By way of summary, this has been a good year. Moneywise, of course, a loss but things have become clear in this first season back after a break of several years and I am very optimistic for the future.

I have complete confidence in the Form Value approach and have got it to a nice balance of time, effort and reward. Some good bets have been made and a couple of winners missed simply through taking my eyes off the ball with Sesenta at 33/1 and Balcarce Nov at 66/1. Those are recent, after a month’s break looking at the Fineform ‘system’, which took a little of my sharpness away. Previously, both the Flat and Jumps have been promising, notably Lord Jay Jay at Aintree, 2nd, 50/1 taken. I won’t go on about the Grand National :-) Overall, my form reading has become fairly sophisticated.

So, now for business – here’s the plan:

Form Value, using my own modification of the formula. There is no comparable alternative and I will be forever in Mark Coton’s debt for his marvellous book.

Non-contenders are ruled out (before prices are calculated) and anything left is backable. The rule is to go for the longest-priced contender which is value (the ‘fine tuning’ of percentage differences doesn’t deliver in practice, whatever it’s apparent logic.) Bookies prices are ignored as far as assessment goes – I don’t believe they have any special information or ability.

Contrarian thinking is given it’s proper weight in the assessment. Oasis Knight’s headgear note was spot on and a good example.

One race a day, big meetings and big fields preferred. 7f to 1m 4f ideally, class 3 and above, handicaps. Generally, don’t try to account too much for the draw – it’s an added complication which can undermine form reading.

Win singles primarily but an eye open for value forecasts ( = at least one horse in the forecast must be value). If two races are ever looked at, consider a win double to multiply value.

That’s it then. Still a few weeks to go of the Flat and I will count it as a success regardless of the profits, it being a return after a break and taking a while to find the right ‘mix’. I have that now so let’s see what happens. It’s fascinating in any event and I am happy to count myself among the enthusiasts of this sport. I’m inclined to think that value bettors are a rather classy bunch :-)

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