The following is a one-off review of Race Specialist, by Jonathan Burgess.

Jonathan is a Betfair accredited trainer, so it is reasonable to assume that he knows what he is talking about.  He is the author of the acclaimed False Favourites, also reviewed on this site, and his latest offering is the follow-on and system under review, Race Specialist.

In common with False Favourites, Race Specialist is a methodology that allows for individual judgements to be made, rather than a system with fixed rules and no room to override selections.  Using a one-a-day approach, following the methodology as laid out in the manual will mean that a shortlist of weak favourites will be arrived at and then it is up to each user to exercise their own judgement.  Alternatively, all selections on the shortlist can be layed -but the shortlist will be just that, a very short list.  Everyone who follows the methodology will get different results as they will be applying their own judgement, however the methodology is a comprehensive approach for identifying favourites, or second favourites, whose odds are too short in the market (weak favourites) and if it is applied correctly, everyone using it should make a profit.

The manual is 181 pages of high quality, well written information.  It is very informative and assumes that the reader already has a knowledge of Betfair, what a horse is, which end of the horse should be pointing towards the finishing post, what a lay bet is and so forth: the absence of padding comes as a breath of fresh air.  Over 30 pages are given over to explaining the selection process, with another 24 “summarising” the selection process.  Yes, it does look like the process has been summarised from 30 down to 24 pages.  However, most of the summary carries very useful information not included in the main explanation. 

One complaint I do have with the publication is that only a few pages preselected by the author can be printed out.  I find this slightly irritating, but it is a small niggle and the only one I have.  Since originally posting this, I have been informed that a printable version is now availalable to everyone who buys the system.

Making selections is not a five minute job.  In fact, plenty of time needs to be set aside for making the selections and it is probably best to decide on a particular area (e.g. Jumps, or AW) and stick to that, or pick a maximum of two meetings per day to concentrate on.  The selection process could be far too time consuming and painstaking for many, including me!  Despite this, I regard Race Specialist as a “must have” publication.  I have learned more about laying horses from this and Jonathan’s other publication than from all the other e-books on the subject, put together.

I have found Race Specialist even better than False Favourites because the selection process is better explained and easier to understand.  So, if it is so good, why don’t I use it?  Apart from the excellent information and clarifying the important factors to concentrate on – and those to ignore – I have found the information extremely useful for modifying existing systems (backing as well as laying), so that I get an even higher strike rate.

For anyone who just wants to follow systems, without knowing the rationale behind them and without knowing when it would be wise to use judegement to override/change a selection, then Race Specialist is not for them.  For anyone who: wants to spend time making selections; have a better understanding of the factors behind making wise selections; wishes to modify existing systems, or design their own, then this should be put at the top of their “must have” list.       

You can get Race Specialist here:



I had intended to make just a single post regarding this system, but I contacted Jonathan Burgess about a particular point and he came back to me very promptly about this and with some additional information.

In my previous post I said that it was only possible to print out a few specific pages in the manual.  That was the only complaint I had and a very minor one.  This issue has now been resolved and everyone purchasing the system will be able to print out as much of the manual as they need to.

I also mentioned in my post that the selection process is time consuming.  It is necessary to give time and attention to this selection process and that cannot be avoided.  However, Jonathan pointed out to me how the selection process can be refined so that it should only take about an hour per day.

I don’t think I should divulge what he told me, but I know some of it is in the manual.  Probably all of it is in there but it contains masses of useful information and it is impossible to take everything in.  Even if it isnt all there, Jonathan appears very helpful and I sure he will be happy to answer questions for anyone who has bought the system.  

You can get Race Specialist here: