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How to Slice Through the ‘Favourite-Backing’ Media Hype, and Hone In On Value Bets Every Single Time, with the Cold, Calculated Eye of a Black Belt Brain Surgeon…

In the last 15 years, I discovered the power of race trends and since then have been a much more successful bettor.

Here, I will show you how I do it, and how you can join me.

Tony McCormick


My name is Tony McCormick. Over 11 years ago, I was an average punter, trying to find winners every day, either in poor low grade races in the betting shop or at my local track.

I had good days and bad days, like every other punter I guess, but if I’m honest, the bad ones outweighed the good ones by about three to one.

My problem was I didn’t really have an angle.

I’d look at each race on its merits and try to divine the form, like some modern-day rune reader.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my betting days. But I was frustrated that overall I was a loser, and I had to admit to my mates (and my missus!) that this was the case.

My Eyes Were Opened…

Then one day… I remember it clearly, it was Monday, 12th March 2007, the eve of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival… my punting approach changed permanently.

A mate of mine, Tom, who I used to go racing with, was flicking through his latest manual. (Tom used to buy one or two of these things a month.

I’d make a joke about it, but he was always much luckier than me. At least, I thought it was luck…)

Anyway, as I said, he was leafing through this manual and I asked him what it was.

He looked up, paused for a second, and then handed it over to me. It was a copy of a betting guide for the Cheltenham Festival, and in those pages was a heady mixture of analysis, trainer comments and, most interestingly to me, a run-down of the big race trends for the last ten years.

I’d briefly come across these big race trends on the odd occasion, but had never really taken much notice of them… until that Monday and that year’s Festival.

Well, to cut a long story short, I backed several winners that I’d not have previously given a second thought to. And at nice prices. In fact, Joe’s Edge – admittedly the jewel in the crown – came in at 50/1!

I made a killing, and so did Tom.

Months later, I followed Tom’s trends for the Royal Ascot meeting, and they did pretty well too.

Not as brilliantly as that first great Cheltenham, of course, but more than paid their way, and they gave me a confidence in my betting that wasn’t there before.

Later that summer, I started compiling my own trends:

trends I was happy with;

trends I thought were more important than those printed in other publications;

trends that pointed to horses with the criteria of past winners,

and trends that pointed to the winner of this year’s races.

I still wasn’t happy… Over the next two years, up until the start of 2008, I’d been ‘twiddling a few knobs’ to refine things, but I still wasn’t entirely happy with the trends… even though the winners kept coming.

It wasn’t until the turn of the year, when a guy called Matt Bisogno and I started exchanging emails and phone calls, that the trends evolved into something that I’m now confident are ‘the real deal’.

[In case you don’t know, Matt has been writing about racing and producing trends-based products since 2006. He’s a straight guy with a strong following online – just ‘Google’ him!]

With Matt’s help, advice and expertise, I honed the trends in to a tight, workable, professional looking, and easy to understand product.

Eight year trends were introduced, as well as primary and secondary trends.

Let me quickly explain. During my research I’d often find that when all the trends were applied, I’d be left with a tenuous selection because of a single trend that I wasn’t sure was as meaningful as others for that race (an example might be a breeding trend, for instance).

So I broke the trends down into two sets, primary and secondary, and produced a shortlist after the primary analysis.

I then process the shortlisted horses through my own creation –  FACTOR5…

Factor5 is a helpful tool to highlight important criteria applied to the shortlisted horses for the race being covered.

Win and places are covered in the table, helping you to make your decision on the shortlist.

Surface – Takes in all form on today’s surface, which in turn will take in performances on the track. Surfaces researched are Flat, Slight undulations, Undulating and Very undulating.

Going – The performances of the shortlisted horses on the predicted ground.

Distance – How the shortlisted horses have performed at today’s race distance.

Direction – Highlighting the performances of horses running either left or right handed or on a straight track.

Class – Data from how the highlighted runners have performed in today’s class of race.

Although generally there would be more than one horse on the shortlist, those lists and FACTOR5 found the winner with gratifying regularity.

Allied to this, the brilliant R.A.G system is a really handy ‘traffic light’ system, which helps us see at a glance the historical strength of a race in trends terms.


‘With two dedicated Racing Channels, and so much racing these days, it really is more than a one man job keeping on top of the form, especially at this time of the year. I’ve tried many different tools to try and give me an edge; IBRT is simple, on the ball, but most of all very accurate’

Niall Hannity, Racing UK


‘IBRT is well worth checking out. Tony analyses the recent trends of the race and comes up with some excellent selections such as Dutch Connection (14/1) and Snow Sky (12/1) at the Royal Meeting. The trends, sent out on the morning of the race are easy to follow and results are very encouraging, I’m a huge fan’

Tony Ennis, At The Races