The idea of publishing these Punting Secrets came after we were asked how our Best Bets from our Bet Selector software were arrived at. Before revealing some of our secrets please note you can find these Best Bets (for most Saturdays) on Neale Yardley's page on Google+:
Our Bet Selector software gives each horse in a race a rated price that looks like a TAB dividend but actually reflects the predicted chance of the horse winning. The shorter the price the higher its predicted chances so to ensure a fairly high chance of success we like horses that are (a) top rated (ie have the shortest rated price) and (b) have a rated price of less than $3.00 (if rated $2 they should win 1 in every 2 races). All of the above best bets meet this criteria.
Bet Selector actually has three sets of rated prices, namely its original Base Ratings, its class based Better Ratings and it consistency based Plus Ratings. Confidence in a selection is boosted if the horse is top rated by all three rating sets. Most of the above best bets also meet this criteria.
Finally it is important that a selection won or finished fairly close to the winner at its last start. Normally this is always the case with highly rated horses but it is worth checking just to make sure. Also note you can't use this as a criteria by itself as sometimes there are quite a few horses in a race that have won or finished close to the winner at their last start - and in these cases it is imperative to use the rated prices as mentioned above to see if a standout can be found.
If you don't have our Bet Selector software then you can view the program's rated prices for the three sets of ratings mentioned above at www.bestform.com.au - this will cost you $55 a month if you wish to view data for upcoming meetings but please note it is free to view the past 7 days info.
The higher the quality of the races you look at the better as higher quality races are more predictable (partly because the past form is better disclosed and more consistent and partly because the horses are all trying harder to win the larger prize money on offer). Narrowing selections down to Saturday metropolitan meetings (eg Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) is a good start in this regard but a mechanism for picking out the better quality races is still needed. Prize money on offer is an obvious indicator of race quality and these days prize money of at least $100,000 is a good indicator.
Most of the above best bets do come from high prize money races but one of the problems with prize money is that sometimes high prize money races don't have high class horses in them and sometimes low prize money races do have high class horses in them. For these reasons it is better to look at the class of the race and Bet Selector has an avBase figure that gives a numeric indication of an upcoming races class. A classic example of this is at Caulfield on 11/02/2012 where our best bet came from race 1 - it was the lowest prize money race of the 9 race card but was the second highest class race (to the CF Orr stakes) according to Bet Selector's avBase figures. Figures around 59 or 60 and above are considered good for this purpose.
Please note the avBase class figures for each race are only displayed in Bet Selector. If you don't have our Bet Selector software then you should consider taking out a $55 a month Bestform subscription as this will entitle you to a free copy of Bet Selector Gold (normally $450) which will reveal the important avBase figures. Bet Selector Gold also lets you run system tests so you can automatically test for standout selections and quality races as mentioned above.
High quality races can be risky for a number of reasons. For example a race is very hard to predict if it contains a lot of unraced runners (horses that have never raced before). And even if all horses in a race have had past runs, the race is still likely to be hard to predict if a lot of runners are first up from a spell (or in other words had their last start more than a couple months ago). Also risky are races where no horses have any recent winning form.
Bet Selector Gold and above allows you to test for these sort of things. In particular there are system rules for number of career starts and number of runs back from a spell and importantly these can be used to include or exclude individual horses as well as for including or excluding entire races. Don't forget if you don't yet have our Bet Selector software then having a $55 a month Bestform subscription will entitle you to a free copy of Bet Selector Gold (normally $450) which will allow you to test all these things and more.
Different TABs pay different prices and you don't usually know in advance which is going to pay the best price. The easiest solution to this dilemma is to have an account with an online bookie and use their Best Tote product. The one we recommend is Sportsbet's "Top Tote Plus" as it guarantees not only the best of the 3 totes but it also pays the starting price in the event that it is higher then the 3 tote prices. It applies to win betting on all Australian gallops races every day of the week. More details at Top Tote Plus
If you don't feel comfortable with online bookies then please note NSW TAB and VIC TAB owner Tabcorp will also pay you the best of the 3 totes or SP via their Luxbet site.