Handicapping a race thoroughly takes time and effort, but there are methods that can help reduce the time spent on analysis. One such technique is framing the race, or narrowing the list of potential winners quickly for any given event.
Focus Handicapping efforts
Effective handicapping comes down to getting the probabilities of success right for each greyhound or horse. The time spent on this task should however, be spent mainly on those participants that are likely to win, and not the also-rans. Whether the rank outsider has a 1% or 3% chance of winning is not of utmost importance in terms of finding the real betting value, as even when there is an edge for the punter, it will be too small to bet with confidence.
Techniques for framing
The first step to speeding up analysis then, is to narrow the field to those with genuine chances of winning. There are a number of ways this can be done. One is to use a prediction tool like those here at Tipsta. Our systems can be tailored to individual needs or opinions and then a ‘cut off’ can be set, beyond which participants are ruled out as having little or no chance of success.
For those with little time for analysis, where every second must be spent as constructively as possible, the betting market can be used to trim the field. The downside to this approach is that big price winners may be missed because a racer’s chances were written off prematurely. The betting market is however, a pretty decent guide to performance (bookmakers are not wrong very often), so in certain circumstances, it can be used to narrow the list of potential winners.
Key race trends
A more robust method is to look at key trends from previous races. Maybe 90% of winners had won over the distance at least once in their last three outings, or a race has never previously been won by a horse that has not won over three miles. These trends – where very strong – can enable a line to be put through a number of runners and allow more detailed analysis of those with live chances. The art in this approach, is in identifying a trend that applies to a large percentage of the past winners, not simple anomalies or coincidence that can be thrown up by a small sample of results. The difference is not always as obvious as it seems.
Using framing to speed up race analysis
With time, these methods can become ingrained, so that they happen without specific action, decisions are made intuitively. This comes with the experience of dealing with similar races time and again. Until such abilities have built up, systems or prescribed processes for reducing the field can prove very productive. So where time is short, use framing techniques to get the most out of any race analysis.