Profit/Loss figures in papers like the Racing Post, do not take into account whether or not there was a 331/ winner, which easily distorts the true picture, so beware. A comparison of strike-rate to profit, can give you a general idea, but it still doesn’t give you the complete picture.
Trainer trends, especially at certain tracks are usually worth following, however, the winners to runners ratio is seldom worth the majority even bothering with because of the work involved, for little return at the end of the year. One other problem with doing this, is that the bookies usually know about it as well these days, and so compensate for it in the price.
When looking for an edge, first of all run your idea through a few old copies of the RP. One important point to remember is that if the selections you are coming up with are heavily tipped in the papers, or worse napped, then you do not have an edge, and the bookies will have these covered with lower prices, as they know they’ll be backed whatever the price.
Backing against the crowd is something your intelligence tells you not to do, but the biggest tip I can give you in your quest for profits, is to make your selections before even looking at the prices, ratings, or tipsters, as this will severely influence your end decision.
When I’m selecting horse for Pro-Bets, they are picked due to the way the horse has either impressed me on its last run, or it looks to be clear of the field on form. Only once I am 100% certain I will be backing the horse, will I be interested in the prices a few minutes before the off. I then adjust my stake as per the price (see Secure Profit Maker on the Staking page), but it doesn’t influence whether I back it or not.
That means if it 1/5 I will back it to win, if it shows up as 33/1, I will back it to win, as my decision was made on the horses themselves, and not any outside influences.
It may prove difficult for you to read form without looking at the forecast prices, tipsters, etc., but if you do, you will find yourself backing better priced winners. And don’t bottle it by going EW.
If you must cover your bets for safety. Only go for those 11/1+, and place 80% to win, and the remaining 20% on the Tote Place pool. This is because the place portion at 11/1+ on the Tote out pays the bookies fractions on the majority of cases. Some times by a wide margin.