This would be sage advice if it were true, but it isn’t.

Lead times in 1660 metre races at Albion Park mean nothing. The lead time only measures how long it takes horses to run the first 60 metres of the race, but harness horses are like V8 cars and need time to work through their gears, which most of them are still doing in the short run after the start.

It is for this reason that lead times over the short distance at the trots rarely vary at all, and mean two thirds of sweet f*ck all in any proper analysis of a race.

As an example – one used later by ‘expert’ form analyst Darren Clayton – just take a look at the night of harness racing at Albion Park on the 12th of August this year.

There were 10 races on the card, and 7 of them – ranging across the ages groups and classes from 2-year-old to Class 2 to Open Company – were run over 1660 metres,.

The lead times run in each of these seven races of such wildly varying class were each times at between 3.3 and 3.5 seconds. It was the same the week before. It’s always pretty much the same, the variation in lead times across races is never much more than 0.2-0.3 of a second.

And this is the first thing that Darren Clayton, a content writer and form analyst employed by Tatts – hey Racing Qld, isn’t that a conflict of interest – looks at?

If he was a racehorse you wouldn’t feed him.



This is sage advice too.

Sort of, maybe, perhaps.

Nah. Not at all. It’s crap.

First quarters in mile races are regularly run in sub 28 seconds in the modern cambered, wider cart era. Its only when leader are coming out in about 27 and 1/2 seconds that you start to look really closely at it as a fast run race.

It’s the second and third quarters that always tell the story, but Darren Clayton doesn’t spell it out properly for you.

He talks about the 2 quarters being run at the same pace- either the frenetic pair of 28 second sectionals that favor the back markers, or the consecutive 30 second splits that advantage the horses in front – but fails to mention that most races are run in differential splits with one of the middle quarters markedly faster than the other, just like the race that Clayton uses as the example for his step three.



This is where the rubber really hits the road.

Here you learn that Darren Clayton isn’t a pimple on a form analyst’s arse, and that every expert tip he has just given you is an absolute and utter dud. It’s also where you learn that the clowns who run Racing Queensland don’t have a single clue about racing, and the folk at Tatts have some serious problems in the setting of fixed odds markets on harness racing department.

Outlaw Fella was never two positions from the fence (three-wide in running) and coming around the field on the bend as Clayton so confidently asserts.

He has it absolutely and utterly tits up.

Outlaw Fella was never three wide at any stage over the final lap.

In fact it never left the fence.

The horse didn’t do a big job by making up 10.9m over the final 800 metres either, because it didn’t. It made up that distance over the final 400m, when the leaders were tiring and coming back to the rest of the field, and the pacer was sneaking soft runs up the inside rail and the sprint lane.

Outlaw Fella’s the horse I’ve circled in red below, and just to make it easy for you to see I’ve used the track marker pegs – set at 10m intervals – to illustrate how wrong Darren Clayton is and how right I am.

Clayton’s a moron.

Those who have pushed him forward and published his errant nonsense without first proof reading it are even bigger morons.

And as for the person or people whose great idea this is almost certain to have been?

A cock-a-doodle-doo to you too.