Now, I am constantly asked if I use form figures, betting forecasts, trainer form etc., when compiling the handicaps. Absolutely not. On site I explain that except for certain types of horses (debutantes, horses with little form in the book and National Hunt horses switching codes) all the handicaps are based on a horse's overall form as seen in the form book. If you go HERE you will be able to see exactly how I assess every type of horse's form to give it a handicap mark.

I have seen many different types of ratings which perform well but are based on purely random factors such as points for form figures, points for the type of race previously run in, prize money contested in the past, trainer form, draw, betting forecast etc., etc.,. There is nothing wrong with such a way of rating horses. They can be effective in certain types of races. But when I see people awarding points for a Walk Over, and giving no points for a faller or an unseated rider, or a pulled up or for finishing out of the first three, four, five, or six, then I cringe.

I also see some systems (again, some effective ratings) produce multiple columns from which are claimed all manner of victories. Creating columns beside the base ratings column gives some the chance to claim winners because it was top or near the top of one of the columns. This is a slightly misleading way to report results but it provides its creators with the chance to claim virtually any winner when the people who have used them never saw the winner coming because they were either concentrating on a particular column or had been confused because there were so many columns. If people want to use such systems and they make a regular profit from them, then I congratulate them and tell them to continue on their path to profit.

But at TowerForm you get one rating only for each of our (separate) ratings. One for our (main and primary) form handicaps and one for our (supplementary) speed ratings. Both live an die alone - though we can correctly claim that if a horse is not in the top three rated (including joints) of either rating, it probably won't win. It would be easy for me to create new innovative columns with different figures in each column - and I could claim winners from any column I liked. But that would be wrong. All the winners I claim are from the top two rated horses including joints. All top rated winners are clear top rated unless the overnight top rated is a non runner. My claims for 2nd top winners are also appended with the words "including joints" if they are joint rated. There are never any more than two horses rated 2nd top.

No one should have the ability to misquote results by manipulating them. Unfortunately, many good, genuine services (and there are more than you think) are tainted by the shadow of suspicion because there are also services less than honest. Usually, you can spot these services straight out. But sometimes you find out after you've handed over your hard earned cash. I know; I was that punter in my formative years.

There is also the same suspicion when services offer free trials. Free trials have their critics who claim that, "Services only offer a free trial in the hope that a good run will convince people to pay a subscription when the trial is over. Inevitably, the results bottom out and money is lost. This is okay for the services because they have got a subscription payment from a random week or month of results."

I also offer free trials. So I can clearly be painted with the same brush. But I make the point that the free trials are simply for people to judge whether they can incorporate the services into their betting strategy. I do not look for a random winning run to entice a subscription out of a triallist.I cannot offer free trials to get easy money because the services have had a good week. Good weeks, bad weeks, indifferent weeks can easily be seen from the results published. These results are cast iron in three ways.

First, TowerForm subscribers are the ultimate arbiters. They see the results every day. Second, Brian Coplin of ukracinginfo kindly compiles the results for us. I have nothing to do with results compilation. I just check if the results are correct - and they have always been correct. Third, the ratings are consistent week by week and one week's performance is very much like the previous week's or the following week's, ad infinitum. So my free trials are not in the hope I hit a good run when a triallist is using the ratings. Past results are already available on site for prospective subscribers to view at their leisure.

So to reiterate: the free trials are simply for people to discover if they can use the ratings effectively. Nothing more.