The Best Horse Racing Form Analysis Databases
Racing Editor for bettingexpert. Always searching for winners "against the crowd" and trying to find the value.
Email : stephen at bettingexpert.com
What are the best horse racing form databases on the market? And how can they help you improve your betting? Today Stephen takes a look at the best available and how to make best use of them.
Which database is best for horse racing? How does it operate? Can I integrate my own views into it? How much time does it use up to run successfully? Does it lead to profits and successful betting?
These are the questions I will try to answer as we focus on the three major racing databases available today.
Available at : www.timeform.com
Firstly let me declare a bias here. I have used Timeform I myself since its inception and before that have subscribed to their paper based form service since I was 19 years old at University in Reading, England. (I chose Reading after carefully studying its close proximity to Ascot, Windsor, Sandown etc etc but thats another story). Over a period of years I have used the ratings and racereaders comments provided by timeform to bet with reasonable success, so do prefer this database purely because I am so used to it and its capabilities.
Basically Timeform I allows you to store many years of racing results, and access form comments at the touch of a button in a very user friendly format. They also produce racecards for that days racing with their unique ratings. This provides an excellent starting point when beginning to analyse a particular race and is helpful in getting a structure to price up each horses chances.
A typical Timeform summary reads like this -
€5.000 3-y-o: third foal: half-brother to bumper winner Dream Performance (by Oscar): dam, no form, half-sister to useful chaser up to 21f Dev: won maiden Irish point in May 2011: bought ?18.000 Doncaster May Sales: upped in trip, easily best effort over hurdles (modest form) when 2 lengths second of 10 to Overyou in handicap at Hexham last time, travelling best: likely to prove best at 3m+.
On the day of the race you can also enter your own comments as to how you feel a certain horse ran and the merit of the race in question. With so much racing these days this is essential in staying on top of the form, particularly in the Summer months when, with night racing, there can be up to eight meetings a day. For example "some promise but very slow run dawdle and left behind straight" with regard to Dont Tell Sailors running in July. One can be much more opinionated in comments than a traditional form service or newspaper that is anxious not to offend anyone!!
With Timeform getting bought by Betfair a few years ago, the site is also directly connected to the betting exchange and shows the prices available to bet and lay. This means you can conduct both race analysis and betting on the same page. With split second timing, especially during in-running betting, this is a very useful addition.
So what are the negatives? Well the cost is quite high and it is certainly not the cheapest at around £600 (each) for an entire flat or national hunt season. Also, since betfair bought out what was a privately owned company, the service has become more freely available and duplicated elsewhere, which hasn't helped prices when having a bet on those horse given a high rating or positive mentions.
Overall though I believe it is the complete service, with daily downloads allowing you to be updated instantly with recent results. It is an excellent starting point to merge your own opinion with those of experts who have been analysing racing successfully since 1948.
Available from : www.raceform.co.uk
This is very similar to the timeform product in that it provides a database for up to ten years of results and access to comments on every race. Raceform are the providers of the official form book, which means these are far more factual than the opinionated Timeform views. Many people prefer this especially as they can add their own views as well to flesh out the analysis.
Raceform is particularly useful for those of a statistical nature, with ten year trends and reports fairly simple to execute. For example you can run a report showing the effect of high numbered draw at Beverly in the past ten years, or how many horses win after returning from a lay off of more than a year and the profit and loss associated with these statistics. It really is as imaginative as you are and no stone is left unturned in the quest for winner finding.
So what are the negatives? The negatives are again the cost which is very similar to Timeform's depending on what length of subscription you opt for. Also the fact that race comments are "freely" available in print and easily access by the public. Although their racereaders are long established and capable, you are paying for views that are not exactly a "secret" in the betting world.
They is an excellent tour on the website which details further the various options available which is well worth viewing.
All three of these excellent databases have their merits but, on balance, I feel that Timeform I is the most complete and manageable. Whether you are a full time professional or just a follower of the sport, Timeform I provides the tools for you to maximise understanding and profitability. As with all these aids to the punter, it is only as good as the info you enter yourself, but at least with the Timeform analysis you have an excellent start.
You can follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenh61
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:
You must be logged in to post a comment! Sign up + or log in in the top right corner.