Today there is a plethora of Graded, non-handicap hurdles. If you were to back the favourite in these contests over the last few years you would have hit the winner close to half the time and the Top-3 in the Betfair SP market produced the 84%+ winners in such races. That is a really good argument to keep your analysis to the front-end of the market in such contests. So how can you extract profits from them long-term? Well, if you avoid the favourite which is a -6.53% Yield loser and back the 2nd and 3rd in the market BLINDLY over the last 2 years you would have shown a fairly decent profit as you can see below from the last few years in such contests but backed fewer overall winners and lose around 60% of the time.

This simple table, which is easy to filter using our Formbet RacE Database (FRED), highlights the folly of backing favourites blindly and why you should not be that obsessed with finding the likeliest winner of each race but the horse(s) that will produce the best long-term profits over time. It all comes down to patience, discipline and adopting the right, value mindset as mentioned in my Value Betting 101 article.


Now the other mistake punters can make is my treating all races as equals. Even the most novicey of punter can recognise the difference between the flat and the jumps, chases and hurdles but very few look at the more subtle differences between maiden hurdles, novice hurdles, mares hurdles etc etc so let's do that simply again with FRED.


As we can see here it's quite interesting that the Top-3 in the market become much more reliable depending on the age of the hurdlers competing in the contest with the strike-rate improving as we go up the age scale. It's a good idea to perhaps avoid juvenile hurdles like tomorrow at Fairyhouse in the 12:40 so we can add that race type to our exclusion race in FRED and then continue on with the analysis.

I'll keep the favourite in there while we check out other sub-filters based on our ratings. Once again below you can see the real strength of our FBR (FormBet Rating) which improves the Yield markedly if one of the Top-3 in the market are also in the Top-2 of our main ratings. This is the edge that our ratings provide over the majority of punters that don't use our ratings and happens every time.




Another really good rating is our COM (Combination) rating which measures the combined trainer, jockey, sire and damsire statistics for every horse in every race. Once again we can see from the image below from FRED that this also provides an improvement on the Top-3 in the betting market by focusing on the Top-3 of our COM rating.










Now how do things look if we actually exclude the favourite? Well, simply by backing the 2nd or 3rd favourite in non-handicap, Graded hurdles, excluding Juvenile hurdle races we can get the following -:

20.76% Strike-Rate
+61.62pts Profit
18% Yield

That is pretty damn good going over the last 2 years or so. By filtering on the Top-2 of our FBR rating it gives you -:

26.52% Strike-Rate
+52pts Profit
+39.48% Yield

By using the Top-3 of our COM rating it is actually better than the FBR in terms of profit, possibly because certain trainer, jockey, sire, damsire statistics just prove more profitable in these kind of race types -:

25% Strike-Rate
+78pts Profit
+40.78% Yield


So, as a simple ruleset

  1. CONSIDER Graded, Non-Handicap Hurdle Races
  2. AVOID 3yo only Juvenile Hurdle contests
  3. LOOK only at 2nd and 3rd Betfair favourites
  4. FILTER either of FBR Top-2 or COM Top-3 FormBet Ratings

Now which one of the filters in Step 4 you use doesn't really matter much but obviously I'd suggest just picking one or the other. I'd also suggest waiting as close to the ‘off' as possible if there is a doubt as to which will be the starting favourite so you can swerve it. You also have to remember that you will have 1 winner in every 4 races on average so bear that in mind when you are following this approach but you can laugh at your favourite backing friends when you show them your profits versus their losses at the end of each season.

Today for example FBR and COM filtered qualifiers are the same 3 selections-:

Newcastle 2.05 IRVING & TOP NOTCH

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