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Horse Racing Betting Systems

We believe that betting systems are the best way for the layman to profit from horse racing. Find our systems in this category.

Recent Form

When you are considering having a bet on a horse race what is your process? I would imagine everyone reading this piece would have a slightly different answer. For me it involves several things. One thing is that I do have a list of horses ‘to follow’. These are horses that I have noted down that have run well enough… Read More »Recent Form

Research Corner – Profiting from Jockey’s

Hi All Generally speaking we spend a lot of time researching trainer trends and many profitable angles and strategies have been found over the years, but after all the preparations before the race the one person tasked with delivering the anticipated result is the guy/gal aboard the racehorse. With that in mind this month we are going to be delving… Read More »Research Corner – Profiting from Jockey’s

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Most Profitable Horse Racing System

Updated for 2023

The Importance of a Horse's Consistency

This month’s article looks at the importance of a horse’s consistency when it comes to selecting winning bets. Is winning with consistent horses possible? Read on for my most profitable horse racing system for UK racing. (Below I will share the Dowst method with you which is a consistently profitable horse racing system)

Over the years we punters have the habit of looking at historic systems or methodologies and their past performances to see if there is any juice within them to help make our betting consistently profitable.

It might be trawling through the racing forums looking at the intricate workings of the like “Flying Dutchman” Van De Wheil or re-reading Peter Braddock’s “Braddock's Complete Guide to Horse Race Selection and Betting” or Nick Mordin’s “Betting For A Living” and “Winning Without Thinking”.

Besides those mentioned above. It’s fair to say the seminal works on betting on horses come from across the Atlantic and the US.

Favourite US Betting On Horses Books

Here are just a few of my personal favourites. Some you will have heard of some will be new to you:

  1. George Elsworth Smith more popularly “Pittsburgh Phil”
  2. Ray Taulbot — The Grandfather of pace handicapping
  3. Huey Mahl – The Godather of pace handicapping. He and Taulbot were major influencers on Howard Sartin.
  4. Howard Sartin – Handicappers in the US seem to either love or hate him. However, there is no doubt about his enduring influence on punters over the Atlantic.
  5. Andy Beyer – The man who designed what become known as the Beyer Speed Figure. Probably many of you will know about Beyer.
  6. Steve Davidowitz’s book “Betting Thoroughbreds” which many American punters regard a close as there is to a Bible on horse racing, with his work in track biases, key races and the value of identifying trainer patterns. Davidowitz also influenced Beyer and remains one of the most knowledgeable guys in the business.
  7. Robert Saunders Dowst. Consistent proven horse racing system.

This month’s article looks at the importance of a horse’s consistency when it comes to selecting winning bets. There are two sections.

The first looks at the work of American handicapper Robert Saunders Dowst and test’s whether his theories are still profitable and consistent today.

Proven Horse Racing System

The second section looks at how I use consistency, and a horse’s proven ability under today's race conditions to assess the horse's chance, in my selection process with two working examples.

Robert Saunders Dowst: Mr Consistency

I first came across Dowst and his writings about 2 years ago. After reading them I was surprised how his theories on handicapping a race were similar to mine although I had not directly read of his work.

Dowst first developed his theories in the 1930’s. Since then his works remain worldwide best-sellers. He’s not without his critic’s though. However, this isn’t the place to look in detail at those controversies. Safe to say his most vocal critics claim much of his work could be subject to back -fitting.

How relevant are Dowst’s theories in the world of 21st century horse race betting and can they inform my consistent horse racing system?

Now some of them can clearly be questioned as racing continues to evolve.

However, there is little doubt in mind that some of his general principles are as sound today as they were in 1936. Indeed, his most famous work “Win, Place, and Show” remains one of the most comprehensive books on all aspects of racing and in my opinion the best when it comes to the psychology of handicapping and betting.

Horses With Consistent Profiles – The Dowst Method?

The Dowst Method, his simple horse racing system, was the contention that horses with consistent profiles win more races than those with poor profiles.

Basically, it was all about how to separate the good horses from bad horses to find the best horse for today's race.

Here are the two main principles of his methodology:

  • A horse must have won at least 33% of their career starts
  • A horse must have placed in at least 50% of its starts, this was the starting point.

He also added in a number of key factors when it came to determining what defined a good horse from a bad one.

Here are a few of them:

  • Don’t bet on slow or heavy tracks.
  • Don’t bet on two-year-olds.
  • No bets on horses aged six and over.
  • No bets on horses with a history of unsoundness.
  • No bet on a horse when it is definitely stepped up in class.

All fairly sound principles although the training of horses in the modern era mean that older horse can remain competitive and consistent.

Whilst the soundness of a horse would preclude Dowst backing horses returning from a long layoff. Well given modern training methods it’s the case that trainers can bring a horse back from an injury to win after a long absence from the racecourse.

Now Dowst’s initial book came out in 1936 to much fanfare and James Quinn writing in his book “The Best of Thoroughbred Handicapping says, “it rang up big profits that year and in the following year”.

However, as Quinn goes onto write, “the bottom fell out of the system when so many people bet the selections that the sheer weight of money took away the profitability”. (The US pool betting model meant prices were moved more than they perhaps would be with our Betfair SP in the UK)

So effectively Dowst’s consistent horses’ system became too popular and the betting public bet it out of existence, no more big priced winners for Dowst followers!

I wanted to test Dowst’s theories using www.horseracebase.com.

Most Profitable Horse Racing System

Using all the above rules, except the subjective history of unsoundness, which is impossible to quantify and is no longer an important factor and just looking at the 2018 flat season.

We get the following set of results:

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