How To Pick Winning Horses

How to Pick WinnING HORSES Like The Pro’s

The Top 10 Steps EVERY punter should know

How To Pick Winning HorsesHow To Pick Winning Horses


I’m Bec, the Racing Analyst at The Sports Tipper.I started in the industry in 1990 and have worked in many roles from Raceday Coordinator for TABCORP to owning 3 TAB Agencies incl the largest Sports turnover Agency in NSW.

I came on board with The Sports Tipper in 2015 as they knew first hand about my excellent strike rate on selecting winning Thoroughbreds u0026amp; Greyhounds but also because they knew I had developed a Staking Strategy that was changing the game for punters.


Over the 20 odd years I worked for the TAB, I watched countless punters use every method imaginable to wager looking for those elusive winners. Not once did I see anyone nail it consistently.I watched people have multiple selection Superfectas through to the field on a First Four and everything in between.In around 2007 I started to really take notice of different things. I began track every race and look at the form of what horse was winning and why. Essentially I was took the time to reverse the process, I looked into the winners form after the race instead of beforehand to analyse how it could have won.I then took what I learned, paper traded for a number of years and then quit my job to put it into practice!

The easiest part of wagering on Horses is certainly having a Professional Analyst do all of the form for you. 

I’m not talking about the form in the Newspaper or someone who gives tips for free where they have nothing to lose if you don’t win. I’m talking about an Analyst who works full time at crunching the numbers to find their customers winners who doesn’t make their money on the back end through Bookmaker affiliate sign up links.Someone who succeeds if their customers are winning. Because, lets face it, if their tips aren’t winning and they aren’t profitable they’re not going to have a lot of customers and wont be in business long will they? These analysts need to be profitable,  they NEED to find you WINNERS!

How To Pick Winning Horses

The next best way is to learn how they do it… And that’s what we’re giving you here, our TOP 10 Steps to Picking Winning Horses that we use to find them ourselves.As you put the methods you’re about to learn into place, you should start to see an improvement in the amount of winners you’re picking. With regular practice of these methods you should start to see your profits improve. Now obviously, this isn’t all of the ways we use to pick a winner, I’ve added a few extra things we use to ‘thin’ out the fields at the end PLUSI don’t think I could teach you all the things I learned from working 12 hour days watching the races and crunching numbers for all those years in one document!


The next step towards profitable punting is knowing your STRIKE RATE and then your MINIMUM ODDS for PROFIT. We go into exactly how to do that, including giving you our simple Calculators to do it for FREE, when you purchase our STAKING FOR PROFIT series for Thoroughbred and Greyhound Racing


We’re listing, in order, the factors that we are looking at when Picking Winning Horses. Sometimes, particularly in larger races and to the utmost extent in the Melbourne Cup, its more about excluding runners who you consider cant win the race first.You want to be working out which runners can win the race based on them achieving certain criteria that a winning horse generally has. Its that simple. Its all about RISK Vs REWARD. You want to find the horse with the least risk of losing your money on and the one that also offers the greatest reward. And of course, you are PAYING FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT but you also want to give yourself the best chance of WINNING!Whether you’re a new punter or a seasoned pro, there is always something new to learn on the punt so we’re keeping this guide as simple to understand as possible for all levels of punters. 

For each Criteria we mention you, should allocate a point based on each runner who achieves that criteria. In a nutshell, the runner who achieves the most points in the race should be the likely winner and those who don’t achieve the points should be left out.

If you have a race where you have multiple runners on the same amount of points then you could consider skipping that race.You want to find a clear leader and the more points it has in front of its competition the more confident you should be of its chance of winning.


How To Pick Winning Horses


The grade of the race determines how hard the race is and is the first thing to look at.You want to try to ascertain if the selection could win in this grade of race

Firstly, is it in the same grade as last time? Did it win or place or even come fourth? Same grade if won or placed close is suitable.Is it moving up in grade after recent wins? Look for one or two grades up MAX only if it performed well last run u0026amp; look for a lighter weight to counter-balance the harder race. Moving up too many grades may be too tough. So an equal grade or just one grade up if its last win was strong is suitable.Is it moving down in grade due to under performing of late? This will be an easier race to win.So if the selection isn’t moving up too far in grade and has been doing well in its lower grade then it may be suitable. Ideally you’ll be looking for it to be in same grade it has recently placed in or only up one grade if it has been placing and just won at the lower grade. Also look for a drop in grade if it had recently moved up but didn’t quite perform and is going back to an easier grade again. 


Across the States in Australia there are different class rating systems

To be able to know if a runner is facing an equal, harder or easier task this run you will need to know at least a rough idea what a Benchmark race is compared to a Class race or an open handicap race.The classes differ from VIC, NSW, SA u0026amp; QLD so we’ve given you a rough comparison below to get you started.As an example, A Class 5 race is equal to a Class 6 Provincial race and is roughly the same as a Benchmark 70 and an Open Handicap 89 race. Class race numbers simply refer to how many races the horse will have won, a Class 5 is for those who have won 5 races or less. 

Comparative Classes

Open Handicap Rating


Benchmark Races














CLASS 6 (Highest)(Have won no more than 6 races)

BM 75


CLASS 5 or 6 Provincial

BM 70


CLASS 4 Provincial(Have won no more than 4 races)



CLASS 2 or 3 Provincial

Slightly > BM 65


CLASS 1 or 2 Provincial

BM 60


Weak Class 1 Provincial (Lowest)(Have won no more than 1 race)

BM 50-55


MAIDEN – Never Won A Race

BM 45 (Weakest) 

HANDICAP RACES – Where the runners have been handicapped based on their previous performanceRESTRICTED RACES – Where the race has specific conditions such as an amount of city or country wins to the colour of the runners such as only GreysOPEN RACES – unlike the previous two Classes, these have no conditions2YO – only for 2 year old Colts, Geldings u0026amp; Fillies3YO – only for 3 year old Colts, Geldings u0026amp; Fillies4YO – only for horses and mares aged Four YearsWEIGHT FOR AGE – Based upon the horses age u0026amp; sex, they are allocated specific weights (Usually a Group Race)

Quick Tip

Still not sure about the Grade?Head to and click on the race and then the selection.It will state if this is  Weaker, Stronger or In Equal Class from its last run.(FS means Field Strength and tells you if this field is stronger + or weaker – than the field it ran with last run. For example; It may be in an Equal Class but the Field Strength states -4.5. This means that although this class is the same class that it raced in at its last run, the field is weaker than what it raced against based on their form. The same accordingly to a +4.5 field strength means its a harder field than last run but in an equal class )

How To Pick Winning Horses


How To Pick Winning Horses


Distance is the second factor after Grade that we look at. Basically you need to work out if the horse has the goods or potentially has the goods to run the distance without losing puff. The horses previous race footage can help you to see how it handles the distance as well as its sectionals. Sectionals are the speed times that the horse runs in a race recorded at 200m intervals.With sectionals you would be looking to see how it runs its races. Is it super quick over the first 200m, settles in but fades after anything over 1000m? Does it take a little while to get going but comes home strong over the last 200m. Does it like a longer race and is a potential stayer? Is it a ‘new’ horse and hasn’t worked out its pet distance yet?You’ll want to select a horse who has achieved or come close to achieving at the distance previously or just shorter.

You can watch replays u0026amp; see sectionals information OR

Look for: The horses who have achieved results or come close to achieving results at the distance previously or at just shorter distance


How To Pick Winning Horses


A horses results over a particular distance are also affected by its Barrier Draw

In a shorter race the inner draw is important whereas a longer race the outer draw doesn’t have as much impact. The reason being is that the longer race gives the jockey more time to find their position in the race.In a larger field the horse may need to be quick off the mark to beat the inside runners for a good position, the shorter races don’t allow as much time to it so the inner barriers are preferable.So this is where we mentioned about how the runner performs over the distance, we want to be looking at how quick it starts its races. If the horse has faster sectional times at the start of its races compared to its competitors it appears that it may be fast enough to beat its competitors at the start of the race and be able to find that good race position.In a large field an inside barrier is preferred if its not quick off the mark. Smaller fields the outer draw doesn’t matter as much.

Look for:Short Races – look for inside draws OR fast sectional times from the jumpLonger Races – wider draws are ok but still prefer to have a fast sectional time from to give the jockey options. Look to see if it has been successful from a wide draw previously. Look at the replays of the races when it has come from the wider draw to see how it raced.

If the horse doesn’t meet these criteria then they do not achieve a point here


How To Pick Winning Horses


Next we’re looking at the weight for the horse. Is there any history of success at this weight or similar? Is this a drop in weight? Ideally you want to look for 59kg or under. Anything 60kg or over can be hard for a horse to carry over a good distance, particularly if the jockey themselves is light as its a lot of dead weight for the horse to carry. For example, if the jockey weighs just 50kg and the handicap has the horse set at 60kg then that’s 10kg of weight that isn’t going to ‘ride’ the horse, its going to sit dead.So you need to be able to see that the horse can manage the amount of weight for the duration of the race and the only way of gauging this is by how it has gone previously. (This is one of the reasons that the risk of betting on Maidens is sometimes too high as there isn’t enough history of varying conditions to base an informed decision on)Has the horse won or placed at the current weight?Is this a lighter weight than previously run with at same distance and was just out of the placings?This may mean the current weight appears manageable so you can allocate a point

Look for:Short Races – look for inside draws OR fast sectional times from the jumpLonger Races – wider draws are ok but still prefer to have a fast sectional time from to give the jockey options. Look to see if it has been successful from a wide draw previously. Look at the replays of the races when it has come from the wider draw to see how it raced.

If the horse doesn’t meet these criteria then they do not achieve a point here


How To Pick Winning Horses


Its best if your jockey has a winning strike rate at the track and even better to have that combined with a winning strike rate with the Trainer!

As the jockey is the one at the controls you want to make sure that he is the best person for the job. Ideally you want them to have previously ridden the horse successfully, and at the track they’re racing on. Otherwise to have ridden your selection successfully previously at any track would also qualify and you would allocate a point for either of these.You can check out how your Jockey is going in terms of Strike Rates at and then do a search for your Jockey. You can click on their Stats to see how they have been riding at the track in question. Your bookmaker site should have listed the last 5-10 rides for your horse and who has ridden them to see if the jockey has been the one riding them of late and see the results.


You can keep horses in your list of possible winners even if they don’t achieve a jockey point.

How To Pick Winning Horses

Has the jockey had any rides at this track u0026amp; if so, are they successful? Yes- keep in listHas the jockey had any rides on this selection at this track at all? Yes- keep in listDoes the jockey have a winning strike rate? Yes- keep in listIs the jockey an apprentice? If so, is the apprentice riding because the horse has a high weight and the apprentice has a weight claim therefore reducing the actual weight on the horse. Whilst this isn’t a deal breaker, if the jockey has ridden it before and has some success then this is a bonus and would keep the selection in list. I would consider excluding if an apprentice riding has no success at the track or on the selection elsewhere.

Look for:Short Races – look for inside draws OR fast sectional times from the jumpLonger Races – wider draws are ok but still prefer to have a fast sectional time from to give the jockey options. Look to see if it has been successful from a wide draw previously. Look at the replays of the races when it has come from the wider draw to see how it raced.

If the horse doesn’t meet these criteria then they do not achieve a point here


How To Pick Winning Horses


You will want to take the weather into account. Particularly if a meeting already has a Soft track rating and more wet weather is expected. More rain can change a track from a soft to a Heavy, particularly by the later races and the condition of the track can get significantly sloppier.

If a potential selection has poor results on a Heavy track previously, you may wish to leave this race alone. If your selection has an excellent record on a heavy track (is a ‘mud runner’) then this will work in your favour and your selection should stay as a possible wager.A poor weather forecast will have the most impact as opposed to fine weather as a day of fine weather will only marginally assist the track condition but a downpour can quickly change the track.

Consider also how the other runners have raced previously, although your potential selection may not have had excellent form on the current type of track, it may have done better than its competitors. You may even find that all of the field does not have experience in the wet, in this case you may decide to skip the race as it is too unpredictable.Have they won or placed recently in these conditions? Or have they won or placed in these conditions in its last prep?


How To Pick Winning Horses


Has your selection raced at this particular track before? Does it have a winning strike rate here?Some tracks are tricky, particularly Moonee Valley and a quick turn of foot is a huge advantage there as its such a short straight after the last turn. Although this criteria is certainly not one that is essential, history at the track of winning or placing is worth awarding a point for, particularly in the last stages of selecting your runners to wager on. 


How To Pick Winning Horses


IS GRADE SUITABLE? Equal Grade or up one – 1pointMoving down in grade to easier after placing -1pointIS DISTANCE SUITABLE?Have they won or placed at this distance or just shorter – 1pointIS BARRIER DRAW SUITABLE?Is this a short race and has an inside draw – 1pointIs this a longer race but has quick first sectionals – 1pointHas winning or placing history from this barrier – 1pointIS WEIGHT SUITABLE?Have they raced successfully at this weight u0026amp; distance – 1pointAre they up in distance (200m max) but down in weight – 1pointDid they place last few starts u0026amp; this weight is lighter – 1pointIS JOCKEY SUITABLE?Have they ridden the horse successfully previously – 1pointIS THE TRACK CONDITION SUITABLE?Has the horse raced successfully on the current track conditions -1pointIS THE TRACK SUITABLE?Has the horse raced successfully at the track -1point

How To Pick Winning Horses


There are stacks of other factors that we use to thin our list of potential winners down to make our final selections and you will find your own factors that you put importance to.Equipment – Adding nose rolls, blinkers, tongue ties etc Quick back up – Horses with long breaks rarely perform well first race backWinning Jockey/Trainer Combos -e.g Weir/Yendall or AllenEarly speed in last race but faded and this race is back in distancePrize money – travelling for a raceYou may also decide to leave out races such as any Heavy track meetings, Maiden races or races with too many horses returning from a spell.

How To Pick Winning HorsesHow To Pick Winning Horses


One of the last things that we do is watch replays. We want to see WHY and HOW a horse came in the position they did in their last races. Were they blocked for a run or inconvenienced in a race and otherwise were making good ground and could have won? You should now have a few clear front runners in the field who have achieved points based on the winning criteria and have one in particular that has more points than the others who would be the horse you would look at wagering on over the others. If you have no clear front runner then you should skip that race. You may end up with only 4 or 5 horses on any given day who qualify.Ideally you should now track how those runners go in their races and record your strike rate. Once you have that Strike Rate you then need to work out the Minimum Odds that you need your selection to be paying to be profitable.

We have been tracking our selections for the past 7 years and know our Strike Rate but most importantly what odds we need to tip a profitable horse or greyhound.There’s no point backing a horse paying $2.50 when you actually need odds of $4 to be profitable based on how often you get a winner.You could have a 20% strike rate and be profitable compared to someone who has a 50% strike rate who is losing money!Have you ever grabbed a stack of winners on a Saturday but still ended up with a loss? That’s because the odds you needed to be backing were higher than you had gotten!We go into exactly how to do that in our STAKING FOR PROFIT series I mentioned earlier and we even show you our staking strategies that ensure that when you get a winner you’re always making profit. One of those strategies is delivering around 1000 units profit per month to our current customers using our tips and has done so for the last 2 years since its release!

All of the things we’ve mentioned do take a lot of time, we spend around 6 hours every day checking out all of these criteria. And while we’ve armed you with the exact ways to do the form in the same way that we do it, we know that you wont always have the time to do so.As a special thank you for downloading our picking winners guide we would love to offer you the opportunity to grab our picks already done for you for those days when you don’t have the time to do all the form yourself.Yep, we’ll spend the 6 hours doing the form for you each day and give you all of our BEST BETS and exotics picks PLUS we’ll also give you our night Greyhound picks too!We’ve sent that special offer email right to your inbox so make sure you look for it now as you wont want to miss it!You can also check it out here

How To Pick Winning Horses

Good luck on the punt, never bet more than you can afford to lose and if you feel that the punt is getting the better of you please head over to our site for some assistance here