ProForm – My weapon of choice!
Without ProForm at my constant beck and call I would be at a severe disadvantage in my quest to gain an edge in the betting world.
If like me you want to dig deep into statistical analysis then grab yourself the Proform database, in my opinion it is THE must have tool for racing analysts.
Take a look at my guest post for the 2011 ProForm April newsletter -
When it comes to horseracing and the way I like to approach my betting I’m all about the angles.
Give me a database that I can dive into and start fishing about in for profitable angles and I’m a happy man. I’ve used databases as part of my personal punting approach for a number of years and I was ticking alone quite happily until a friend pointed me in the direction of Proform Professional. As someone who is always keen to try new products I decided to give the Proform software a test run and boy was it one of the best move I ever made! There was so much info and angles that Proform allowed me to research I was positively lost in a glorious sea of stats and figures for days (I know that sounds sad but hey, it kept me happy!). I would guesstimate that by using Proform I am now able to find the info I desire in at least double quick time as well as being able to delve into areas that other software made pretty difficult to reach.
I personally run my own racing service (Narrowing the Field) and also run my own racing blog -http://www.narrowing-the-field.com/ – and the ease in which Proform lets me get to
the stats I need makes my work so much easier. As well as race analysis I also offer other guides to my subscribers (trainer stats, festival stats, jockey stats etc.) and not only does the Proform software cut down the time taken in researching these figures it also opens up other avenues and angles that were previously not as accessible to me (which ironically takes up more of my time but it’s well worth it!). My current blog post was created using Proform as the basis for my research and is an excellent example of the kind of info that is at your fingertips. To be fair to Proform my latest Blog post only skims a minor percentage of what the software can do but the point is I was able to find that info in a quick an efficient manner. I was also able to download it to a CSV file and manipulate it to suit my own needs; again this took almost zero time at all.
There is, however, one downside to Proform; there is a high likelihood that you will become so engrossed in it you will severely p!ss off your other half! “I’ll just be another 10 minutes dear” as she sends the dogs in to drag me out well over an hour after I said I would be ready!
One of the many aspects of ProForm that impresses me is the constant drive and development that Simon Walton (the one man show that runs Proform) is striving for to improve the software and his determination to never remain static. Proform is his baby, his creation and he works tirelessly to make it the best racing form database & system builder/research tool available.
I’m not the only one that waxes lyrically about ProForm. Take a look at Andy Richmond’s (full time sports punter/analyst and writer/broadcaster (RUK) & former Betfair staffer) guest post for the 2011 Proform June newsletter -
As someone who spends the majority of their time either watching, analysing, writing about or most importantly investing on horse racing I’m always looking for ways that will cut down on the time it takes me to wade through the cornucopia of races that the British racing calendar throws at us.
Having tried many of the regular form analysis databases such as Computer Timeform and Raceform Interactive I was intrigued to find out what else Proform Professional which I must admit I have never heard of before a friend suggested I take a look at it provided. To say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement and despite having had the system some six months I think I’m still learning and experimenting with the database and constantly discovering new ways to use and interpret that data.
Previous guest writers have extolled the virtues of Proform Professional and it’s clear to see that we all use the data in very different ways and for our own perceived punting edges.
I’m sure that we have all gone through our own punting apprenticeship and hoped to go on to find angles and concepts which we will find profitable and for my part I was always fascinated as to how races were run and the part that tactics and pace played within them. Of course pre-Betfair (and other good exchanges) there were few ways to exploit this method of punting and it was a painstaking exercise to collect, assess and record the data.
Once Betfair arrived on the scene in June 2000 it became a lot easier to start making use of this style of punting with concepts such as back-to-lay and laying those that go short in running but never win starting to come to life. Of course that became another learning curve (and another article) and the data was still just as hard to collect and maintain.
Step forward Proform Professional (got there in the end) and although I have used and experimented with the majority of the features now within the system the one that I keep coming back to is how easy it has made it to analyse the pace and running styles of horses within a particular race. Even if you want just top line statistics they are there for you via the % Pace tab on each and every race or the bare pace rating next to each horse , those plus the course and distance pace statistics will provide a quick snapshot of how the race is expected to pan out.
Of course for someone who has had an avid appetite for this sort of analysis Proform Professional provides me not only with the raw material to analyse but the tools and the capability to dig far deeper than those bare figures. By using the all in a line form in the split screen mode it is easy to look at all of the horses form in a line and quickly assimilate their running styles and how they have been ridden in all of their outings.
From that point the possibilities offered by Proform Professional are limitless from looking at how horses are ridden on just their wins, to runs over the prevailing distance, ground or obstacle. By further breaking down the form comments it becomes possible to build up a pattern of how the race will be run and where at various points horses could be, pace mapping is a much underrated currency but could on many occasions provide a key to the race.
So the tools are there to provide solid pace mapping and running style analysis quickly and easily within Proform Professional.
But like the other obsessives who have written guest articles (apologies Mike and Ben but that’s the kindest way I can put it!!) I can’t leave it there and having just about pushed the current software as far as it can go I have suggested some further pace/running style modules to the founder of Proform Professional Simon Walton which we are currently discussing and developing. We’ll have to keep the actual details of these under wraps for now but when they are available they will provide a significant step forward in the ability to analyse running styles, pace of a race and how horses trade within a race.
If anyone is interested in discussing or reading my thoughts on pace and running style analysis then I post daily on Twitter (@bickley14 if you want to follow) and have plans to start a daily blog where I can further impart my in-running thoughts for individual horses and races over the Winter mainly for National Hunt races.
In the meantime there are a myriad of uses for Proform Professional and pace/in-running analysis is not the be all and end of all its talents but it represents another great use of the database, give it a try and you will see what I mean.
And finally like my other guest columnists I am not receiving any compensation or inducements from Proform Professional in writing this article, just sharing the love for what I believe to be the best and most versatile horse racing analysis tool on the market.
I literally could ramble on for days about the benefits of ProForm, there really is THAT much to love about it.
However, why not check it for yourselves and head over to the ProForm web-site and take a look around; I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.
PROFORM receives the NTF seal of approval – 10/10