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Which factors when picking a horse…

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  • #4070
    • Total Posts 3420

    Given that Tom Segal has told us all that weight and draw are neither here nor there in racing, which normally accepted factors do you feel are either pretty worthless or not considered enough?

    Mine are

    Worthless<br>1. Stats like "jockey hasnt won this race since…blah blah blah". Certain stats are meaningful, but others rubbish<br>2. Speed figures on the jumps. Why?

    Underrated<br>1. May seem strange to say, but the "going" to me is absolutely crucial and yet still treated lightly by some<br>2. Horses for course in jumps. God knows why, but its seems to add or take away pounds wither way. The Left/right thing is vital too


    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    I think everything is important but to varying degrees. And the varying degrees change all of the time and their importance changes from race to race and meeting to meeting.

    What Tom Segal thinks is a lot of silliness, he should know much better, at his age.

    • Total Posts 64

    Overrated –

    Ratings – any type. I say that as a speed figure compiler myself. Ratings are so often the starting point for a punter’s analysis instead of the reference point they should be.

    The most overrated rating is the "master" rating. They should be banned from all racing publications except for those read by anoraks who like to make lists.

    Underrated –

    History. Many punters try to predict what will happen in the future when they don’t understand what happened in the past (usually those armed with a bunch of ratings). This is both on a micro-scale with individual horses and in individual races and on a macro-scale with trends over a number of years.

    I’m not just talking about the sometimes overly simplistic 10-year trends type thing but sometimes more subtler trends that take a bit of rooting to find.

    • Total Posts 27


    1. Jockey form (as opposed to talent)

    2. Market trends in respect of a particular race (as in the sort of garbage McCririck takes great pleasure in spouting regarding ‘this being a dreadful race for favourites’).

    3. Pricewise.


    1. Stable form (particularly at the highest level).

    2. Left-hand / right-hand bias in certain horses (eg Sir Rembrandt over jumps or High Chapperal on the flat).

    3. Trainers’ habits

    • Total Posts 862

    Quite a few of my strong beliefs covered on this thread already!

    Overrated<br>  <br>Collateral form & ratings<br>Speed figures<br>Weight<br>Handicap marks<br>Draw<br>Paddock opinions<br>Jockey ability


    Going<br>Suitability of the track/race/time of year<br>Recent form of trainer, not based on strike rate.

    I have built a method of working using about 50 variables and the end result is a probability rating based on these based to a 100% book.

    • Total Posts 862

    It would be a no play race for me due to the small field size and have not complied any odds for theis race.  If pushed for a selection it would be Take A Bow and would look to lay Fort Dignity at current odds.

    Not a race to rely on Speed Figures for me.

    What view do you take on this race?

    (Edited by Wallace at 3:49 pm on May 9, 2005)

    • Total Posts 2081


    Trends.<br>Systems.<br>Market moves (unless interpreted correctly).


    A horse’s basic athletic ability, which form ratings, time ratings and sectional-time ratings all try to get at, albeit often imperfectly. <br>The way races pan out, involving pace, draw, track bias etc.<br>Trainer form (interpreted correctly).

    Both over- and under-rated, as their significance varies greatly according to circumstances between negligible and crucial:

    The draw.<br>Jockeyship.<br>The going.

    • Total Posts 2081

    Any answer obviously depends on what the person’s perception is of how "rated" (under/over) the factors already are.

    I tend to think that The Beatles are one of the most over-rated bands. That’s not because I think they are poor: in fact I think they are good. I just don’t think they are by far the greatest thing that ever happened in music, which a lot of other people seem to think.

    If you follow.

    • Total Posts 862

    Well if three of us have arrived at a similar conclusion about the 6:50 surely Fort Dignity will be a drifter from 2.22 at present t around 2.5 and Take a Bow will shorten from the 5.0.  I prefer to trade than bet!

    empty wallet
    • Total Posts 1631


    • Total Posts 862

    The market has moved!  I got into Take A Bow at 5.1 and out at 4.1 for a profit.  Great idea this exchange business :)

    • Total Posts 151

    Quote: from Wallace on 2:47 pm on May 9, 2005[br]I have built a method of working using about 50 variables and the end result is a probability rating based on these based to a 100% book.<br>

    <br>Really, 50? Name them…

    • Total Posts 8799

    50 variables sounds unworkable but I’d be delighted to hear more Wallace. How do you manage to compile the necessary data from 50 variables for each race in a reasonable time-frame?

    I do believe you need to look at as much as possible – leave no stone unturned if you like. But you need to do so in a practical way, identifying the key characteritics which are most relevant and these can change depending on the venue, type of horse, type of race, etc. The important thing, whatever factors you use, is to translate the results into your analysis into an accurate assessment of the true price a horse should be at.

    I think that is the most under-rated factor. Identifying the correct price for the horse. Winning at punting is nothing to do with picking winners. If you’re identifying the true price and are patient enough to wait until, for whatever reason, the market gets it wrong, then the winners will come as a matter of course and, provided you are any good at identifying those true prices, so will the profit.

    <br>Of those mentioned previously on the thread I like tdk’s.

    • Total Posts 862

    Cormack15 & nore, I have built a database along with a programmer over the last couple of years.  Can’t go into the finer points of my method.  If you can accept Peter May has developed a speed figure method without using standard times then similar kind of thinking lead me to throwing old chestnuts away and start from scratch. A few variables we do not use; weight, official handicap marks and penalties.

    A very well know ratings service is used by lots of people to trade on the exchanges from 9:30 am every morning.  This service uses over 200 variables in their model and their output is good.  I am more interested in finding big market movers than finding winners.  Our outline tissue is run within minutes of the declarations for the next days racing being downloaded which gives us a good edge providing we can get bets matched early.  The drop in early liquidity on Betfair over recent months is a problem.<br>

    • Total Posts 64

    Two more I’d add –

    Overrated – Opinions

    Underrated – Facts

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