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By Brett Craig

Low dividends are the bane of punters wanting to back consistent horses, yet consistency remains as a key determining factor in seeking winners. Last year I wrote about how prepost favourites which were also top rated horses (using Winform Ratings) were more likely to win than the normal average of winning favourites. Since then Garry Robinson has done some work on the source of prepost favourites and found them to be a less reliable guide than in the past.

I began to seek other avenues as my source of the best chances in the race. Malcolm Knowles has produced an excellent series of books relating to many racing factors. The two most important of these is his Consistency book and his Prizemoney book.

Ranked average prizemoney has always been a good guide to determining the class of a horse. The better the race the more prizemoney, and so, a horse that has a higher average prizemoney than the other contenders in a field, is going to be the horse that has raced in better prizemoney races and earned more as a result.

A city raced horse will generally earn more prizemoney than a country raced horse even though the country galloper may well have won many more races. The problem with these higher rated prizemoney horses is that the market often takes this into account and therefore you will get lesser dividends as a result.

The key to this is to get a much higher strike rate. For this you should look to factors like recent form, the barrier draw, ability to handle today’s track conditions and so on.

The city horse which may have finished 4th to 7th last start but beaten by only three to four lengths, may prove to be a better prospect than the last start country or provincial winner. The prizemoney factor may well be the difference.

In a recent analysis using the Winline GTS system developer, I discovered that the best results were achieved by backing only those horses that were ranked in the first two on prizemoney and also in the top five place rankings. In other words, I used two of the most important winner finding factors about.

The average dividend returned was low but the strike rate was high. It was high enough to return a profit on both the win and the place, which is the most stringent test you can apply to any system

The source of selections was the Winform Ratings and I confined the base selections to the top two chances. The strike rate improved from an average of over 30% of races won to over 60%. Such a high strike rate does offer the optimum chance for a punter to win.

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