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Figgis
11 Aug 13 11:16
Joined:
Date Joined: 28 Sep 04
| Topic/replies: 8,552 | Blogger: Figgis's blog
I'm still of the opinion this horse was flattered by the appearance of his Coventry Stakes win. He's certainly capable of winning a Gp1 but I have him at the lower end of that level, rather than the exceptional horse he looked at Ascot I and was looking to oppose him next time but I'll have to wait for another day. As is the case with most runnings of the Phoenix Stakes it looks like O'Brien has 9 digits on the prize before the race is run. I don't think he's that far clear of the rest but unlike them he's been ideally prepared for the race. Maybe he'll impress me more today.
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Report Figgis December 5, 2013 5:46 PM GMT
Harry, I don't know why you feel that because people are discussing speed figures then it's because they think it's superior to anybody's private handicap ratings, or indeed people who judge horses without even compiling ratings. If I were to rate a horse a high figure it's just the same as somebody having a high opinion of a horse, it's just that I'm attempting to quantify it and stick a number on it because it suits me to work like that. Despite what some people may imply compiling speed figures is just as much about taking a view as it is using the tools to produce the figures. And even though some figure compilers say they frown on collateral form lines there still has to be an element of collateral comparison when compiling time figures.

That's one of the reasons I don't particularly like McNae. He keeps saying things like 'these are the facts' and trashing 'subjective opinion' analysis, when even the facts can be open to subjective opinions and I'm sure that a lot of people get by very well on their own subjective opinions.
Report Figgis December 5, 2013 5:55 PM GMT
Harry, which of your points was ignored?
Report Sandown December 5, 2013 6:14 PM GMT
Harry C

Red Rum was bred to be a sprinter on the flat so no pizz take

read up dosage theory on this site

www.chef-de-race.com
Report pedrobob December 5, 2013 6:15 PM GMT
Harry, don't want to accuse you of not reading the thread, but was pointed out earlier the dosage index for Berkshire is incomplete / incorrect due to sire probably not included as chef de race
Report harry callaghan December 5, 2013 6:25 PM GMT
figgis,I have no wish to dwell on this, as enjoy reading about different views and speed figures...nothing to do with superiority, but when someones views are just dismissed by just moving straight on, i find that dismissive of that persons said opinion...you can make what you will 

it has nothing to do with not having the respect for those doing speed figures...i respect it, as have been in the game to long, to not...but as i have said now with all the biases and over watering at the tracks i find them slightly misleading, just an opinion...but have learnt more this year listening to peoples opinions that isn't to say they are always right

i certainly do not treat them dismissively, as you know, as have asked yourself and pedro in the past for some help in regards a certain runner i cannot grasp with my own methods, as like i say, i respect your judgment

mcnae i just have the sound down now...his opinion on a james given runner bred by hawk wing this year at redcar cracked me up..."look at him" "look at him" he said as if the horse was playing up, like all hawk wings do, a myth by all the ruk team imo...the reason why i was mythed was because i'd backed it at the 10's pre race and saw nothing of the sort...
Report harry callaghan December 5, 2013 6:28 PM GMT
I saw nothing of the sort...

the horse gagged up WAC he is
Report harry callaghan December 5, 2013 6:58 PM GMT
ok thanks

will have a read up missed that in thread pedro
Report harry callaghan December 5, 2013 7:15 PM GMT
with this hype horse eating the market at present....quick question as working on the derby at the moment...

what is the record of montjeu's in the derby?? anyone got the stat on horses bred by him in the derby???

i know he has a couple of recent winners but what is his overall record percentage wise?? just interested to know if anyone has it to hand... i'd appreciate it thx

bit off the cuff i know
Report Stevie Gerrard December 5, 2013 7:35 PM GMT
Harry, I didn't ignore your posts yesterday I did read them. I normally discuss the speed figures just because I like to see how my figures compare to others and whether they used the same allowance for each race and whatever.

Obviously your figures are arrived at using different methods and it is interesting but not surprising maybe that you have Kingston Hill top.

My 107 does seem low and I do think KH is better than that and when I put the figures in my odds program I did make him 112 instead. However I did want to ask you how confident you were about your own rating and do you feel perhaps the exaggerated distances on the soft ground and perhaps many horses not handling conditions that day led to the big rating? it looked a tricky race to rate using collateral methods and also that Dolce and Karama in 4th. It was 2yo races like this that put me off doing collateral ratings because I found it very hard to work out which horses ran up to form and I'm not keen on race standardisation either.
Report pedrobob December 5, 2013 8:02 PM GMT
montjeu in Epsom Derby = 4 from 21 for 8.13 loss (-38.7%)

year    horse name    trainer name    sp    position
2005    Motivator    Michael Bell    3/1    1
2005    Walk In The Park    J E Hammond    11/1    2
2005    Kings Quay    Richard Hannon    150/1    11
2006    Mountain    A P O'Brien    50/1    8
2006    Papal Bull    Sir Michael Stoute    11/1    10
2006    Snoqualmie Boy    David Elsworth    150/1    16
2007    Authorized    Peter Chapple-Hyam    5/4    1
2007    Anton Chekhov    A P O'Brien    50/1    12
2008    Washington Irving    A P O'Brien    33/1    5
2008    Alessandro Volta    A P O'Brien    33/1    6
2008    Frozen Fire    A P O'Brien    16/1    11
2008    King Of Rome    A P O'Brien    16/1    12
2009    Fame And Glory    A P O'Brien    9/4    2
2009    Montaff    Mick Channon    40/1    12
2010    Jan Vermeer    A P O'Brien    9/4    4
2010    Coordinated Cut    Michael Bell    20/1    7
2011    Pour Moi    A Fabre    4/1    1
2011    Recital    A P O'Brien    5/1    6
2011    Masked Marvel    John Gosden    25/1    8
2012    Camelot    A P O'Brien    8/13    1
2013    Festive Cheer    A P O'Brien    25/1    10
Report harry callaghan December 6, 2013 11:41 AM GMT
apologies yesterday didn't mean to be a bit off with anyone and no offence meant... I just dislike it when people are digging at each other and i come on the forum for good debate, whether i agree with someone or don't...bit old now and get a tad grumpy, so take me with a pinch of salt...its hard enough, for me, having to deal with me

stevie fair comments

as with most i have spoken to, most will always have a low speed rating for a lot of horses on soft ground...i really cannot see how anyone can have really solid ratings for soft ground races...how can we with horses racing all over the track...like you say very hard to work out

I tend to find because of the large proportion of decent horses who would prefer better ground, this will always give an edge to a mud lark and obviously lead to a rating that is above what you actually believe there ability is, because of the exaggerated distances...

on the subject of kingston i actually have a similar rating to you, in regard how good i actually think he is 110+ do i think he could even run to that on fast ground i would have serious reservations... but am still guessing at what i think he could run to, on better ground (i wouldn't touch him) till i know and even then, i will want to see him back it up...but have to upgrade him on soft as he is clearly many lbs better in his optimum conditions, when others will be inconvenienced...this seems to always lead to an elevated rating of that said horse

I will say, i tend to just put soft ground horses in there own bracket, rating wise (bit ignorant really) and then just work on them. When i believe they can run to the rating i think they are capable of running to (optimum) bet accordingly, because a lot won't handle it, obviously no good when they all like itLaugh...a lot of the stuff i do is adjusted to my own ignorance really, this works for me and has its upsides, like i had the first 2 home in the mile at ascot as for me they were the only genuine grade 1 horses on soft ground, bar the french horse who was very exposed, this race at ascot really is a good learning race, in regards times, as olympic glory who loved the ground then, was asked to go and run 11 seconds faster on fast ground in america...he wouldn't go a yard on it and never strode out at all, but i don't hold it against him, just know he will never win at the top level on decent ground, but as a bettor he was 5-1 at santa anita and an edge was there if you believed in it 

it has its downsides though as i have also found, as have over bet willie the whipper, ann duffield horse, I had him down as grade 2/3 horse on soft, the horse didn't really improve, maybe the run at york killed him when i was praying spencer would be easy on him on the ground , he wasn't, but was very disappointed he couldn't win at ayr (spencer maybe or difficult ride i don't know) on the back of it though i thought maybe he needed the run and the pace was slow so then over bet him again at longchamp...was i fooled by the french derby i don't know...wish they had just shot it tbh

its like the kingston race, i am not sure, what he beat? and he was supplemented so connections saw the angle... I didn't like the race, pre-race, in regards no stand outs and the unexposed o'brien runners were very weak, betting wise...a lot of them were floundering in the ground at the 2 pole but he loved it and for me deserves his rating on the back of it, he also had only made his debut just over a month before...like a lot of 2 year old soft ground horses, a definitive rating is always tough for me anyway and judging soft ground juveniles even tougher, but i think he is a rapid improver since debut and is just likeable in his conditions, so am happy with what i have him at...I will just need to see him run at 3 to form a solid opinion class wise...but angles may appear with him, as can see him being an over bet horse

i would hope, he would be an arc trained horse (ground) but he will probably be trained hard over here for our classics...so from a betting point of view, he may never be on my betting radar, am mercionary in this regard...my own ratings are one thing, how i interpret them betting wise, is a totally different thing all together...which may seem contradictory but they are just a tool after all   

year    horse name    trainer name    sp    position
2005    Motivator    Michael Bell    3/1    1
2005    Walk In The Park    J E Hammond    11/1    2

2007    Authorized    Peter Chapple-Hyam    5/4    1
2009    Fame And Glory    A P O'Brien    9/4    2

2010    Jan Vermeer    A P O'Brien    9/4    4

2011    Pour Moi    A Fabre    4/1    1
2011    Recital    A P O'Brien    5/1    6

2012    Camelot    A P O'Brien    8/13    1

many thanks pedro

very interesting and after removing the horses i believed had no chance, his record reads very well
could never understand how papal bull was 11-1 at the time, even though he proved himself in the end, i never liked him, a rat
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 1:02 PM GMT
Hi Harry, don't knock yourself we are all a little crazy. If you find something that works stick with it. I remember Nick Faldo during his winning streak he sought advice about ho to improve and screwed himself up. If it works stick with it.
I never look at times or keep records of personal ratings. If I had to refer to ratings before having a bet then my decision making is flawed in the first place. I go by form and add experience. By limiting the range of targets I aim at I can reach a fairy good position in any case.
I used to go the whole hog by buying all of the papers, paying for tips from professional tipsters, recording all the races and spend hours on end deciphering everything. I would read everything I could and make notes of what trainers and jockeys said. I kept the lists of comments made by trainers, usually on a Saturday, in the Post. I paid for tips because I wanted to know everything that was fancied. I didn't bet them unless I had already reached that conclusion. In the end I realised I had found a good method, a good selection process and a good staking plan that works for me.

I think if you need to refer to ratings before having a bet you are lacking in something. This thread is about War Command and I din't need ratings or speed figures to tell me his form isn't good enough at present. The same applies to all of the main protagonists in the 2000 Gns so I won't be having a bet until probably 5 minutes before the start. Unless something tells me otherwise.

On this thread I have had an alter ego in AOB and as a result I have done something I would not normally do and that is I've had an ante post bet on Australia. So although I do stick fairly rigidly to my plans sometimes it's a blast to have a dig at something.

My main point though is that if I had to keep ratings or speed figures to tell me something I would be missing the point in the first place.
Report harry callaghan December 6, 2013 1:37 PM GMT
brig each to there own on how folk bet, agree if it works for you then great...

i actually like speed ratings, just don't use them, doesn't suit me, but they are a good tool in regards spotting poor/slow horses...that is when they are helpful and would help me i just haven't the time...video form for me, then my own angle...doesn't mean i get it right as much as i would like but that then comes down to confidence and staking

figgis and others talk a lot of sense and is why he is so ardent against the derby winner in the faarh race in regards how he rates it, something i do understand/agree with... as slowly run races can make a slow horse look a better rated horse than is actual fact...i just make my own interpretation...i actually backed the derby winner in that race and basically he didn't have the pace to win, if they had of gone faster i have no doubt at all he would of been beaten further...went off faarh pre race because of the groundCry

i have to say i haven't had a bet in the guineas and not sure i actually will, to many iffs, and ands, pots and pans for me and has never been a big betting race for me...i still hurt now on a 14k potential when thulliuez decided the way to win the guineas (1000) was to box six perfections on the rail, then circle the big field...i still remember it now as after taking the 7's ante post in an acca i then decided to really smash it ew at the 5's a pleasure...i watched it at the 3 pole and my azz fell out when the frenchman put it through the running rail...i didn't think she would place but she was an exceptional filly and was just happy she picked up from the county she started from...it still hurtsSad

anyway just love the debate keeps me honest and will help me when i do see a bet later in the season...

one thing with faldo he had to change the swing, in order to take the pressure down the stretch, in the end it payed off.

for what it is worth i think aiden will run them both in the guineas but who knows with that crew
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 2:03 PM GMT
Harry you could be right about Faldo though I thought he reverted back to his old swing. However you couldn't be more wrong if you tried about Ruler of the World in the Champion Stakes.
Report harry callaghan December 6, 2013 2:19 PM GMT
Grini had a wager with myself you would say that brig...

For what it is worth, i think he may have run better if he hadn't run in the arc the week before, took the edge off him...moore threw the sink at it so i didn't feel hard done by... he just wasn't in the class or fast as the other 2 horses, i understand why you think it would of been a different story in a fast run race. Having backed it, i thought he was struggling to keep up off the slow fractions...anyway he is 1m4f horse so really i made a bad bet imo against speedier/faster horses but was influenced greatly by the conditions...i live a learn but was getting a good price to find out
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 4:18 PM GMT
My main point though is that if I had to keep ratings or speed figures to tell me something I would be missing the point in the first place.

Brig, you are aware that your alter ego relies on the clock to determine the wheat from the chaff on his home gallops?
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 4:51 PM GMT
Do you not think that is where he is going wrong Pedro. Can't remember DH ever needing a watch.
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 4:56 PM GMT
Brig, you have stoicisim beyond compare Laugh
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 4:58 PM GMT
.... may your pockets always be deep
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 6:49 PM GMT
Just living in the real old Pedro. Dickie's classic winners were better than AOB's as well, in the real world.
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 6:49 PM GMT
*world
Report Sandown December 6, 2013 8:54 PM GMT
I have been working on times for many years, first final times and latterly sectional times, as well as studying collateral times. personally, I use both sectional time analysis (which includes final time analysis) and collateral ratings. There is imo no el dorado to find, maybe a marginal edge and a better understanding of how a race result happened.

Some may doubt my view that most races are won by horses which improve significantly upon their previous figures, whether collateral ratings (RPR,TF,OR) or time ratings, and not just in classic races.

Don't just take my opinion. The well respected American handicapper Mark Cramer,published details of an in-depth analysis that he conducted in 2000. As many will know, the americans work almost exclusively with speed figures(mainly Beyer) and they are in not wight adjusted.

Here is his final conclusion:

"Handicappers whose fundamental activity is comparing speed figures and betting the horse with the highest figure will be facing underlay odds and confronting a powerful probability that last race's speed figures will be altered in today's race. Handicapping involves the skill of making projections for the future, not calculating and unbending past. There are non-linear curves and bends in the progression of time that make handicapping a geometric rather than arithmetic activity.

If you have no handicapping reason to project an improvement in your horse's beyer figure for todays race, you're probably looking at a loser."


For my money, this holds true most of the time.

If you want to try and find it the article was called "The Truth About Speed Figures." Or just read up on Mark Cramer.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 8:58 PM GMT
And yet again another post trying to impose somebody's own methods over what works for other people.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 9:00 PM GMT
I don't know any ratings compiler who doesn't allow for possible or even probable improvement, especially where lightly raced young horses are concerned.
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 9:29 PM GMT
If you have no handicapping reason to project an improvement in your horse's beyer figure for todays race, you're probably looking at a loser."

For my money, this holds true most of the time.


that's interesting stuff, Sandown. I suspect I don't follow that principle nearly enough and will consider that lot more in future.

But do you really think that applies "most of the time"? Just looking at the last at Dundalk just now and the first four home ran to pretty much their pre race figures for me, they've all had plenty of racing now and would suspect they have not improved, just ran to their previous best.

Does this not also apply to plenty of the cannon-fodder handicaps we see on the AW during the winter, certainly the claimers and sellers which are generally won by handicappers on the downgrade and not progressive or improving types?
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 9:29 PM GMT
If you have no handicapping reason to project an improvement in your horse's beyer figure for todays race, you're probably looking at a loser."

For my money, this holds true most of the time.


that's interesting stuff, Sandown. I suspect I don't follow that principle nearly enough and will consider that lot more in future.

But do you really think that applies "most of the time"? Just looking at the last at Dundalk just now and the first four home ran to pretty much their pre race figures for me, they've all had plenty of racing now and would suspect they have not improved, just ran to their previous best.

Does this not also apply to plenty of the cannon-fodder handicaps we see on the AW during the winter, certainly the claimers and sellers which are generally won by handicappers on the downgrade and not progressive or improving types?
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 9:35 PM GMT
The Yanks only prove, for me, that time is very much a bit part player. I'm not saying it doesn't matter at all but I just think it is a mathematical calculation that gives succour to lazy, indecisive people or fodder for studious types who have nothing better to do.  When I look at a race as a betting medium I need look at nothing more than the prices available if it appeals to me. I look at a race and within seconds I know if it is a betting medium, then I look at the prices. You can always find bets if you look for them, you can find something in almost every race. The important thing is that they select themselves otherwise no bet. That doesn't mean they all win because circumstances do dictate but it works for me.
Report Sandown December 6, 2013 9:43 PM GMT
pedrobob

Cramer found from his study that there was a 4 to 1 ratio of winning horses improving their Beyer to 1 winner which didn't.
Report Sandown December 6, 2013 9:45 PM GMT
Brigut, I don't agree with you but if it works for you, then fine.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 9:46 PM GMT
Ped, I think we all know there's a possibility of something improving past our top rated. Obviously the higher you rate the horse then the less likely it is to happen. My top two, Be Ready and Toormore are no Frankel and I fully accept that (even if I'm right) something may improve more, I'm sure you feel the same about War Command. The point is, if you have one, say, 5lbs clear, are you going to back the one below it because it may improve 6lbs? It would all depend on the prices of the horses but in most cases I wouldn't.

I don't use handicap ratings and I don't think they'd work for me but there are plenty of people they do work for and there are probably loads of people out there who are really good at the job of compiling them. If somebody makes a good profit out of backing their top rated, then who am I to tell them "No you should be backing the one that will improve the most"?
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 9:47 PM GMT
Brig, there are obviously a number of wide margin 2yo maiden winners during the season. How do you go about working out which are Group class when they are stepped into that grade?

As mentioned the other day, Golan won a Chepstow maiden at 2 by half a length from a horse who had already been beaten in a maiden. Golan went onto win a Guineas and Clearing was touched off in a French version. Golan never ran again before Newmarket. Would you have expected this pair to achieve what they did in classic company off the back of just being to watch a Chepstow video and access to no other tools?
Report Sandown December 6, 2013 9:50 PM GMT
is a mathematical calculation that gives succour to lazy, indecisive people or fodder for studious types who have nothing better to do.

To prove to you how wrong you are, research the success of betting syndicates in Hong Kong (Bentner el al) who win mega millions every year using mathematical models which puts them in a league so far above the likes of you and me that that they can only be compared with organised bookmaking busienss in the gambling world.
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 9:52 PM GMT
Sandown, 4 to 1 sounds excessive to me, though I haven't worked out any stats so can't argue with that. Do you think it is that much? Maybe it is different for US and British racing?

Figgis, my selection process pretty much same as yours, if I have a horse well clear on timefigures, it takes some hard persuasion for me to back one to turn it over even if the formbook says otherwise. If I have an edge at all, that's it...... (I hope Brig didn't just choke on his cornflakes if he read that Mischief )
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 9:58 PM GMT
Take the Henry V111 at Sandown tomorrow. At a glance there are two possible results. On hurdles form Grandouet wins, bar a fall. Alternatively any of 5 could win it. As no-one knows what Grandouet will do and because the others are all similar there is almost no result that would surprise me. So, unless you want to 'gamble', and I don't, it would be no bet.

Pedro I had a good bet on Golan at 10s for the King George. He had won first time out the two previous seasons and there were sufficient reasons not to back the others.

Sandown I think that is nonsense. Syndicates may couple every possibility to ensure a 'no loss' situation but that is all they do the rest is smoke and mirrors. The mathematical model you refer to is exactly what bookies do with laying only they do the reverse collecting the right prices to ensure a percentage profit. In my very humble opinion. They flatter themselves.
Report Sandown December 6, 2013 9:59 PM GMT
pedrobob

if I have a horse well clear on timefigures, it takes some hard persuasion for me to back one to turn it over even if the formbook says otherwise. If I have an edge at all, that's it...... (I hope Brig didn't just choke on his cornflakes if he read that


You can check that startegy out using the Adrian massey site and looking at the sub-set of horses which are well clear on ratings. You will see that whilst it works better than not being well ahead, you will see that all price levels you will be lucky to just break-even at BF odds.


Maybe it is different for US and British racing?

I believe that around 80% of british winners are given a higher handicap rating. You can check that out for yourself on the BHA site.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 10:01 PM GMT
As has been said by others many times, the Guineas is a bit like the last 2yo race. Obviously there have been upsets and surprises like any other race but over the years high rated 2yos have fared well, this suggests that on the whole the improvement from 2 to 3 has been pretty much as expected and not erratic. As I said before, when something like Cockney Rebel made big improvement I don't recall anybody predicting it beforehand.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 6, 2013 10:01 PM GMT
brigust, they input loads of different factors into programs to work out what the true price for each horse should be. You have massive pools over there and a load of mug money in it.
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 10:02 PM GMT
At a glance there are two possible results. On hurdles form Grandouet wins, bar a fall. Alternatively any of 5 could win it.

Brig, that sounds like 6 possible results to me   Laugh
Report roadrunner46 December 6, 2013 10:03 PM GMT
im backing BE READY as an outsider bet, you have been doing your ratings for a long time and betting in the guineas alot longer than myself, you think there is a good chance this horse could improve past the others to win the guineas, making sure, got that angle covered. the horse be ready beat, did run well in france, and the pedigree is an improving bloodline IMO. usually read the form and
go for the horse that has achieved a standard thats capable of winning the race, for me so far, toormore and war command are those horses, that fit the bill. cant go any previous years experience of betting in the guineas. have seen you solve a few group races this
year, no harm throwing few pounds on your top rated, foolish not to really. gl all
Report Sandown December 6, 2013 10:04 PM GMT
Sandown I think that is nonsense. Syndicates may couple every possibility to ensure a 'no loss' situation but that is all they do the rest is smoke and mirrors. The mathematical model you refer to is exactly what bookies do with laying only they do the reverse collecting the right prices to ensure a percentage profit. In my very humble opinion. They flatter themselves.


With the utmost respect brigust1 you need to do the research because you clearly do not understand. These syndicates can make 50-100 million dollars p.a and they do not make a book. They back the value using kelly staking. Where their big wins come from is from eexotics i.e ctrifectas etc and that is what you may be thinking of.
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 10:07 PM GMT
I believe that around 80% of british winners are given a higher handicap rating. You can check that out for yourself on the BHA site.

It wouldn't surprise me if that figure was much higher, Sandown. And to me, one of the worst aspects of the British handicapping system that nearly all winners (and many placed horses) get a rise.

There are plenty of shocking handicaps around and I would argue that even the winners should be dropped a few lbs, let alone the beaten horses.

You only have to look at the record of flat horses who dare to win in the winter. They get punished for basically winning weak or poor races and by the time the turf season comes around,  are seriously badly handicapped and have no chance of winning.

Take Venetia Williams policy. She refuses to run horses over jumps in the summer as she knows her winners will get a rise for winning bad races.... leaving them with no chance of winning in the winter.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 10:09 PM GMT
Ped, as I said before, some people just can't seem to accept that private ratings can perform better than those in the public domain. For one thing, private ratings have an advantage simply by not being in the public domain, they aren't going to be already accounted for in the market, plus I'd argue that commercial figures can be beaten on strike rate. Also I don't think anybody is simply going to back their highest rated every time, bets will be chosen selectively and prices, conditions, form cycles, etc, will also come into play.
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 10:13 PM GMT
Pedro the 2 year old scenario you inferred would never be a bet for me. I need to know the best horses in the race then rely on them running to form or not being unlucky. Guessing isn't my bag.
No two Pedro. Bet 1) Grandouet converts his hurdle rating to fences so you bet him to win and lay him to fall (place lay).
Bet 2) You bet all of the horses that would win in any event. With only the 3 horse unlikely to win then no bet.

Sandown I am not saying these syndicates don't operate I am sure they do. There are margins to be made in Bf ffs. My point was that they bet a number of horses in the same way a bookie lays a number of horses. That is a completely different system to what I believed you mean't.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 10:15 PM GMT
Totally agree, ped, there are many handicaps won where the winner doesn't actually improve on what it did before.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 10:19 PM GMT
Roadrunner, as a pedigree man do you have a view on No Nay Never?
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 10:19 PM GMT
I need to know the best horses in the race then rely on them running to form or not being unlucky. Guessing isn't my bag.

Brig, even if you don't use ratings of any sort, you must still have some method of working out "form", even if it is only in your head? Otherwise how do you judge or try to assess two horses who have never run against each other before?
Report Stevie Gerrard December 6, 2013 10:23 PM GMT
pedro that would be guessing and Brigust doesn't guess. so it will only be races where horses have run against each other or against the same horses.
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 10:27 PM GMT
Of course form is my method but it isn't everything. If two horses have solid chances and I can't split them, providing it makes financial sense, I bet them both. I don't mind backing more than one horse in a race or using any method I can. If I can't split something and I can make more in the place market I go that way. Or if I can make more by laying opposition I think cannot win unless others under perform I go that way. There are lots of ways to skin a cat.
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 10:30 PM GMT
so presumably you must spend a lot of time looking at videos and working out formlines in a racing publication, Brig?
Report Sandown December 6, 2013 10:32 PM GMT
I can go with that brigust1 except for one thing. As a longtime cat lover I don't agree with the last sentence.
Report roadrunner46 December 6, 2013 10:32 PM GMT
no nay never is very fast horse, the damside doesnt look very strong, elusive quailitys broodmares havent won alot of money about 400k,
must say the horse made a good impression at royal ascot. hopefully they will keep the horse sprinting and wont turn up for the guineas.
horse with a very good future ahead IMO.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 6, 2013 10:33 PM GMT
I'd say the main reason I do my own ratings is I trust them and know how I arrived at the rating, before I did my own ratings I used RPRs as a guide or ORs in hcaps and the problem was in certain races like when the pace collapses and you get a wide margin winner I was scratching my head to how good the performance really was. I've found speed figures and sectionals have helped in rating horses better in races run at either a steady pace or an overly strong pace.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 10:36 PM GMT
Roadrunner, so you wouldn't give him much chance of staying the mile?
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 10:38 PM GMT
Absolutely not Pedro. I've been doing this all my life. Written reams and reams. If I don't know now goodness me. I have put together a select group of rules and stick to them rigidly.
No races lower than Class 4.
No handicaps, sellers or claimers.
Only certain racecourses.
Hardly ever bet Monday and Tuesday but that usually covers the courses I avoid.
Are just a few.

I can tell you at the beginning of the week my whole weeks possibilities.

Me to Sandown. When my daughter moved in with her boyfriend she had to leave her to cats Cleo and Figaro. They are my responsibility now.
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 10:41 PM GMT
I'm sure you have been doing it all your life, Brig, but that didn't answer my question.
What exactly are you doing? How do you work out the formlines? How do you work out that Grandouet (for example) is better than the others?
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 10:43 PM GMT
Yes, Stevie, for some ratings you have to guess more than others and at least when you've done them yourself you know which ones are more iffy.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 6, 2013 11:02 PM GMT
and of course 2yo races and 3yo maidens etc figgis, without speed figures it can be very hard to assess how good the performances are with little form to go on.
Report roadrunner46 December 6, 2013 11:03 PM GMT
wouldnt know if the horse will stay a mile, pedigrees reads like a mile wont be a problem, from a visual aspect the horse
looks a sprinter to me, maybe next year in the sprint races the horse will win everything. not my skill set predicting
distances horses will run better at, if need more evidence to seperate which horse will run better at a certain distance,
just check the stallion page, look for the optimum distance the progeny win at, ACCLAMATION'S progeny are sprinters 5/6f
that morning post was a crazy price for that big sales race. once ive learned more about pedigrees, just improves my overall
knowledge. dont work that much on the pedigrees, racing has such a varied amount of things a person can look and learn from.
always looking for horses that have shown good form, either they have been beaten recently in a good from race, or am just
notebooking more future winners.
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 11:05 PM GMT
Pedro I watch, listen and learn. By limiting the races I potentially bet in I can concentrate more on the ones I do bet in.

I don't write anything down now except my accounts. I remind myself occasionally by referring to the form book and keep an eye on the Official ratings but they are often wrong. Take Somersby for example. He has been rated 170 when running in Group races but before running in Group races he was beaten in a handicap off 156 and last time out narrowly won his only handicap since off 155. So what rating is he?
You can often decide whether or not there are too many possible winners etc. I have no intention of wasting my time. I would be unable to cover every point but often the decision to consider a race takes seconds not minutes to decide.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 6, 2013 11:10 PM GMT
Can't think of many times the guineas has been won by a horse who has looked a sprinter and been fast enough to win the Norfolk stakes. You see plenty of future top class 10f horses winning it and milers but never have I seen a sprinter last it out.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 11:12 PM GMT
Roadrunner, I also think he's very good. I find it really difficult to judge if a sprint 2yo will make it to the top as a 3yo, as, for me, that is one division where they really do need to make significant improvement to beat the best older sprinters. He already looked like a 3yo to me so I don't know if he'll progress much more. In his favour he hasn't been overraced compared to some fast 2yos over the years. If I thought he'd stay the mile I'd definitely have to back him for the Guineas but my guess is it's probably unlikely.
Report pedrobob December 6, 2013 11:15 PM GMT
Pedro I watch, listen and learn.

Brig, apologies if I am being pedantic, but that sounds very vague. Julian Wilson once told me the same thing when I asked him for some advice. You're not him are you?

How for example did you view Kingman's winning maiden at Newmarket? Did you think he was any good? an 80 type? Group class? A potential classic winner? Still don't understand how you assess one horse is better than another.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 6, 2013 11:18 PM GMT
Although Dutch Art was a norfolk winner and he did win his group when 3rd in Cockney Rebel's Guineas.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 11:19 PM GMT
Just had a look back through past Norfolk winners, as it's not a race I have a particularly good memory for. Dutch Art finished 3rd to Cockney Rebel before being dropped back in trip. The only winner I can see that definitely stayed a mile was the mudlover Turtle Island.
Report Figgis December 6, 2013 11:27 PM GMT
Also, even though I wouldn't label him a tearaway, as he appears to settle well in front, he does take a keen grip, can't see that help him getting a couple of furlongs further unless they've managed to work on that at home.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 6, 2013 11:37 PM GMT
Having returned unscathed from that historic performance, Ward thinks it is the perfect time to give the Coolmore-owned juvenile a well-deserved rest before working towards a return trip to Britain in 2014.

Ward said: "We've got big plans for him next year and it's nice to give him a break while he's sound and has no issues. This way we'll have a healthy tiger for next year."

Looking to next season, when No Nay Never will be campaigned at 1m, he added: "The ultimate goal would be the St James's Palace Stakes and we'll work from there backwards.

"We'd look to run at Keeneland first, when they open up the gates at the end of March or beginning of April, and I wouldn't rule out the Guineas. A straight mile at Newmarket in early May would be beautiful, but we'd get a run into him first to see where we're at. We are already excited about coming back."
Report brigust1 December 6, 2013 11:51 PM GMT
Pedro I can assre you if you have any sense the bets pick themselves.
The Dewhurst was a 2 horse race you just had to wager to get the best out of it. Some of the Breeders Cup races were the same. Keep you bets few and be diligent. Don't take unnecessary risks. It may sound boring but winning isn't I can assure you. Sometimes you lose obviously but that's inevitable. Just keep them to a minimum. Like everyone I do have odd mad bets sometimes but I like to think thee is method in my madness.
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 12:02 AM GMT
Stevie, from those connections' comments they don't appear to harbour doubts over the trip. As an American trained horse it also adds to the confusion. I don't follow their racing closely but I've read most of the books in the past and it seems it's far more likely for a prospective miler to be campaigned over 6f as a 2yo there, whereas over here it would be more likely to be stepped up to 7f.
Report harry callaghan December 7, 2013 1:37 PM GMT
some good chat

just on the subject on american speed figures

do people think it us much easier to rate american racing with most races run on the same type tracks and mostly run on fast tracks...american handicappers unless facing sloppy tracks or polytrack can build very solid speed ratings will be very reliable...obviously there are biases in the tracks depending where you race, similar to over here with the aw weather tracks...

track biases, over watering, different goings, unconventional tracks surely make it far easier to compile american speed figures compared with doing speed ratings here, unless we are talking aw racing that is.

do you boys find that your speed figures are more solid in regards aw racing in comparison to your turf racing??

or are you happy profit wise/reliability wise with both?
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 1:55 PM GMT
Harry, I can only speak personally but there's no difference between rating on turf and polytrack. There is a wider range of going allowances on the turf, obviously the turf can get much slower but generally it isn't a problem, although it can be trickier when there is constant rain during an afternoon. When it rains on polytrack it can slow the surface but I've also known it speed it up, so that's an added problem you don't get on turf. Also wind can affect the all weather tracks like it can turf and that's not always accounted for. As for Southwell, I've read that some people think it's more reliable for rating times, personally I find it worse than turf, I find that the surface can change significantly between races on the same afternoon, all the harrowing doesn't help. There can also be pace collapses and a winner can look better than it is. I don't know about dirt racing, some people say it compares mostly with Southwell, if that's the case I reckon time rating on dirt probably has more nuances than is implied. Overall I prefer turf simply because it's mostly a better class of racing which I find more reliable.
Report harry callaghan December 7, 2013 2:33 PM GMT
figgis i suppose this was always going to be a complex question, as obviously americans are running top class horses on the dirt, so are more reliable class wise...also the tracks are the same, although obviously track biases inside and outside will always lead to differing figures

my other point was the tracks are all the same flat left handed, the same problem with harrowing will still occur...i find southwell more reliable betting wise but only on the fact of horses acting at the track...

i suppose the figures will always be solid on fast ground/conventional tracks...but do you find your ratings stand up solidly on all the differing ground??...by this i mean in the horses next start or do you find big differences in your rating, obviously making the rating less reliable?? or do you need the next start to confirm your figure
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 2:55 PM GMT
I prefer compiling them on polytrack Harry especially over the winter when alot of the same horses run at each meeting and one allowance normally works although I do adjust for wind sometimes.

Southwell I use a lower allowance and the ratings seem ok, but you can get horses making all at a fast pace but still nothing gets into because of the bad kickback. I like it best for betting purposes though as very easy to narrow horses down and I tend to concentrate on previous southwell form or horses bred for surface.

On turf there are certain courses I don't like and I generally prefer the better class meetings. In fact some of the lower grade meetings on bog heavy ground at the end of the season I couldn't be bother rating.
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 3:05 PM GMT
Harry, for me it doesn't matter that the tracks are more varied here, as long as you have a reliable set of standard times (no easy task) then the track variations are accounted for. I agree about Southwell being reliable betting wise because of track form. Ground is obviously a consideration, if a horse earned its rating on good to firm I wouldn't assume it can replicate it on soft (and vice versa), but I don't insist on the ground having to be exactly the same. If a rating is based on only one run, say, a lightly raced horse or a big improvement on what a horse has achieved before then there has to be more doubt than if a horse has other similar ratings to back it up. Also, when you rate some cards you know that the ratings are more reliable, the races have been well run and there are enough exposed runners to get a handle on things. Others are more ambiguous and you have to take more of a view. As for how reliable they are, it's all down to experience, after refining the method over the years I find I have less variations between figures than I used to have, not as many huge leaps in improvement.
Report harry callaghan December 7, 2013 3:43 PM GMT
On turf there are certain courses I don't like and I generally prefer the better class meetings. In fact some of the lower grade meetings on bog heavy ground at the end of the season I couldn't be bother rating.

really i suppose this is what i was trying to get at in regards tracks and the reliability/confidence you still have in your speed ratings when we get to the point of differing ground and the biases, obviously with horses racing up different sides and such in comparison with say american handicappers who don't face these issues except biases in the track and where the horses have raced...over watering and such/harrowing will still occur on dirt but will soon become apparent after a couple of races in regards, speed biases thus giving a bettor an edge...same occurs here though i suppose to a degree

an american handicapper/speed ratings handicapper doesn't face undulating tracks, over watering, horses running up different sides and a lot more that we face over here...betting angles are still there but can you still rely on your figures when racing on differing ground

agree figgis no easy task i suppose that is what i am trying to get at in regards reliability in your betting/figures...only you will know how your figure stands up...you might get a solid figure at one track and then the horse will face good ground and an undulating track...lets say we are using reliable handicappers here, in this instance as an example who had at least 8 lifetime starts...when do your figures become unreliable...this will help you as a bettor and help me moving forwards...just interested

the reason i am keen is because i have found sep/oct/nov very difficult profit/betting wise for me and interested to know how your betting/speed ratings are stacking up in these periods
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 3:49 PM GMT
Of course the easier it is to do the figures then the more likely it is that others will find the same. I find a lot of the obvious speed figures ie several races over same c/d and 1 standout time. those types end up overbet.
Report Sandown December 7, 2013 4:20 PM GMT
Stevie G

Whatever method you use to compile ratings, you need to anchor, whether its the race standard, another horse in the race or a going allowance. If you use separate going allowances to adjust for wind or whatever, what makes you think that you are doing anything other than guessing. A going allowance is risky enough to produce when using several/all the races but an individual allowance for an individual race? Really? Don't you risk giving ratings which you think/want to see?

The more variables you introduce the greater the potential error on the "degrees of freedom principle." Agree?
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 4:26 PM GMT
Yes, agree with Stevie on the overbet point. I also think I can sometimes spot when one is likely to be overrated by the majority and I might oppose it. For example I think Hot Streak's Cornwallis win was overrated elsewhere, it was decent but I don't think it was as good as it looked. If he's short when taking on his elders next season I'll be looking to oppose him.

Harry, I don't find my figures are less reliable during those months but other factors come into play, like you say there is the ground, but there is also the possibility some horses have had a few runs and already peaked by then whereas others will be still on an upward curve. I'll often oppose one I rate higher if I think it's done enough already, which sometimes bites me on the arse but I still think overall it pays to take that into account.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 4:34 PM GMT
Sandown,
If you've checked the sectionals and watched the race and the pace appears sound but it's a windy day or it's a drying day and a minor adjustment fits a race then I favour that to just leaving the race as it is. I do have a calculation I use based on wind direction and speed and they have hourly updates on the met office site.

Again with with ground being quicker on the first race of the card yes I take a guess sometimes but the alternative would be to have a 1 good figure for the first race and the rest all looking slower by about 10lb. Now If all the rest fit apart from the first race then it's reasonable to assume the ground slowed.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 4:34 PM GMT
Sandown,
If you've checked the sectionals and watched the race and the pace appears sound but it's a windy day or it's a drying day and a minor adjustment fits a race then I favour that to just leaving the race as it is. I do have a calculation I use based on wind direction and speed and they have hourly updates on the met office site.

Again with with ground being quicker on the first race of the card yes I take a guess sometimes but the alternative would be to have a 1 good figure for the first race and the rest all looking slower by about 10lb. Now If all the rest fit apart from the first race then it's reasonable to assume the ground slowed.
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 4:44 PM GMT
Stevie, for me, of course the more allowances that are used then there is more margin for error, but the truth is that even using only one allowance requires judgement and the possibility that you're imposing an allowance just to suit your view. It's all about experience. I wouldn't advise a novice to complicate the procedure of arriving at an allowance, but the simplest way is not always the most accurate way, particularly with somebody more practised in what they're doing.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 4:59 PM GMT
Sandown,
What do you make of Hinterland running 2.5s quicker than Sire De Grugy today?
Do you do sectionals for the jumps? Do you think they possibly went a bit too quick in the latter race?
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 5:22 PM GMT
I'm interested to know how others rate No Nay Never compared to Hot Streak, whether it's speed or handicap ratings? I see that Timeform have rated Hot Streak 2lbs higher, which was apparently influenced by their high timefigure for him. I have No Nay Never 5lbs higher than Hot Streak.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 5:39 PM GMT
Figgis, I have Hot streak 8lb higher than No Nay Never though I don't like softish ground at Ascot and I don't trust that figure entirely, he ran nowhere near it next time and Outer Space and Kickboxer didn't run well either but that Ascot race was a tough test at a strong pace so maybe the horses hadn't quite recovered. Also I'm sure No Nay Never is better than the figure I gave him, I think he is capable of running about 5lb higher.

If they were to meet at Ascot over 5f on soft ground I'd make Hot Streak the likliest winner. 6f good ground I'd make No Nay Never a strong fav.
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 5:48 PM GMT
Stevie, I thought the ground was no worse than good that day at Ascot, particularly for the first 2 races, although I do sometimes think that if the ground is soft on top it might have more effect on some runners than the times suggest.
Report pedrobob December 7, 2013 6:09 PM GMT
113 - Hot Streak
107 - No Nay Never
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 6:13 PM GMT
My allowance suggested just on the slow side of good at worst but to me it looked tiring ground. Thinking back I think on the friday of the meeting there was a strong headwind and the saturday less of a wind. The last 3 races on the card were also much slower than I was expecting, so rating Hot Streak was not easy, I did have a good figure for Kickboxer at Haydock and Musical Comedy has boosted that form so I'm quite happy KB ran a career best that day held up off the strong pace. Some of the others like Extrortionist and Excels Beauty finished slowly and clearly ran below previous figures.
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 6:22 PM GMT
Yes, I also have the latter races slower. I'm sure I would've rated Hot Streak much higher when I started doing this and probably would've smashed into him in the Middle Park. Of course, if he'd gone on to win well at Newmarket I would've realised my error at Ascot and readjusted him to a higher figure but in light of his run I'm inclined to think I got it right first time this time. Sometimes I make a judgement on an allowance and it's wrong, sometimes in hindsight I find I've overcomplicated it and added an extra allowance where it wasn't needed, but overall I find the benefits far outweigh the negatives instead of sticking to the simple method.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 6:40 PM GMT
A couple of things to bear in my mind Figgis,
the Middle Park was just 7 days after running a big figure.
secondly he could be a 5f horse and needs a proper 5f pace to show
his best.
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 6:47 PM GMT
Yes, I haven't completely closed my mind to the possibility he's better than I've given him credit for.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 7, 2013 6:50 PM GMT
You know after looking back at the middle park and the other races on that day, I think the ground slowed after first race which is sometimes the case after overnight rain. Which means War Command could have run to his coventry figure of 119 in the dewhurst. I'm going to look at it some more when I've got time, Must get off now.
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 6:59 PM GMT
I too have the ground slowing later on, but after the Dewhurst, which is why I disagreed about the Rockfel, I thought Al Thakhira put up a better performance than others thought. I could've rated it slowing before the Dewhurst, it's a possibility and I know some might think I just don't want to do that because of my previous opinion on War Command but it's purely because if I did I'd have a figure for Cable Bay that I just don't think would be plausible, plus the way I have it leaves WC replicating his previous figures.
Report brigust1 December 7, 2013 8:14 PM GMT
Hot Streak another wide margin Ascot straight winner.
Report Figgis December 7, 2013 8:51 PM GMT
Fair point, brig. I don't think they should always be viewed with suspicion, though, the Canford Cliffs Coventry is one that springs to mind where the winner wasn't flattered.
Report Sandown December 7, 2013 9:43 PM GMT
Stevie G


What do you make of Hinterland running 2.5s quicker than Sire De Grugy today?
Do you do sectionals for the jumps? Do you think they possibly went a bit too quick in the latter race?


I do sectionals for jumps, they work out pretty well, but only for hurdle races I'm afraid do wouldn't like to comment on Hinterland vs Sire de Grugy.

A sfor adjusting going allowances during the day, i will do it if there has been significant rain but I do not like doing it and i won't put a great deal of faith in the figures. s for wind adjustments, well i'm not convinced about the accuracy of that and I certainly would have a major question mark over the rating.
Report brigust1 December 7, 2013 9:57 PM GMT
I never got a handle on Canford Cliffs. He was beaten in his next 3 races, won the Irish 2000 Gns beating a horse that never won a race again, beat Dick Turpin and Hearts of Fire in the St J P Stakes before winning the Sussex. I had him and Dick Turpin as about the same horse but that couple them with Makfi, Goldikova, Rip Van Winkle, CSA, Paco Boy, etc etc. You know what thy say about a group close together?
Report brigust1 December 7, 2013 9:58 PM GMT
*CDA sorry for any I missed.
Report FELTFAIR December 7, 2013 10:35 PM GMT
Bear in mind Sire de Grugy carried 5lbs more than Hinterland which brings their times closer together and it will be interesting to see what happens should they come up against each other in the near future. On balance I would probably side with Hinterland.
Report Stevie Gerrard December 11, 2013 12:22 PM GMT
I've redone my ratings for Dewhurst day and now have WC on 119
I have goneback ans rated some earlier Dewhurts and I have

Frankel 126
Dawn Approach 120
War Command 119
Parish Hall 111
Report FELTFAIR December 11, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
Kingman new favourite on Betfair.Time to trade?? GrinGrin
Report FELTFAIR December 24, 2013 5:02 PM GMT
Kingman has gone again.
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