Smart Punter

Smart Punter – Speed Maps

April 16, 2022

When it comes to predicting a winner of a race, speed maps are an essential source of information for racing punters. They form an integral part of a racing form guide and are available for every race. This Smart Punter article takes an in-depth look into what speed maps are and how to utilise and understand them.


Speed maps are used to predict where each horse will be positioned during the race and indicate the likely pace at which it will be run. 
Having a thorough understanding of how a race will likely unfold right from the start is essential and builds confidence in our ability to predict the eventual outcome.
Given that most horses prefer a particular pattern of racing, speed maps aim to provide insight into whether the race is likely to suit that pattern.  
Barrier speed/location and previous in-running positions are key factors that further our knowledge of where each horse may be during the early phase of the race and how this may impact on the overall shape of the race, although there are a range of other variables to consider as well.

“Having a thorough understanding of how a race will likely unfold right from the start is essential and builds confidence in our ability to predict the eventual outcome.”


The following list of terms indicate where a horse may be positioned:

A horse who has good gate speed and gets away cleanly.
Whether the horse is drawn close to the rails or out wider will also impact on how easily it can find the front.
Leaders generally prefer a conservative tempo to have enough in hand at the finish.

Horses who have good gate speed but prefer to settle just behind the leaders.
This is often considered the prime position as it avoids having to negotiate any crosswinds or headwinds in the run yet be close enough to strike once the straight is reached.

Horses who have adequate gate speed but still want to be positioned forward.

Horses who don’t have good gate speed usually find themselves here.
If the pace of the race is genuine then the jockey should be able to position the horse to run on in the straight.

Horses who lack early speed and settle towards the rear of the field.
Luck in running can play a critical role here as the jockey may need to navigate a path between tiring horses to ensure his horse has every opportunity to win.

Horses who settle at the back of the field and need time to settle.
They often have a powerful turn of foot but rely on enough pace to give them the chance to make up ground on horses positioned further forward.
Backmarkers generally have a poor strike-rate, although can look visually impressive when finishing over the top of other horses.


The Unibet speed map can be sourced by clicking on the SPEED MAP icon as displayed above in top right.
Horse names and silks are displayed with runners shown in barrier order depicting their likely settling position based on historical data.
Current Fixed odds prices are also indicated allowing customers to bet directly from the speed map to ensure ease of customer journey.

Other Smart Punter Articles

CLICK HERE: Smart Punter – Form, Analysis And Probability

CLICK HERE: Smart Punter – Staking And Discipline

CLICK HERE: Smart Punter – Deposit Limits

CLICK HERE: Smart Punter – Winning And Losing Runs, Taking Time Out