on 17 February 2014
A real gem of a book, as relevant today as back in the 1990s when it was first published. Simply put, Coton explains how it is only possible to win long term if you are getting paid over the odds. Like an art dealer, you assess the true price of an item and then make sure you sell it for more. Estimate skilfully and you cannot fail but to make a profit.
Coton not only explains this fundamental theory but then discusses practical aspects of form reading. Finally, he presents his 'Unique Form and Value' formula. This is priceless! He assigns a set of scores to the main areas of form such as class, conditions, trainer, etc, weighted according to importance. Having estimated the score for each factor the formula converts the total to value prices. Find the runner on offer at a higher price and you will make a medium to long term profit.
It works! However, there is no easy route to skilled form reading so you will likely have to practice and go through your own set of refinements. Eventually I find myself unable to have a bet unless I feel I have found a bargain.
For an American take on this, try 'Value Handicapping' by Mark Cramer. The two books complement each other though you have to account for the difference in US vs UK racing.
If you aspire to professional betting, I would suggest that Coton's book is a must.
on 7 September 2010
This book has been a title I always wanted to read but the information which, when it was written, was so important and revolutionary now appears rather quaint and dare I say old hat.
However for its time it was a completely new style of book - both in terms of how it was written and for someone completely new to betting on horseracing it would still give useful advice.