Sep 17, 2004
The Fore-N-Aft Gain Angle
By: Ray Taulbot
WE HAVE STATED QUITE OFTEN IN this space that many handicappers
like to depend entirely on angles as a means of selecting plays. To begood, an
angle must be restrictive. If the rules are too loose, handicappers will find themselves
making far too many plays to earn a profit.
The horseplayer who does not have the patience to wait may find themself
stretching the rules. Rather than doing this, the player should employ a few good, solid, restrictive
angles to give himself more action.
One of the best angles is that "oldie but goodie"known as the "fore-and-aft gain angle."
As its name implies, this angle involvesa twin gain. The first of these is the type of
gain which reveals approaching good form. The second confirms the evidence of the
former, which insures the player that the horse in question has not lost its sharpness
since first revealing its improving condition.
To clearly understand why this angle produces a good percentage of nice winners, it is necessary
to explain its inner workings in detail.
Too often, in those instances where a horse is in strong contention during the final furlong of its
most recent race, the excessive effort deprives it of some of its reserve energy. When this
happens, it is quite likely that the horse will not come back with another good race; not, at least,
until it has had time to regain the energy it expended in that hard-fought contest.
Likewise, the horse that finished either first or second last start will very likely go to the post next
out at short odds. Thus when the player sticksto so-called "hot form" horses, they frequently
deprives themself of a price commensurate with the normal hazards involved in turf speculation.
Therefore, it behooves the player to search for horses that have given evidence of good or
approaching good condition and whose last race did not deprive them of the reserve energy
necessary to the winning of today’s contest.
Evidence of this is sometimes found in the nature of early foot in the next-to-last race. In other
instances, the evidence is found in a sharpbeaten-length gain between the first and second calls.
Such gains are often the result ofriding orders from trainer to jockey such as the following hypothetical
"This horse is getting good, son, and we want to know if it is ready or if it needs more racing before
going after a purse. Let him break on his own and given him a quarter of a mile to find his stride.
Then bear down on him during the next quarter. If he can reach contention, okay. If not, let him
run on his own."
Orders like these often result in a running line which may appear something like this in the past
89 75 98 1011
Not very impressive, you say? Well, since you weren’t privy to that conversation between jockey
and trainer, that gain of four lengths between thefirst and second calls does not register on your
eye. But it is important nevertheless.
In the next start, the trainer may shoot the works, or he may give the horse another race. It all
depends upon the report he received from the rider after the race shown above. If the rider’s report
was favorable, then the trainer will try next start. If the report was not good, he will give the horse
another race before going all out to win.
In those cases where the trainer tries for a win following the type of race we have described above,
we have the perfect set-up for an angle play next start, always provided the horse does not win or
finish second, and provided it gained inboth running positions and lengths during the final furlong.
Thus the current last two races of an angle horse will look like this:
78 75 55 32
89 75 98 1011
This horse has now displayed a gain both "fore and aft." It gained in both running position and lengths
in the stretch last start, and in its previous race it gained lengths between the first and second calls.
In short, the trainer shot and missed after his horse had previously made a gain between the first
and second calls. It appears that the report the trainer received following the next-to-last race was
sufficiently good to tempt him to trynext out. Unfortunately for him, the horse needed another race.
The following rules will point out an angle horse like those shown in the examples and most of them
will go postward at prices conducive to profitable turf investment:
1. The horse’s last race must not have taken place more than 15 days ago.
2. Examine the first two calls of the next to last race and make note of any horse that gained three
lengths or more between the first and second calls shown in the horse’s Daily Racing Form past
3. Next examine the last two calls of the last race. In order to qualify as a possible play, the horse
must have gained both running positions and lengths between the stretch call and the finish. The
horse must not have finished closer than third. It may have finished farther back, but not closer
4. The class of today’s race must be no higher than the class of the horse’s next-to-last race unless
the closing odds are 10-1 or higher.
5. If the horse passes these four simple rules, it is worth an investment—provided its odds are 5-1
or higher on horses that are not moving up in class or 10-1 or more on those that are, provided it has
not been out more than 15 days.
<< Back To Newsletter