Why Top Rated Is Not Necessarily Best

It is human nature to think that the top rated is the best. Usually the top rated is the largest numerical figure. In horse racing different horses may be top rated in different factors. This would indicate that different horses have strengths in different areas, a logical assumption.

However as soon as you begin to look at ratings from a more mathematical point of view then things start to get murky for most people. This is why if you spend the time understanding numbers and ratings you can reap the benefits.

The first thing to understand is that ratings do not necessarily have to go from high to low, they can also go from low to high. A rating that goes from low to high means that the top rated horse is the one with the lowest figure. This simple change can be hard to get your head around but if a rating is developed this way it is better to keep it low to high than convert it into high to low so it is easier to understand.

Every time that you convert a figure you are going to lose some of the accuracy of it. So, if you had developed a rating that predicted how close to the winner in lengths a horse was going to be then the lower the figure the better the horse. You decide to share this with some of your friends because it has been working so well but unfortunately they find it hard to understand what it means when the best horse 1.25 lengths from the winner and the second best is 1.45 lengths from the winner. After all what does that mean?

To help them out you decide to convert this into a high to low rating with the top rating being 100. So a horse with a predicted 0 lengths from the winner would get 100. You may have 3 horses in a race with 94, 85 and 70. When you share this with your friends they now understand this!

After all they now know that the best horse is only 6 points away from being the best possible, the next is still pretty good at 85 while the next is a 15 point drop. Easy.

The problem is that you have changed the rating. It is no longer measuring in the same way and so cannot be used in the same way. You need to work out how to use it in its new form.

The best way to use ratings is to look at them from an analysis perspective. Don’t just blindly bet the top rated but look at them from an analytical point of view.

In the world of betting there are comparatively very few punters who will look at a rating from an analytical perspective. They see a horse that is rated the highest and assume it is the best so back it. You don’t have to be the same, put some of your analytical skills into practice and you will find that you are finding far more winners.

Some of the things you should be looking to see…

  • Are the runners all closely rated
  • Which ratings are likely to be most important in THIS race
  • Is there one horse with all good ratings or are they spread across a number of runners
  • Is there a rating which indicates a potential problem that could cause the horse to lose

Don’t forget that not only do you not have to choose a single horse, you can bet on multiple runners, but that you also don’t have to bet if you think the race has to many potential contenders!

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.
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