January 23, 2021

Hot Hot Hot

Hello, Josh here from Racing To Profit. It’s been a while. Firstly, belated Happy New Year to you and your families. Thank goodness we have horse racing to lift our spirits. 

In this article I talk about ‘hot form’, what I mean, it’s utility, a few examples and some horses to add to your trackers if you so wish.

When I talk about ‘hot form’ I’m thinking of those races that are working out well and at its most basic, races that are producing subsequent winners. Any races, in particular handicaps, that produce subsequent winners would suggest those contesting said race were running into form and/or were well handicapped – a competitive race.

It can be worth our time identifying those horses that have finished in and around subsequent winners, from a ‘hot form’ race, as the trainer will have the opportunity to find a less competitive race – simply a repeat of said run may be enough in such a scenario, for all that it’s always worth homing in on those that are unexposed and open to improvement.

To develop the ‘hot form’ theme further you can delve deeper and try to get a handle on whether a horse is ‘well handicapped’, based on how a race is working out and the level of performance that other horses have subsequently achieved.

This is useful for handicaps, but also for maiden/novice hurdles – finding those horses that were well beaten but who simply could never compete, as they either didn’t have the class and/or were running in far from ideal conditions.

Of course, they’ll have still been learning their trade also. But you can find horses going into handicaps rated 110, for example, who didn’t finish too far behind horses who are now rated 140+. This can be some indication that they may be well handicapped when it clicks and helps add context to what on paper may appear a ‘poor’ run, having been well beaten.

Many of you reading this will no doubt use ‘hot form’ as part of your analytical approach. For me, much like ‘pace’ analysis (or race position analysis – who will lead/race prominently etc) it is an essential part of the punting puzzle, and if you do not use ‘hot form’, it’s worth considering.

A useful starting point could be with handicap chases, and with novice handicap chases, as in theory there should be ‘more to come’ at some point from said runners. Clearly some races are much better than others, and subsequent ‘hot form’ can help us identify them, and the horse’s worth noting.

Let me look at an example…

On the 16th of October 2020 there was a Class 3 Novices Limited Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter. This has turned into a ‘hot race’… 17 horse lined up and since this race they have run 36 times between them, with 7 subsequent individual winners, winning a total of 9 times between them. This includes the 1st and 2nd, Demachine and Morning Vicar.

Both of those may be worth keeping an eye on as I suspect there’s more to come in time. Demachine could be even better after another summer at grass. Morning Vicar was subdued at Sandown, having dotted up at Newbury, but the soft ground may have blunted him there.

There are subsequent winners all through the race, including Canelo and Maypole Class, who’ve both won twice since, and finished well down the field, having run well for a time. Many came into this race needing the run and were open to natural progression. Mac Tottie won at Market Rasen at 14s, 2nd start after running in this race.

Of course, the key is to try and spot a ‘hot race’ before it’s scolding hot and many of the horses have run and/or won. But even when the evidence is much clearer there’s always the odd horse who’s only run once and may have fluffed their lines for whatever reason.

Even now it’s still a race worth tracking, with horses such as Young Bull, who finished 3rd, who has only run once since – a place at Ascot, behind Demachine. He has chase wins in him and should leave his current mark behind at some point.

Minella Bobo… he’s an interesting horse. He ran ok here in 7th, shaping with some promise after 551 days off. 3 subsequent winners in front of him as I type and 6 behind him. However, he’s been below par the last twice, fading badly at Ascot and running atrociously at Exeter.

I’m not sure if he’s got internal problems or is feeling something. I assume he had an injury before returning this season and maybe that’s left a mental scar. However, it could be that he wants to go left handed and/or wants much better ground.

He could be one of those that simply doesn’t progress from their novice hurdle days but IF Rebecca Curtis can find the key, he really should look well handicapped one day, as his return effort at Uttoxeter (his first chase also) was solid – and for the grade, the race couldn’t have worked out any better.

Other examples…

On the same card (Uttoxeter, 16th October) there was a 2m C5 Handicap Hurdle, won by The Garrison. In 5 subsequent runs he’s yet to win, which is odd, given the form behind him. The 2nd, Mount Windsor, since racked up a hat-trick, the latter off 119 having come into this race off 105. Breffniboy was 3rd, and he’s since won four races from five starts, going up to OR 128, having arrived here off 107. It’s fair to say those two were well handicapped! Hows The Cricket was in 5th and has since won. The 7th, 11th and 12th have all gone in also.

It may be worth adding the 4th, Radjash, to your trackers. I’m hoping/assuming he’s still with us, but on his next start he was moving well in a Class 3, before taking a heavy fall. That was on the 28th of November and hopefully it hasn’t left a mark. They’ve clearly given him a bit of time since. In any case, off a mark of 105 he’s clearly thrown in and it shouldn’t be long before he’s winning again.

This year’s renewal of The Welsh Champion Hurdle is working out well, run on 18th October. Won by Sceau Royal, Buzz back in 3rd, the 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th all having won since also – the race now 6 winners from 22 subsequent runs, 14 placed horses (inc wins).

The 4th from that day, Milkwood, is probably in everyone’s notebooks, both from that run and his unlucky 3rd at Newbury on the 28th of November. He may have won but for being badly hampered. He has shaped as if crying out for a big field, strongly run, handicap hurdle. He can race enthusiastically and appears to need a strong pace in which to settle off. I’m in no doubt he’s well handicapped, just a case of when he shows it. He’s entered in The Betfair Handicap Hurdle and it will be interesting if he takes up that engagement.

Its Probably Me may be a mare worth keeping an eye on. She’s comes from a ‘hot race’ having run in the Richard Barber Memorial Mares Handicap Hurdle at Wincanton on the 7th of November. Trained by Henry Daly it was her first run of the season and she hasn’t been seen since as I type. You’d have to think a mark of 121 is workable. The winner, The White Mouse, would follow up at Cheltenham. Three horses behind her have since won five races between them. Solid form for the grade and she should have no problem picking up a mare’s handicap before the season is out. It could be she wants further now also. I’m not sure if there’s been a problem or Daly is waiting for better ground, but worth tracking.

They’re just a few examples but hopefully they help demonstrate the potential utility of ‘hot form’. Do note down a few horses mentioned above, and we can see whether they can get a win or two on the board.

Of course, ‘hot form’ is only part of the puzzle – but it helps us identify competitive races and whether horse X may be well handicapped. That’s a useful ‘way in’ or starting point, and an engaging way in which to ‘track’ horses, rather than the very obvious eye-catchers that get thrown around.

How can you find ‘hot form’ horses/races?

There are various resources you could use. I believe At The Races has ‘Future Form’ indicators.

The two resources I use are HorseRaceBase, (with their Hot/Cold races research feature) and for day to day analysis, Geegeez Gold.

You can access a few of their excellent racecards for free each day, which are worth a look. (which you can do HERE>>>)

Video… if videos are more your thing, you can watch me demonstrating how I research ‘hot form’, with an ‘over the shoulder’ video… WATCH HERE>>>

That’s all for this article, thanks for reading,

Josh (RacingtoProfit)

P.S. If you join my free email list, I’ll send you more free reports. Grab your freebies HERE>>>

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Steve Carter

Steve Carter is the Associate Editor of On Course Profits magazine. He has relied on his betting skills and knowledge for his income for the past 15+ years. He specialises in horse racing and football betting & trading and knows what it takes to make a living from betting. He is always looking for new angles for himself and On Course Profits readers.

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