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Below our analysts have put together useful articles to help gain a better understanding of your punting and the racing industry as a whole. As you scroll below you will find the following articles:

1 - Minimum Bet Laws - Aus

2 - Importance of Speed Maps & Position In-Run

3 - Rating Your Own Markets

4 - Sales Diary

5 - What To Look For At The Sales?

6 - Stage by Stage Breakdown of Yearling Post-sale

7 - Gear Changes - How They Effect A Horses Chances

8 - How to Access Recent Form 

9 - Pro Guide To Assessing A Horses Chances

10 - Q & A With Our Analysts - Part 1 - Pikey's Pacers (Latest)

Q & A with our Analysts - Part 1 (Pikey's Pacers)

Education Article Series: 10th Edition (10a)

Author: Prince

Welcome to this two part series, where we will be delving into the mind and thoughts of our two new analysts at PPA, Pikey's Pacers and Pro (Willo). These two have made an emphatic start to their PPA careers, so I thought it would be a great idea to learn about more about them and their racing minds.

Part 1: Q & A with each analyst, learning more about their racing background, what hooked them into the game, and some of their memorable (or not so memorable) punting stories.

Part 2: Educational article about how each of them do the form for a race/race meeting. What they look for, any tips and tricks they've found along the journey. This will be extremely beneficial for anyone looking to take their punting to the next level.



One on one with Pikey's Pacers:

1 - Tell us about your punting journey - How did it start?

Started out doing form on thoroughbred racing, saw them okay, but in the end, my time investment fluctuated a lot meaning my results would greatly vary. This turned my attention to the Standardbreds (harness racing). Started doing a bit of form, had a couple of nice wins early, on a very well named horse called Fat Prophet. Once at Albion Park then in the same week he was at about $21 at Menangle sweeping home from last and running right away with it. Thought how good is this and from then on in, I was completely hooked!


I'm someone that's all in, or not in at all. Would've spent nearly a year and a half listening to every educational podcast there was, firing questions off at anyone that would respond. Analysing races until my eyes nearly turned square. Falling in love with the sport, I just really had this deep desire to be successful punting on Queensland harness racing.

2 - What's your most memorable day at the race track/memorable collect?

Spent a couple months following a horse called Kanye Crusader, kept drawing poorly at Redcliffe and couldn’t find the front but kept running big races. I thought the trainer had just been building with him for a race at Albion Park, had a look at the race and thought he’d go up $3 favourite and he’s gone up $21.

Sent it out as my best bet, told anyone that would listen I thought he'd win. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when he dropped them and completely ran away with it at the 400, finishing up with a winning margin of 13 metres.

3 - When you think about your punting, what comes to mind when I ask about your sickest beats?

Found a few really good chances at odds one Sunday at Marburg. Bet up all of them a $3.2 chance, a $7 chance and an $11 chance. Put them in stacks of multis, first two horses both won really well things panned out perfect.

Heading into the last leg I just needed a horse called Major Slip Up (bad omen in hindsight the name) to stick his nose out, a horse I had been following for a while that just needed a driver change I thought. Got that driver change he needed so couldn’t believe the $11 on offer early.

He did a stack of work, was wide the way home and drove late to just get up….. or so I thought.. caller has called it the winner, but its been done on the line as it turns out. Reckon I watched the replay 100 times looked at the photo 200 times. He still lost.

The final blow was him coming out a week later and winning at Marburg at almost identical odds.

4 - What's the typical Saturday routine when you're settling in for a big day of punting/racing? Any rituals/Supersitions?

Try to avoid being too superstitious for my own sanity!

I'll usually just keep an eye on markets throughout the day, while it probably won't help for that particular day it is very useful knowing which horses the market trends towards and why it might be trending towards those runners.

5 - Who are your favourite horses/drivers/trainers?

Favourite horse: I really like Just Dessy at the moment, he's such a smooth mover, really good looking big horse. Has cracking gate speed, always looks like he’s just bolting for a run in behind them, awesome watching him shoot up that sprint lane at Albion Park. He was one of my first Saturday winners for the PPA team.


Favourite trainer: Donny Smith has been working magic with the horses that have landed in his stable recently. Le Tissier has gone from a mid grade battler to a genuine star, the stable purchased him for $4k in early December he's since won $50k and I believe they have recently sold him to the US for something similar, incredible training effort. I am sending a horse I own to him shortly and am hoping he is able to manage something similar.... Prayers.

Favourite driver: This is a bit of a left field pick but I love backing Danielle Vievers, know when a horse gets the right draw and is ready to win she will be absolutely launching it until it finds the top. Generally not a driver the market tends to find early and some of her drives go up big odds, have had some success with Rocknroll Classic a few times last year including one win at $21.

6 - If you've had an absolute fill up on the punt, what do you do to celebrate?

Last time I had a huge collect I bought a couple of horses, best thing I have done.
I'm usually just keen as to get stuck into the next meeting after a big fill up so will treat myself by doing more form!

7 - What do you do after a strip out?

I will usually go back through and analyse where/if I went wrong and how I can learn from that. Then just try put it behind me and move onto the next meeting!

Dwelling on those bad days you can sometimes end up turning 1 or 2 bad days into 3 or 4. Have to back yourself in and trust the process, winning long term is the goal. Bad days here and there are inevitable.

8 - What are 1-2 tips you'd give someone wanting to take their punting more seriously? 

I love spreadsheets and tracking my results, I found it was a really big help for knowing which tracks/days you might be going best on and where you can improve.

Think the biggest thing for me has been really analysing where things might have gone poorly or gone well each bet, can learn a lot from both winning and losing. Not every winning bet was a good bet and not every losing bet was a bad bet, price is king and if you take good prices consistently you will come out on top in the long run.

9 - Lastly, what's your favourite thing about horse racing?

I love how much people from pro punters, trainers, drivers all were so generous with their time helping me learn and grow. There are a lot of really good people in racing and it's a fantastic community to be a part of. Few things give me greater joy in life than helping steer people into a winner!




Pro Guide To Assessing A Horses Chances

Education Article Series: 9th Edition
Author: Prince

When it comes to doing form its much like skinning cats... more than one way to do it. With so many different data providers and rating systems there really is no right or wrong way to do form. Below I have listed some of the more popular ways to people do form and how they all work. Whether you be an aspiring professional punter or just want to increase your general knowledge / involvement in this great game.

Methods / Form programs:

Punting Form: For the numbers and facts men & women. Punting form uses a compilation of years and years of track data of similar distances and ratings and produces a "standard time" which is considered bench mark. This service offers both all class and class specific benchmark figures and gives a great guide in determining what will be good form races. Costs to get a membership - but they do provide weekly free meets for beginners too.

GTX: Another one for the numbers men & women out there. There are multiple different aspects to GTX however the main (and best in my opinion) is the Weight Performance Ratings (WPR). The WPR is a weight rating that is interchangable across all grades and classes that gives an expected performance rating for a horses upcoming race. GTX is great as while it offers a predicted 'figure' it also allows its uses to administer some creative control as it doesn't take into account what is subjective in racing, i.e. bad luck, poor map, etc. Another paid service for the serious punter.

Replay Punters:The old trusty eye never let anyone down did it, well thats not entirely true however I sincerely believe that to gain the full benefit of the above two form methods you must also watch replays as there are certain things the numbers miss that the eyes won't.

There are plenty of other ways you can do form and by no means do I knock anyone for choosing to do it a particular way. Its all about finding a way to keep it enjoyable, intriguing and most importantly profitable. Comparing horses past performances, lining up their previous history at track and distance, jockey performance - using your own knowledge is all part of the fun.

Princes Experience

There are so many different factors in assessing a horses chances in an upcoming race. From weights to barriers to speed map to distance to jockey… I could go on all day. When starting my form the first things I check are the weather (for track rating), wind & rail position (for pattern). 

I highly suggest to those looking to take doing their own form more seriously to start recording wind and rail data after a meeting and map out where every winner/placegetter settled in run and the lanes they ran on in the straight to get an idea of the pattern.

Once I have determined if there will be an obvious pattern or not I move on to the speed map. An article posted in the Autumn outlines how I do my speed maps and the importance they have in determining a horses chances. It might be different in other states but from personal experience in WA the tracks often through up obvious patterns which makes nailing a speed map the most crucial part of my form. Identifying where every horse will settle (roughly) is important, however, the most important aspect for me is determining the race shape and which horses are best suited to how the race will be run, I.e. slow tempo makes it harder to make up ground. If you find the most advantageous place to be in running it goes a long way in determining how can and can’t win the race.

One thing I do that is somewhat unique is note a profile of every horse in WA. This isn’t something that is recorded it’s more just an assessment mentally of what type set up, race shape, etc, gives a horse the best chance of winning. This isn’t used as the be-all and end-all of my form, instead just an extra layer to my form that I feel gives me an edge in finding a few that most won’t. This varies from assessing horses that perform at particular tempos, weights, runs in preps and many more. This is something that is built over time by watching virtually every race in WA for the last 4-5 years. I also do a review after every meeting and give a + or - on the quality on the run of every horse in every race (-1L as pattern suited or +1.5L held up til 200m). I recommend doing this regardless of being a ratings or replays punter, it’s not something that requires a base rating or figure to pin it against as it just adds an extra edge in picking up on certain runs that people will miss.


My next step is to take everything I have in front of me and (in summary) determine a ranking where I think each horse will finish. This is before I price anything, I will make sure I have what I think will be the finishing order set. In races where I can’t determine who should be favourite it gives me an indication my confidence levels aren’t high and therefore shouldn’t be betting. In markets where I struggle to price a few after my fav or top two in market it gives me a clear guide that I can really narrow in my top few selections. 

The next stage in pricing my markets and for me it is all opinion based and 100% subjective. I do my best not to take into consideration what I think a horse will open as I feel that is where I lose my edge. If you didn’t know already I’m a narrow minded man and I treat my punting very similarly, I firmly believe that once you start questioning your prices your screwed… once you have set your prices stick to your guns. I tend to set my markets at anywhere from 90-98% which gives me an edge over the bookies, if a bookie price comes up over my price its a clear bet.



As for changing my prices as patterns start to form its something I’ve only recently started to try my hand at so by no means will I claim to be any kind of expert on it. However, I do feel it’s something that adds another dimension to your punting arsenal and can turn a meeting from a lost cause to a real money making opportunity. 

As mentioned above there really is no right or wrong way to do form so I encourage anyone who wants to start doing form to just a pick a method, whether it be through a ratings system or just watching replays, they all work its just a matter of finding a way to make them profitable long term.

If anyone ever has any questions about anything form related, whether it be about myself or any ratings or method I'm always more than happy to help, just flick through an email. Tune in next week for advice on all things bookie promos and how to best use them. Bye for now.

How To Access Recent Form

Education Article Series: 8th Edition
Author: Prince

Assessing a horse's true chances in a race requires more than just a glance over its finishing positions and numerical form from recent starts. A true analysis must be done of its prior starts to discover why the horse performed the way it has.

For example, a horse first up well short of its ideal distance who runs a nice sectional home from last into 6th shouldn't be viewed in a lesser light than a horse 3rd up into its prep, at an ideal distance, who got a dream run behind the leaders and faded into a 5th. It is important to look beyond the numbers and make your own assessments of a horse's performance.

There are a number of variables/factors I put in place when doing my form and analysis of a horse's previous performances.

How well suited was the horse?

- This begins with class. What grade has the horse previously performed in and to what level did the horse perform in said grade?

- What distance range is best suited to the horse and what type of performance has the horse offered when previously raced at the distance?

- Was the horse at peak fitness or was it coming off a long break?

- Where did the horse settle in run and how does that compare to its usual pattern/when its performed at its best? If it was wide or caught in traffic adjust accordingly.

- Was there a pattern on the day? Did this have a negative, positive or neutral effect on the horse? i.e. Leaders bias or hot/cold rail, etc.

- What weight did the horse carry? Is it proven to handle that weight or has it underperformed in its previous starts at same weight?

How was the horse expected to perform? 

- What price did the horse start? Was there a betting move? The market is a great guide into how a stable or others are expecting a horse to perform. A firming in betting is often an indication that horse should perform well and vice versa for betting drifts.

How well did the horse perform?

- What was the horse's finishing position and margin in comparison to the expectation based on all the above factors. Depending on how you do your form, it is possible to add a numerical figure to the performance either positively or negatively. i.e. +1L better than expected performance.

Once I have made adjustments to its previous run, it's time to move on to the current race. Stay tuned for article number 9 Tuesday week and see how this info is used to help assess a horse's chances at its next start.



Minimum Bet Laws - Aus


Educational Article Series: 1st edition

Authors: Pro & Prince


We have had requests from our members to further explain how Minimum Bet Laws work. We have broke down state by state by state below...

The rules stipulate the minimum bet size that bookmakers must accept on the race concerned. The minimum bet laws only apply to fixed-odds betting. Should a bet not be accepted to the MBL then you should follow up with your wagering operator. By bringing in MBL's it has allowed punters using winning accounts to still be able to place a bet.


All punters are able to bet on Victorian races as soon as final field markets go up under a change to the Minimum Bet Policy.  Under the policy in Victoria, bookmakers must allow punters on Victorian thoroughbred racing to win up to $2000 on any one metropolitan win bet and $1000 on any one non-metropolitan win bet.


QLD thoroughbreds have followed the same policy as Victoria allowing punters to win up to $2000 on any one metropolitan win bet and $1000 on any one non-metropolitan win bet as soon as markets are available.


Punters on NSW thoroughbreds will have to wait until9am AEST Race day to be bet to win the standard $2000 on any one metropolitan win betand $1000 on any one non-metropolitan win bet.


Same will apply for those looking to place a bet on SA thoroughbreds, after 9am ACST Race day they will be bet to win the standard $2000 on any one metropolitan win bet and $1000 on any one non-metropolitan win bet.


It took until November 2021 to introduce them but they finally cracked, following the NSW model of 9am AWST Race day being bet to win $2000 on any one metropolitan win bet and $1000 on any one non-metropolitan win bet.


Punters will only be bet to win $1000 on any Tasmanian thoroughbred race after 9am AEST Raceday.


Punters will only be bet to win $1000 on any Canberra thoroughbred race (excl. Black Opal Stakes meeting which is $2000) after 9am AEST Raceday.


Importance of Speed Map & Position In-Run

Education Article Series - 2nd edition
Authors: Pro & Prince

Considering a horses potential settling position in-run is a crucial element of good analysis and allowing yourself the best opportunity to make a profitable investment.

Accurately predicting the winner of a race, or its probable chance of winning is not something that can just be guessed - as we all know! Otherwise everyone would be doing it full time! So below we will break down one of the most important variables - the importance of a speed map.

Speed maps are not easy, if your runner misses the kick, is drawn wide, gets held up (insert dozens of other potential problems) then your entire map can be out the window in the first 50m of a race.

Although nothing gets me on the edge of my seat and my blood pumping more than a horse storming from last to win all over the top of them, statistically leaders and those that sit just behind the leaders have a much higher strike rate than those settling further back in the field.

To understand this further we must ask, why this is the case?

On speed runners: Despite there being hundreds (if not more) of variables that every horse is faced with during a race, those that settle in the front half of a field fall the beneficiary of dictating tempo, having minimal ground to make up at the business end of the race, avoiding interference, losing momentum or covering extra ground.

Back markers: On the contrary horses setting towards the rear of the field are much more likely to encounter traffic issues, fall victim to race pace, cover extra ground and losing momentum trying to find a clear path. On average they don’t win anywhere near as often in comparison to there market price should suggest and is difficult to profit from long term.

Key Points:

- Try to focus the majority of your bets around on speed runners. (Not all, but the majority) It will go a long way towards increasing your profits.

- Statistics show that there is a better POT (Profit on turnover) backing runners that settle in the top 4, rather than the back 4.

-Learn to create a speed map or use those available from trusted sources and sites. Then look at tempo / track conditions & bias and start to gather a picture of whether it's a bet that will make you a profit long term.

-If your runner has a clear better sprint than the other horses in the field (You can use previous race data of 600/400/200m splits to give a basic guide)  and your runner is going to be settling in the top 4, it will be giving itself every possible chance to win the race. If it settles last and they run extremely slow throughout the race (meaning the front runners will have plenty left in the tank for the finish) then you have to ask yourself, is the sprint of your horse superior enough to still bowl past the entire field? Probably not.

Where to find speed maps:

-Most betting apps
-Dynamic odds

There are endless sources. Give it a crack at creating your own on excel.

My Experience (Prince):

When sitting down to do my form the first thing I do is create my own speed map.


Well in my humble opinion it is the most crucial aspect/variable in a race to decipher what is the right price for each individual runner and has delivered the most success for finding form/going on hot streaks.

To truly understand the benefits of a speed map I think it is crucial to first identify a profile of what every horse needs to be best suited to winning. Whether it be slow tempo, fast tempo, galloping room, finding rail, etc etc.

By correctly predicting a speed map (or as close as possible) you allow yourself the best opportunity to truly rate every horse's chance of winning.

Being able to understand if a horses chance is increased or decreased based on a likely settling position allows a punter to place a more accurate figure on the likelihood of a horse winning.

Once I've worked out my map, how can I use that information towards working out the probability of a runners chance of winning that race? Stay tuned for article number 3 next week and how you can use this info to rate your own market.

Rating Your Own Market

Educational Article Series: 3rd edition
Authors: Pro & Prince

We get the occasional question about how our analyst rate a market, to come up with our final odds and decide on whether it's a bet or not. Particularly for those starting out and have no idea where to start.

Each analyst has their own techniques and strategies, but here is a look into how Prince would work through a market when first learning the trade. It's a little bit more elaborate now but when starting off this is a great way to kick off.

How do I rate my own market?

Once I have completed my full form and analysed every horse, the first step in creating my own market is deciphering what I perceive to be every horses chances of winning.

There are multiple ways of doing the above mentioned, whether it be through ratings, handicap/speed/time or just general form, whichever option you choose best fit, it’s then narrowing it down to if the race was run 100 times, how many would each horse win.

My first approach when doing this is to start with the horse you think would win the most times, 2nd most, 3rd most, etc. Just getting them into a ranking is crucial to then narrowing down to a specific number or range you believe a horse can fall into.

Once you have narrowed down a number or range, its then just a simple calculator job, e.g. ((1/40%)x100)) = $2.50.

Some markets will be challenging to narrow your ranges down, for me the best idea in those circumstances was to just rank them and unless my top selection went up significant overs at double figures it was a race worth avoiding.

I always bet to a 90% market which in turn would give me  roughly a 30% edge on the bookies  markets. This is to form less bets but more confident bets, and generally found myself backing less favourites. To consider backing a horse I still wanted it to be at least 10% above my marked price.

It is also important to follow the SP of every horse to see where the money came LS and why possibly the money has come. I also note the winners and losers each race and what transpired for them to finish where they did in the race. Building a profile on every horse is a crucial element to more accurately determine the winning chance of a horse. These are all factors you can use in future to adjust your prices once you have close to a finalised market.

This is the basics, we will continue to elaborate on further strategies  for more serious punters, including programs that can be used as the education series rolls on.

Sales Diary

Education Article Series: 4th Edition
Author: Prince

After a recent visit to the Magic Millions sales in WA. Prince gives us an insight below with whats involved and shares his experiences below.

When it comes to the sales there are multiple different approaches people take. Some people prefer to go inspect the horses at the stud farms prior to sale week, some prefer to wait until the day before they are sold, some inspect a select few, some inspect all and etc. I’m of the belief there is no 100% correct way to doing it and different people have different preparations that work for them. 

Pre-Sale Week

At the recent sale there was 310 lots (after withdrawals) on offer, all different types with different pedigrees and my first step is to run through their pedigree page and identify basically what I think is worth looking at based on a range of factors. These factors include the dams (mothers) talent on the racetrack, dam talent in the breeding barn, sire and dam compatibility, 2nd dam talent, etc. 

From there it’s basically identifying what I think is worth inspecting and the value I perceive the yearlings to be on pedigree alone. This year was a particularly strong book in WA and I managed to narrow the 310 down to 96 before first inspections. 

First Inspections

Day 1 is a case of getting through as many lots as possible and building a basic profile for what your seeing. I got through the full 96 on day 1 over a space of about 5 hours or so. When doing inspections the first thing is presence (especially in a sprinter), If they have presence and power and walk with intent it’s half the battle in my opinion. The next thing I look for is balance and everything in a straight line; when looking from the front I want to see everything in a straight line, from shoulder to knee to pastern to feet. When walking I like to look how straight everything moves, if a leg swings or a foot drags or anything of that sort, I also like to get a side view of the flex in the pasterns. For those that don’t know the pasterns are just above the feet, too long and they have to much flexion, too short and they absorb too much shock.

Second Inspections

From first inspections I’d narrowed my original list of 96 down to 38, so now we move on to second inspections. From here the process is exactly the same, looking at shape, balance, stride, etc. Basically just comparing notes from the first inspection and noting any differences from what was seen previously. In second inspections its also worth taking more notice to their temperament. They are only babies but its worth noting (positively) the ones that are still calm and collected on day 3 of being in a box. 

Third & Final Inspections

By this point I was down to 22 to look at for a third and final time. I do this on the day prior to the sale starting, this is because after 5 days of heat and being confined to a box the well behaved, well prepared yearlings really shine through. Once again same process, nothing changes. 

X-Rays & Scoping

After third inspections I’ll finalise my list and get x-rays and scope on the yearlings, they take roughly 12 hours to receive a report back and play a huge part in the final decision making process of what worth buying and whats not. If an x-ray or scope comes back with any major blemish I’ll instantly put a line through the yearling, horses are expensive enough to maintain without any major vet bills being piled on.

Final Report

Once all my notes are complete and x-rays are received I will then place a value on what I think the yearling is worth and what I would be willing to pay for it. By this stage I was down to 9 yearlings left on my list. One of those on my list was lot 85, a Press Statement Colt out of Bitter Twist, half to Ranveer a talented 3yo from the Matt Laurie stable. I’d placed an estimate value of $85k on the colt and managed to knock the hammer down at $50k. The colt had brilliant temperament and more importantly maintained his presence and power through every inspection. 

What To Look For At The Sales?

Education Article Series: 5th edition
Authors: Pro & Prince

Everyone looks for something different in a yearling at the sales, but the one thing I know for sure is a pedigree page promises nothing. When in doubt it’s best to take a better type physically then on paper so it’s ideal to know what your looking for when buying a yearling.


There are some non-negotiable things I have personally for every yearling:

Clean Scope: If a horse can’t breath properly it can’t race, simple as that. If people are willing or happy to risk their money on a yearling without a clean scope then be my guest but long term it is in no way a profitable investment in my opinion.

Clean X-Rays: Once again same sort of theory as the scope, if people are willing to take a risk on a horse who has signs of minor fractures or bone irregularities then all the power to them, but in my opinion the risk often outweighs the reward.

What I’m looking for varies based on the type of horse I’m looking at. Sprinting types are vastly different from staying types and often I love to see a build match a pedigree page (sprinting family producing a sprinting type).

Here’s a look at what I’m looking for in a yearling from a purely physical point of view:


Power - You want to plenty of power and muscle definition both at a stand and a walk when looking at the yearling. Generally their power will come from their hind quarter so always keep an eye out for big rear end.

Balance - It’s all well and good to have a powerful back quarter but if the horse lacks strength through its front and forearms then chances are that power will go to waste.

Small to Even Pasterns - In sprinters I hate seeing long pasterns. In simple terms the pasterns are the bone that connect the foot to the leg, lets call it the horses ankle. The pasterns absorb pressure when they flex and allow a distribution of pressure or as its called concussion. When they are too long in sprinters I find they struggle to absorb the concussion well and often lead to feet troubles.

Intent/Size/Presence - I want a horse to come out of the box and to notice him/her straight away. When it walks it should be a nice fluent powerful stride and have some intent when walking through the bridle. If a horse can’t walk well, chances are it can’t run well either.



Length of Stride - When a long distance type walks out it should be covering the ground nicely and stretch out with each step. A long efficient stride will help a horse maintain its stamina and is crucial for long distance horses.

Long Legs & Back - It is well documented that stayers are generally ‘leggier’ types and its with good reason. The longer the legs the more ground they can cover with each stride.

Light Frame - You don’t want a stayer to be holding to much size or muscle definition. Obviously if they are bigger horse it should be proportionate and maintain some muscle mass as well as long legs and a long stride. A nice fluid walk is key and should be the case with a light framed horse.

Even to long pastern - Opposite of the sprinter I like to see a slightly longer pastern in a stayer whilst still maintaining a close to 45 degree angle. A longer pastern gives them more flex and in my opinion is beneficial for a longer striding stayer.

Stage by Stage breakdown of Yearling post-sale


Education Article Series: 6th edition

Authors: Pro & Prince

Basic steps once you have purchased a yearling:

Choosing a trainer

Breaking in - what happens in depth

Early Training


Pre debut lead up


Once a yearling is purchased there are plenty of steps that lead up to seeing the colt or filly run around for its debut. This article will cover the main steps that play a role in getting a yearling into a racehorse and onto the track.


If an individual has purchased the first step is picking a trainer. Generally this is a decision made prior to the sale and often agreed upon before purchasing. Many different factors go into picking the trainer which range from distance the horse looks like it will be best suited running over on paper to training fees to personal relationships and plenty in between. 


Once a trainer has been chosen and transferred into the stable it is then up to the trainer when he or she thinks is the best time to send the yearling off to be broken in. The process of breaking-in a horse consists of teaching the horse to accept the saddle, bridle and weight of its rider. The breaker will do this gradually as to not overwhelm the horse and those that get through the breaking in process professionally often go on to thrive. 


Once returned from the breakers-in it is then up to the trainer to determine if he/she thinks its best to send the horse back to the paddock or push on to early training, this is usually determined by how well the yearling has come through its early education. Once moved on to its early training the yearling will be put through barrier training and like gallop work. Towards the end of the yearlings early training that some stride work will be introduced to teach the horse to maintain its action as its speed increases. 


A young horse will be put through at least two preparations before attempting to head to a trial or race. It’s not often that a horse will get through its first two preps with no problems, I.e. feet abscess’ or shin sore. However once the young has got through its final work (usually 10-14 weeks) they must trial/jumpout at least once prior to starting in a race. If all goes well and the trainer is happy then it is onwards and upwards and you will find yourself in the fate of the racing gods. 


Obviously there is plenty of other small things that go on behind the scenes however this is just a small rundown of the major steps that lead up to seeing your horse run on debut.

Gear Changes - How They Affect A Horses Chances?

Educational Article Series: 7th edition
Authors: Pro & Prince

Theres enough going on in a race without having to worry about what horses have what type of gear, however, some gear provides punters with a better understanding of a horses true winning chance.

In this article we will take a look at some of the more common gear changes, what effects they have on the winning strike rate and if the change is a profitable one.


Placed over the horses eyes, they help focus its attention straight ahead and prevent it from being distracted by things behind it. A trainer will often apply blinkers to switch a horse on and that may result in a sudden performance improvement (especially if blinkers are applied for the first time.) A downside however is they sometimes cause a horse to over-race or even sometimes miss the kick.

Horses with blinkers on for the first time actually presents a betting advantage but only in races 1400m and generally on horses with 10+ starts.

No statistical data on blinkers coming off but generally its best to take each horse on its own merit as blinkers affect different horses in different ways, i.e. A horse with blinkers coming off the start after pulling in the run and not settling would be viewed as a positive IMO.


Similar to blinkers in that it focuses a horses attention straight ahead, but allows more side vision than blinkers.


There is no strike rate or betting advantage for horses with winkers added for the first time.

Tongue Tie

A strap that keeps the horses tongue down in the right place, preventing it from either swallowing its tongue or more commonly choking down which obviously hinders performance.

Has a small betting disadvantage as opposed to tongue tie off first time which I have always viewed as a positive.

Feet additions

Grouping together bar plates, pads, glue on shoes, synthetic hoof filler, concussion plates and shock shod shoes as they all do similar things and 99% only go on when a horse has feet troubles.

Not as horrible as most punters think from a betting perspective however they do still pose a betting disadvantage when compared to those without.

General rule for myself is unless you can be confident a trainer has worked the horse in those additions or trialled with them and they have proven to be effective, then avoid at all costs.

Lugging Bit

Used to prevent a horse from hanging in or out during its races.

Has no effect on the strike rate or profitability for horses with lugging bit added.

Norton Bit

Helps to stop a horse from pulling hard during its races.

Actually has quite a large negative effect on strike rate and profitability of a horse when the Norton bit is added. This addition should be viewed as a hinderance.

Barrier Blanket

A heavy blanket placed over a horses rump before loading into the barrier stalls. It helps to calm the horse during the time its standing in the stalls. The blanket is attached to the barrier stalls so that it naturally comes off when the horse leaves the barriers.

Can’t find the statistical data on strike rate and profitability of horses with a barrier blanket applied but have never viewed the addition as overly negatively.

Generally is effective in serving its purpose of keeping a horse calm at the barriers so I don't view as a negative or positive.

Ear muffs

Helps keep a horse calm and cancel out any noise. If the ear muffs are red, this means a horse will canter around to the barriers and have them removed when they are ready to load. If the ear muffs are black a horse will keep them on and race in them.

They have proven to have a slight negative effect on strike rate and profitability when compared to those without them applied.

Jamie Kah

Getting Jamie Kah on first time actually presents a slight betting advantage when the horse is favourite. Something about the soft touch of Jamie's hands on the reigns seems to produce winners.

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