All Weather Racing Statistics For 2014

Back in 2010 I wrote this post about All Weather Racing statistics. I’ve had a number of requests to update it and so, I thought that I would do this today.

To do this I’m going to use data from 2013 and then I’ll test it on the data currently available from 2014.

In 2013 there was All Weather racing at Dundalk, Kempton, Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton.

This time around I am going to use a slightly different approach to finding which factors to use. We will use IV’s (Impact Values) to determine which factors may determine which runners are strongest or weakest in these races. Usually I would recommend having a much more specific set of race conditions than just the race type, but we should still be able to get some useful information.

Any IV above 1 means that the horse wins more often than expected and below 1 means that they win less often than expected. This doesn’t mean that they’re profitable to bet, just that these are the horses which are going to be the strongest contenders.

You need to find the horses that are the strongest contenders before you can decide whether they are worth betting on.

One factor which shows good promise, and does in most race conditions especially when they’re as broad as this.

Factor DSLW Runners Winners Strike Rate IV
DSLW < 1 586 101 17.24 1.56
DSLW 1 to 2 856 100 11.68 1.06
DSLW 3 to 4 752 77 10.24 0.93
DSLW 5 to 6 466 43 9.23 0.83
DSLW 7 to 8 374 36 9.63 0.87
DSLW 9 to 11 441 39 8.84 0.8
DSLW 12 to 15 447 37 8.28 0.75
DSLW >= 16 547 41 7.5 0.68

You may notice above that there are horses with a DSLW of less than 1. This means that these are horses who have never won and… they win an incredible 56% more often than expected.

But that’s not surprising. Because these horses have never won before, nobody is expecting them to perform particularly well (on average).

Horses who have won in the last one or two days win 6% more often than expected, and after that we start to see a decline in performance.

Speed is always an important factor in All Weather racing, and using a horses speed rating last time out:

Factor Factor Rank Runners Winners Strike Rate IV
RnkSPDFIGLr < 2 778 150 19.28 1.74
RnkSPDFIGLr 2 584 87 14.9 1.35
RnkSPDFIGLr 3 420 51 12.14 1.1
RnkSPDFIGLr 4 to 5 1052 123 11.69 1.06
RnkSPDFIGLr 6 to 7 887 67 7.55 0.68
RnkSPDFIGLr 8 to 10 1042 62 5.95 0.54
RnkSPDFIGLr >= 11 549 26 4.74 0.43

This factor looks at each horses speed figure last time they raced and ranks the horse with the highest speed figure last time out as number 1, the horse with the second highest speed figure last time out is number 2 etc…

What is most obvious immediately is that the horse with the highest speed figure last time out wins 74% more often than expected. The horse with the second highest speed figure last time out wins 35% more often than expected.

But what about using factors that are less likely to be used by the general public such as… the average speed figure a horse has achieved over todays course?

Factor Factor Rank Runners Winners Strike Rate IV
RnkSHorAvT < 2 575 111 19.3 1.75
RnkSHorAvT 2 to 3 855 117 13.68 1.24
RnkSHorAvT 4 431 46 10.67 0.97
RnkSHorAvT 5 317 19 5.99 0.54
RnkSHorAvT 6 288 22 7.64 0.69
RnkSHorAvT 7 353 25 7.08 0.64
RnkSHorAvT 8 to 9 498 25 5.02 0.45
RnkSHorAvT >= 10 468 27 5.77 0.52

Interestingly the horses with the best average speed rating over the course (ranked 1 or <2) win 75% more often than expected, a small improvement on using the speed rating last time out. However those ranked 2-3 only win 24% more often than expected.

However this is most likely because our system has put the horses ranked 2 and 3 together. Looking at the table for speed rating last time out you can see that horses ranked 2 achieved 35% more wins than expected, while those ranked 3 only achieved 10% more wins than expected.

This means that the average speed rating over the same course is likely to be very similar to the speed rating last time out.

So far we know that:


  • Horses who won within the last two days, or who have never won, win significantly more than expected.
  • Horses who are in the top three for the best speed rating last time out, compared to the other runners in their current race, win significantly more than expected.
  • Horses who are in the top three for average speed rating over the course win significantly more than expected.


But what about if we think outside of the box to find something that the majority of the betting public are unlikely to consider for runners in this type of race.

One that comes to mind is the ability of the horse. To test this I’m going to look at using the Van Der Wheil (VDW) method of rating a horses ability. This method is widely available but, I suspect, very few people will actually implement it.

Factor Factor Rating Runners Winners Strike Rate IV
VDW Ability < 9 954 47 4.93 0.45
VDW Ability 9 to 96 621 31 4.99 0.45
VDW Ability 97 to 198 936 81 8.65 0.78
VDW Ability 199 to 291 950 101 10.63 0.96
VDW Ability 292 to 385 953 91 9.55 0.86
VDW Ability 386 to 485 949 112 11.8 1.07
VDW Ability 486 to 622 943 115 12.2 1.1
VDW Ability 623 to 824 948 122 12.87 1.16
VDW Ability 825 to 1310 955 109 11.41 1.03
VDW Ability >= 1311 954 131 13.73 1.24

We see a clear trend that the higher the VDW Ability rating the better the IV. There is one slight blip for ratings between 825 and 1310, but this likely to be a data anomaly which would smooth out over more data.

Any horse achieving a VDW Ability rating of 386 or more, wins more often than expected.

Using this approach we’ve built up a profile of runners who are likely to be the strongest contenders in All Weather racing.

  1. Horses who won within the last two days, or who have never won, win significantly more than expected.
  2. Horses who are in the top three for the best speed rating last time out, compared to the other runners in their current race, win significantly more than expected.
  3. Horses who are in the top three for average speed rating over the course win significantly more than expected.
  4. Any horse achieving a VDW Ability rating of 286 or more, wins more often than expected.

Now this doesn’t mean that these runners are profitable to bet on. We need to consider which of these horses to bet to find value first. But…

…we are able to shortlist runners in these race conditions very quickly.

Of course we’ve looked at these different factors individually rather than all together. The idea is to take a horse that meets any of these criteria and analyse them further.

If we were to only focus on horses that had all of these factors then there wouldn’t be many selections. Fifteen in 2013 to precise.

However these fifteen runners produced 8 winners and made a 53% ROI to SP.

If you were to consider that rules 1 and 4 were both required but a horse could have either rule 2 OR rule 3 then this would increase to 23 selections and produce a profit of 9.92 units for a 41% ROI to SP.

So far in 2014 this would have produced 5 selections and 3 winners for a Strike Rate of 60%. A profit of 2.14 units has been made to SP for a ROI of 43%.

In this post I only looked at four factors. To properly use this approach you should spend the time going through every single factor you have to determine the ones that indicate the horses likely to be contenders most strongly.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. Very interesting Michael. I am one of those people from the Van Der Wheil era, and it was his Ability Rating that first started me on the road to Rating. I used a Consistency Rating, an Ability Rating and the Ratings from the 3 best racing papers The Daily Mail, Mirror and Sun. Those last three ratings took into account just about every variable imaginable – then – This process used to throw up about 39% of winners at very good prices providing I used the top two. I like the way you are taking it to a new level, it can only improve matters.

      1. Another interesting little blog there Michael. I had a small flirtation with the VDW concept back in the mid nineties but discovered it’s Achilles Heel fairly early, in that it uses the kind of information that feeds back into the market so can only ever be a marginal success at best. Also I seem to recall that no one appeared to know exactly who VDW was or even if he existed IIRC, which kind of put the proverbial ‘tin hat’ on the concept for me. Only thing I liked about it was that it was very quick by comparison with all the other methods I was developing or trialling at the time.

        I was going to blog you into some of my action, although I accept that large ROI, small strike rate (approx’ 16 – 17%) isn’t every one’s thing. Especially when I tell them that I don’t know whether it’s going to win and that all I know is that the odds about the horse are likely to prove to be too large in the long term. So I wouldn’t (and don’t), call them tips. Thing was….. I couldn’t log in to the member’s area and can’t even remember how I got here in the first place but assumed I am a member cos I keep getting email freebies from you.

        Anyways…. the offer’s there if you fancy it.

      2. No I didn’t adjust it, but I just added more ratings to it over the years, and my feeling was (and it still is) that the more ratings you use, the better the result. I found VDW ratings were best in Class 1 and 2 Races and non handicaps.

        1. I’ve found the more ratings you use the better but if they’re measuring similar things in different ways then you’re best combining them into a single rating to remove the duplication of information.

      3. I also invented a simple opposition rating – which comes in very useful when laying. Some favourites look very capable, but if they have opposition, then they are more vulnerable.

          1. Well it is so simple Michael it hardly merits an article, and I can put the opposition rating on here. I do find it is a rating that is very useful if you are laying.

            You could use any professional rating as a base. ie Top Speed or RP Ratings. I use Rating Post Ratings as I think they take in more variables. Simply look at the Rating of your LAY horse and count every horse rated above and also including the horse you are laying, so if your horse to lay was rated at say 79, and there were three others rated at 79, and two at 80, and one at 85, then the opposition rating would be 7, in other words according to the RP Ratings there are 7 horses capable of equalling or beating your horse. It just gives you a bit more confidence that you have done your homework right.

          2. Should have added, that if laying, I would want there to be at least 3 horses that could oppose mine, the more the merrier.

          3. I think it’s definitely worth an article if you fancied writing it. Although the calculation is simple to do, how you look at races with it and the implementation of it in your betting is key 🙂

  2. Evening Michael,
    I admit relatively new to approaches of this type but anxious to learn. Have found other references to Impact Values and understand the reasoning behind them and wonder if there is an article available you could point me to regarding the calculation of IV. Similary, any guidance to info regarding the VDW ratings equally appreciated.
    Warm Regards

  3. Hi Michael,

    You need to correct a typo, the VDW rating should be 386 and not 286.

  4. Michael,
    Many thanks, at a scan look to start to fill in gaps but will need to work through them in detail.
    Any chance of a similar pointer to the VDW info.
    Many Thanks

  5. As mentioned earlier further info. on the mechanics of V.D.W methodology would prove to be a great help.For example how do you calculate VDW ability ratings etc.Perhaps you could give us a tutorial of sorts regarding his working applications that we could apply to our betting.

  6. I have to admit much scepticism towards VDW in the past but over the last few years I have become more and more convinced of its use in telling something worthwhile about the class of the horses in a race. It is not something to be viewed in splendid isolation but in combination with other factors it should be considered. It forms a cornerstone of my betting at the bigger better class meetings and regularly throws up winners from the mid prices of big fields.

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