A lot has been written about consistency in horse racing. Many believe that you can simply divide the number of wins into the number of total races for each runner in a race and you will find the most consistent runner. Once those figures are reached some believe that any runner who is at the top of the list is the most likely winner. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

That simple statistic may tell you which horse has the highest winning percentage based on all its races, but that doesn’t take many factors into account. For instance, what if all those wins were on the turf and today’s race is on the dirt? Should you therefore only consider races run on the same surface? That’s a start but not the complete solution to finding the most likely winner.

There is also the matter of distance and form cycles. What if the horse has never raced at today’s distance? Filtering results by distance might further narrow down the field, but once again, that isn’t enough. You must also consider the matter of form. While a horse may show 7 wins in its career, where and when did they occur. When a horse is in mid-season form it may rack up the wins very quickly sometimes even stringing them together.

On the other hand, during times of lameness or being out of shape, that same runner may rack up many losses. Perhaps the best way to solve the form problem is to only consider the win percentage for horses that have shown some recent form. If a horse has run competitively at the distance in the last thirty days and at the same or a higher class level, then that one may be capable of competing and then must be considered a contender.

Finally, there is the matter of the connections of a horse. While horses may run well for one trainer they may not do as well for another trainer. The same may be said of jockeys. A certain jockey may win often with a horse and yet it performs worse with other riders. Therefore, if you’re going to try to use the number of wins compared to the number of races as a gauge you must also factor in many other things.

The best method is to look at the runners in their current condition and with their trainer and jockey of the day and see if any fit a profile of a winner at the distance and surface and if they are in mid-season form.

Source by Bill Peterson