Horse Racing Ratings - Explained

What are horse racing ratings anyway? What's the point of them? Here, we look at why we use them, what we analyse, and how you can get the most out of the ratings themselves.

Introduction

Horse racing ratings are a way of scoring a horse’s performance and deciding on the likelihood of a good performance in the next race.  You could refer to the Official Ratings, as well as Speed Ratings – but when the bookmakers also have this information, it becomes less relevant.

So we decided to create our own.

The advantage of having our own ratings is that we can make our own judgement on what’s a good race, and what’s not. We can award points for a third place where the first two have gone on to win bigger things. We can deduct points for a win against poor opposition.

We wanted to stay ahead of the bookies.

Factors that matter

When creating horse ratings, there are hundreds of calculations happening at the same time. However, the main things that really matter to us are:

  • Form, especially the last race
  • The reliability of that form – i.e. who did they beat / lose to
  • Past races – class, opposition, track, value of those races
  • Speed – recent, on going, at track, at distance
  • Trainer – in form, form at track, form on going
  • Jockey – in form, form at track, form on going
  • Stallion – representative form?
  • Today – what elements are in this horse’s favour?

Within each of these elements, there are many calculations happening in any horse ratings system. We have tinkered with these elements to add weighting to different aspects. For example, the last race is more important than the race before it, etc.

Reliability

Do horse ratings always predict the winner?

The short answer is – obviously, no. They’re intended as a guide to how the race might pan out, and in each race, different factors count.

For instance, the TOTAL rating, which is the sum of every individual rating, will produce 1 winner in every 4 (on average). The top 3 will produce 1 in every 2, on average.

These figures are more or less reliable – but you can use the ratings in other ways. In shorter races, the speed rating becomes more important. For two-year-olds, the stallion rating tends to matter more.

In short – ratings are what you make of them – but they’re a great starting point.

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