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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

How to Find the Best Pricewise Selections

The essence of successful punting, in my opinion, is to focus on horses that are attempting little, or nothing, more than they have achieved in the past. In other words, if you can identify a horse that has won, or been placed, in a similar race – in terms of class, course, distance and going – in the recent past, the chances are that it will be competitive once again, everything else being equal.

Of course, everything else is unlikely to be equal. In handicaps – which account for about 60% of the races run in Great Britain – any horse that wins, or is placed, will have its handicap rating raised, typically by 6lb or more. Adding weight affects the speed at which any horse can gallop, so you need to satisfy yourself that the horse in question is sufficiently progressive to cope with the weight rise. Furthermore, horses are living, breathing creatures that cannot be held at peak fitness indefinitely and the countless imponderables governing the outcome of any horse race mean that picking a winner is rarely as straightforward as it seems on paper.

Horse racing form is in the public domain, so horses with an obvious chance of winning are unlikely to escape the notice of bookmakers’ odds compilers, which brings us on to the elusive commodity known as ‘value’. According to the dictionary, value is ‘that quality of anything which renders it desirable or useful’,

The question of how to find value is worthy of an article of its own, but one person who seems to have the answer is Tom Segal, who operates under the Pricewise banner in the Racing Post. Segal specialises in trying to find big-priced winners in big handicaps, such as the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood and the Ayr Gold Cup. By his own admission, Segal takes a simple approach. He doesn’t rely on ratings or speed figures of any kind, but rather on extensively watching videos, intuition and a little guesswork. What he looks for, essentially, is an improving horse, at a ‘nice’ price, ridden by a leading jockey.

The nature of Pricewise selections means that losing runs – the longest so far being 45, apparently – are inevitable, but winners, at average odds a little over 10/1, provide more than ample compensation. Recent winners for the column have included William Henry 7/1, Buywise 14/1, Emperor’s Choice 12/1, Whiskey Sour 14/1 and Hunters Call 12/1 , you can't go wrong with RacingTips like that. Pricewise selections are notably more profitable on Saturday than any other day of the week, so it may be ‘wise’ to keep your powder dry until the weekend.

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