What do the Racing Post Ability Ratings mean?

A number of weeks ago a reader asked me what the ability ratings that are available to Racing Post members actually mean. These are usually in the form of one, two or three ticks.

As so often seems to be the case with the Racing Post, when you actually try and find information on how they make their ratings through their website it is nearly impossible to find. Having not used these ratings for many years it was down to getting in touch with them by phone and finding out what they actually meant.

After a few phone calls I eventually have managed to find out exactly what the ability ratings mean and this article will stay online as a permanent record that is a lot easier to find than searching through the Racing Post for information I am not even sure is there!

Although the majority of horses are rated with ticks there are also three of symbols. These take the form of a dash (hyphen) which means the horse is debuting. An X means that there is not enough adequate form for a rating to be compiled and a ? means that the horses last run was more than a year ago and there is no RPR rating.

The important tick ratings are described below:

1 tick                     Some kind of form within the last 12 months

2 ticks                  Either the RPR or the TS rating is within 7 pounds of the top rated RPR horse

3 ticks                  Both the RPR and the TS rating is within 7 pounds top rated RPR horse

Looking at these explanations I am not sure how much use they can be over finding out which horses may be decent with a very quick glance.

One tick is effectively useless as it tells you that sometime in the last year the horse has performed well with no indication of when, race type, how long ago etc……

Two ticks is a little more detailed and seems to be more of a contender class rating as it says that the horse has a similar weight to the top rated RPR horse. It doesn’t tell you whether it is the RPR or TS though you have to look for yourself.

Three ticks is more detailed still saying that both the RPR and TS are within 7 pounds of the top rated RPR. The major problem that I would have is that I have absolutely no idea how these two ratings work together and interact with each other.

It is all very well knowing that the TS is within 7 pounds of the tope RPR rated in the race but what does this actually mean? Is this an exceptional indication, a good indication, an average or a bad indication? It could very well be any of them and requires investigation into how they work together.

I am unable to offer any advice on how you may be able to use this information because I have never done any research into it and I don’t have any past data. If you have past data and use the ability ratings then maybe you would like to write an article for the Race Advisor explaining how these figures work with each other, just get in touch with me and let me know.

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. Michael

    Many thanks for that- I am in the process of “suggesting” to some on the day racegoing friends ( THEY HAVE NO NOTION OF FORM OR STATISTICS) on how they can find winners quickly using the Racing Post- I was going to convert the PostData to a power rating but I will now abandon that idea.


    1. Hi Bruce, thank you for your message. We don’t currently operate telephone customer services, you can contact our support team at any time using the icon on the bottom right of every page of the website.

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