Race Ratings (1)

In horse racing, race ratings have always played a prominent role in the betting armoury of many punters: Timeform, Raceform and Superform are three of the better known race rating firms that attach a numerical value to the form of individual runners. Daily newspapers were quick to follow suit, and over the years the ratings published in the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, The Times and others have proved useful and, on the whole reliable.

Of course, greyhound racing isn’t covered in the same way in the daily press, and occasional attempts by greyhound form experts to market their own ratings to the general public have been largely unsuccessful. In any case, the Racing Post provides excellent coverage, and produces a rating (based on time) for every dog at every track. Generally speaking the average greyhound punter prefers to back his or her own fancies on an evening out at the local track, but also recognises that it would be useful to have a logical way of rating the dogs in a race so that he or she has a fair chance of selecting the winner.

The first – and most important - point to make about race ratings is that they should be kept simple. Provided that you are using good race rating factors – of which more later – it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to rate a race. Most punters won’t have seen the make-up of the evening’s card until they get there, so there just isn’t time to make complicated calculations. Even if the punter has assessed the form before arriving at the track, an over-complicated rating system, with a large number of form factors to evaluate, will prove hard work, time-consuming and frustrating when the selection takes a bump at the first bend and finishes out of the frame. And if results overall turn out to be disappointing, the temptation is to make constant revisions to the original race rating format, leading to yet more work. It’s rarely worth it.

Some would argue that a reliable betting forecast is the first place to start when devising a race ratings plan. After all, forecast favourites are based mainly on good recent form. Certainly, forecast favourites can help point the way, but are as subject to periods of inconsistency and poor runs of results as any other form of selection. However, a combination of a few well-chosen winner-producing factors allied with a good betting forecast is a useful starting point for a race rating system.

Back in the 1970’s a writer in the greyhound section of the Sporting Chronicle Handicap Book suggested the following ratings plan, based on a dog’s last three races together with its forecast odds for the current race:

    1. Graded races only
    2. Note the dogs’ last three races on the racecard ( ignoring trials)
    3. Add up the starting prices of each runner for these three races, with a limit of 8/1.
    4. To each dog’s total add the current odds from the betting forecast
    5. The lowest total per race is the selection

For example: Trap 1: Big Joey

    20 July: 3/1
    12 July: 2/1
    2 July: 7/2 (3½)
    Betting forecast: 3/1
    Total: 11½

So, if 11½ is the lowest total, Big Joey would be the selection.

This rating method is simple and logical, in that it concentrates on dogs that have been fancied recently and are likely to be so again in the race under consideration.

More on race ratings next month.

September 2018
Focus On Poole
August 2018
Focus On Perry Barr
July 2018
Focus On Nottingham
June 2018
Focus On Newcastle
May 2018
Focus On Monmore Green
April 2018
Focus On Hove
March 2018
Focus On Doncaster
February 2018
Focus On Crayford
January 2018
Focus On Central Park
December 2017
An Index Of Previous Blog Posts
November 2017
Focus On Belle Vue
October 2017
Young Graders To Follow (2)
September 2017
Young Graders To Follow
August 2017
Getting A Clear Run
July 2017
Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (2)
June 2017
Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (1)
May 2017
Specialisation (2)
April 2017
Specialisation (1)
March 2017
Qualities Of The Successful Backer
February 2017
Compiling Race Ratings (2)
January 2017
Compiling Race Ratings (1)
December 2016
Racecard Comments : S - X
November 2016
Racecard Comments : M - R
October 2016
Racecard Comments : H - M
September 2016
Racecard Comments : H
August 2016
Racecard Comments : E - H
July 2016
Racecard Comments : B - D
June 2016
Racecard Comments : A - B
May 2016
Form Cycles
April 2016
Keeping An Online Formbook (3)
March 2016
Keeping An Online Formbook (2)
February 2016
Keeping An Online Formbook (1)
January 2016
The Striped jacket
December 2015
The Orange jacket
November 2015
The Black jacket
October 2015
The White jacket
September 2015
The Blue jacket
August 2015
The Red jacket
July 2015
Upgraded Dogs To Avoid
June 2015
Upgraded Dogs
May 2015
Downgraded Dogs
April 2015
Focus on Romford
March 2015
Focus on Swindon (2)
February 2015
Focus on Swindon (1)
January 2015
Exploiting Formline Comments (2)
December 2014
Exploiting Formline Comments (1)
November 2014
Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (2)
October 2014
Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (1)
September 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (6)
August 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (5)
July 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (4)
June 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (3)
May 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (2)
April 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (1)
March 2014
The Time Test
February 2014
Recording and Reviewing Your Bets
January 2014
What’s a "grade within a grade"? (2)
December 2013
What’s a "grade within a grade"? (1)
November 2013
Trap Draw
October 2013
Sires To Note
September 2013
Racing Post Summaries (3)
August 2013
Racing Post Summaries (2)
July 2013
Racing Post Summaries (1)
June 2013
Laying Greyhounds On The Betting Exchanges
May 2013
Spotting The Ungenuine Dog
April 2013
Compiling A List Of Greyhounds To Follow
March 2013
Specialisation (2)
February 2013
Specialisation (1)
January 2013
Winter Ground Conditions
December 2012
Front Runners v Strong Finishers
November 2012
October 2012
Identifying Improving Greyhounds
September 2012
Race Ratings (2)
August 2012
Race Ratings (1)
July 2012
Following dogs in form
June 2012
Adopting a professional approach (3)
May 2012
Adopting a professional approach (2)
April 2012
A Greyhound's Win / Lose Ratio
March 2012
Adopting a professional approach (1)
February 2012
Warning To Speed Fans
January 2012
Following Bitches After Seasonal Rest
December 2011
Early Paced Dogs
November 2011
Speed Handicapping (5) : More FAQs
October 2011
Speed Handicapping (4) : FAQs
September 2011
Speed Handicapping (3)
August 2011
Speed Handicapping (2)
July 2011
Speed Handicapping (1)
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