Key form elements

Here are some key form elements to consider when making your choices for a race:

Barrier position
This is the stall in the starting gate the horse will start from. In many races at many tracks, the barrier position or draw in the starting gate is of little account, but there are some distances at some racecourses where it plays an important role. You can get details of the significance of the draw in publications like Computaform, Computaform Express and Racing Express.

Watch out for horses who shorten significantly in the betting. Many of them don’t win, but money for a horse is usually indicative that the stable has some confidence about its chances.

Career record
A horse’s total of wins, places and lifetime starts give a valuable insight into its ability. The better the horse’s strike rate, the better the chance it has of being involved in the finish.

Distance suitability
Check the past racing histories of the runners to see those who perform best over the distance of the race in question.

Jockeys & Trainers
The top jockeys and top trainers win more races than their counterparts. So take a look at the statistics to see

Racing surface
If the track is wet, check which runners have performed best in such conditions in the past. And if the race is on sand (Vaal Sand and Flamingo Park are the two sand racing surfaces in South Africa), you are best advised to opt for horses who have a proven record on the surface.