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MR Challenge (3)

Final Analysis: rating the races

Post-race analysis is the most important task a handicapper is faced with, as it sets the scene for the future.

If you introduce ‘mistakes’ into the ratings system, you’ll poison the well.

The worst crime is rating a race too high, as ratings ripple through the system and may take ages to correct, if at all.

Rating a race too low is usually easier to correct, or self-correcting, often in short time.

With that in mind, let’s look at our two races from Saturday, and see what we can make of it.

 

Turffontein race 3 – MR 95 F&M  2000m

First do the groundwork for the day as a whole, to get perspective.

Sunny & warm, with a 9-13km SW cross-headwind. No rain in the last 7 days, and 42mm irrigation during that time.

Penetrometer 21 and going posted as Good. False rail 2m out on the bend, with a 2m spur at the 500m mark.

Race-times for the day, with in brackets the average for 1000m as a guide:

R1 Maiden 1450m 89.37 (avg 61.6)
R2 Maiden 1600m 112.96 (avg 62.8)
R3 MR95f 2000m 126.47 (avg 63.3)
R4 MR73f 2000m 125.85 (avg 62.9)
R5 MR80 1200m 72.22 (avg 60.2)
R6 Cdnfm 1450m 87.14 (avg 60.1)
R7 Cdn 1450m 88.88 (avg 61.3)
R8 MR76f 1450m 88.35 (avg 60.9)
R9 MR68f 1450m 89.24 (avg 61.5)

 

“Our’ Race 3 Fillies & Mares MR 95 race stands out, but not in a positive way.

It went on average slower than the MR 73 over the same distance, and slower than a mile for Maidens!

The first question a handicapper has to ask is ‘if this race was run again would the result likely be the same’.

The answer here must be ‘no!’ – the race certainly was not a true run race and running it again would not likely give the same result.

That means that whichever way the MRs are adjusted post-race, it will be wrong.

So the right thing to do here is to be conservative and leave everything as is, with no adjustment to any of the ratings.

After all, it should not be the Official Handicapper’s responsibility if jockeys decide to mess around and turn a race into a tactical affair – so his original assessment should stand.

*******

As an aside, the two Gr2 features on the day (race 6 and race 7) shows the fillies one to have been exceptionally fast (faster on average even than the 1200m sprint race).

Given the tight finish and the much slower time of the colt’s equivalent, that possibly wasn’t a true race, so that result must be treated with caution in terms of ratings and future reliability. Sectional times for the two races might give further insight, but right now nothing is up the Tellytrack site.

 

Durbanville race 7 – Gr3 Matchem Stakes 1400m

Clear Skies, 15 – 32kph South Westerly Cross Wind. No rain during the last 7 days, and 24mm irrigation added. Penetrometer read 20 and the going was posted as Good. There was no false rail on the bend, and a 2m spur at the 500m mark coming into the straight.

Times for the day, with the average for 1000m as a guide:

R1 Maiden 1250m 74.77 (avg 59.8)
R2 Maiden 1250m 74.7 (avg 59.8)
R3 Maiden 1600m 99.28 (avg 62.0)
R4 MR 78 1600m 97.5 (avg 60.9)
R5 MR 90 1600m 96.03 (avg 60.0)
R6 Cndfm 1400m 83.6 (avg 59.7)
R7 Cnd 1400m 82.27 (avg 58.8)
R8 Maiden 1400m 84.39 (avg 60.3)

 

The Matchem Stakes was on average the fastest run race on the day, suggesting a true run race.

This wasn’t a handicap race, so we need to decide what to do with the ratings.

To make it easier to follow, we’ll take the winner at his pre-race MR and adjust the others.

  • First adjust for weight difference (2 MR points per kg), then for beaten lengths (3 MR points per length), the for weight-for-age (7kg or 14 MR points for 3yo).

The sensible adjustment would be to take seasoned 7yo sprinter Search Party as the line horse at his pre-race MR 115 and go -7 on the above raceMR calculations.

That makes the final raceMR ratings (pre-race in brackets):

  • One World 120 (127)
  • Search Party 115 (115)
  • Undercover Agent 118 (130)
  • Pleasedtomeetyou 110 (112)
  • African Warrior 114 (112)
  • New Caledonia 109 (109)
  • Sacred Arrow 107 (110)
  • Ready Steady Go 103 (105)
  • Fifty Cents 102 (105)
  • Star Chestnut 96 (109)
  • Bishop’s Bounty 95 (107)

Alternatively, Pleasedtomeetyou could be the line horse at 112, which would peg the above ratings 2 higher (and make Search Party and New Caledonia go up 2 on the pre-race MR).

What would you do?

 

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38 comments on “MR Challenge (3)

  1. Richard Smit says:

    IGNORE a horse’s Merit Rating at your own peril when handicapping races.

    Greyville, Sunday, 6 October 2019, first two races, top CMR’s won.

    What happened after that? I don’t know.
    CMR seemed to lose the plot – not one top CMR won after that – races 3 through 8.

    The same policy (i.e. Don’t Ignore), applies to Trainer, Jockey, weight, draw, class, speed rating ,
    distance changes, past performances, early speed, late speed, closer, fader, pace, blinkers, and a whole lot of other handicapping criteria, too numerous and some too complicated, to even mention.

    We all know that they may and can play a part in the results of a race. It’s complicated, without a doubt. Perhaps that’s why we find it all so confusing at times, especially when our selections come nowhere.

    Are we only trying to find winners here, or are we trying to make money at horse racing.
    Maybe we need to change our strategies – to what?

    Did I learn anything, from this challenge?
    Absolutely – analyzing, checking, rechecking, comparing, and learning “new” and “not so new” handicapping criteria. I feel like a better handicapper, already! Only time and experience will tell.

    My sincere thanks, once again, to Karel and Sporting Post.
    Don’t know how you do it (find the time) and (the “advanced” knowledge) – but you truly do!

    You guys are “top class”, in my book. Wishing you only the very best.

  2. Jay August says:

    Karel, two issues with your Matchem table above. I am not sure whose metrics you are using but assuming you are using the NHA metrics for calculating the RaceMR, does the NHA WFA table not allow 0.5kg WFA for a 4yo in October and use 2 MR points per length, not 3, over 1400m?

    1. karel says:

      Jay,
      I have never seen an NHA table for conversion of lengths to kg.
      I assumed it must be 3, if conventional wisdom for a mile is two and a sprint is 4?

      As far as official WFA goes, you are quite right, there is one point for 4yo’s in October over 1400m.
      That affects 4yo One World, Sacred Arrow and Pleasedtomeetyou.
      If we keep Sacred Arrow as the line horse, the finalMR for the three 4yo’s goes up by one: One World 121 (127), Sacred Arrow 108 (110) and Pleasedtomeetyou 111 (112).
      Makes for a slightly better fit, too.

  3. Jay August says:

    Karel, the link for the half-kilos/lengths factor can be found here – page 10 – http://www.nhra.co.za/pubs/docs/handicapping/Handicapping_Methodology.pdf

    It was 3 until the infamous guidelines were implemeted when it changed to 2.3 (800m to 1299m) where it currently remains!

    1. karel says:

      Jay,
      When it says ‘Domestic 2, 3 pounds per length” (yes there really is a space after the comma!) do you think they mean to say that 2, 3 pounds is the same as 2, 3 half kilos, or does it mean that 2, 3 pounds must be translated into kg – like so: 2.3 lb × 0.45359237 = 1.043262451 kg (which of course is 2.086524902 half kilos)?
      What a lark.

  4. WILLIAM MILKOVITCH says:

    I read it as 2 point 3lbs converted (x0.45) as well ?

  5. Jay August says:

    It is 2.3 half-kilos per length – I’ve checked. The 2, 3 is just poor presentation. Just why that came about is debatable but there it is.

    The issue of pounds per length is topical amongst official handicappers worldwide at the moment. I’ll push you an email at some point on this topic as I have done some initial analysis using SA data.

    Would be interesting to get your view on this issue and how/why we may be different from what others are proposing internationally.

    1. karel says:

      I think there’s no real answer to this – it’s like weight-for-age, you’re dealing with averages, and averages are just that, they don’t often occur.
      Intuitively, I’d say that carrying weight over distance becomes more difficult as the distance increases, which suggest the shape of a curve (it’s not a straight line).
      That said, the pace at which weight is carried also counts – go slow and you’ll get further with the same effort.
      This in turn influences weight-for-age, which is related to distance – a slow run 2000m probably equates to a true run 1400 or 1600, which then calls for wfa-adjustment.
      Then some horses carry weight better than others…
      Aaaargh…!

      I have come to accept some ground rules in my years of handicapping.
      There are sprinters who get 1000m but not a stiff 1200m.
      The next stamina group gets a stiff 12/1400, but not a proper mile.
      Milers do not necessarily stay a true run 2000m race.
      After that it becomes fuzzy, as races over 2000 and more are most of the time not run at a true pace.
      All this has an impact on deciding what weight equivalent to equate with beaten lengths for a horse with a certain stamina aptitude that raced in a given position in a race run at a certain pace.
      As I said earlier: aaaargh!

      So I stick to simple averages, which saves me to have to get too clever (and be wrong, often).
      It all comes out in the wash anyway.
      So for me:
      One length is worth one kilo over a true run mile (or conversely, one kilo is one length).
      One length is worth two kilos in a true run sprint (or conversely, one kilo is half a length).
      One length is worth half a kilo in a true run 2000+ (or conversely, one kilo is two lengths).

      To the interested reader: when you see a column of ratings for runners in a race, the differences in ratings matter much less in sprints than they do in races over ground.

  6. Jay August says:

    Richard your statement – “Greyville, Sunday, 6 October 2019, first two races, top CMR’s won. What happened after that? I don’t know. CMR seemed to lose the plot – not one top CMR won after that – races 3 through 8.” – refers.

    All the below data is for the last 6 years;

    For Maiden races (excludes Juvenile races)
    * The top ranked horse (by gross MR) in a Maiden has won 23.3% of starts.
    * The second ranked horse has won 13.4% of starts.
    * All unrated horses have won 8%.
    * The fourth ranked horse has won 6.9%.
    * The top ranked MR horse wins 2.55 times (adjusted for field size) as many races as the average runner in a Maiden.

    Not altogether surprising therefore that the first two races produced the winner from the top MR.

    Things get a little trickier in handicaps which is to be expected as horses are weighted to finish closer together.
    * The top ranked horse (by gross MR) in a Handicap has won 13.7% of starts.
    * The second ranked horse has won 12.9%
    * The fourth ranked horse has won 10.7%
    * The top ranked MR horse wins 1.43 times as many races as the average runner in a Hcp.

    Not surprising therefore that MR somewhat lost the plot after the two opening maidens. It is designed to do just that in handicaps even though it only partly achieves the lottery effect everyone refers to.

    If the MR system was completely efficient then each MR-ranked horse in a handicap would win only an average amount of races over 1000 such races. The actual ranking of the MR would have no effect on the outcome and races would be purely random.

    That this does not happen over time indicates that the better horses are usually under handicapped which allows them to win more races even when the handicapper is attempting to avert that.

  7. Roy says:

    Very, very interesting. But too complicated. A few researchers have found that weight does not make any significant difference to a racehorses performance. This throws the MR system right out of the window. Personally, I believe thrm. But with tw cautions. The research was probably averaged. Weight makes a positive or negative difference in some horses. Weight does not in other horses. A racehorse weighs approximately 480 kgs. Will 2 kgs make a difference? Maybe. Because the difference in the finish times is too fine. We are talking about tenghts and hundreds of a second. I don’t think the MR system is capable of equalizing the field under these circumstances.

  8. Graham Hurlstone-Jones says:

    You also have a horse running a Blinder” as we saw in the Arc….a couple of drops of rain and it all goes out the window. The winners trainer said he was concerned about the sticky ground, who knew !

  9. Michael Jackson says:

    The exercise was enlightening, thanks to SP for initiating it. Would be great if it could be done weekly, one designated Saturday race. It will certainly teach punters a lot about the handicapping/MR system, and allow others to give their view.

    I would like to come back to my earlier point about the Kelpie race. Flame Tree ran unplaced, yet it was touted as a good thing and rated 94. It is races like these that I find problematic. A young 3yr old filly, which also only won 1 race, getting a MR 94, against her one-time winning contemporaries at about MR84. The 3yr old filly rated 84 won the race!

    Any views on that race?

    1. karel says:

      MJ,
      Flame Tree’s post-race rating was some 5 higher than Kelpie’s and 10 (and more) than any of the others.
      You touted Kelpie as an improving young filly. So could her post-win MR possible be higher now than 84? Maybe 4 higher?
      Take that 84+4, add 5, and take into account Flame Tree losing 2 lengths at the start and landing at the back – what do you get?
      Any views on this?

  10. Jay August says:

    MJ, one race a trend does not make. I could throw some stats at you showing the opposite but it is best you monitor this yourself and make up your own mind. Also have a look on TT how Flame Tree came out of her stall. The stipes report –

    THE STARTER REPORTED:

    a) ATTAGIRL was restless and slow losing 1 length.
    b) KELPIE which was restless in the stalls was taken out and reloaded.
    c) FLAME TREE was restless and slow losing 2 lengths.

  11. Jay August says:

    Roy, who are these “researchers” and where can their work be inspected?

  12. Roy says:

    Jay. There is a book about handicapping, entitled WINNING WITHOUT THINKING. I will be honest, I haven’t read the whole book but only between pages 90 and 115 off a Google search. I also have a pdf of a research done in Japan. If you want to give me an email address I can forward it. Plus I have a number of screen shots from other articles I have read. But the chapter in the book explains a lot. Jay, I am not a pro in this field but I am researching.

    1. karel says:

      Thanks Roy!
      I looked it up, and then found pages Roy refers to.
      https://books.google.co.za/books/about/Winning_Without_Thinking.html?id=79q_peU8Kq4C&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
      Written by Nick Mordin, who I remember well from my days in UK.
      It’s a well written chapter. Everyone should have a read!

  13. Zietsman says:

    My opinion .
    Race 3 Turffontein.
    The fact rabia the rebel didnt commit and shot to the front have thrown the end result and made it not a true run race , for me not a compleatly false race but definitely not a honest true run race.. Circle of lattitude wants cover just behind pacesetter to run her best race, she found herself in front and jockey tried to slow it down but because she need that cover she was too keen and her race was done in the first 400m of the race already. The pace helped alot for the 64kg weighted Flichity by Farr to carry the weight and run credible race. Also pretty border was outdone by the pace. She needs a true pace and can run at them when frontrunners coming back. She was just outsprinted in the finish by lightweight Jacko boy. Emily hobhouse just ran a flat race as i was doubtful of because of running so close (2 weeks) after her first run after rest.

    As in my post on previous thread (prerace analyses) i fancied Emily hobhouse , pretty border and for 3rd place jacko boy .

    The handicappers used Flichity by farr as linehorse for this race resulting in Jacko boy getting 4 points penalty and pretty border 2 points penalty. Flichity’s rating they kept the same.

    My opnion they got it wrong!!!! Even if/ especially it was not a true run race.

    Pretty border is /should be the linehorse!!!!!
    And i will give my reasons.

    Jacko boy 82 rating coming into race.
    Past 5 runs rating :
    67 (too short the distance)
    76
    80
    84
    82

    pretty border the linehorse resulted jacko boy ran to a 83 !!!!! but now handicappers gave her a 86???????

    The pace suited jacko boy as its consistent with the pace she is used to againt lower rated handicaps. Will she gick like that in a more decent pace in this type of class? I doubt.

    Pretty border rated 100 coming into race.
    Past 5 runs rating:
    104
    104
    100 (when carrying 62,5kg)
    —- No rating – false run race , although she won
    104

    As linehorse in my opinion she ran to a 100 although she proven she is a 104 if its a true run race.
    Still handicappers gave her 2 points to 102.
    She is still 2 points better than her new rating so should be very competitive in a true run handicap against fillies.

    Flichity by farr rated 103 coming into race.
    Past 5 runs rating :
    102
    100
    102
    102
    99.

    Handicappers used her as linehorse…. WHY?????????
    if pretty border was used like they should have then flichity ran to a consistent 101 !!!!!!!!
    With the 64kg she ran to her average rating because of the slow pace . Handicapper have her still at 103 rating although she is clearly a 101/102 max in a true run race against fillies in a handicap against fillies.

    Emily hobhouse 85 rating coming into race.
    Last 5 runs:
    77
    80
    83
    95 !!!
    85 (first race after rest and way too short)

    I have her running to a 82 flat run !!!! My prerace observation:
    “Beaten current rating by 5kg in 2nd last start before being rested. Comeback run over too short distance still run to current rating. 7/2 worth a try still. Only concern is this run is only 2 weeks after comeback run and can caught horses out and result in a flat run . If she doesnt run a cracker now then next start will be cherry ripe.”

    She did run flat as was my concern. Next race for her should be the 9th November 2000m fm and she will carry 60kg. If woodruff have her in that race next then you can put down the money at any price over evens!!! Just my view.

    Circle of lattitude run can be ignored , should never have been setting the pace.
    My dream chaser as previous start ran shocking , ignore again.
    Bondiblue ran a shocker although too short but also ran a poor race 5 races go. A bit erratic.
    Rabia the rebel run can be ignired , should have set the pace and ran poorly

    Will gave my opinion about Matchem stakes later as i disagree also in that race with handicappers and ratings given above but its my view and i will give my reasons why.
    Hope it makes sense trying to explain

  14. Jay August says:

    Roy, I know Nick Mordin and his book/s. also his blog from the noughties – the original blog posts can still be found on http://www.archive,org ( search *www.nickmordin.com and pick a date to view). He was however a speed figure devotee so had that as a slant/bias. As far as I am aware he went to the US and then went silent although his old website now points to http://www.speedratings.com.

    I’d suggest you read also those that counter this argument. Charles Justice wrote on this subject in two of his books. His Chapter 3 of The Greatest Horse of All is worth reading.

    What is the name of the Japanese paper – I’ll look it up?

    I’ve read a 1994 Japanese paper titled “Genetics of racing performance in the Japanese Thoroughbred horse: Environmental variation of racing time on turf and dirt tracks and the influence of sex, age, and weight carried on racing time”

    This is a quote from the summary of that paper – “Five distance on turf and dirt were studied to ascertain the importance of sex, age, and sex by age effects and the influence of weight carried on racing times. Individual races having at least to sexes and two ages within each sex were used as incomplete blocks to study the effects. Races were important at all distances on both turf and dirt. The interaction between sex and age was unimportant. The effect of sex and/or age was significant except at 1800m and 2000 m on turf. Mares were faster than stallions on turf at all distances, but on dirt stallions were faster than mares except at 1200 m. In general, 5 year olds were faster than 3 and 4 year olds except at 1600 m on turf. The partial regression of racing times on weight carried were significant at all distances on turf and dirt. The effects of sex and age were significant statistically and weight carried appears to be important at the distances run in Thoroughbred races.”

  15. Roy says:

    Jay, the Japanese Study is entitled. THE EFFECT OF AGE ON THOROUGHBRED RACEHORSES by TOSHIYUKI TAKASHI. Now it would appear that for every thought we are going to have a counter thought, with due respect to you. And this could go on forever. Karel, I used your SP MR on Saturday, adjusting for my own thoughts on weights. I was successful.

  16. Jay August says:

    Roy, you state that you are researching, which I incorrectly thought meant you were open to other opinions. Apologies for such an assumption.

  17. Richard Smit says:

    Jay, Thank you for the MR win percentages table above.
    Six years of history, summarized into a few lines – great!

    Really starting to make some sense now – I have a good feeling about this.
    And, believe it or not, I’m already using it. And “Eureka” – it works, first time – on paper!
    I’ll go live, with this, in about two weeks – just want to check the consistency.

    I’m not a “win bet” person, anymore. Basically, exotics only – every day.

    PLEASE, keep posting, whenever you can, you certainly “know” your handicapping.

  18. Graham Hurlstone-Jones says:

    So Flame tree’s run was a good one all things considered ? I bet the owners are cool with this scenario ? ( I get what Karel is saying and others) Now you see explaining that to a layman is where racing is in trouble. I explain this and they say the horse can’t win until the handicapper allows it and that’s how it is seen. When I say it ran above its rating the people say it ran 4th, you need to see the head scratching when i explain it won too well in its first race so the conversation continues “then why is Kelpie allowed to win” ? People really think the best horse wins ( My horse won its maiden by 6L…the trainer was not happy ??!! )….. You are fighting everyone who does not know the MR exists and who don’t want to be swamped in complicated numerics that are all in the hands of a human, that means it is not perfect…all of a sudden horse racing is very complex and people dont get it…. I explain using cars or golf…the more Tiger wins the more his handicap is upped until he can’t win a round ( or weight in the car )….and the people are surprised there is so much “manipulation”. Why must they all run past the post together ? why are horses stopped from winning ( Flame Tree immediately but not Kelpie )….The reason for that is not to make it a fair contest but a profitable one for the industry paid by the punter, that is what they say….. It is human nature to be cynical when it comes to money especially something so subjective as to how your horse will run the next time ? like we know…… I wonder if anyone at the Sunmet launch who are not in the game would understand MR and handicapping ?……or the ” treasured guests” at the young blood launch whatever that is ? ……..Enable’s loss in the Arc shows that its all about on the day not the MR…… how did the winner find the 10 lengths required to beat Enable ? sticky ground, if only we knew before how to beat Enable. I must just say this experiment is fantastic and I am seeing the nuances of thought come out, sometimes too much thought or not enough…( Guilty as charged )….

  19. Graham Hurlstone-Jones says:

    Here’s a thought, the idea is to get the horses past the post together…..So the draw is a major stumbling block in achieving this result. Staggered stalls is a non starter so maybe the MR can be altered to suit a blanket finish according to the draw…. When you think about it the MR is only effective up to a certain number in the draw ( I presume the MR has a control number for the draw ? 1 maybe ) This would make the MR extremely relevant, a sliding scale maybe….. Just throwing it out there….it’s already complex…so.

  20. RoyKass says:

    You’re welcome Karel. I think a very useful piece of information will be an index of, if I could call it, MASS SENSITIVITY INDEX. This index must show a performance at different weights. I think for some horses extra weight does not matter. To others it slows slows them down very much. And to a few, may speed them up. Can such an index be calculated considering you have such a huge database of information on each horse?

  21. WILLIAM MILKOVITCH says:

    Why don’t you aim Legal Eagle for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on Day 2 @ Cheltenham. Mr. Tarry ?

    Surely that’s what his looking for.

  22. Rian says:

    Must agree with you Graham, makes a lot of sense, what role does Jockey play
    Lets look at Arc, best horse , best jockey , best rated !!! but the Jockey of the 2 meetings delivers the telling blow, just a thought

  23. Richard Smit says:

    M R Case Study

    Here’s a “live” (true) MR case study to solve!

    Let’s assume, for a moment that we are all Exotic punters, and we played the Pick 6 at Turfontein today 8th October. We’ve been “clever” and “lucky” enough in our handicapping to get our selections in the first 5 legs, spot on. Our hearts are pounding away, because we are so close to winning, what might just be our first BIG Pick 6.

    However, the final leg of the Pick 6, gave us a selection problem, because there are a few horses with no MR’s. Every horse has run at least one race. This race is a maiden plate.

    GIVEN:
    The first favorite 5/1 (forecast betting) has the highest MR and very good form. (Came 4th)
    The other first favorite 5/1, third top MR, has mediocre form. (Came nowhere)
    There is one, second favorite at 6/1, not in top 5 MR’s. (Came nowhere)

    According to the forecast betting, there are five third favorites, all at 10 / 1.
    One of them has only had one race, therefore has no MR,
    The other four have had more than three races each, but none of them are in the top 3 MR’s
    (The winner came from one of these 3rd favorites).

    One of the 3rd favorites is trained by the 3rd top trainer, and ridden by the 3rd top jockey of the race, but only came 10th – 10,7 lengths behind the winner in its last race. This horse has the best adjusted time per meter in its last race, of all the horses in the race, which is not quite believable, but nevertheless true. It’s been triple checked!

    The first and second top trainers horses, have already bombed out, but we didn’t know this.

    WE decided that we will use 3 of the 5 third favorites in our final leg Pick 6 selection.
    Which 3 will we choose and why? The Pick 6 at Turfontein paid R 60 905.

    For example:
    First selection : The horse with the best finish (position or lengths), in its last race.
    Second selection : The horse with the best speed rating.
    Third selection : The horse with the best MR of the 5.

    OR

    First selection : The horse with the lowest weight.
    Second selection : The horse with the best draw.
    Third selection : The horse with the best Trainer / Jockey win % combination.

    OR

    First selection : The horse with the best improvement, in its last 3 races.
    Second selection : The horse with the best average adjusted speed per meter.
    Third selection : The horse with the best combination of at least two or more of the above.

    OR : Etc, etc.

  24. RoyKass says:

    Good morning. I would go for SPEED as first choice. MR as second choice. And a balance of SPEED and MR as third choice. I don’t believe in form entirely. The most recent proof of that is the 4th race yesterday. Three races, three firsts, odds 6 to 10. Horse ran fourth. Even if I lose with this choice, I will leave the strategy the same. I won’t start to look for correlations I’m not likely to find. Yesterdays last race results were shocking. Perhaps unusual.

  25. Richard Smit says:

    MR Case study – Add On

    Further selections of the 5 “third favorites” are:

    First Selection : The horse with the best Trainer only (of the five, always)
    Second Selection : The horse with the best Jockey only
    Third selection : The horse with the best SP (Starting Price) in its last race.

    I’m hoping for a FLOOD OF ANSWERS, because the “camouflaged” answer (five of them – Can you believe it?) is already included in my prior post above, plus in this one above (combined).

    It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, as Karel said in the beginning, the whole purpose of this MR Challenge is to learn from each other. Hope the Challenge keeps going, in whatever form!

    So for instance, I may think that a draw is more important than carrying weight.
    My first selection therefore should be – the horse with the lowest draw – right or wrong!

    You may think that Speed is King (many do) – so that’s going to be one of your three selections.
    You may think that MR is more important, so that will be one of your three selections.

    At the end of the exercise, if we have a big enough sample, we’ll hopefully have a better idea about handicapping a race from a Punters point of view, by weighting (correctly!) the MANY, different and possible selection criteria received.

    So, I’ll share the actual answer (5 criteria on the winner) in about three days’ time – while you guys make some of your own suggestions, like in the examples given.

    It’s important that Punters, in general, realize the IMPORTANCE of getting MORE people winning their bets, MORE often. There is MORE than enough (money) in horse racing, for everyone to enjoy their betting successes. You take nothing away from me, if you win your bet, and vice versa. As a matter of fact, you may just be keeping horse racing alive, the more you win! And the more we all win.

    Reason and Motivation for Doing This:
    Read my published article, in the weekly Sporting Post two weeks ago, entitled,

    “A Punter speaks to the Ivory Tower”.

    This is really serious stuff, and the sad thing is, NOBODY really seems to be listening.

    For how much longer, are the betting public, in general, prepared to continue losing their money wagering losing bets, week in, and week out!

    I’ve seen it stated, can’t remember exactly where, that only 2 % of Punters make a profit at gambling on horse racing. If true, that’s really shocking.

    With their fancy computers and software, I’m sure the relevant racing authorities can calculate these figures. For instance, of the win bets place at Durbanville to-day how many ( percent wise ) were actually win bets, and how many were losing bets. Do this with all the different bet types. This should tell them clearly, why racing turnovers are declining, as we have been informed.

    And lastly, Punters are also responsible for there losing bets. I mean – how many really know their “Punters Selection” handicapping and all the different possible angles and criteria, in depth.
    Perhaps only the 2 % – hope that we all, are one of them!

    We certainly can do our part, in an attempt to turn things around. And Sporting Post is being instrumental and visionary enough, in allowing us to post our comments. That’s truly great.
    Thank You, to Sporting Post, and to all of those, who posted their comments here – everyone!

    Much appreciated!

  26. Graham Hurlstone-Jones says:

    This is fun….Form stable/jockey and previous run…….( look for the double or treble in your previous 5 choices or even the day as well )….form. I tend to slide scale the draw until I am happy but if the form is there and the stable is purring then yes, the form jockey will go in as well whatever he is riding, especially on the day….cant wait to hear otherwise ( I do sneak a peek at the MR in case there is an obvious change, an older horse maybe ? or anything weighted to win ) and any market moves. I normally bank scratchings in my small perm. I also do a P6 with only my birthday numbers, funny, it only comes in when I forget to play it….can anyone explain that…

  27. Richard Smit says:

    Further Selections: 3 of the 5 Third Favorites (only)

    First Selection : The horse with Combination: Best Trainer + Best Jockey.

    Second Selection : Combination: Lowest Draw + best adjusted time per meter.

    Third Selection : Combination : Best SP (odds) last race + lowest weight + lowest draw
    + best adj. time + best Trainer + best Jockey ( 6 criteria in 1 horse)

    Eliminating horses like the two 1st favorites, and the one, second favorite is an absolute fine art, and always carries the risk, of losing the bet!

    By my calculations:

    The one 1st favorite was eliminated because he (the colt) only had 3rd fastest time.
    The other 1st favorite was eliminated, because his form wasn’t that hot.

    The second favorite was eliminated because his time and calculated AR (ability) wasn’t that hot.
    Actually, I was quite surprised that this horse didn’t win first time out – (Trainer – Mike de Kock!)

    We should have a valid reason, for each horse eliminated from our selections, but this is another huge comprehensive topic, all by itself.

    Thank you Roy, for your selections,, one of yours’ is spot on – much appreciated.
    So can we share the Pick 6 now???

    Race 7 at Vaal, today 10 October,
    almost identical to this race being analyzed, with one favorite, one 2nd favorite & five 3rd favorites
    Race 8 has two 1st favorites, two second favorites and two 3rd favorites.

    If we want to win P 6’s, we would need to practice (on paper only) these types of races, as often as possible, to perfect our handicapping skills before placing bets = “Practice makes Perfect”!

  28. RoyKass says:

    Hi Richard. I’m still trying to quantify all the correlating factors, on a spreadsheet. Unfortunately, I don’t want to make a fool of myself because today I see some of my calculations are not matching the forecast odds. So Im playing race by race. I’m still learning. I’m looking forward to your final analysis, especially the correlations. MR is one. Speed is another. I think the trainer is another. The latter may explain why horses which didn’t perform in their last few races suddenly make a come back. They were well prepared for the current race. There is another factor which is unfortunate but we have to accept. I think it accounts for as much as 33 % . Top horses don’t place for three reasons. Equipment failure. Example. Saddle slip. Shoe cast. Dropped crop. Secondly illness injury fitness. Example. Cuts. Bruises. Lameness. Mouth injuries. Cramps. Respiratory problems. And thirdly. Horse temperament before and during the race. I believe that horses as awesome as they are, are easily startled and frightened. Plus very sensitive to their jockeys. I think this accounts for a huge chunk of the disappointment after the races. These are my thoughts for what is worth from a learner. Looking forward to to your report.

  29. Richard Smit says:

    It’s amazing how SIMILAR, Race 7 at the Vaal to-day , 10 October is, to what we are looking for, in the MR Case study race:

    (Forecast betting: One favorite, one 2nd favorite, five 3rd favorites – we’re playing Pick 6 at the Vaal )

    Race No.7 : The winner No 12- SET THE STANDARD ( Good name!)
    is the 3rd favorite of 5, 3rd favorites, and had the following going for it:

    (Hint: We’re looking for multiple combinations of criteria, for those who haven’t got it yet!)

    1. Horse with 2nd highest win % – 50 % win strike rate
    (Second placed horse had the highest win strike rate of 66 %’!)
    2. Horse with lowest draw
    3. Horse with best last race result
    4. One of three horses with best adjusted time per meter (these 3 all 3rd favorites)
    5. Second top MR ( Horse No 1, with highest MR, came nowhere)
    6. Third run (Peak run!)
    7. Huge improver (14,6 lengths in its last race). If doing again, will win by a mile!

    NB : 7 Criteria in one horse – Win Dividend paid – on the Tote R 11-80
    – Exacta paid R 72 – Point (i) above

    If we want to win Pick 6’s, we should practice DOING THIS (at least 100 races, 1000 is better, before placing a bet). About 30 race meetings, should be enough, with focused intent, looking for the criteria in the six, Pick 6 races.

    You’ll be amazed, at the improvement you will achieve in your handicapping.
    You’ll start seeing things you NEVER saw before, and you’ll know what to look for.
    No kidding. I’m NOT fooling around!

    Graham, many thanks for your selections, one of them is spot on. We’ll be sharing the Pick 6 with you too!!! Also many thanks for ALL your previous comments, I read them all.
    And, I must say I really enjoyed them. Most appreciated.

  30. Richard Smit says:

    Hello Roy,

    I don’t use a spreadsheet anymore, takes too long.

    I use the FREE TAB SHEET from tabonline.co.za, which I print and then column my criteria onto it by hand.

    Takes about 1/2 hour per race and I use mostly 13 (sometimes more, sometimes less) tried and tested criteria in my columns. I can get 16 columns on the Tab sheet

    I spend another 10 to 15 minutes, per race, highlighting and analyzing the COMBINATION criteria of each horse, in depth.

    The selection is usually, the best combination, or just the 1st favorite or two, like in the last race at the Vaal to-day, in which the two first favorites came first and second respectively. The winner was a first time runner, with NO STATS, only – 1.)a good trainer – 2.)a good jockey and – 3.)a low draw

    The other favorite, second placed, had 1.) Peak run and – 2.) best AR ( ability)

    My studies and research into Advanced Applied Handicapping, for Punters, will be completed early in the new year, about March, at which time, I’m hoping to write and publish a practical and applied handicapping book for the South African Punter. We’ll see!

  31. RoyKass says:

    Hi Richard. Much appreciated. Looking forward to your book. Coming back to the spreadsheet, why do you complete it manually? If the spreadsheet is in Excel format, you can do it on your computer, much more accurately. Thanks for the link to the TAB sheet. I will look it up. Just, a thought. This is a very interesting hobby for me as someone who likes figure and puzzles. I guess there are millions of people like me, looking for an interesting hobby. . Cheers.

  32. Richard Smit says:

    Hello Roy
    The reasons I do manually:
    1. The Free TAB Sheet already has some of the data I use, line by line. ( huge time saver)
    2. I use stats / data from 7 different independent sources, and I haven’t figured out (in the last four years) how to just press a key on the computer keyboard, to insert the input, line by line for each horse. Excel did not work for me.
    3. I use two different providers of live “Tote Board” betting moves, which I also insert on the sheet, when selecting the other exotics (excl. pick 6) is also inserted on Tab sheet ( for the other exotics).
    4. The main very important reason you will find in my future book (late next year) ‘It’s still got to be written, and will only be published, after winning one BIG Pick 6 or multiple smaller Pick 6’s ( the proof it works) – Punters want proof – they are tired of losing, using things that don’t work.

    (As I’ve said many times before).

    Details to finalize my contribution to MR Challenge, to follow sometime next week.
    What’ s already been done here, in all the comment contributions from everyone, if utilized and applied, will be most beneficial, to any punter (new or old). So any further follow up, by me, isn’t really necessary.

    How about trying to find the winner with 3 selections for Race 6 at Fairview today – 11 October
    (One favorite, four 2nd favorites, four 3rd favorites).

    “They” say Sir Frenchie has a good chance. BEST MR , etc,etc. and a BIG weight. So here’s a chance to see, what kind of role, weight plays in a 1400 meter race, if any!!
    We’ll see!!

  33. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Using free TAB sheets and winning should not be published in the same opinion piece…. other than giving declares information the free sheet is free of any information.

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