A rather haphazard gambler, Clive Holt is best know for the books that he wrote and, of course, his legendary ratings system, FineForm.

Before becoming a professional gambler, he worked at the Electricity Board in England.

His father introduced him to gambling and Holt started going to race courses in the early 1960s.

Although he didn’t keep track of his bets, he experienced moderate success, sometimes winning as much as £1,000 (a lot of money back then.)

After a losing streak, Holt decided to start keeping better track of how he was doing.

“It probably had the greatest influence on my future success. As the figures and the percentages built up before me, it was clear that I was becoming more and more analytical.”

This allowed Holt was to better determine what types of bets were most profitable for him.

In the 1970s, he had such a good winning run over a few weeks that he made more money than he could make in two years doing his day job at the Electricity Board.

So, he quit his day job and started betting for a living.

“I set off for Chester on the 6th May 1975 in a new Ford Ghia Capri, in a new suit and in a new job,” he said. “My first bet was £67 to £30 on Western Jewel with Roy Christie on the rails down to a ticket number. The horse won by two lengths and was never in any danger.”

As his success continued, Holt was able to buy fast cars, take his family on foreign holidays (still a rarity in those days) and buy a large house in the country.

However, it was in 1988 when Holt published a book called – Be a Successful Punter: Win with Fineform as Your Guide.

This is a very simple ratings system with the following rules…

Last 2 Races in the Current Season
1st Place 5 points
2nd Place 3 points
3rd Place 2 points
4th Place 1 point
Course and Distance win 3 points
Distance win 3 points
Course win 1 point

All horses are assigned points based on their last two races.

The horse that finishes with the most points is the one that you’re supposed to bet on.

If two runners tie for the top spot, then you should award an extra point to a distance winner.

Clive Holt later added in points for Private Handicapping (top 3) and Favourite Rating (top 3).

Now, FineForm doesn’t really work these days. There are many reasons why this might be…

1). A lot has changed in horse racing in the last 30 years. There was no All Weather back then and Trainers have access to far more data these days.

Holt wrote many books which are still read by some punters.

By the time Holt died in the mid-2000s, he’d become a legend whose advice was highly respected.

As always…

My kindest regards



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