Compiling Race Ratings (1)

Many greyhound backers are drawn to the idea of producing their own race ratings, resulting in a numerical comparison which aims to reflect the relative chances of the runners. Ratings are commonplace in horse racing, with most daily newspapers employing a form expert to provide a guide for their readers. For horses, a considerable number of form factors may be included in order to produce the final rating, including weight carried, distance of the race, ground conditions, breeding and draw. As far as greyhound ratings are concerned, my advice is to keep them relatively simple, concentrating on only a few essential factors. You could spend a good deal of time evaluating each runner in great detail, only for your top rated dog to find trouble at the first bend and lose all chance of victory.

One method of arriving at a numerical comparison is to award a certain number of points to each dog in the race, based on how it has performed in its recent runs. So you might decide to give, say, five points to a dog that has won in the same grade as the current race in the recent past. What is ‘recent’ is a matter of subjective judgement. My own preference would be to include any winning run in the last four weeks; some might feel that this is unnecessarily restrictive, and that six, or even eight weeks is a more realistic time scale. Others might think that four weeks is too long a period, and that only winning form from the last two or three weeks should be used. This decision will ultimately be a matter of personal choice, and depend upon results. Anyone embarking upon the compilation of race ratings is strongly advised to try them out first, without the burden of financial involvement!

If a recent win in the same grade is felt to be worth five points, then a second placing might be given four points and a win in the grade below three points. Slightly more problematic is what to award dogs downgraded from the grade above. If a downgraded dog is obviously out of form, a demotion is often not enough to spark an immediate revival, in which case no points would be awarded. But if the downgraded dog has been showing consistent form, though not being able to win in the grade above, an award of between two and four points could reflect its chance in the lower grade. Again it will be a case of trial and error, in order to see what gives the best results in the medium to long term. Here’s a possible scenario:

Trap1 (downgraded, out of form): 0 pts

Trap 2 (recent winner in same grade): 5 pts

Trap 3: (recent winner in lower grade): 3 pts

Trap 4: (downgraded, in reasonable form): 3 pts

Trap 5: (running moderately in same grade): 1 pt

Trap 6: (second placing in same grade): 4 pts.

Having awarded points for the dogs’ recent runs, the backer then has to decide whether to leave it there, thus keeping the ratings as simple as possible, or to include other factors that influence the result of a race. In my book, Greyhound Racing Systems, I offer the opinion that, in graded racing, ‘the most reliable indication that a dog is ready to win its current race is a win or second place in the same grade in the last month’. I have had no reason to change my mind on this, but of course it can be argued that to concentrate solely on recent form is to ignore the importance of other variables.

So what other factors might be included in a rating? No one would deny that a dog’s trap draw can have a significant effect on the outcome of a race. Most dogs have distinct preferences in this respect, producing their best form from the trap or traps that best suit their style of running. It would make sense, then to check how successful each dog has been in the past when running from its allotted trap, and award points accordingly. There are two possible approaches to this. Keeping it as uncomplicated as possible, award points to dogs that have won at least once before from the trap; for example, you might give five points to a dog that has won from today’s trap when competing in today’s grade or higher; and three points to a dog that has winning form from today’s trap, but in a lower grade.

A slightly more sophisticated approach is to go to the Racing Post website and check the wins to runs ratios for each dog from its allotted trap. Find the race in question and click on ‘stats’, this will give you the dogs’ lifetime wins to runs ratio for today’s trap and grade. These are the statistics to use in your ratings. For example:

Trap 1: 2-6; Trap 2: 1-5; Trap 3: 3-20; Trap 4: 1-3; Trap 5: 0-5; Trap 6: 4-8

A distribution of points based on these statistics might look something like this:

Trap 1: 4 pts; Trap 2: 2 pts: Trap 3: 1pt; Trap 4: 2 pts; Trap 5: 0 pts; Trap 6: 5 pts.

We can then combine the two sets of points to give an overall rating for each dog:

Trap1 (0 + 4): 4pts

Trap 2 (5 + 2): 7 pts

Trap 3 (3 + 1): 4 pts

Trap 4 (3 + 2): 5 pts

Trap 5 (1 + 0): 1 pt

Trap 6 (4 + 5): 9 pts

More on 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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