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Home Forums Tipping and Research Systems VAN DER WHEIL Reply To: VAN DER WHEIL

dave jay
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VDW Form Figures and assessment.

I think it was mentioned earlier on in this thread that all of the form figures are added together and the lowest totals being noted as the best and the highest totals being noted as the worst. I think the rationale behind this is self explanatory, a horse that has won or been placed in it’s last three outings is more likely to win than a horse that hasn’t.

Maximum rating for form string 111 is 3 and the worst rating 000 is 30.

If you enjoy points systems these figures can be inverted;

Worst possible rating – actual rating = positive value.

Horse A has a form string 113

VDW rating 1+1+3 = 5<br>Inverted rating 30-5 = 25

This is how VDW form figures are presented in some of the work I have seen in others it is different. There are several problems here that I’m sure you have come across but here are my thoughts on the main one.

IMO<br>This part of VDW differs from the assessment made under the heading ‘Betting Forecast’. VDW made an assessment and took the view that form figures were to be considered for ‘all runners’.  

The Form Figures are being used to create POSITIVE values.

The Outsiders rule, if applied as a system gives more than half of the field a NEGATIVE value.

So, apparently, there is a contradiction and some confusion here. These methods do not sit well with each other. Firstly, we eliminate more than half of the field applying an 80% rule and then we rate the whole field again and create possiblities for horses that we have already said ‘are not good betting prospects’.

I believe that this part of the methodology is seriously mis-understood.

1. Form Figures can be used to generate POSITIVE values, selecting better horses from an already reduced field. In which case there is no need to invent form figures for horses as is suggested in some publications.

2. Form Figures can also be used to generate NEGATIVE values to reduce the field in the first place. In which case all horses must have a form figure, in order to generate %values for elimination. Then the first 5 in the betting could be used to generate positive values.

IMO it is up to the individual to decide if Form Figures should be the primary filter or the Betting Forecast, or niether of these and something else.

That’s my opinion about VDW form figures.

In some publications days since last run are also mentioned. IMO this creates a final selection criteria when all of the work is done and has no real value as a subject.

Race Type

I felt at the time that he was copping out a bit when he went for the highest value, non-hcp, sprint, with not too many runners approach. IMO his reccomendation for race types has virtually no value. The statistics do not support his view. The race types which form horses are most likely are the same ones that the Favourites win, because the Favourite is usually the only form horse in the race and the Favourite’s price is adjusted accordingly in those races.


This is the part of his method that creates the controversy. If anything VDW made a bold leap when he came out with this because it is a truely original idea in the methodology. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t now the statistics bear this out. Horses that are improving are more likely to win races then ones that are on the slide.


I use sytems on a daily basis and have alot of fun with them. The VDW method is not a system but a system building tool. If you make up a Postdata style tick box and come up with 4 categories 1 of elimination and 3 of selection then you are broadly speaking following VDW.<br>For example:<br>80% of races are won by 20% of trainers.<br>1. Filter by Trainer Table (make up your own)<br>2. Filter by Form Figures.<br>3. Filter by Course/Distance winner.<br>4. Filter by days since last run.

I remember coming across all of this years ago and thinking:) ‘Right that’s me, I’ve found the haystack now all I’ve got to do is come up with something that gives me a winner a day. I’ll phone my bets in from Barbados’ I can laugh now!

I hope this helps.<br>