What is value to punters in handicaps? Now some may say backing and tipping the favourite could be value in a handicap however think of the bigger fields. Would you keep backing favourites in them where you could get a 20/1 winner (or placer) and continue to make profit. That all depends on your type of betting of course but for myself I like to try and spot value as with a good few handicaps favourites can always go off at a false price.

Now for me personally I like to do class 4 - class 6 races as you can almost certainly get value in them more especially the class 6 races where you won't get an improving horse but you get ones that are well handicapped which I will go into later.

Now apart from the all-weather you do get the big Festivals and the handicaps where they throw up some brilliant value and depending on who you bet with you can get the 1st 5 places.

So here's how I go about doing it and we will take the 3 forms of racing (flat, jumps and all-weather) into consideration.



Now the flat can be the hardest to work out for various reasons however it needn't take a long time to look through a race. Most days during the week you don't get big fields unless its sprints where you often get 16 runners.

Taking a race with say 10 runners my way of going through it is this. Firstly I look at the favourite (say its 2/1) and see it's won last time. I then have a look at its form to see what it had been doing previous to that run and if it hadn't been running well (could be due to bad draw, going or the trainer being out of form) and suddenly it got a everything it needed last time but this time it has a bad draw or won't like the going I then put a line through it.

I then start from the outsider and glance at its form and work my way through them till I've got around 3. I will then study each one more closely and if one is say 14/1 I will look even closer at why the bookmakers have it that price.

If its form had been poor I will watch its previous couple of races and given it may have had bad draws for those two races and now everything has fallen right for it in this (draw/going) I will have that as a bit of value and back it.

Dirt Racing


Now this is way different to the flat for me. Let me just say right now I very rarely back at Southwell because of the track although I will still give the handicaps a quick look at in case there's one.

I tend to stick to the other AW tracks and stick solely to class 6 races and there is a reason for this. Horses running in this class on the all-weather really can't progress in fact its basement level racing however all you do is take looks at their handicap marks and spot the ones that are well handicapped.

Most of the rest won't be any use and can be scored out quite easily. Bearing this in mind there is usually some good value to be had in these types of races.

Jumps Race


I will tend to do any handicap race over the jumps as long as there are more than 12 runners in the field.

During the week there are times when you can get decent fields. As you know there are no draw biases for jumps racing it's a matter of working out what horse will act on the ground and get the different trips.

A horse that gets good to soft will not necessary get heavier going. For me it's looking at their form and to an extent their breeding to try and work out if they will act on it.


  • 1- Start with the favourite and look at its form previous to its win last time (or placed effort).

  • 2- Work your way from the outsider and put a line through the ones you don't want till your left with about 3.

  • 3- Stick to class 4 - class 6 on the flat and class 6 on the all-weather.

  • 4- On the jumps make sure the horse can get the trip and act on the going.

  • Remember when you've found a horse that's a decent price always make sure and get the best odds at the bookmakers, as you can certainly get some difference in the prices if you put bets on the night before.

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