Just How Useful Is Timeform?

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Timeform is becoming well known to many racing punters. As part of the Betfair group, the timeform ratings and tips are available to anybody who signs up at Betfair and bets on horse racing through Betfair’s exchange or sportsbook products.

But exactly how useful is timeform? How much should you rely on it when picking your horses – if at all?

We’ve started to look at this in recent weeks and today we took an example in the 13.50 at Wolverhampton. This race is a 1m1f Maiden Stakes flat race on the all weather rack. As you can see, Timeform picks out the favourite Marmas Boy as its tip for the race. The horse starts at just 4/5 so is odds on favourite – not exactly difficult to tip, but still nice enough odds if it wins as expected.


As it turned out this was a good tip, with Marmas Boy winning. What’s interesting is that one of Timeform’s other mentions, Scrutinise, came second at 11/2. This should get you thinking about possible using this data for each way bets on higher priced runners, or possible forecasts or tricasts.


But obviously we can’t form any conclusions based on just one example, so we decided to look at the very next race, the 14:00 at Market Rasen – a 2m3f Novice Hurdle.

Again Timeform goes for the favourite, priced here at just 1/8. And again, it doesn’t take an expert to pick that one out. But based on our previous example, maybe there’s some value at looking at their other mention, North Country Boy at 5/1 might be a decent each way shout perhaps?


No joy on that theory this time. In fairness Timeform again picked the winner, although I doubt many would have been backing it t 1/8. But North Country Boy finished 4th and out of the places so our each way bet on the “mentioned” horses would have gone down.


Finlly we decided to look at the next race, the 14:10 Redcar 1m Hcap. This time Timeform doesn’t pick the favourite, instead going for second fave Reggie Bond, and giving a mention to 4th fave Royal Preserve and an outsider, Talent Scout.


No joy at all this time, as neither the selection nor any of the mentioned horses even manage to place.


Now these were only 3 examples and of course this is nowhere near enough to make a judgement on the effectiveness of Timeform as a long term betting strategy. From what we’ve seen here though, it does seem to confirm whether short price favourites are likely to justify their favouritism. So it may well be one indicator that you might want to include in any future strategies or systems you come up with.

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