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    Default How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    This work is not mine,it is by Mike J Davies

    Part one

    The Problem With Speed Pars:

    As traders and bettors we must continually strive for new and innovative horse racing and betfair systems to keep us ahead of the fierce competition.

    The fluidity of the Betfair ecosystem means that you must never stop your search for new methods and different angles to profit from racing and the betting exchanges.

    The learning curve is, and will remain constant into the foreseeable future.

    When I first start talking to punters and colleagues about the features of speed pars, I am often met with confused looks or even bemused scowls.

    When I start talking about the potential benefits of using speed pars suddenly a lot of interest is shown.

    The problem has always been it seems, the amount of time they take to prepare in order to provide any meaningful or more importantly, profitable data.

    I had been searching for a method that can be worked in the 10 minutes before a race but my research proved fruitless.

    The average punter is simply not willing to spend several hours a day on form study and working complex arithmetic in order to come up with the same horse that all the tipsters identified 12 hours earlier.

    The Search For Value:

    What we really need as punters are methods that will regularly throw up horses that are "contrary" to the "talking" horses, and this is what speed pars are best at.

    By indicating "contrary" selections speed pars can be used to generate profitable longer odds winners as compared to blindly backing favourites.

    What I have developed is a simple speed ratings system for use as a field reduction mechanism or even a pure back to win mechanism should you have the stomach for that style of betting.

    The simplicity of the system is partly due to the fact that it uses freely available online data. The results have to date been excellent.

    Should you make your own speed ratings, or can you rely on others and online resources?

    In an ideal world you would all make your own speed ratings, this would give you the edge you need to separate yourself from other punters. But, as with anything that's worthwhile in life, this takes time and commitment and life itself has a tendency to get in the way of such ventures.

    Also, we all need quick and convincing evidence that a system is usable and productive.

    What you really want to know is - does it make money? As punters this is the crucial evidence you need in advance of committing enormous resource to developing it for your own use.

    To get started with speed ratings you can use several free web sites on the Internet. The reason you can now start to develop speed rating systems is because the really hard work of creating them and publishing them has already been done by experts at:

    * RacingPost.com
    * AtTheRaces.com

    However you still need to be aiming for true independence from the crowd.

    What happens if the ratings you are using which were designed by someone else simply stop working?

    * What are your options for tweaking and modifying ratings if you don't understand how they were created? None.
    * What changes can you make to someone else's system that you don't understand? None.
    * What improvements can you make to a system that you didn't create in the first place? None.

    If you are a follower of my work you will know that a "contrary" approach to selecting winners is where the "value" bets can be found.

    Only here can be found the true path to profitable betting.

    Other accurate sources of speed rating information can be found at Timeform Perspective which is the ultimate in analysis of racing data, but is a subscription service aimed at dedicated professionals.

    Raceform interactive is also extremely useful for speed ratings, but is again a subscription service.

    The fact is that simply betting on the horse with the fastest average speed is just like betting on the favourites in every race - while it produces a lot of winners, it does not produce a profit.

    This is because the average speed is not enough!

    In the rest of this series I examine -

    * History of speed ratings.
    * What makes them so effective for UK All Weather Racing.
    * How to find and use freely available online speed data.
    * The 3 major factors that can be calculated from the freely available speed rating data.
    * The minor factors that should be added into the system to create a profitable speed rated system for UK All Weather Racing.
    * The rules of my profitable All Weather speed system.
    * Strategies for using the results of the speed system and finally pinpointing profitable selections.

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    Part two

    Speed Ratings - A Brief History.

    The ideas behind speed ratings were born on the American racetracks.

    Andrew Beyers is the recognized godfather of work on speed ratings.

    The reason that speed ratings are highly regarded in American racing is because the racetracks are made of fibresand.

    This means that climactic conditions have little effect on the outcome of the race in terms of the going.

    Whatever the weather, the tracks pretty much run at the same speed.

    We can see similar speed rating analysis in the Emirates where some of the finest thoroughbreds race on the fastest and most consistent tracks in the world.

    Also the layout of American tracks means that they have fewer undulations and inclines and tend to conform to quite standard layouts. They tend to be oval and flat.

    This tends to take draw bias out of the equation, to a certain extent.

    In the UK of course the situation is completely different in that most of our tracks are Turf:

    * The going changes dramatically from day to day.
    * The going can change between the going being announced the night before and the afternoon of the race.
    * The tracks are uneven with inclines and draw bias can in some cases practically determine the winner of a race.

    Some horses however fast will stick in the mud and others with stamina but no speed will get nowhere on firm ground.

    In the UK there are dozens of racetracks and not one of them conforms to a particular pattern or layout.

    This means that a horses results at one course, in truth, cannot be effectively transferred as performance predictors to another.

    What this means is that top speeds for Turf in the UK are notoriously unreliable and must be combined with mountains of other evidence, particularly in relation to:

    * The going.
    * The draw bias.
    * The course layout.
    * The distance.

    Also, the nature of Turf racing in the UK is such that to a large extent the race is won and lost in the last couple of furlongs.

    Horses are by nature pack animals which are quite happy to canter along behind other horses till a point where the jockey suddenly decides to add a little encouragement.

    Turf versus All Weather Racing:

    Let's examine two recognized facts:

    * Question - How often do front runners start at the front and win the race on Turf. Answer - not often.
    * Question - How often do front runners start at the front and win the race on All Weather courses. Answer - very often.

    Why is this important?

    Well at first you may consider that it isn't but in fact it is an incredibly important piece of data.

    What it means is that horses running on All Weather courses tend to run the entire race at an even pace.

    This, in turn, means that if the favourites pace is 1 point faster than the next horse and both horses run to their speed par ability then the faster horse will win the race.

    In the UK there are now All Weather racecourses at:

    * Kempton Park.
    * Wolverhampton.
    * Lingfield.
    * Southwell.
    * Great Leighs.

    This means there is an All Weather meet most days of the week, particularly in the winter.

    These courses are the nearest we will ever get to the American dustbowls and it is at these courses that I propose you start your testing with speed pars.

    The excellent Racing Post as always does a great deal of the work for you and produces a TopSpeed speed rating for each horse in each race.

    The question has always been to some extent: "How should we use speed ratings?" and Andrew Beyer the American speed rating expert gives some crucial indicators.

    In the rest of this series I outline:

    * The 3 major factors which in combination give you the blueprint for your UK All Weather Speed Rating System.
    * The Post Data minor factors that when added to the major factors create a profitable speed system for UK All Weather Racing.
    * The critical rules that must be applied to your All Weather speed system.
    * Strategies for using the results of the speed system data to pinpoint final selections.

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    Part three

    Major Factors

    1. Average speed

    The Racing Post Rating (RPR) and the Racing Post TopSpeed rating are complementary pieces of data measuring the same thing - a horse's ability relative to the others in the race.

    The TopSpeed rating follows directly from the race times, and calculated going allowance using Racing Post standard times.

    These standard times are based on RPRs (standard = best achievable, RPR = 100, 9st, good ground). What the Racing Post doesn't do is distinguish between the top speeds on Turf and the top speeds on All Weather courses.

    Why is this so important? Simple. There is absolutely no point comparing a horses performance on Turf and its performance on All Weather tracks.

    It is like trying to compare a tennis players ability on clay to his ability on grass. Occasionally you get players who are brilliant on both surfaces but it tends to be because they are just brilliant full stop.

    So what we need to do is to eliminate all the ratings for Turf, and use only the ratings for All Weather courses.

    Try and get as many ratings as you can from the current season for each horse. You will find that horses tend to specialize in one code or the other. Turf versus All Weather.

    For some bizarre reason trainers and owners tend to run their horses where they think they have the greatest chance of winning prize money.

    If you find a horse who is running on All Weather for the first time, however good it was on Turf it is very unlikely that it will win first time out on All Weather.

    2. Consistency

    A second very beneficial factor to consider is consistency.

    There are 2 options for determining consistency.

    You can determine variability between speed ratings for different races based on the:

    * Average speed as calculated for factor 1.
    * The highest speed figure available.

    For example you could take each horse's highest figure from the All Weather top speeds and subtract the difference from all available lower figures, add them together, and divide by the total number of figures to give a deviation from the highest figure.

    Do this for all the horses that you are considering including in your field.

    This gives what we call the "consistency" rating for each horse.

    Why are we so bothered about consistency?

    If a horse has one top speed rating that looks particularly out of place then it probably is. Check carefully that the race was not on Turf.

    It may be due to exceptional circumstances, for example the horse may have been carrying a weight that was far too high or too low.

    Obviously, as already stated you are ignoring figures taken from Turf.

    The reasoning for this is that in so many cases the races are just not run at a true pace on Turf with slow races ending in final furlong sprints.

    3. Improvers and Decliners

    The final important "major" factor in using speed pars is to determine whether a horse can be classed as an improver or a decliner. Does the horse seem to be improving over its last series of races, or does it seem to be on the way down or just plodding along consistently.

    This is possibly the most difficult factor to assess from a purely statistical aspect.

    The last 2 races are far and away the most important. After that, the data cannot necessarily be considered part of a trend, particularly in handicaps.

    Without going too deep we can only achieve a very rough guide but this can provide vital clues in trying to find a horse that is on the ascendency or on the decline.

    So we have all this data taken from basic speed pars - the question now is -

    What do we DO with the data?

    Simple really. We want to use it to win money!

    I cannot think of any punter who hasn't been sent spare at some point trying to figure out the nuances of form and ultimately where to put their money.

    What you should also recognize is that in system based betting it is extremely important that you achieve a reasonably regular "win rate".

    Why is this? Basic human nature. This is the reason so many system based betting ventures fail. Human beings have a major design flaw, they have emotions, this means:

    * They cannot stick to the plans that they set themselves.
    * They cannot tolerate long losing streaks.

    The solution to overcoming human nature is to attempt to remove it from the equation.

    You create a score for each of the horses you are considering for each of the 3 major factors and add points for each horse based on its score for each factor.

    The solution to problem two is to use field reduction and apply a dutching danger horse methodology.

    This doesn't necessarily result in higher profits over a given season, the profits will be similar to using a standard back to win method.

    The beauty of using Bet Angel Professional for danger horse dutching in this way is that your profit curve will be infinitely more even.

    This means that you will be able to maintain confidence that the system is working and you are on a winning curve. When all this is complete you are looking for a horse whose SP does not correlate with the speed rating you have created.

    In the rest of this series I examine:

    * The vital rules that apply to your profitable All Weather speed system.
    * The minor factors and questions you need to add into your speed system.
    * How to analyze and use the rating results of your speed system to pinpoint profitable value selections.

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    Part four

    Speed Rating System - Rules and Strategies.

    What you have produced so far are useful pointers to horses that have the ability to run fast, with reasonable consistency, and are improving.

    You have by no means found the winner, a danger horse, nor have you found a horse that can be classed as a value bet.

    If you are a follower of my work you will know that we are not simply looking to find as many winners as possible.

    Why not? Because the easy way to do this is to blindly back favourites and it is statistically proven that this does not produce a profit.

    Remember we talked about the overround?

    What you need to find are winners that will produce an overall profit due to their value at starting price, so beating the overround.

    To do this you need a different angle from all the tipsters, the pundits, other professionals, mug punters and so on. Because once a horse becomes a "talking" horse it's likely that it's too late to get a decent price.

    After producing the initial averages for speed ratings, consistency and improvement, how else should you start looking for your final selection?

    When examining speed rating data on All Weather, there is speculation about the effect of the weight, the handicap.

    Naturally, weight changes will affect all horses, Turf or All Weather.

    But, in most cases the handicap doesn't appear to affect horses on All Weather courses anything like as much as on Turf, particularly in the shorter races under 12 furlongs.

    The Speed Rating System Rules:-

    * Use All Weather races that are less than 12 furlongs.
    * Use races that are as high class as possible.
    * Work out the average speed using only figures from All Weather courses.
    * Work out the consistency rating for each horse.
    * Work out the improver/decliner rating for each horse.
    * Use the related PostData entries to determine minor points.

    This is a solid basic system for creating profitable speed based ratings for All Weather racing at UK courses.

    Its quick and easy to use. I have developed a points system and I am developing a series of spreadsheets which will allow automation of the statistical analysis.

    But these rules alone form a great template for creating top 5 speed rating figures across your All Weather racecard.

    And the beauty of this approach is that all the information you require is freely available on the RacingPost.com and AtTheRaces.com websites, but the analysis of that data is entirely your own.

    Unfortunately, many punters approach their trade in a completely unprofitable manner. Why?

    The burning question on so many punters minds is -

    How do i find the winner of a horse race?

    Finding the winner of a horse race is in fact not particularly difficult.

    Any database analysis of UK Racing will show that simply betting on the favourite in every single horse race of any kind will produce approximately 33% win ratio.

    In certain races such as Novice Hurdles you could pick the winner in over 46% of the races by lumping equal stakes on the top horse on the Betfair interface 1 minute before the off.

    The reality of actually physically doing this would, unfortunately, be that even betting at Betfair odds, betting on favorites in this way would produce a level stakes loss.

    However you would enjoy watching a lot of winners come home.

    It's up to you:

    The questions you should be asking are :-

    * What do you want to achieve from your racing investment - winners or profit?
    * Are you placing bets for the right reasons - Are you an addict or are you an investor?
    * Are you happy to continue with your racing as an expensive hobby?
    * Do you believe it is possible to make profit from horse racing and are you prepared to invest time and effort in expert strategies?

    Punters often wonder where and how they can find the mystical winners at prices above 5/1 and up to 30/1.

    How do Pricewise and the Naps find those big price horses so regularly?

    The answer in many cases is that they incorporate ratings analysis of several different kinds, and in many instances they use speed figures!

    The horses may have been out of form, or out of the public eye. The trainer may have been having a bad time.

    However the fact remains that in every race, there is very often a fundamentally fast horse, often due to sireage and genetic inheritance that has not been winning recently.

    And, on its day, given the right conditions and return to fitness this horse can win the race.

    Obviously the big gamble is trying to find exactly when the return to speed will happen and this is where the 3 major factors can be used to bear fruit.

    If a horse is fast and reliable and of good class then it will probably have been winning very recently and so will be the favourite "talking" horse.

    * Result = No Value.
    * Action = No Bet

    The secret to the success of speed ratings is that if you are getting long SP's around 10/1 then you only need 1 in 9 speed ratings to show you a winner that nobody else has spotted and you will be in profit.

    In the final part of this series i examine:

    * Strategies for using the ratings data you have created
    * Making final profitable value selections from your speed system.

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    Part five

    Strategies and Final Selection.

    The RacingPost.com now do their "Top Speed" analysis for all the horses on the racecard, and AtTheRaces.com do their "speed ratings".

    Lawrence Taylor, an expert speed handicapper for AtTheRaces.com goes even further detailing what he considers to be his top six "speed" races on the racecard for you to examine.

    The two sites use somewhat different figures in their analysis of speed. You can use either or both.

    Both are excellent resources and the best strategy is to use both to provide confirmation and further analysis of the horses that you are interested in to determine your value bet and possible danger horse bet.

    Doubly useful at the RacingPost.com is the PostData which can tell you quickly what you need to know about:

    * Trainers recent form.
    * The going.
    * The draw bias.
    * The past performance on the course in question.
    * Past performance at the distance.

    The second aspect of my speed system combines our own "major" factor point ratings with PostData "minor" points.

    As an aside, if a horse is running at a new distance for the first time and the distance is more than 1 furlong longer or shorter than its usual distance then the result is again you guessed:

    * Action = No Bet.

    Compare your own fully integrated major and minor point speed ratings for the top horses as defined by starting price at: www.BettingSite.co.uk.

    The next question of course is:-

    What do i actually do with this customized data and ratings?

    What you do is you look at them, and look at the current SP's on Betfair.

    At this point you will often be surprised.

    Sometimes all you will have done is identify the obvious favourites in the same order that they are rated on Betfair.

    But very often you will find something totally different to what everyone else sees.

    The question now is :- what strategy should you use to take advantage of the unique ratings that you have generated.

    There are several different ways you can use this information.

    One particular strategy, for example, is to utilize the fact that these top horses are fundamentally fast horses.

    The reason they might not actually be the favourite can be for dozens of different reasons:

    * They may not have consistent stamina.
    * They may have fallen last time out.
    * They may have gone up in handicap weight.
    * They may not yet have found their ideal distance.

    Usually it is simply that the favourite is the"class" horse in the race and the bookies cannot find enough reasons to oppose it.

    I.e. It has won previously at this class or higher, at this distance, on this course and probably quite recently.

    This may not be the case for the horses that you have identified in your speed pars.

    As I keep saying, you can bet on all the favourites you like but you will not make a profit.

    Another tantalizing fact is that the fast horses that this simple method throws up, often love to run at the front on All Weather.

    So many times since I started developing these speed ratings I have found the horses identified going straight out to the front of the field.

    They may not always stay there but that doesn't necessarily matter.

    What means is that you can use a pre race/ inplay trading strategy.

    Backing the horse at Betfair S.P. immediately prior to the race, you can either wait to see if it wins if you're using a bet to win strategy. Or you can wait to see what happens inplay.

    Any horse that hits the front can find its SP falling rapidly. Get your lay bet on and you have locked in a nice profit win or lose.

    Similarly, one can often get excellent prices on these long shot speed horses at each-way prices.

    The other mechanism is Field Reduction.

    Speed Pars for UK All Weather Racing: In Conclusion.

    Speed is considered by many of the official glitterati of the racing establishment to be an American invention of no proven value on Turf.

    Up until recently, All Weather racing was considered unfashionable and attracted lower quality horses.

    As the prize money has increased a better class of horse has come to All Weather and this can give the punters using speed systems the angle they are looking for to find horses at extremely decent prices.

    The fact is that particularly in the shorter races under 12 furlongs, racing at All Weather courses in the UK lends itself beautifully to this sort of analysis.

    Speed is, and will gain increased credence in the UK.

    The publics appetite for regular race meets has lead to new all weather tracks at Great Leighs and Kempton Park.

    In combination with sectional timing and pace studies, speed pars are in the ascendency in UK Racing.

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    very good!!!

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    Laristivens, welcome to the forum.
    Please give more value in your posts, you have posted 5 short oneliners in quick succession.
    The user of any system that relies on static rules will soon realize that he/she isnít in possession of the holy grail of betting, but rather a reasonable method that is working at that particular point in time.

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    Cheers Jason,

    Makes for a good read.
    Do you use speed figures at all ?

    AR
    Football is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom - Danny Blanchflower

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ark Royal View Post
    Cheers Jason,

    Makes for a good read.
    Do you use speed figures at all ?

    AR
    I dont mate as I try to avoid the AW,just thought this would possibly be of interest/use to someone.

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    Default Re: How to Make a Profitable Speed Rating System For UK All Weather Horse Racing

    Andrew Beyers is the recognized godfather of work on speed ratings.

    I keep reading stuff like this. Phil Bull was publishing speed ratings in the 1930s in the UK and Timeform, which has always been predicated on analysis of both time and form, was established in 1947.

    Just how old is Beyer?!?

 

 
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