BOB WILKINS (Author Bioenergetics and Racehorse Ratings) Q&A

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by cormack15 cormack15 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #14261
    cormack15
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8737

    Some of you may have read the thread on the new book -‘Bioenergetcs and Racehorse Ratings’ by Bob Wilkins.

    https://www.theracingforum.co.uk/horse-racing-forum/horse-racing/bioenergetics-and-racehorse-ratings-t81093.html

    We also have a review of the book on the site.

    https://www.theracingforum.co.uk/horse-racing-features/2010/02/review-bioenergetics-and-racehorse-ratings-by-bob-wilkins/

    For those interested in ratings and, indeed, developing or adding to a general understanding of the factors which affect performance this is an extreemly interesting book and I’m delighted to report that Bob Wilkins has agreed to do a Q&A session for us.

    So, if you have any questions for Bob or would like to find out a bit more about his method of rating please post your questions on this thread.

    #279750

    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    Hi Bob.

    I am a big fan of the book, which is the most important horseracing analysis book I have read.


    Is there any chance of making the central equation for pounds per second easier to calculate for different times and different distances for those of us who did not do Applied Maths beyond 6th form, even if it means there is a slight fall off in accuracy?

    The basic algorithm for solving for the race time T, (pages 13-14), is actually not very complicated, but practical implementation will depend on which software is being used.


    Do you believe that your methods would work better in jurisdictions in which body weights and sectional times are known (e.g. Hong Kong), and have you tried this out?


    Were you surprised by the poor quality of existing books on horseracing analysis, and, if so, to what do you attribute this?


    Tia

    #279753

    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    Also, do you believe that the Cr calculation (energy cost of running) could have implications for determining stamina?


    As things stand, it is very difficult to put a precise figure on the stamina displayed in a 5f race at Brighton as opposed to a 5f race at Carlisle, or a 5f race at Brighton compared to a 6f race at the same track (as examples).


    These ideas are explained in terms of the model, in section 2.5.F, which discussed the issue in terms of the anaerobic and aerobic capacities, E and P. If we had sectional timing especially at the end of a race, we would have a chance of estimating both these parameters. But as we don’t, we can only use a single number to represent performance. Whether expressed in pounds or in W/kg, it is a still a one-dimensional measure.

    Sebastian Coe was the world 800m record holder for almost 10 years, and his time has only been surpassed (just) by one other athlete. If we compare the VO2max values for Coe with other middle-distance champions of the era, they do not differ very much. However Coe appeared to have a much higher anaerobic energy store (E), which means that he could run at the same fast pace as the others, taking in similar amounts of oxygen along the way, but towards the end of the race there was something "left in the tank", giving an ability to quicken in a sprint finish.

    With the limited data available for horse racing, separate estimation of E and P is a long way off, but if we could do this it would go a long way to answering the rather vague questions of stamina and class.

    #280604
    cormack15
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8737

    My question is around application of the ratings Bob –

    Will you (or anyone else)be evaluating how the ratings perform (as an indication of ability) by monitoring results?

    I’d be quite happy to publish ratings on this forum if they were being compiled, is that something that would be of interest or that you would object to?

    There are three types of ratings discussed in the book, those based on time, on form, and then the objective collateral form method. I don’t have any plans to publish ratings, but as the methods are fully described and in the public domain, anyone is free to use or publish them.

    #345937
    venjee
    venjee
    Participant
    • Total Posts 112

    Hi Bob

    I am most probably going to embarass myself here!!.
    Bought your book,find it an interesting read but I’m have trouble with the calculations especially no 19 I wonder if you could show an example here?. I think I’m doing something wrong as I have a negative figure on the left and a positive figure on the right.

    Many Thanks John

    #346489

    overdee
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1

    All terms should be positive.

    Quite tricky to give complex calculations in text format.

    If you send a request to books@overdee.demon.co.uk I’ll be happy to send you a spreadsheet you can use to check your calculations.

    #387099

    Glenn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1977

    I missed this one the first time round as I was away at the time.

    What will people think in 50 years time when they look back at this q&a session and see that it got only one guy holding up his hand, and the chairman having to interject with a query himself to overcome the embarassing silence when scouting the room for anyone else to profer a question?

    Indeed, what will people think of this book’s general reception? I know it got on one of the shortlists for sportsbook of the year, but I can’t recall seeing a single review for it in the racing press.

    I’m betting that history will be kinder and that Bob Wilkins’ appreciation curve will follow those of Franz Kafka or Van Gough. In fact I’m betting on it! The chairman has his top trump cards, I have my

    Original Wilkins

    . I regard it as my pension, not just from digesting the contents but by submitting it to Sotheby’s when I reach retirement.

    I’d like to re-open this Q&A session, if I may be so bold. I have many questions for Dr Wilkins, my first is the most fatuous, and mercenary, but needs must:

    Will you do me the pleasure of converting my

    Original Wilkins

    into an

    Original Wilkins signed by the author

    .

    #387182
    cormack15
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8737

    I can’t recall seeing a single review for it in the racing press.

    I know we’re not really racing ‘press’ but we reviewed it!

    http://www.theracingforum.co.uk/horse-racing-features/2010/02/review-bioenergetics-and-racehorse-ratings-by-bob-wilkins/

    In between Top Trumps with a Disney set.

    #387379

    Glenn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1977

    A gold star for you there Cormack.

    To quote Baldrick I feel like a man who thought a cat had done its business on his pie, but it turned out to be an extra large blackberry. I’ve just opened my copy and what I initially feared was one of my doodles on the inside page turns out to be Dr Wilkins’ signature.

    #387569
    cormack15
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8737

    Gold stars – We don’t get many of those. I’ll cherish it.

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