Recently I launched a piece of software called Betting Speed Evolution, which not only finds winners on auto-selection but is also a speed based analysis tool. So, I thought that it would be appropriate to write an article about why speed ratings are so powerful.
In the UK it’s commonly thought that speed ratings are only effective on the flat and all-weather, and this is just not true. For a long time I used to think this as well, but then having spent a lot of time studying the big US betting syndicates I realised that I was doing it wrong. In fact speed ratings can be very effective on all race types if you use them properly.
Today, speed ratings feature in almost every aspect of my betting. Traditionally we create speed ratings as a rating that allows us to look at horses from different classes and race conditions together under the same roof. One rating as a total analysis tool. Great in theory, and the theory works well…to a certain degree.
First of all it’s important to understand that a rating is an estimate of a horses performance. If we create a rating before a race then it’s a projected estimate, and if we create a rating after a race then it’s a more accurate estimate of how the horse has performed. However, even after a race it is still an estimate. There are too many unmeasurable factors in horse racing to make it 100% accurate. This doesn’t mean that we can’t make money from it, quite the opposite, but we need to be aware that we are not dealing with 100% accurate figures.
It is very easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of a rating. I have done it myself many times, but at the end of the day these minutiae don’t matter because they are swallowed up in by the unmeasurable factors (e.g. wind, how a horse is feeling etc…).
How does being aware of this help us?
Because we know the horse may actually have achieved a slightly higher or lower rating than the one it has been given. Every time we take account of a factor in a rating then we lose a little bit of its accuracy. For example, in speed ratings we may take into account the course, going and distance. At each of these steps we lose a little bit more of the ratings accuracy because we are estimating at each stage. We have to take these things into account because otherwise we wouldn’t have an effective rating at all, but once again, it is important to be aware of what the number we are using represents.
Most people have their speed ratings and start comparing each horse at every race with all the other horses. But we aren’t most people, we are knowledgable punters who want to make a profit, and so we do things differently.
Instead we start by just looking at the horses who have run over the same conditions to todays race and their speed ratings. We are looking for horses that have performed well, particularly if they have performed better than the others. Make note if any have improved or declined over similar race conditions.
When we have done this and made some notes, we then widen the net and look at similar conditions, maybe similar goings and slightly longer/shorter distances. We repeat the process above.
Finally we use the market, are there any runners in the market that have short odds that we didn’t mark up as having potential to win this race. If so then we want to know why (doesn’t mean we bet on them), so we look at all the ratings and find the races that are likely to be the reason for the horses position in the market. We ask ourselves if the horse is…
a) Likely to repeat this performance.
b) Likely to perform this well under todays conditions.
Quite often the answer will be no and so we can ignore this horse as a contender or possibly consider it a lay bet. Then we can focus on our notes and the runners that have shown themselves to be strongest in the conditions that todays race is actually being run.
While this article has outlined this methodology using speed ratings, it can be effectively applied to any type of rating. Choose your favourite ratings and go and experiment, I think you will be pleased with what you find.