ASKS YOU. NEVER GUESS AND NEVER BET MORE THAN YOUR BUDGET.

 

THE RACING CERTAINTY

"Horse racing is a complex subject, an inexact and compelling science, comprising elements of controversy and contradiction fused with exactness and predictability; which combine to provide statistical and emotional ingredients capable of infinite interpretation."

Or to put it another way; there's no such thing as a sure bet!

If you consider yourself knowledgeable on the subject of racing then I might suggest that you skip this chapter and go immediately to;

 


 

INTRODUCTION TO FORM MASTER

If, on the other hand you are a newcomer to the world of horse racing then you may find the following information invaluable in coming to a greater understanding of what it is that FORM MASTER does and how it attempts to do it.

 

SOME YOU WIN - SOME YOU LOSE

Nearly everything in life is a matter of chance. Just walking out on a windy day subjects you to the element of chance. Will a tree be blown down and fall on me or not?

Fortunately the chances are that it will not - but the chance that it will still remains. These two options represent two possible occurrences.

The former option is thankfully the most likely outcome and so if you were a book-maker you would be very unlikely to accept a bet from someone that they were going to survive their walk. On the other hand, if someone wanted to bet that they would be struck by a falling tree there are lots of book-makers who would be willing to take their money.

The example above is a perfect if somewhat dramatic, illustration of the difference between an 'odds-on' and a 'odds-against' situation.

Every time a horse takes to the track there is a level of probability that he will win. If he has a greater than 50% chance of winning then you could say that he was 'odds-on'. A less than 50% chance would be 'odds-against'. If only it were that simple.

 

THE BET

Most of us gamble at some stage in our lives. To some the occasional flutter on the 'Grand National' or the 'Cheltenham Gold Cup' is the sum total of the investment. To others it is far more.

You will notice I use the word 'investment' and this is the crux of the matter.

Placing money on a winning horse can give a far greater return than any bank or building society. The important difference is that with the latter your money is 'safe'. Betting organisations such as William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes exist because generally speaking the punter loses. The question is; how do we turn the odds to our favour? Simple.

 

FORM MASTER

RACE SELECTION

Almost as important as horse selection is race selection. The handicapping of horses is a system devised by the horse racing authorities to theoretically give each horse starting a race an equal chance of winning it.

Unfortunately there are many factors which can affect the outcome of a horse race and not all of these are pure chance. Most factors that are not chance are not in keeping with the spirit of the regulations of the sport.

The upshot of this is that for a race to be an accurate reflection of the ability of each horse, and then each jockey and trainer must want his horse to win. There are therefore certain criteria to consider which indicate this.

Within the main body of this guide you will find a complete section on race selection.

YOU MUST APPLY THIS TO EVERY RACE YOU CONSIDER FOR RATING

 


 

HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK

In horse racing the percentage chance of a horse winning a race is measured by 'form'. The form information is readily available from the 'Racing Post' and when entered into the system, becomes an important part of a very complex mathematical calculation.

If maths was never your strong subject - DON'T PANIC

You have nothing to fear from FORM MASTER. It does the work for you.

But form is one part of the picture. To predict a race outcome on form alone would be like saying that because my car beat someone away from the traffic lights yesterday, it must beat someone else today. This ignores the fact that the car it beat yesterday was a Skoda and today its up against a Porsche!

Many variables affect the outcome of a race. FORM MASTER is designed to evaluate each of these variables to come up with 'rating' for each horse. In the process of evaluation FORM MASTER considers 50 variables associated with that particular horse. Imagine trying to carry that amount of information in your head, repeat the process with perhaps 10 other horses and the make a comparison between them. Impossible!

But where do I get the information from?

Most of the information can be gleaned from the 'Racing Post' and the rest from the FORM MASTER guide.

THE NEXT TWO, PARAGRAPHS ARE PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT IN THE ENTIRE GUIDE - READ THEM AND TAKE NOT OF THEM.

THE SECRET OF SUCCESS WITH FORM MASTER IS CONSISTENCY IN YOUR BETTING. YOU MUST DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO BET ON A RACE AND THEN BET THE SAME WAY EVERY TIME. IF YOU BET DIFFERENT AMOUNTS IN DIFFERENT WAYS EACH TIME YOU WILL NOT BE USING THE SYSTEM PROPERLY AND WE CANNOT ANSWER FOR THE RESULTS. REMEMBER THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER BET MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE AND NEVER BET ANY MONEY THAT YOU HAVE SET ASIDE FOR OTHER THINGS SUCH AS MORTGAGES, HOLIDAYS OR FOOD!

DO NOT USE FORM MASTER FOR BETTING PURPOSES UNTIL YOU ARE COMPLETELY FLUENT AND UNDERSTAND FULLY THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE QUESTIONS THE SYSTEM ASKS YOU. NEVER GUESS AND NEVER BET MORE THAN YOUR BUDGET.

 

WHAT DO I NEED

To use FORM MASTER successfully you need only the following:

If you have all these things in front of you then you can turn the page and begin following through the instructions with an example or you may like to just read through a few times until you have understood what is required.

PLEASE DO NOT BET UNTIL YOU ARE SURE THAT YOU ARE USING THE SYSTEM CORRECTLY

 


 

THE SYSTEM

This section of the guide will give you all the information that you need to use the system successfully. It is set out as a series of questions that you should ask about each horse in turn while you are discovering how to correctly use FORM MASTER. The more you use the system, the less you will find need to refer to these questions as you begin to learn what to look out for. It may seem quite complex at first. This is because it is quite complex! However, we believe that rating a few races (maybe ones that have already been run) will soon get you into the swing of things.

FORM MASTER, as already explained uses information on the previous performances of the horses, trainers and jockeys to give a rating to each horse in a particular race. With some races this information becomes unreliable for several reasons. For instance, a race may consist of horses that have never raced before or horses being run prior to being sold and so are not going to be "trying" as hard as they should. In races with low prize money the jockey may not push the horse to produce its best performance as the money won would not compensate for the risk of causing injury or distress to the horse.

Therefore to ensure that FORM MASTER has enough reliable information on which to base its calculations, we recommend that you only consider races of above a certain class.

THIS ENSURES THE BEST POSSIBLE RESULTS IN WHICH TO INVEST YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY. IT IS STRONGLY ADVISED THAT YOU ONLY RATE SUITABLE RACES AS THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF CHANCES TO WIN IN A SEASON WITHOUT THROWING AWAY YOUR MONEY.

This guide will show how to use the system. Both the FLAT season and the NATIONAL HUNT season are covered, however, in some sections they are treated differently. In such a case you will find the flat details under the heading FLAT and the National Hunt under the heading JUMPS.

TAKE GREAT CARE NOT TO GET MIXED UP BETWEEN THE TWO

 


 

WHICH RACES SHOULD I RATE

 

IN THE JUMPS SEASON

You should ask the following questions about the race you are considering.

1) IS THE PRIZE MONEY TO THE WINNER LESS THAN £4000?

If the answer is YES: Do NOT rate the race

2) IS IT A SELLING OR CLAIMING RACE OR AUCTION PLATE, STAKE OR HANDICAP?

If the answer is YES: Do NOT rate the race

3) IS IT A "NOVICE HURDLE" RACE

If the answer is YES: Do NOT rate the race UNLESS THE PRIZE MONEY TO THE WINNER IS MORE THAN £10,000

4) IS IT A "NOVICE STEEPLECHASE" RACE

If the answer is YES: Do NOT rate the race UNLESS THE PRIZE MONEY TO THE WINNER IS MORE THAN £10,000

5) IS IT A HUNTER-CHASE RACE?

If the answer is YES: Do NOT rate the race UNLESS THE PRIZE MONEY TO THE WINNER IS MORE THAN £10,000.

6) ARE THE JOCKEYS AMATEUR RIDERS OR "LADY RIDERS"?

Note that Lady riders are classed as amateurs over the jumps but as apprentices on the flat (see next question).

If the answer is YES: Do NOT rate the race

7) ARE THE JOCKEYS CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS?

If the answer is YES: Do NOT rate the race

So remember, if the answer to any of those questions was YES (except for that special case with 2/3 year old races above £10,000) then ignore this race.

Now you may have found that this has excluded most of the races that you would normally have placed a bet on. This is one of the extra benefits of FORM MASTER. Not only does it tell you which races are a good bet but it also teaches you which races to leave alone because the form will be unreliable! Do not worry, because as you will find out in the next section, there are more than enough races that do qualify for FORM MASTER's rating.

ON SOME DAYS THERE WILL NOT BE ANY ELIGIBLE RACES - DO NOT BR TEMPTED TO TRY FORM MASTER ON ANY OTHER RACES.

 


 

WHICH ARE THE BEST RACES TO RATE

Now that we have found which races you should NOT rate. Which are the best ones to do?

FORM MASTER is primarily designed to evaluate Handicap races during the Flat and National Hunt seasons but may be successfully applied to Non-Handicap Events as specified below.

Excluding the "lower class" races described in the last section all remaining types of race can be considered but the lower the prize money involved, the more likely it is that the final result will not reflect the true potential of the horses. In other words, the higher the value of the race the more reliable the ratings become.

We have set the maximum number of horses that you can rate in any single race to sixteen (16) simply because a) the time involved in rating a race increases the more horses there are and b) races with more than this number tend to become "cavalry charges" where the horses can get in each other's way making the ratings unreliable.

If a race is taking place in Ireland, due to the very limited UK Press coverage of Irish Racing, it is recommended that only races of above £20,000 be evaluated provided that you have access to the Jockey/Trainer statistics for the course (see later)

So to sum up the best races should be:

 

JUMPS

*NB: THESE SHOULD BE HIGH VALUE RACES ONLY BUT EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION AS THEY CAN BE UNRELIABLE

 


 

ARE THERE ANY HORSES I SHOULD LEAVE OUT OF THE RATINGS?

There are several cases where you should not rate a horse even though it is in an eligible race. Sometimes this can be useful as it shortens the time taken to rate the race and where there are more than 16 runners, gives you a way of cutting down the numbers.

You should ask the following questions OF EACH RUNNER to decide whether a horse should be included or crossed off from the race.

REMEMBER, IF YOU CROSS OFF A HORSE THEN YOU SHOULD RETURN TO QUESTION 1 WHEN DEALING WITH THE NEXT HORSE.

1) HAS THE HORSE WON AT LEAST ONCE DURING ITS CAREER?

If the answer is NO then cross off the horse and go to the next.

2) IF THE HORSE HAS ONLY EVER WON ONCE, WAS THAT WIN A WALK-OVER?

If the answer is YES then cross off the horse and go to the next

3) IF THE HORSE HAS ONLY EVER ONCE, WAS THAT A TWO OR THREE HORSE RACE?

If the answer is YES then cross off the horse and go to the next

4) HAS THE HORSE COME 1ST, 2ND, 3RD OR 4TH AT LEAST ONCE IN ITS LAST THREE RACES?

If the answer is NO then cross off the horse and go to the next UNLESS THE HORSE IS RIDDEN BY THE LEADING JOCKEY AT THE COURSE AND IS EITHER CARRYING AT LEAST 21 lbs LESS THAN ITS LAST RACE OR THIS RACE'S PRIZE TO THE WINNER IS AT LEAST HALF THAT OF THE LAST RACE.

IF THE HORSE HAS SATISFIED THESE CONDITIONS THEN IGNORE QUESTION 5 AND GO ON TO QUESTION 6

5) ARE THE HORSE'S LAST TWO FORM FIGURES "0 0"

If the answer is YES then look at the figure before the two zeros. IF IT IS A "1" THEN INCLUDE THE HORSE

6) ARE THE ODDS AS PREDICTED IN THE "RACING POST" SHOWN AS 11/10 OR WORSE?

If the answer is YES: Do not consider the horse for a win bet if it is the horse's first race of the Flat season. Do not consider it for a win bet for ANY race over the Jumps. Rate the horse but use for forecast reference only.

Now it may seem strange to ignore a horse that is so obviously fancied by the betting media. The reason is that such racehorses represent POOR VALUE in exchange for the risk and that the remaining horses in the race are BETTER VALUE. Statistics show that such horses do not win as often as would be expected. We assume that you have bought FORM MASTER in order to improve your winnings so why take a chance on a horse that will hardly ever double your money. Remember that you will have plenty of chances to win at better odds.

7) IF A "/" APPEARS IN THE HORSE'S FORM FIGURES IS AT LEAST ONE OF THE FORM FIGURES FOLLOWING IT A "1" "2" "3" OR "4"?

If the answer is NO then cross off the horse and go to the next.

 


 

QUALIFYING RACES AND HORSES - A SUMMARY

Now that you have seen what is involved in picking firstly the race and secondly the horses in that race to rate we have included a few suggestions that may help when time is short. Set out below is a summary of what you may like to look for in your races.

1) CHECK THAT THE RACE QUALIFIES UNDER THE RULES LAID OUT IN THE SECTION HEADED "WHICH RACES SHOULD I RATE"

2) CHECK THAT THE HORSES QUALIFY UNDER THE RULES IN THE PRECEDING SECTION.

If time is short you may like to include ONLY the horses from one or all of the following groups (as long as they have qualified under point "2" above.):

3) THE FIRST FIVE IN THE BETTING FORECAST - This is because of all the horses in the race they are the most favoured by other racing experts (including bookmakers!) and so are more likely to come out top in the FORM MASTER rating. Be careful as this will not happen every time and could reduce the number of wins.

4) ANY HORSES THAT HAVE COME IN THE FIRST FOUR IN THEIR LAST RACE

5) ANY HORSE THAT WAS UNPLACED IN ITS LAST RACE BUT IS NOW RIDDEN BY THE LEADING JOCKEY AT THE COURSE AND IS CARRYING AT LEAST 21 lbs. LESS THAN ITS LAST RACE.

6) ANY HORSE THAT WAS UNPLACED IN ITS LAST RACE BUT IS NOW RIDDEN BY THE LEADING JOCKEY AT THE COURSE AND THIS RACES PRIZE TO THE WINNER IS AT LEAST HALF THAT OF THE LAST RACE.

By now you should have a good idea of what to look for in both the race and in the best horses to rate. A question that we are often asked is "Why leave out certain horses? After all, this could be the time they win."

This is of course true, but if they have very poor performances recently (as shown by their last form figures) then is not very much that they will suddenly surprise everyone and win. It does happen but only very rarely, certainly not enough for you to worry about and FORM MASTER as good as it is, would not rate that horse very highly anyway. (This is true of other systems a s well.)

 


 

THE ANALYSIS

We finally arrive at the Analysis and Rating System itself, the heart of FORM MASTER. You will be asked to reply to a set of requests that the system will give you. Most are very simple but a few will require some thought. To help you out, the following sections have been set out, where necessary, with a series of questions that you can ask. When you get to know the System better you will not need these questions although you will find them useful as a reference point later on. For the moment you can just follow through the pages to enable you to do the rating correctly. All of the answers that you will have to enter can be found in the pages of the "Racing Post". In most cases it is simply a matter of looking in the right place and entering the information you see there.

This guide contains everything that you need to make a successful analysis of a race but, as you become more proficient, you may wish to use your own personal knowledge to help you in rating races. While you are, of course perfectly free to do this, we have spent nearly five years refining and tuning the System and it has been used manually for the past thirty years with great success, so we suggest that, especially if you are a beginner, you stick closely to the instructions in this guide if you wish maximum success.

Set out on the following pages are the requests that you will be asked to reply to. The actual wording of the requests in this guide may not correspond exactly with the wording on your particular version due to the variation in the size of the machines screens but a few times through the System will soon clear up any confusion that may arise.

We have supplied you with Datasheets which you can fill in with the information on each horse if you wish. This has several advantages. You will have a permanent record of the information that you have entered and it is very much easier to correct a mistake on a piece of paper than after you have entered it into FORM MASTER. USE OF THE DATASHEETS IS RECOMMENDED.

Note that each horse is rated independently of the others in a race, if you feel that you have made a mistake entering some information you can check that you have entered the correct figures from the Datasheet by rating just that one horse again if you wish. If you make sure that you enter the same date and prize to the winner etc. then the rating for the horse would be the same as it would have been if rated with the rest.

FINALLY, REMEMBER MUCH OF WHAT FOLLOWS IS TO COVER EVERY POSSIBLE SITUATION. THE GREAT MAJORITY OF RACES ARE VERY STRAIGHT FORWARD AND WILL NOT CAUSE ANY DIFFICULTIES.

1) SPECIFY A SEASON

F for Flat and J for National Hunt (Jumps)

This is simply asking you to enter whether the race is over the Jumps or on the Flat. Just enter a single letter as specified. Be careful during the period when the two seasons overlap that you are entering the correct letter.

2) DATE OF RACE MEETING

This must be entered as six numbers in the form DDMMYY e.g. 010488 = 1st April 1988 or 100189 = 10th January 1989. Notice numbers less than 10 are entered with a zero before them.

NOTE THE DATE IS USED IN THE CALCULATIONS. PLEASE TAKE CARE TO ENTER IT CORRECTLY.

3) RACE TIME

This should be entered as four numbers in the form HHMM e.g. 1230 = 12:30 pm or 0310 = 3:10 pm. You can also enter time in 24 hour form e.g. 3:10 could be entered as 1530.

4) RACECOURSE NAME

Up to 18 characters can be entered. Note this for your convenience and for print outs only and has no effect on the rating. You can therefore enter a shortened name if you wish.

5) ENTER NUMBER OF SEASONS OF JOCKEY AND TRAINERS WINS AT THE RACECOURSE

It is important that you get this figure correct. In the 'Racing Post' you will find a list of the top jockeys and trainers on the course. This list shows the number of wins (and rides) that the jockeys and trainers have had over a period of several years. The System is asking for the number of years that the list covers on the day and the track that the race is taking place on.

NOTE : DO NOT INCLUDE THE CURRENT SEASON

 

 

JUMPS

This season is counted in a slightly different way because the season starts in one year and continues into the next. The seasons are classed as the 84/85 season or the 87/88 season etc. You should there for count the years in pairs e.g. '84 to '88 should be counted as "84/85"+"85/86"+"86/87"+"87/88"=4 seasons but since you should not count the current season (87/88) the number to enter would be 3

6) ENTER NUMBER OF RUNNERS

This is just the total number of horses running in the race regardless of whether you are going to rate them or not. The maximum number is 99 (very unlikely). The System uses the number of runners to decide if the draw has any effect.

7) ENTER NUMBER OF RUNNERS TO BE RATED

You should enter the number of horses that you have decided to rate (they must all qualify, of course). The maximum is 16.

9) ENTER PRIZE MONEY TO WINNER OF THIS RACE

You simply enter the prize money (penalty value) to the winner of the race in £ sterling. You do not enter the (£) sign and should ignore any odd pence.

 

WHAT MUST BE ENTERED FOR EACH HORSE IN THE RACE

Before we go any further a very point must be made.

NEVER MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE INFORMATION YOU ARE ENTERING.

If the newspaper does not specifically state what you want to know then do not 'guess'. Follow what this System guide says you should do in that particular section otherwise it could prove to be a very expensive 'guess'.

If all the information for a particular horse (or several horses) is not available then you may feel it would be better to ignore that horse for rating. You must make a judgement based on the situation at the time. If the horse is favourite or well fancied then you may wish to ignore the race as you would not be getting the complete picture bit if it is well down on the betting forecast then it may be worth taking a chance that it will not be top rated.

The following questions will be asked about every horse to be rated. Occasionally, information you entered earlier will make a certain question pointless e.g. if you enter 0 for the career wins of the horse there would be no point asking you how much win money it has made (obviously the answer would be £0!) so this question is missed out for this horse.

You will soon get to know what will be asked.

10) ENTER THE NAME OF FIRST/NEXT HORSE

You can enter up to 18 letters, the maximum allowed by the Jockey Club, including spaces for a horse's name. It has no effect on the calculations so you can enter just a few letters or just the initials etc. Anything will do just as long as you can tell which horse was meant when the results appear but remember that the system does not check whether any of the names are the same. That is up to you to avoid. Note that you cannot have names of only one character.

NOTE THAT YOU CAN STOP THE RATINGS AT ANY TIME BY ENTERING THE WORD "QUIT" AS THE NAME OF THE HORSE. ANY HORSES ALREADY ENTERED WILL BE RATED. THIS GIVES YOU THE CHANCE TO CUT SHORT THE RATING SYSTEM IF YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME OR HAVE ENTERED TOO HIGH A VALUE FOR THE "NUMBER TO RATE".

11) TOTAL CAREER WINS

This asking you to enter the total number of times the horse has won in its career. Enter the number only.

Before you finally decide on the number ask the following questions about the horses wins:

ARE ANY OF THE WINS WALKOVERS?

Look for the words "wo" printed after the race in the win details.

If the answer is YES: do NOT include the race in the wins

DID ANY OF THE RACE WINS TAKE PLACE ON ANOTHER CONTINENT?

You should look for the name of any racecourse that is in a country outside of Europe, for instance, the USA or Australia.

If the answer is YES: do NOT include the race in the wins

DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH A EUROPEAN WIN EG FRANCE OR GERMANY. THESE SHOULD BE INCLUDED.

HAS THE HORSE HAD A WIN THIS SEASON THAT WAS THEN DISQUALIFIED BY THE COURSE STEWARDS?

Sometimes the horse will win a race and the be disqualified for one reason or another. This means that it was still physically the first horse over the line in the race.

A disqualification will be mentioned in the detailed form summary.

If the answer is YES: INCLUDE the race in the wins.

YOU SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE THIS AS A WIN FOR THE OFFICIAL WINNER OF THAT RACE IF IT IS ALSO BEING RATED i.e. TREAT IT AS IF BOTH HORSES HAD WON THE SAME RACE!

ARE ANY OF THE RACES FROM THE OTHER SEASON?

The more races you rate the more you will start to 'recognise' horse's names. You may find that you come across a horse that you know has had several wins during the national hunt season and is now racing on the Flat or vice-versa. The two seasons are so different that the results from one cannot and should not be used to judge the performance of a horse in the other.

If the answer is YES: do NOT include the race in the wins

REMEMBER: Never include information from one season in another.

IF WINS INFORMATION IS NOT AVAILABLE AND YOU ARE SURE THAT THE HORSE HAS WON AT LEAST ONCE THEN ENTER "1" FOR THIS SECTION.

12) ENTER TOTAL PRIZE MONEY

NOTE: This is in UK Sterling (do not enter the pound sign)

This asking you for the total amount of money that the horse has won in it career BUT ONLY IN RACES THAT IT HAS WON.

A horse also gets a prize for coming 2nd or 3rd but, for the purpose of the System, we are not interested in that.

Take care not to get confused between total prize money and total win prize money. The first includes those 2nd and 3rds which we do not want.

Before entering the figure ask the following questions:

ARE ANY OF THE WINS WALKOVERS?

Look for the words "wo" printed after the race in the win details.

If the answer is YES: do NOT include the race prize in the total

DID ANY OF THE RACE WINS TAKE PLACE ON ANOTHER CONTINENT?

You should look for the name of any racecourse that is in a country outside of Europe, for instance, the USA or Australia.

If the answer is YES: do NOT include the race prize in the total

AGAIN DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH A EUROPEAN WIN EG FRANCE OR GERMANY. THESE SHOULD BE INCLUDED.

HAS THE HORSE HAD A WIN THIS SEASON THAT WAS THEN DISQUALIFIED BY THE COURSE STEWARDS?

Sometimes the horse will win a race and the be disqualified for one reason or another. This means that it was still physically the first horse over the line in the race.

A disqualification will be mentioned in the detailed form summary.

If the answer is YES: INCLUDE the race prize in the total

YOU SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE THIS AS A WIN FOR THE OFFICIAL WINNER OF THAT RACE IF IT IS BEING RATED.

ARE ANY OF THE RACES FROM THE OTHER SEASON?

The more races you rate the more you will start to 'recognise' horse's names. You may find that you come across a horse that you know has had several wins during the national hunt season and is now racing on the Flat or vice-versa. The two seasons are so different that the results from one cannot and should not be used to judge the performance of a horse in the other.

If the answer is YES: do NOT include the race prize in the total

REMEMBER: Never include information from one season in another.

IF INFORMATION ON TOTAL CAREER WINS PRIZE MONEY IS NOT AVAILABLE THEN ENTER "0" (ZERO) AT THIS SECTION.

13) HAS THE HORSE WON THIS SEASON?

Not we are looking for a win this season NOT this year. Simply enter Y for YES or N for NO.

There are two things to watch out for in this section.

HAS THE HORSE HAD A WIN THIS SEASON THAT WAS THEN DISQUALIFIED BY THE COURSE STEWARDS?

Sometimes the horse will win a race and then be disqualified for one reason or another. This means that it was still physically the first horse over the line in the race.

A disqualification will be mentioned in the detailed form summary.

If the answer is YES: the horse is considered to have won this season

WAS THE HORSE MADE THE WINNER OF A RACE BECAUSE THE ACTUAL HORSE WAS DISQUALIFIED?

Look for a "1" in the form figures that follow the "-". If you see find one and have details on that race then look to see if the horse was awarded the race because the actual winner was disqualified.

If the answer is YES: ignore the race for this section only.

14) ENTER THE LAST THREE FORM FIGURES

This is the most difficult part of the System and will probably take the longest time to understand. We suggest that you read carefully through the next section several times. At first it may seem to be almost impossibly complex but if you take each question at a time you will soon come to know what to look for.

If you read further on you will see that there are many characters both alphabetical and numerical that can appear in a horses form figures. However, FORM MASTER will not accept all of them, so you will have to apply certain rules to these figures to make them into characters that are acceptable. These are detailed later on.

The acceptable form figures are 0,1,2,3,4,+ as described below.

"0" can be used if the horse did not come in the first four.

You will sometimes come across a horse that does not have three form figures. This is because it has not taken part in three races. FORM MASTER always expects you to enter three form figures so you must put something in place of the missing form figure or figures.

We have chosen the figure "+" (this has no significance)

It is used in place of any missing figures e.g. if a horse has only raced twice, its form figures in the newspaper may read "-31" (the "-" simply shows the races were run this season and is not classed as a form figure so ignore it). This means that the horse was 1st in its last race and 3rd in the race before that. Because there is obviously no result for the race before that (there wasn't one!) it would be entered into the System as +31

In a similar way a horse with the form figure "2-", meaning that it has taken part in only one race and that was last season, would be entered as ++2

REMEMBER THE "+" CHARACTER ALWAYS GOES BEFORE THE EXISTING FORM FIGURES. ANY OTHER NUMBER OR CHARACTER IS CLASSED AS UNACCEPTABLE.

FROM NOW ON WHEN REFERRING TO THE LAST THREE FORM FIGURES WE SHALL BE USING THE EXPRESSION "FORM FIGURE n" WHERE n CAN BE ONE, TWO OR THREE. THIS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO MEAN THE FIGURE IN THAT POSITION READING FROM LEFT TO RIGHT.

FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE LAST THREE FORM FIGURES ARE "203"

FORM FIGURE ONE WOULD REFER TO THE LEFT NUMBER- "2"

FORM FIGURE TWO WOULD REFER TO THE MIDDLE NUMBER-"0"

FORM FIGURE THREE WOULD REFER TO THE RIGHT NUMBER- "3"

At this point you will be in one of two positions EITHER all of the last three form figures for the horse are acceptable i.e. 0,1, 2, 3, 4 or + OR there will be one or more 'unacceptable' figures (as described below) present.

IF THERE ARE ANY OF THESE UNACCEPTABLE FIGURES THEN THE FIRST THING IS TO CHANGE THEM SO THAT THEY ARE ACCEPTABLE. THIS IS EXPLAINED IN THE NEXT SECTION BUT NOTE THAT YOU SHOULD ONLY PROMOTE (I.E. CHANGE TO A BETTER FIGURE) OR EXCLUDE, (I.E. CROSS OUT) FIGURES, TWICE AT THE MOST. IF THERE IS NEED TO DO ANY FURTHER PROMOTIONS/EXCLUSIONS THEN YOU SHOULD SUBSTITUTE "0" (ZERO) IN ALL CASES REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.

UNACCEPTABLE FORM FIGURES

FLAT AND JUMPS

In the Flat season you would only normally expect to see other numbers, usually 5 to 9 (the position the horse finished in the race) and either a dash (-) or a slash (/). These last two are used to show where one season ends and the next starts and should be ignored. The other figures that can appear are letters (e.g. p, b, u etc). These are called ALPHA-FORM and are discussed later.

If any of the last three form figures are numbers between 5 and 9 then they will need changing to form figures that are acceptable to FORM MASTER.

SIMPLY REPLACE ANY NUMBER HIGHER THAN 4 WITH THE NUMBER 0 (ZERO)

DO NOT COUNT THIS AS PROMOTING THE FIGURE. It is simply that any finishing position past 4th is unplaced and therefore should be given a form figure of "0". However the newspapers like to give more details and so print the actual position the horse came in the race.

 

ALPHA-FORM

We previously mentioned that you may come across characters as well as numbers in the form figures list. This is normally found in the Jumps season as it show when a horse has fallen (F) been pulled up (P) brought down by another horse (B) etc. and this sort of thing very rarely happens on the Flat as there are no fences to get in the way. We will first describe the Alpha-forms that you are likely to come across in the Flat season and then we shall go into greater detail in the Jumps part of this section.

WHEN DEALING WITH A HORSE WITH MORE THAN ONE ALPHA-FORM IN ITS LAST THREE FORM FIGURES YOU SHOULD ALWAYS LOOK AT THE RIGHT FIGURE FIRST.

JUMPS

In the jumps season there are many more mishaps that can happen to a horse and jockey that are due to the horse itself rather than any bad luck. Because of this you must treat each alpha-form in a slightly different way, although in a similar way to the flat season, you are trying to replace or promote the alpha-form to a position between 21" and 24" so that FORM MASTER will accept it.

What you do with the alpha-forms in the jumps season depends on how far through the race the horse managed to get before the mishap took place.

The rule is:

TO PROMOTE AN ALPHA-FORM THE HORSE MUST HAVE COMPLETED AT LEAST TWO THIRDS OF THE RACE.

If the horse did not complete at least two thirds then you should always regardless of circumstances, replace the alpha-form with "0" (zero).

HOW TO TELL HOW MUCH OF THE RACE THE HORSE HAS COMPLETED.

Within the detailed form summary you will usually find a short description of where the horse was in the race when the accident occurred. This description usually includes the fence number and the position of the horse in the field.

In a National Hunt race there is a minimum number of fences/hurdles that must be jumped for a particular distance.

HURDLES: Minimum of 8 obstacles in a 2 mile race plus six hurdles for every additional mile.

CHASES: Minimum of 12 obstacles in a 2 mile race Steeplechase race plus 6 fences for every additional mile.

Note that these are minimum numbers. There could be more depending on race conditions.

The following table uses these figures to show the minimum number of hurdles/fences in a race of a particular distance followed by a number in brackets to show the "two thirds" pint that must be reached by a horse to qualify for form promotion.

DISTANCE HURDLES CHASES 2 miles 8 (5) 12 (8) 2 1/4 miles 9 (6) 13 (9) 2 1/2 miles 10 (7) 15 (10) 2 3/4 miles 12 (8) 16 (11) 3 miles 14 (9) 18 (12) 3 1/4 miles 15 (10) 20 (13) 3 1/2 miles 17 (11) 22 (15) 3 3/4 miles n/a 24 (16) 4 miles n/a 26 (17)

You should be able to calculate any distance not shown in the chart.

IS THE ALPHA_FORM A "P"?

If the answer is YES and the horse has completed enough of the race: treat the figure as described in flat season section above.

If the answer is NO then you will find the following possible options (assuming that at least 2/3rds of the race was completed):

1) The race details say that the horse was well in front (clear/well clear/distance etc). In this case assume that the horse won by 30 lengths and promote the form figure to a "1"

2) The race details say that the horse was leading by an unspecified amount or was disputing the lead or prominent in the leading pack etc. then you look at the race previous to the alpha-form.

If the horse was placed in that previous race (i.e. 1, 2, 3 or 4) then you should promote the alpha-form to that placing and use the distances (win and beaten) from that race.

If the horse was unplaced in that previous race then promote the alpha-form to "4" and use the distance from the actual fourth horse in the race with the alpha-form.

3) The race details specify the position of the horse when the incident took occurred. In this case promote the alpha-form to this position and use the distances of the horse that actually finished in that position in the race.

4) The race details say that the horse was in contention/prominent/upsides/making progress etc. In this case promote to a "4" in all cases and use the beaten distances of the horse that actually finished fourth in that race.

5) The race details say that the horse was well back/beaten/trailing/well behind etc. In this case assume a placing of "0" for the horse.

FLAT AND JUMPS

YOU SHOULD CHANGE AN ALPHA-FORM FIGURE TO A NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 4 ONCE ONLY. IF OTHER ALPHA-FORMS APPEAR IN THE LAST THREE FORM FIGURES AFTER YOU HAVE APPLIED ALL THE OTHER FORM RULES THEN IT (OR THEY) SHOULD BE REPLACED BY "0" (ZERO) REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCE.

You should deal with Alpha-form only when all other changes have taken place.

BY NOW ALL OF THE LAST THREE FORM FIGURES SHOULD BE ACCEPTABLE ONES SO YOU SHOULD ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS REMEMBERING THAT IF YOU HAVE CROSSED OUT A FORM FIGURE THEN THE PRECEDING ONES ALL 'MOVE UP' TO REPLACE IT.

For example the form figures may be 01-231 there for the last three form figures are 231. If the last race was excluded (crossed off) for one of the reason below then the last three form figures become 123 (ignore the "-")

Note that because FORM MASTER treats 2 horse races in exactly the same way as 3 horse races, wherever a 3 horse race is mentioned this should be taken to include 2 horse races as well.

WAS THE RACE IN FORM FIGURE THREE A WALKOVER?

Note this only count for form figure three not either of the other two figures.

Look in the race details to see if the race in form figure three has the letters "wo" following it.

If the answer is YES : cross out the race from the form figures.

WAS THE RACE IN FORM FIGURE THREE A 3 HORSE RACE?

Note this only counts for form figure three not either of the other two figures.

If the answer is YES : cross out the race from the form figures.

This naturally means that another figure (formally the middle one) has become form figure three.

IF THIS FORM FIGURE IS ALSO A 3 HORSE RACE THEN EXCLUDE THE HORSE ITSELF FROM THE RATINGS. THIS IS BECAUSE THE HORSE HAS NOT REALLY COMPLETED IN ITS LAST TWO RACES AND SO THE FIGURES ARE UNRELIABLE.

If the new form figure three is now an alpha-form which cannot be promoted to a definite placing (i.e. you cannot say FOR SURE where it would have come in the results had it not fallen or whatever), then reinstate the 3 horse race in the form figures.

VERY IMPORTANT: IF YOU HAVE REINSTATED THE 3 HORSE RACE DO NOT CONSIDER PLACING A BET ON THIS HORSE REGARDLESS OF ITS FINAL POSITION IN THE RATINGS. YOU SHOULD USE IT ONLY FOR COMPARISON WITH THE OTHER RATINGS

WERE ANY OF THE RACES IN THE LAST THREE FORM FIGURES AFFECTED BY A DISQUALIFICATION?

You should look in the form figures for a "d" or in the detailed form summary for a mention of a disqualification.

If the answer is YES: change the form figure to what it would have be if the disqualification had not happened.

For example, if a horse actually won a race but was then disqualified you should enter that form figure as "1" as if the disqualification had never happened. You should do this in spite of the apparent conflict with the previous entries regarding wins and career win prize money.

DID THE HORSE ACTUALLY COME LAST IN ANY OF THE THREE RACES EVEN THOUGH THE FORM FIGURE SHOWS A "2", "3" OR "4"?

If the answer is YES: replace the form figure with "0" (zero)

The FORM MASTER rule is simple and easily understood. If a horse is 4th in a 4 horse race then it has finished last in that race so use a "0" instead of a "4" to complete its form. Sometimes, however, a horse may finish 3rd in a four horse race where only 3 horses finish because one has fallen or been pulled up (particularly in the Jumps season). In this case the original form figure remains unchanged because 4 horses started the race.

WERE BOTH FORM FIGURE THREE AND FORM FIGURE TWO (I.E. THE HORSE'S LAST TWO RACES) "AMATEUR RIDER NON HANDICAP" RACES?

Look at the type of races in the detailed form summary. Remember that BOTH races must be of this type.

If the answer is YES: exclude the horse from the ratings.

IF FORM FIGURE THREE IS "0" (ZERO) IS THERE A GENUINE REASON FOR THE HORSES FAILURE?

On the racing pages of most daily papers you will find reports on the days races which will usually carry news explaining why a horse performed as it did in its last race. If the reason given is due to injury or bad luck (the saddle slipping or something of that kind) then the form is unreliable.

If the answer is YES: cross out the race from the form figures.

IF FORM FIGURE THREE IS A "0" (ZERO), DID THE HORSE FINISH WITHIN 2 LENGTHS (FLAT) OR 4 LENGTHS (JUMPS) OF THE 4TH PLACED HORSE?

Look at the distances for the last race to find out.

If the answer is YES AND form figure two (the second to last race) is 1, 2, 3 or 4 then change the "0" in form figure three to a "4".

If the answer is YES AND form figure two is a "0" (zero) then leave form figure three as it is.

The reason for this is that a horse may have only just missed being in the top four. If it was 2 lengths on the Flat or 4 lengths over the Jumps of the fourth horse them we 'assume' that it could have caught up and so we promote it into 4th place and make the form figure "4".

YOU SHOULD NOW ASK THE SAME QUESTION OF FORM FIGURE TWO BUT THIS TIME ONLY PROMOTE THE "0" TO A "4" IF AT LEAST ONE OF THE FORM FIGURES ON EITHER SIDE IS A 1,2,3 OR 4.

DO NOT REPEAT THIS WITH FORM FIGURE ONE.

ARE THE FORM DETAILS ON THE RACE IN FORM FIGURE THREE UNAVAILABLE?

Sometimes you will find that although a horse has clear form figures, details on the races are not always present. This means that you cannot fill in a lot of the details required by the system.

If the answer is YES: do not rate the horse. There is not enough information for FORM MASTER to work on and so any rating given would be meaningless.

IF YOU HAVE PROMOTED A FORM FIGURE TO A WIN ("1") THEN YOU SHOULD TREAT IT AS IF THE HORSE HAD ACTUALLY WON AND ADJUST THE VALUES ENTERED FOR THE TOTAL NUMBER OF WINS AND THE TOTAL PRIZE MONEY ACCORDINGLY.

THIS COMPLETES THE SECTION ON WHAT TO DO WITH ACCEPTABLE FORM FIGURES. YOU SHOULD NOW BE LEFT WITH THREE FORM FIGURES WHICH SHOULD BE ENTERED INTO FORM MASTER (OR WRITTEN ON THE DATA SHEET).

This section is the most complex part of the system but is also the most important.

Please read it over until you understand it fully.

So not worry too much about remembering all the details as the majority of races are very straight forward and will not require much of what you have read.

When you come across a race with 'awkward' form figures it is very easy to look up the relevant details in the guide.

THEY ARE INCLUDED SO THAT YOU WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO IN ALL POSSIBLE CASES.

If form figure three is a "2", "3" or "4" the system will ask:

15) HOW MANY LENGTHS WAS THE HORSE BEATEN IN ITS LAST RACE:

REMEMBER: This will not be asked if form figure three is "0" or "1".

The system is asking for the distance between this horse and the winner of the last race.

At the bottom of the details on the last race you will find a series of numbers that show the distances between the horses as they crossed the finishing line.

If you look at the example in the "Racing Post" the distances shown as follows:

DISTANCES 2 - 1 - 3/4 - 2 - NECK

Distances between:
1st to 2nd was 2 lengths2nd to 3rd was 1 length
3rd to 4th was 3/4 length     4th to 5th was 2 lengths
5th to 6th was a neck

Note that the first number in the list is the distance to the SECOND placed horse. FORM MASTER expects whole numbers so the fractions must be rounded to whole numbers as shown in the following table:

DISTANCEROUNDED TO
Short head)
Nose ) = 1/4 length1 length
Head )
Neck )
1/4, 1/2, 3/4 length1 length
1 1/4, 1 1/3 length1 length
1 1/2, 1 3/4 length2 lengths
OFFICIAL DISTANCE (dist)    30 lengths

USE SIMILAR TREATMENT FOR ALL OTHER DISTANCES

You may have noticed that apart from fractions less than one, all this is doing is rounding the distances up or down to the nearest whole number. That is really all there is to it.

Note that mention of "Official Distance". This is usually shown as the word "dist" in the list of distances and basically means that the horse was beaten by a gap too large to accurately measure in lengths. FORM MASTER uses 30 lengths to represent this for convenience only.

WHEN USING THIS TABLE FIRST ADD TOGETHER ALL THE DISTANCES TO THE HORSES POSITION (INCLUDING THE FRACTIONS) TO OBTAIN A TOTAL AND THEN ROUND UP OR DOWN TO THE NEAREST WHOLE NUMBER.

If form figure three was "3" the using the example in the "Racing Post" you would add 2 (1st to 2nd) and 1 1/2 (2nd to 3rd) together to get 3 1/2 then round it off to 4. This is the number FORM MASTER is asking for. This request will be asked if the number in form figure three is anything EXCEPT "0" (ZERO).

16) ENTER THE DISTANCE TO THE NEXT HORSE IN LAST RACE?

or if the horse won its last race the request will be:

16) ENTER THE DISTANCE FROM THIS WINNER TO THE NEXT HORSE IN THE LAST RACE?

REMEMBER this will not be asked if form figure three is "0".

If the horse was the winner of the last race then you should enter the first of the distances (i.e. between 1st and 2nd) after rounding off using the table. If the horse was 2nd, 3rd or 4th then you should count along the list of distances to find the relevant number before rounding off using the table. NOTE: You should not add together the distances (as you did before) in this section.

Using the example from the last page the number you would find if the horse was 3rd would be a short head (3rd to 4th) = 1/4 length that would be rounded to "1".

If the last race involved a disqualification in the current season only, then enter the distance as if no disqualification had taken place.

To summarise this Form interpretation:

WHENEVER the racehorse physically finished in an event, ENTER the beaten distances which were recorded IN REALITY. For instance even if you promoted a 5th placed horse to 4th because it was within 2 lengths of the 4th placed horse (see earlier) you should still enter the distances of the 5th place.

WINNER: Enter distance to second placed horse.

PLACED: Enter the distance to next lower placed horse. In the event that this figure is not available then use the same distance as you entered for the last system request (i.e. the horse's beaten distance). This rare occurrence can only happen when the remaining horses do not complete the race and is usually confined to National Hunt

17) WAS THE LAST RACE LOWER CLASS?

The answer will be Y for YES or N for NO.

JUMPS

The race should always be the one in form figure three.

In the Jumps season there are only three types of race that should be considered lower class. These are:

ALL HUNTER-STEEPLECHASES

ALL SELLING RACES OR AUCTION TYPE RACES

ALL RACES CONFINED TO LADY RIDERS ONLY

You should simply look for the appropriate words or abbreviations of them in the description of the type of race which will be found in the detailed form summary.

If the answer is YES : enter "Y"

If the answer is NO : enter "N"

18) ENTER DETAILS FOR THE LAST RACE?

This is asking for details on the race in form figure three. You can enter up to three letters in this section. They can be:

"C" if the race took place in the Current season (i.e. the form figure appears AFTER the "-")

"L" if the race took place Last season or any season other than the current one (i.e. the form figure appears BEFORE the "-")

"F" if the race took place outside the UK i.e. it was Foreign race.

"T" if the race you are rating NOW is the first since the horse finished its Two year old season, i.e. it is its first race as a Three year old.

"O" if the horse is a (TwO) year old horse in a Two year old race.

Since the race must have been either this season or last season the least you must enter is "C" or "L" (but never both!). The other options will only occur occasionally and to find out if you should include them you should look in the following places.

FOREIGN RACES - look at the racecourse name in the detailed form summary for the race in form figure three. If it is a foreign course (including Ireland) then you should include a "F".

THREE YEAR OLD - look at the age of the horse in the race in form figure three. If the horse's age is three (look at the age in the current race card) and it is having it first race of the season then you should include a "T"

TWO YEAR OLD - look at the type of race in the title at the top of the race card. If it is a two year old race then enter "O" for every horse you are rating.

Some possible entries in this section are:

"C", "L", "LFT", "TLF", "FC", "CO", "LFO"

It does not make any difference in what order you enter the letters.

Note you should take care not to enter "impossible" combinations such as "CT" or "CL" or "LTO" (Can you work out why they are impossible?)

For example, if the last race was in the current season and took place at "Longchamp" in France and the horse was a three year old you would enter "CF or "FC"

If the last race took place last season at Ayr and that was the horse's two year old season, if this was its FIRST race this season you would enter "LT" or "TL" (its first race as a three year old). If it was not its first race this season you would enter just "L"

19) ENTER PRIZE VALUE TO THE WINNER OF THE LAST COMPLETED RACE

This must always agree with the race in form figure three and the race you have studied in the last section.

Simply enter the value to the winner of the race in form figure three.

You should enter the value in Sterling (do not enter a pound sign).

20) IS THE WEIGHT CARRIED IN THIS RACE MORE, LESS OR THE SAME AS THE LAST RACE?

The current weight is found on the race card and at the top of the form details.

The last weight carried is in the form details.

With the majority of races you simply enter the difference between the two values in lbs (14 pounds to a stone)

YOU SHOULD ENTER THE VALUE AS "M" or "L" (FOR MORE OR LESS WEIGHT) FOLLOWED BY THE ACTUAL DIFFERENCE. IF THE TWO WEIGHTS ARE THE SAME JUST ENTER "S" (FOR SAME).

For instance, if today's weight is 9-7 (i.e. 9 stone 7 lbs.) and the last race 8-8 (i.e. 8 stone 8 lbs.) then today's race is "M13" - More by 13 lbs.

If today's weight is 9-7 (i.e. 9 stone 7 lbs.) and the last race was 10-1 (i.e. 10 stone 1 lb.) then today's race is "L8" - Less by 8lbs.

Unfortunately, this is not as simple as that because there are several factors that you must watch out for when calculating the weights.

Answer these questions before deciding on what figure to enter:

DOES THE RACE HAVE ANY LONG HANDICAP VALUES FOR ANY OF THE HORSES?

In the majority of Handicap races, the weight published against the horse on the race card is the correct one. However there are special officials called Handicappers who look at the past performance of a horse and give it a certain weight allowance in order to give each horse an equal chance. The better horses are made to carry more weight than the inferior ones. Sometimes, the horses taking part in a race must carry a minimum weight. This is usually set in the entry conditions but remember that the minimum weight is 7 stone 7 lbs for a flat race and 10 stone for a race over jumps. If a horse's handicap weight does not reach this minimum then weights are added to make it up to this figure. If this happens the horse is said to have a LONG HANDICAP WEIGHT. This will be printed at the bottom of the race card. (Note that is nothing to do with the jockeys weight)

If you find these on the bottom of a race card then I am afraid that you will have to do a little bit of maths. (Do not worry. It is the only time in the system that you need to!). You should apply the following 'equation' to any horse that has a Long Handicap Weight to calculate the weight difference. Remember that you should work out the values in the brackets first (14 lbs to a Stone):

(RACE MINIMUM - LONG HANDICAP) - (LAST WEIGHT - RACE MINIMUM)

For example:

HORSE "A" carried 9 stones 7 lbs. in the last race.

HORSE "A" is set a LONG HANDICAP WEIGHT of 7 stones

RACE MINIMUM is 7 stones 7 lbs. (This would also be shown as HORSE"A"'s weight on the race card.)

Therefore if you apply the equation you get:

(7st. 7lbs. - 7st.) - (9st. 7lbs. - 7st. 7lbs.)

= (7lbs.) - (28lbs) = -21lbs. or Less 21lbs.

You would enter "L21"

HORSE "B" carried 10 stones 7 lbs. in the last race.

HORSE "B" is set to carry a LONG HANDICAP WEIGHT of 9 stones.

RACE MINIMUM is 10 stones. (This would also be shown as HORSE "B"'s weight on the race card.

Therefore if you apply the equation you get

(10st. - 9st.) - (10st. 7lbs. - 10st.)

= (14lbs.) - (7lbs.) = 7lbs. or More 7lbs.

You would enter "M7"

IS THE JOCKEY AN APPRENTICE?

When a horse is ridden by an apprentice jockey a weight allowance is given to make up for the riders lack of experience. This shown as a number in brackets appearing after the jockeys name. If no number is present then assume the jockey is experienced.

JUMPS

IGNORE ALL ALLOWANCES WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Compare the full current race weight against the full previous race weight. This means that you should add any apprentice allowance (shown in brackets after the jockeys name in the details on the last race) to the previous weight before calculation.

FORM MASTER EXPECTS WEIGHT VALUES TO BE ENTERED IN POUNDS (IMPERIAL WEIGHT) ONLY. IF WEIGHTS ARE SHOWN IN THE PAPERS IN KILOGRAMMES USE:

2.2 lbs = 1Kg

20) ENTER THE NUMBER OF WINS AT THIS RACECOURSE.

Look at the list of previous wins for the total number of times that the horse has won at today's racecourse irrespective of distances.

For example if the race was at Newbury you should look for ALL wins the horse has had in the past at Newbury.

Enter course wins for correct season only i.e. not jumps in the Flat season and vice-versa.

Not that the letter "C" after the horse's name in the race card is often used to show that it has had a course win but make sure that the paper you are looking at uses this convention as it may mean something completely different! You should still check the win list to find the number of wins.

Note that in the Jumps season you should enter hurdle and Chase wins combined (i.e. TOTAL wins). If the horse has never won at the racecourse then the next question will not be asked:

21) ENTER THE NUMBER OF WINS AT THIS COURSE AND THIS RACE DISTANCE

This time check the list of previous wins for mention of wins that took place on today's course AND over the same distance as today's race but do not include wins from the other season.

For instance, if a horse is competing today at Newmarket over 7 furlongs and a previous win was at Newmarket over 7 furlongs then that counts as ONE "Course and Distance" win.

Note that the letters "CD" appearing after the horse's name in the race card are often used to show that it has had a course and distance win but as mentioned before you should make sure that the paper is following this convention. You should still check the win list to find the number of wins.

Watch out for the letters "C" and "D" appearing separately but next to each other. This means the horse has won on the course and has also won at the distance BUT NOT ON THE SAME COURSE.

REMEMBER: ALWAYS CHECK THE WIN LIST TO MAKE SURE.

22) ENTER THE JOCKEY COURSE WINS.

We mentioned earlier that the racing newspapers print a list of the top jockeys and trainers on the courses that are holding race meetings that day. The list shows the number of wins that the jockeys have had over a period of years.

(FOR EXAMPLE SEE THE SECTION ON THE NUMBER OF SEASONS OF JOCKEY/TRAINER WINS)

You are being asked to enter the number of wins that the jockey who is riding the horse today has had at the course. However as you have already found out, these things are not as simple as you may think.

You should follow these rules:

IF THEY ARE UK JOCKEYS RIDING AT UK. RACECOURSES:

LOOK FOR THE NAME OF THE HORSES JOCKEY IN THE NEWSPAPER LIST.

If it appears make a note of the total wins printed there. If the name does not appear then assume "0" wins.

LOOK AT THE BACK OF THIS GUIDE FOR A LIST OF NAMES OF THE TOP JOCKEYS. *

Now this is out of date. Ideally you need a list of the top jockeys from the end of last season. If you don't have this then the only other source is the statistics page from the Racing Post. This is fine when well into the season but not a lot of cop near the beginning, especially on the Flat when all the stats are from the All Weather.

TAKE CARE THAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE CORRECT LIST FOR THE TYPE OF RACE (FLAT OR JUMPS) THAT YOU ARE RATING.

If the jockey appears in the TOP TEN then give the same number of wins as the TOP JOCKEY at the course regardless of the actual number of wins which you noted above.

If the jockey appears in the TOP ELEVEN TO TWENTY names then give HALF the wins of the top jockey at the course OR the ACTUAL NUMBER OF WINS for this jockey. WHICHEVER IS THE GREATEST?

If it appears outside the top twenty or does not appear at all then give the jockey the actual number of wins they have had on that course.

TO SUMMARISE

If a jockey is in the top ten they get 100% of the highest number of wins on the course.

If a jockey is in the next ten (11 - 20) they get 50% of the highest number of wins on the course OR the actual number of wins. Whichever is the greatest.

If a jockey is outside the top twenty they get their actual number of wins on the course.

The reason for this strange ruling is that top jockeys do not all participate in the same number of races at every course, so a top jockey could only have a few wins because he has only raced at that course a few times. This does not give a true picture of the jockey's potential so this percentage method is used to 'even out' the figures.

IF THEY ARE IRISH JOCKEYS AT AN IRISH COURSE

A similar rule applies except this time it is:

If they are in the TOP 5: Use 100% of the top jockeys course wins.

If they are in the TOP 6 to 10 : Use 50% of the top jockeys course wins OR their actual course wins. Whichever is the greatest.

SUBSTITUTE JOCKEYS

Occasionally, a top jockey is not able to ride in every race at every meeting that his retaining trainer would wish for. In a case like this a SUBSTITUTE JOCKEY is used. This is usually a Senior Stable Jockey who will 'stand in' for the top jockey who will have been sent elsewhere to ride for the stable. This does not mean that the horse is not expected to perform as well as it would have done with the top jockey.

USE THE SAME COURSE WINS FOR THE SUBSTITUTE JOCKEY AS THE TOP JOCKEY AS THOUGH HE WAS THE TOP JOCKEY IF BOTH ARE PRESENT AT THE SAME MEETING. IF THE TOP JOCKEY IS NOT RACING AT THE SAME MEETING THEN USE 50% OF HIS WINS FOR THE SUBSTITUTE JOCKEY.

23) ENTER TRAINER COURSE WINS

You will no doubt be pleased to know that there is no funny business with this entry. Simply look up the trainers name (usually found in the same place as the jockey statistics) and enter the TOTAL number of wins that you find there. If the name does not appear then assume "0" wins.

24) IS THE HORSE OWNED BY THE TRAINER OR KNOWN FAMILY?

You should enter Y for YES and N for NO.

Simply look at the SURNAME of the owner and the SURNAME of the trainer of the horse and if they are the same then the answer is Y (YES). If they are not the same then the answer is N (NO).

25) IS THE JOCKEY TODAY MORE EXPERIENCED OR SUCCESSFUL THAN THE JOCKEY IN THE LAST PLACED RACE

Note that you should be looking at the last race in which the horse was placed i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th, after you have adjusted the form figures, (with the exception of 3 horse races).

The reason for this question is simple. If the last time the horse was placed the jockey was an unknown amateur rider and this time it is Steve Cauthen. Obviously, Cauthen will have had much more experience and is more likely to ride the horse to its full potential than an amateur. In this case the answer would be Y (YES). However if the last jockey was Brian Rouse and this time it is Cauthen, although Cauthen is (currently!) at the top of the jockey list, Rouse is still a top class jockey and as such would have ridden the horse last time out just as well as Cauthen should today. In this case the answer would be N (NO).

To tell if a jockey is experienced the rule is simple:

UK: If the current Jockey appears in the top 20 and the previous rider is not in the top 40 then the answer is YES.

UK: If the current Jockey is in the top 21-40 or an outstanding apprentice and the previous rider was an apprentice or amateur then the answer is YES.

IRELAND: If the current Jockey is in the top 10 and the previous rider is not in the top 10 then the answer is YES.

For any other cases the answer is NO.

Remember you should never try to discern the relative merits of the top professional jockeys in the UK top twenty table.

If the last race took place overseas (as is common these days) then because it is impossible to list all the possible jockeys, you should assume that the jockey was experienced and answer N for NO.

There are too many names that are forever changing, to list here and so your own "racing knowledge", gained through experience is the only way to learn of a jockey's experience.

If you do not have access to a Jockey's name in the previous race then assume that they WERE experienced.

26) ENTER THE NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST OUTING.

The number of days since the horse's last outing is in small print just after the horses name on the race card.

You should be looking at the last race the horse took part in regardless of any promotions/exclusions that you made for the form figures

EXCEPT WHEN THE EXCLUSION WAS A WALK OVER, A THREE HORSE RACE OR AN AMATEUR RIDER NON HANDICAP RACE. In this case use the date of the new race in form figure three.

TO MAKE THINGS EASIER FOR YOU, IF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DAYS IS GREATER THAN 1 MONTH (28 DAYS) THEN YOU CAN JUST ENTER "99".

You must watch out for the case when a horse has only run once this season (therefore giving the answer to the previous question about the "Value to winner of the last race" as C for Current season) and then that race is excluded in this section. This will mean that the last race is now Last season and will cause an in consistency in the system. Therefore whenever this happens use the date of the race value you entered in the last race details section.

The system will sometimes (depending on the answer to the previous question) ask for:

27) SUPPLEMENTARY PLACE INFORMATION.

You will have noticed that the majority of the questions that the system has asked so far are aimed at the race in form figure three. This question is used to see if the horse has performed well in the other two races in the last three form figures. Looking at those two race s you should ask:

JUMPS

HAS THE HORSE FINISHED WITHIN 4 LENGTHS OF THE WINNER EITHER OF THE RACES IN THE LAST 21 DAYS?

If the answer is YES: enter "A" and ignore the next question.

HAS THE HORSE FINISHED WITHIN 4 LENGTHS OF THE WINNER EITHER OF THE RACES IN THE LAST 28 DAYS?

If the answer is YES: enter "B"

IF THE ANSWER IS NO TO BOTH QUESTIONS ENTER "N"

Note that this section will only be asked if the last race was in the current season and that race took place less than 22 days ago.

Remember that if you look at the race in form figure two and it was more than 28 days ago there is no point in looking at the race before that!

YOU SHOULD ENTER ONLY ONE OF THE THREE CHOICES N, A, OR B

30) HAS THE HORSE TRAVELLED A CONSIDERABLE DISTANCE?

In the United Kingdom the style of racing and the effects of the roads, network and transportation of horses by road, provides a factor which may influence many race results. Where a trainer has travelled 400 plus miles (round trip) to another part of the United Kingdom BY ROAD, it is extremely unlikely that the inconvenience of the travel and potential disruption to stable routine (stable staff missing one or two days) is without purpose and profit.

Although considerable travel by racehorses is an equally important factor throughout the world, a number of countries have centralised racecourses and training centres; and conduct race meetings lasting for twenty or thirty days continuously. Horses are stabled in or near to the course.

However, in the United Kingdom and Ireland the normal race meeting lasts one, two or three days with the racecourses and training centres dispersed throughout each country in a rural manner - often not adjacent to major motorway networks.

Therefore it takes considerable organisation and time PLUS scarce stable resources for the UK and Irish trainer travelling to other than "local" or nearby race meetings.

The important consideration is that a stable travelling is a vital supplementary factor which may influence the outcome of a race, should that travel distance be significant.

IN CONCLUSION, IF A TRAINER IN UK/IRELAND DISPATCHES A HORSE 400 MILES/550 KILOMETRES "ROUND TRIP" THEN IT IS SIGNIFICANT. OTHER COUNTRIES MAY VARY DUE TO LOCAL RACING/TRAINER PATTERNS.

Now follows a lengthy discourse on how to use the "Gazatteer" (that comes with the manual) on how to find out where the trainer has travelled from. This was one of the most time consuming aspects of using FORM MASTER. Of course it is out of date now, but there is an easier method. Simply use travellers check in the "Racing Post" and answer Y (YES) to the above question if the horse has travelled 200 miles or more to the course. If the horse has not travelled 200 plus miles then the answer is N (NO).

What you have to watch out for here is that the "Racing Post" does not always include foreign horse in 'travellers check', only the ones from stables based in the UK.

You will now be asked if

THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE ENTERED IS CORRECT?

If you answer Y (YES) :you will go onto the next horse

If you answer N (NO) : you will be able to enter the information for that horse again.

THIS COMPLETES THE ANALYSIS SECTION OF FORM MASTER. THE MACHINE WILL NOW COMPLETE ITS CALCULATIONS AND GIVE YOU THE RATINGS.

When all the information on the horses has been entered and the results displayed you will be presented with an option screen.

Just follow the prompts on the screen.

SYSTEM SUMMARY

The analysis techniques used by FORM MASTER have been employed profitably by the professional gentlemen, who originally commissioned the development of the computerised system, for almost forty years. The techniques are consistent and invaluable!

However use of a system such as this will always be subject to the undisciplined and impatient user who just must bet no matter what! Hopefully, you are not such a person and can control your emotions enough to correctly use the FORM MASTER system.

You should take note of the following guidelines.

* ALL NON HANDICAP RACES should be viewed cautiously

* ALL TOP-RATED RACEHORSES rated less than 50 should not be considered for betting and may be discarded.

* ALL TOP-RATED HORSE rated 75 plus are prime candidates and have the greatest probability of winning.

* Does the race include an unsuccessful "top-rated" horse from a previous race? Many raves are won by horses that ran below expectations in their previously rated race and which then "oblige" in a subsequent race.

YOUR BET AS AN INVESTMENT

When you have put all the suitable horses through the FORM MASTER system and have found a top rated horse, then provided the second-top horse is rated at least 10 points behind, the top-rated racehorse suggests A GOOD INVESTMENT. Several possible betting approaches are recommended and described on the following pages.

Betting to win only with a level stake, or combined with a proven staking plan gives a solid base for lasting "PROFESSIONAL" investment and growth of your "betting" money.

INVEST SENSIBLY WITHIN YOUR AVAILABLE MEANS AT ALL TIMES!

NEVER attempt to use capital which is already reserved for other domestic/leisure activities or bet more than you normally would on a single race as it may create stress and prejudice your judgement of the FORM MASTER system!

IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU SET ASIDE AM AMOUNT OF MONEY AS A BANK THAT YOU CAN USE FOR BETTING PURPOSES AND THAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE. YOU SHOULD DIVIDE THIS BANK UP INTO AT LEAST 20 EQUAL UNITS AND NEVER BET MORE THAN 1 UNIT ON EACH RACE.

OBSERVE THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF FORM MASTER RIGIDLY! DO NOT BELIEVE THAT RULE-BENDING AND EMOTIONAL ASSESSMENT CAB IMPROVES A METHOD WHICH HAS PROVED ITS EFFECTIVENESS FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS.

NEVER CONSIDER BETTING ON A SHORT PRICED OR ODDS-ON TOP RATED RACEHORSE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. That racehorse represents poor value. Look to see if the second-rated racehorse (possibly as an EACH WAY bet) gives better value.

Bookmakers and tote/pari-mutuel offices MUST be involved in every race, but the selective FORM MASTER user can wait the best opportunities where statistical interpretation (which is what FORM MASTER is using) is most favourable.

THERE ARE AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES IN ANY TWELVE MONTH PERIOD WITHOUT INVESTING YOUR MONEY AT POOR BETTING ODDS.

The following FORM MASTER methods are highly recommended:

1 Bet on the "top rated horse" in EVERY race WITHOUT RESERVATION.

2 Bet on the "top two horses" in EVERY race WITHOUT RESERVATION i.e. select the two highest ratings in each analysed race.

3 Bet on the "top-rated horse", but AVOID/IGNORE ALL "top rated" at odds of "EVENS" or "ODDS ON" prices. Select the "second top horse" when such horses are excluded and bet "each way". Note that each way bets are really only worth placing if the odds are greater than 6/1 otherwise you are only getting your money back or even losing if they are placed.

4 Bet on the horse that gets the "highest rating" from ALL THE RATED RACES as the ONLY BET OF THE DAY (to minimise outlay).

5 Bet the "top rated horse" from the race which offers the highest prize money (to the winner) for all the races i.e. THE TWO BEST RACES OF THE DAY in terms of prize money and the objective is TWO BETS FOR THE DAY.

THE FINAL THREE INVESTMENT SYSTEMS HAVE THE BENEFIT OF THE LOWEST INVESTMENT OUTLAY ON INDIVIDUAL RACE DAY I.E. THEY ARE THE BEST METHODS TO USE IF YOU WISH TO SPREAD YOUR BANK AS FAR AS POSSIBLE.

THE FINAL TWO INVESTMENT SYSTEMS HAVE THE BENEFIT OF THE FEWEST RACES TO ANALYSE ON AN INDIVIDUAL DAY.

EACH OF THE RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT METHODS ARE RELIABLE AND VERY CONSISTENT THROUGHOUT ANY RACE SEASON.

FORM MASTER IS VERY SUCCESSFUL AT GETTING THE FIRST AND SECOND HORSE IN THE CORRECT ORDER (A FORECAST) AND YOU MAY WISH TO CONSIDER SUCH A BET IN SOME RACES. WE SUGGEST THAT YOU BET NO MORE THAN 1/4 OF A BETTING UNIT ON A FORECAST BET.

WE CAN ONLY SUGGEST BETTING METHODS. THE FINAL CHOICE IS YOURS AND SHOULD BE BASED ON YOUR OWN AVAILABLE TIME, EFFORT AND MONEY!

 


 

IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE

FORM PREFERENCES

GOOD RECENT PERFORMANCE IN SIMILAR CLASS/STANDARDS OF RACE.

PLACED IN FIRST FOUR ON LAST RUN - UNLESS THE RACEHORSE WAS RAISED IN CLASS AND NOW RETURNS TO COMPETE AT ITS USUAL CLASS LEVEL

QUERY A STRONGLY FANCIED HORSE IF IT WAS UNPLACED ON ITS LAST RUN. THERE MAY BE A GENUINE PUBLISHED REASON FOR PREVIOUS RUN.

QUERY ANY DRAMATIC WEIGHT INCREASE AS COMPARED TO THE LAST RUN.

QUERY IMPRESSIVE FORM SYMBOLS AS THE RACEHORSE MAY HAVE BEEN "ON THE BOIL" FOR TOO LONG AND MAY POSSIBLY TRAIN OFF.

NOTE SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT REDUCTIONS COMPARED TO LAST RUN. EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION IF LAST RACE WAS AN AMATEURS ONLY.

NOTE SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN VALUE/CLASS FROM THE LAST RUN

NOTE SIGNIFICANT TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS BY A TRAINER.

NOTE THAT FORM CYCLE/WAVES OPERATE IN PEAKS AND TROUGHS.

ADDITIONAL CRITERIA

FITNESS? A RACEHORSE CANNOT MAINTAIN HIGH PERFORMANCE OVER AN INDEFINITE PERIOD - RACEHORSES HAVE FAVOURITE PERIODS

STRENGTH OF OPPOSITION: IS THE RACE VERY COMPETITIVE?

PREVAILING GOING: IS THE GROUND SUITABLE FOR THE RACEHORSE?

TIME OF YEAR: EXERCISE CAUTION DURING MARCH/APRIL AND IN SEPT/NOV WITHIN GREAT BRITAIN AS THE WEATHER/GOING CHANGES

VALUE FOR MONEY: CERTAIN RACECOURSES ARE MORE RELIABLE & CONSISTENT THAN OTHERS.

JOCKEYSHIP: IS TOP-RATED/HIGHLY-RATED RACEHORSE RIDDEN BY ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S LEADING PROFESSIONAL JOCKEYS? TOP JOCKEYS ARE INVARIABLE ASSOCIATED WITH GOOD CHANCES.

 


 

AUTHORS NOTE

Now that you have read through the system guide I am sure that you must be feeling a little confused by all the information contained within. Well on a personal note I would like to assure you that it is not as complicated as it may first appear.

When I first came involved with the FORM MASTER project I had never looked at a horse race. I had not even placed a bet on the Grand National!! The very first race I rated took me over two hours and caused a lot of confusion and doubt over the figures that I was entering. However, I persevered and now my average race takes me about 20 minutes.

In the following paragraphs I will explain how I personally go about rating a race. It is not meant to be the definitive method, nor do I claim that it is the best or fastest method. However, I offer it as a guide for you to work from while finding the method that is best suited to you.

I decide how much time I can spare for FORM MASTER and then put the suitable races of the day in order of prize money. The higher the prize the more likely it is that the horses will run to form and so I begin rating the highest price race of the day and 'work downwards' until I run out of time. I have found this method gives the greatest chance of success as the best horses run in the higher priced races.

When I have selected a suitable race, I take a Datasheet and fill in the section at the bottom with the date, time, racetrack, number of horses etc. Do not forget that you should use the table in the back of the guide, not the information in the paper, when deciding if there is any draw advantage.

When it comes to the number of horses to rate I usually leave that blank until I have had a chance to check which horses are eligible for rating.

I open the guide at the page which helps you decide if a horse should be included and I go through the questions one by one, checking to see if they apply to each horse in turn. If I find a horse that should be deleted then I normally put a line through the name on the race card as well as through the detailed form.

Now I enter the remaining horses name along the top of the sheet and the number of horses to be rated.

Next I look through the detailed form summaries of the remaining horses and mark the following by circling it or putting a star next to it.

I look for any three/two horse races, any foreign races in the win details or in the last race details. Any walk over or disqualifications etc. and any lower class races if they are the horses last race.

I then turn to the race card and fill in the following details for each horse.

Stalls draw position - if applicable, otherwise I just cross it off.
The number of days since last race.
Jockey course wins.
Trainer course wins.

I put a "0" for all horses that have NOT had a course win (and there for not had a course and distance win). You can tell this in the "Post" because there will be a "C" or "CD" after the name. If a horse is shown to have had a win on the course I look at the detailed form to find the actual number.

I now take each horse in turn and go through the detailed form filling in all the figures except the travel section, taking great care if there is anything unusual (an alpha form, a foreign race etc.). If you use a pencil it will be easier to go back and change a figure if necessary. For instance if a form figure is promoted to a win you will have to adjust the number of wins, the total prize money and possibly whether the horse has won this season.

The very last thing to do, apart from entering the figures into the computer, is to look at "travellers check" in the "Post" to see if any of the horses have travelled more than 200 mile to get to the course.

That is my method of rating a race. I make no claims about it. You may be able to find a much faster or easier way that suits you. Only time will tell.

Please give FORM MASTER the time and effort that it needs to be successful. It will pay off in the end.

One final note, take great care with your betting at the start of a season. At those times the form figures are based on last season's results and a lot can happen to a horse between seasons. Within a month or so of the season beginning there is usually more than enough up-to-date form for FORM MASTER's purposes. The one other time I have found it best to exercise caution with betting is when the ground is very muddy. Even the best of horses can tire very quickly when they are trying to run in a swamp!

GOOD LUCK!!