How To Create Standard Times

A few weeks ago I wrote this post about how to calculate the going allowance. There was a lot of interest in how to create speed ratings, and so with that in mind I’m going to look at the first part (and probably most important) of creating your own speed ratings.

That is how to create standard times.

To start I think it’s important to look at what standard times are and why we need them if we’re going to create accurate speed ratings.

We can define the winner of a horse race as:

The horse that got from point A to point B in the fastest time.

However… it’s important to remember that the aim of a horse race isn’t for a horse to run as fast as possible.

The aim of a horse race is to get your horse to run faster than the other horses in the race.

Of course, some of the time these two goals are going to coincide. But a large proportion of the time they won’t.

Horse racing is a tactical sport and often a horse is raced to take advantage of it’s strengths. e.g. to be in the right position to accelerate in the last furlong.

So what does this mean?

Well it means that a horse’s finish time is not necessarily indicative of a horse’s true ability.

Every race is slightly different. It’s run with different conditions at different courses, with different runners, different ground etc…

Which means that in order to accurately assess the time a horse has won the race in we need to create benchmarks for each of these sets of conditions. Otherwise it would be impossible to compare a horse’s finish time in one race with another horse it has never met before.

After all, if the conditions are different then the times would be different even if the distance was exactly the same.

The standard times are these benchmarks.

Nick Mordin originally wrote the book Mordin On Time, which publicly showed his methods for creating standard times.

His methods have since been fine tuned, adapted and advanced, as you would expect. Nevertheless they remain one of the best and simplest ways to create standard times by hand.

I strongly recommend you get his book if you’re interested in speed ratings, and the method of creating standard times I’m going to outline in this post today is a simplified version of the one that Nick Mordin shares in his book. I have simplified it so that you can get started as quickly as possible.

You need to start by gathering the finish times of at least twenty races on your course and distance of choice. There’s no reason you can’t simply do every distance at the course but I would recommend you start by focusing on one.

These races should all be run on good, or faster, ground conditions but I prefer to try and keep the ground conditions as close to good as possible to keep the variation as low as possible.

As you write down the finish times, also make a note of the class of the race next to each of them because you are now going to…

…adjust each of the finish times based on the class of the race:

Class 1 reduce by 3.6 seconds per mile

Class 2 reduce by 4.8 seconds per mile

Class 3 reduce by 5.5 seconds per mile

Class 4 reduce by 6.3 seconds per mile

Class 5 reduce by 6.6 seconds per mile

Class 6 reduce by 6.9 seconds per mile

Class 7 reduce by 7.3 seconds per mile

The purpose of this is to bring the times into line so that all horses of all classes would have been able to achieve them roughly.

These numbers are rough, and you can of course work out the exact amount that each should be reduced, but the above will be sufficient for you to get started with.

Take your twenty adjusted finish times and then pick the one in the middle. This is your standard time.

But it’s not quite finished yet…

With this you now need to make adjustments for the turns and gradients in the track. To do this you’re going to need to grab a copy of the track map with the gradients mark and get out your ruler.

Don’t worry, this can be done roughly and still be effective.

For any turn you should add 0.30 seconds per furlong for a sprint race and 0.20 seconds per furlong for longer races. If the turn is 10 furlongs or longer then this adjustment doesn’t need to be made for it.

Any parts of the track that are uphill you should add 1.50 seconds per furlong and any downhill section of the track you should remove 0.50 seconds per furlong as these can speed the horses up.

Again these figures are rough estimates. A steep uphill climb can cause a horse to slow down more than 1.50 seconds and a steep downhill section can also cause a horse to slow down as they become unsteady.

You can work out these figures exactly. But… the above approximations will be fine to get you started.

Congratulations, you now have your first standard time for your first track and distance.

But be warned, these standard times will change and you should be keeping an eye on them and updating them regularly. Tracks may change the distances by a few yards but races will be published as being run at the same distance. This, and other similar adjustments, could change your standard time.
Try creating your own standard times for your favourite track and distance and in a few weeks we will look at how to use these to create your own speed ratings.

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. Hi Michael,

    I want to ask you about Betfair ATM that you gave an excellent review.

    I bought that horse betting system a while ago and I have on several occasions tried it out and always failed to make money with it. I must have tried it seriously about 6 or 7 times and I have read through the ebook by Michael (Steve Davidsons brother?) and I am sure I do understand the rules and apply the 99-100% correct. At least that is anyway what I have chosen to believe! But still I can not make any money from it! I almost trough my computer of of the window when there was another loser after another loser after another loser. But after taking a couple of whisky´s I calmed down.

    I am going absolutely crazy by not making it work so that I do get a good return of my money.

    How long time did you try it out for? And how did you do it and what kind of bank did you use?

    Maybe you could tell me/inform me about the secret of how to get this horse backing in play system to work?

    Thanks for your help!

    Best regards


    1. Hi Peter, I assume that you meant this comment to go under the Betfair ATM review rather than this post. I simply used the method that the creator advised as being the best to use for a period of 3 months. As I said in the video, I generally do not like loss-recovery and you need a large bankroll to cover losses.

  2. Thank you Michael for another interesting follow-up article. Great stuff and really appreciated.

    Maths never was one of my strong points, but when someone goes to the trouble of showing me how something is calculated mathematically I take notice and I’m very willing to learn – even in my old age!!

    Again many thanks

    Kindest regards


  3. Good evening Michael,

    Thank you for the email you sent me to be able to view your blog on the website. What about weight and going is this not important as well. I understood that a horse carrying 8st 7lbs would certainly run faster or finish faster in the last furlong than a horse carrying 9st.0 lbs. What do you think?

    1. Hi Franklyn, thank you for your comment. We only try to use good or better going, staying as close to good as possible, to calculate standard times which is what keeps the ground condition consistent. When calculating the actual speed ratings we then take into account the ground condition of the race to adjust a horses speed rating. The weight can be taken into account when calculating the speed ratings but I would argue the benefit of doing so. You know that if you carry weight a further distance then it’s going to have more of an adverse affect. However different weights will affect a horse depending on the size of the horse and because the weight of a horse isn’t published (as opposed to the weight it’s carrying) then we have no way of knowing how it will affect a horse and can either hugely over or under estimate it’s affect. If we don’t include it then the bias is going to at least be standard. For example if I carry 5lb’s for three miles it’s going to tire me out, if an elephant carries the same weight the same distance it is barely going to affect it’s performance. It would probably need to carry it for 30 miles to have the same affect. A bit of a silly and extreme example, but I’m sure you get the idea 🙂

  4. MIKEY – So YOU take at least 20 Actual Recorded Times from within a “Good” Going Range – adjust them by some fictitious Seconds Per Mile Class Pars – written around 20 years ago (which Reduces the Actual Times) to “normalise” them. Then add or reduce the Actual Times again by some more fictitious adjustments for turns and gradients (How do you know that the effect of Turns = 0.30 sec per furlongs in a sprint) and then “Pick the one in the middle” FFS Mikey surely as a previous employee of a major Hong Kong Betting Team you can give your followers something more substantial than this shite!! Heres a snippet to chew on – that 3.6 sec per mile for Class 1 Times (using 99.00 sec as an avg mile time) works out at around a 55lb adjustment (Could be more actually – see Bob Wilkins) -Makes No Logical Sense Whatsoever. Even your 0.30 sec per furlong adjustment for Turns in a Sprint (using 61.00 sec as an avg 5f Turn Sprint Time) – works out around 37lb over 5f. Modern Day Speed Analysis has moved on from the Simple “CBeebie” methods Mordin used where weight could not be “understood” so it was ignored (defying Great physical laws of Science… and Nature) – Weight and Time are inter-linked Mikey(in Lbs too!!! and seconds!!!) and by much more than you could ever imagine or seems and “Standard” Times can be extraplolated from past Time data …. much,much better than any methods you could ever steal.

    1. Thanks for the comment Robert. This method is a simple way for someone new to speed ratings to start calculating, and although it’s old I still think it’s one of the simplest ways to understand the basic concepts. There is no stealing going on, I clearly mention that I am simplifying Nick Mordin’s methods in the post. I also don’t say that this is the method I personally use. We actually create our own pars, they are updated every single day using any new data that has come in and we use a custom combination of a number of various different methods.

      1. Mikey – Thanks for actually answering and showing some Cahunas for a change. First off – i know you stated and clearly mentioned of simplifying Mordins method but why in 2015 write an article about it basically taking “word for word” class pars etc and then take the “great stuff” plaudits in the comments. Why not publish your own pars or your own methods that you actually use – not Nicks ideas from 1999 and before you say “We might lose our edge” in this day and age of efficient markets etc – ill say it now – Bollocks!! – If your able to get on – your edge will be fine. But i remember you from the PA boards a few years ago when you were fishing for (quite basic) information on there so i dont actually believe your Time methods are much different or sophisticated from Mordins way back then no matter how much you dress them up – ive seen a sample of your figures (Betting Speed Evolution – remember that) and they were none too impressive – plus the fact your still a “Weight” denier and the Man who can’t classify Weight can’t classify Time. If you really want to find out about Speed , Time and Weight search for a man by the name of Steve Blume – an Australian Time Rater who worked for Alan Woods – he’s on various worldwide forums and is open enough to explain – If you want to learn.

        1. Or nearer to home our own Mr Simon Rowlands has some “serious” material on Time and who’s Model and ideas would be a “better” source point (more realistic and relevant) to your followers than Nick Mordin IMO

        2. Steve Blume here.
          I guess I am a bit slow, I knew I got a mention here a long time ago, but decided to let it ride.
          I wonder what your opinion is now, maybe I am just a know nothing pea brain….do you reckon?
          I guess I had better read the preceding article now.


          There is a few things over the top therein, but at the end of the day, only one thing matters.
          Do you win more money(or lose less) with it, or without it?
          If with, then it’s fine; if without, then its not.

  5. R/sir, I have lossed 17 years and all the money in Indian horse racing.Basically I am civil engineer , always try to discover formulas and handicapping system .but not susscusfull. I read your arrival but can’t understand though rally I am requesting you for gress of god plz plz explain the procedure of making standard times, track variant,and speed rating for all weather track, thanks and regds. R.L. MORE (India).

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