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Form Analysis & Race Maps

One of the most important parts of form analysis is the construction of a race map.

Once you have developed the required skills to build a race map there will be many occasions when it is really quite obvious certain horses are well worth risking. Conversely you will notice horses who will receive a magnificent run in transit and be afforded every chance of a win.

Usually horses fall into four main patterns of running, they are either:

  1. Front Runners
  2. On Pacers
  3. Midfielders
  4. Get Back Types

Let's say in a twelve horse field we have decided these are the normal early pace styles of the field with the numbers representing their barrier draws.

  • Front Runners = 1, 2, 5, 7
  • On Pacers = 3, 8, 9, 12
  • Midfielders = 11
  • Get Back Types = 4, 6, 10

How is this worked out?

Firstly, the form student must look at past runs of each horse at, or around, today's distance and, if possible, from a similar barrier draw. Some horses do not have the pace to go forward from a wide barrier but can amble along and slot in off the pace when drawn nearer to the fence. When they are drawn wide they are usually dropped back to the rear of the field. If a horse is normally a Midfielder but today draws an inside barrier have a think about whether the jockey/stable will want to urge this horse more forward than usual. Then have a look at what normally happened to the horse when starting from an inside barrier in past races.

It's fairly easy to slot in the Front Runners and On Pacers into their respective positions because most times out of ten, at and around this distance, they either lead, or relax just off the pace.

Once each barrier is considered a raw race map, as shown above, is constructed. In this map there are four normal Front Runners and when you have four Front Runners you are guaranteed the pace will "hot" early. This is good news for jockeys on the On Pacers as they can sit back and watch the Front Runners attacking one another. It's also good news for the Midfielders and Get Back Types because if the Front Runners attack one another they will weaken in the straight.

However, what will happen if the race map is constructed as below?

  • Front Runners = 1,2
  • On pacers = 3,8
  • Midfielders = 5,7,11
  • Get Back Types = 4,6,9,10,12

In this race the pace is going to be pedestrian like, that is, the Front Runners will metaphorically "walk" and this places the Midfielders and Get Back Types at a disadvantage. This occurs because the Front Runners will simply slot in the AB positions without any effort thus conserving valuable energy.

At about the five hundred metre mark the Front Runners will start to increase the tempo and leave the back markers, especially, flat footed. Just imagine if you are in a foot race and have ambled along without any stress and suddenly you take off, naturally, those behind you will be struggling to catch you because one, they have to accelerate as well, and two, they have to make up the distance they were behind you and then try and pass you.

In this race map the Front Runners and On Pacers have a terrific advantage if the field is comprised of horses of similar ability. This is so because the Midfielders and back markers do not have the ability to run faster than those ahead of them hence whatever distance they are behind early is still going to be the same at the end of the race.

Once you have constructed race maps, or studied those constructed by someone else, you will note there are varying combinations of composition. Learn from each by studying the pre-race map with what actually happened post race. This sort of analysis has you on par with professional punters and the top class trainers and jockeys. It's their livelihood at stake and it's your money when you bet.

Can you now see why it is so important to find the horse drawn well to get the best run in the race: that's where race mapping really pays off because it simply means more collects come your way.

We have hundreds of post race maps and results that are available for anyone to study on our race maps page. On each race map you will find the Front Runners, On Pacers, Midfielders, Get Back Types, our Predictor and Chances explained. To view our pre-race maps a login is required.

Race mapping is very important for punting smarter and bigger!

It'll be worth checking out Benchmark Ratings.