Following my post about why class matters – you can real that here… Class Matters

I decided to design a really simple ratings system and…

Share it with you.

Now, whilst this isn’t a “back of a beer mat” system, you will be able to rate horses accurately with a cheap exercise book, a pen and a pocket calculator.

It is more accurate for non-handicap races and, over the last 2 years gave the following Strike Rate results (for non-handicap races)…

Top Rated Horse : 29.62%

Second Rated Horse : 20.89%

Third Rated Horse : 13.85%

Fourth Rated Horse : 10.53%

This means that, on the non-handicap races, just short of 75% of all winners (74.71% to be exact) come from the top 4 rated horses.

Just being able to reduce a 10 runner field to 4 likely candidates is an enormous head start for you!

So, how does it work?

It’s simple, really…

I just assign a value (or, number of points, if you like) to each win, second place or third place (regardless of the number of runners) to each horse over the horse’s last 5 runs.

The value depends on the class of the relevant race.

The values are shown below…

Class 1st 2nd 3rd
Class 1 15 14 13
Class 2 13 12 11
Class 3 11 10 9
Class 4 9 8 7
Class 5 7 6 5
Class 6 5 4 3
Class 7 3 2 1
Unknown (IRE) 6 5 4

Doing the calculation

I then add up all the points/values that the horse has earned and divide from the number of races those points/values came from.

Non-runners don’t count as part of the number of races.

Some horses may have run less than 5 races so I just divide the total points/value by the number of races that the horse has actually run.

An example..

So, in the 13:20 at Newcastle we might want to rate the horses in that race.

I am using the Racing Post but most horse racing websites should work just as well.

Click on the image to the left to see it full size.

By clicking on the horse’s name a pop up box displays the horse’s form.

Now, we are only interested in the horse’s last 5 races.

We are, also, only interested in those races (from the horse’s last 5 races) where the horse came in the top 3.

As you can see from the image to the right…

Click on the image to see it full size.

4 races ago, Fifth Position got a 3rd in a Class 1 race and…

5 races ago, Fifth Position came 1st in a Class 5 race.

Thus, it gets 13 points for the first of those two races and 7 points from the second of those 2 races.

That gives Fifth Position a total of 20 points.

Divide those total points by the number of races (normally, and in this case, 5 races.)

That gives Fifth Position a rating of 4.0

And that’s about it.

We need to do this for every horse in the race but I can get a 12 horse race (such as this one) rated in about 3 minutes.

The Spreadsheet…

Now, you don’t have to be a spreadsheet guru to follow this bit.

All you need to know is that this spreadsheet has a number of tabs at the bottom.

I’ll walk you though them.

Data – The first tab shows every horse in every race from the 1st of January 2018 to the 17th of March 2020. The column marked rsr is the actual rating of the horse and the column marked rsr_status shows the ratings status of that horse.

The horse with the highest rating in a race gets a rsr_status of 1, the horse with the second highest rating in a race gets a rsr_status of 2 and so forth.

Click on the image to see it full size.

As you can see, in the first race (the 12:05 at Cheltenham) the race was won by the top rated horse.

In the second race, the race was won by the 2nd rated horse.

Good stuff so far.

Basic Analysis – The second tab shows some basic analysis. I’ve split the analysis into non-handicap and handicap races.

Click on the image to see it full size.

As you can see, for top rated horses in non-handicap races, we have, historically, achieved a 29.62% strike rate.

From the SR Rolling column you can also see that just under 75% of all winning horses in non-handicap races come from the top 4 rated horses.

Top Rated Only – The third tab is the same as the first tab (Data) but only shows the top rated horse.

I’ve highlighted the wins so that you can easily see how often our top rated horse wins.

The Price column shows the starting price to ISP. For many of those races you would have got more to BSP.

Race Type Analysis – In the fourth tab I did a Pivot Table to show how our top rated horse performed for different race types.

Now, to make things clear, a non-handicap National Hunt Novice Hurdle is a different race type to a handicap National Hunt Novice Hurdle.

Strike Rate Order – The fifth tab shows that, to make more sense of things, I sorted the historic performance of the top rated horse into Strike Rate order (descending so that it shows the race type with the highest strike at the top.)

Click on the image to see it full size.

As you can see, these really simple ratings are pretty good for non-handicap NH Flat Charity Stakes, handicap NH Maiden Hurdles and non-handicap NH Hurdle Listed Races.

The column titled Returns shows the actual money paid out. P/L shows the profit made (the money paid out minus the cost of the stakes. POI shows the Profit on Investment as a percentage.

However, as we all know…

Strike Rate is Vanity…

It’s Profits that Count.

Profit on Stakes Order – The sixth (and final) tab shows the same data but sorted into Profit on Stakes (POI) order.

Now, we can see that some race types are blindly profitable using these really simple ratings.

These are races type where we can blindly back the top rated horse and know that, in the long run, we will make a profit.

The profitable race types are shown in the image to the left.

Once again, a non-handicap National Hunt Novice Hurdle is a different race type to a handicap National Hunt Novice Hurdle.

Where race type 2 shows empty, those are the races where, from the title of the race, I can’t determine what sort of race it is.

An example might be an All Weather race which has a race title of… The Bert and Edna Smith Anniversary Race.

Over the period that the data derives from (the 1st of January 2018 to the 13th of March 2020) we get the overall results shown in the image to the right.

So, not only do we get a pretty decent really simple ratings system but, we also get a nifty little selection system that gives us about 2 races a week, a 32% strike rate and a 40% Profit on Stakes (to ISP.)

Vital links…

The core CSV file that contains the data can be found here…

However, you’re probably more interested in the spreadsheet that I created from that initial CSV file. That can be found here…

If you need a cheat sheet in a simple eBook format, you can read Really-Simple-Ratings.pdf. That can be found here…

Really Simple Ratings

I hope that this article shows how easy it is to rate a race using some simple steps.

I do horse racing ratings as my day job…

It’s how I earn my living and,

Even I was impressed about how good these Really Simple Ratings are – especially for non handicap races.

By the way, that’s what I’ve decided to call them – Really Simple Ratings as that sort of sums them up.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with friends.

Even the eBook isn’t copyrighted and I’m more than happy to have it (or links to it) shared on social media or forums.

Bookies, watch out!

My kindest regards



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