The
fundamental basis of form is focused around weight and the weight ratings are
designed to represent a horse’s ability. These
ratings do not take into account a horses ability on the ground at any
particular race but are a reflection of overall recent form of horses.
After
sufficient number of qualifying runs each and every race horse starting from
the age of three is assigned a numerical rating and is revised post race every
time after a run in a race based on the assessment of the performances as is
perceived.
Remember
numerical ratings are just a number in all the evaluation systems. The higher
the figure the better the horse on ratings and higher the figure on comparative
weight ratings the better the horse on weights and that shall help explain the
success of weight handicapping systems based on ratings.
Therefore
everyone should have his own technique of assigning a rating to every race
horse and calculate the chances of every horse in a race even if it is just to
understand why the market looks so wrong according to your figures.
So if we
have a field of five horses in a race over 2000m where each horse is racing off
level weights of 57.0 kilos and all the horses rated as 100 we may have the
following rating where each point is equal to one quarter of a length.
Horse A

110

All things
being equal A would win beating B by 1¼ lengths or 5 points

Horse B

105

Beaten by
A by 1 1/4 lengths B would beat C by 1 length or 4 points

Horse
C

101

Beaten by
B by 1 length C would beat D by 1/2 of a length or 2 points

Horse
D

99

Beaten by
C by 1/2 length D would beat E by 1 1/2 length or 6 points.

Horse
E

93

Beaten by
D by 1 1/2 lengths or 6 points etc.

Similarly if
we have a field of six horses in a race over 2000m where each horse is racing
off level weights of 60.0 kilos and all rated as 80 we may have the following
where each point is equal to one half of a length.
Horse A

100

All things
being equal A would win beating B by 10 lengths or20 points

Horse B

80

Beaten by
A by 10 lengths B would beat C by 10 lengths or 20 points

Horse
C

60

Beaten by
B by 10 lengths C would beat D by 10 lengths or 20 points

Horse
D

40

Beaten by
C by 10 lengths D would beat E by 10 lengths or 20 points

Horse E
Horse
F

20
00

Beaten by
D by 10 lengths E would beat F by 10 lengths or 20 points whose rating will
be 00 points.

Put the same
horses in a handicap race in a rating related scale of weights of 50.0 – 60.0
kilos in a single rating related class where five points or two and half lengths
is evaluated as equal to half of a kilo in weights and ten points or five
lengths as equal to 1.0 kilo and twenty points or ten lengths as equal to 2.0
kilos they would get the following weights.
Horse A

60.0

All things
being equal A would win beating B by10 lengths or20 points

Horse B

58.0

Beaten by
A by 10 lengths B would beat C by 10 lengths or 20 points

Horse
C

56.0

Beaten by
B by 10 lengths C would beat D by 10 lengths or 20 points

Horse
D

54.0

Beaten by
C by 10 lengths D would beat E by 10 lengths or 20 points

Horse E
Horse
F

52.0
50.0

Beaten by
D by 10 lengths E would beat F by 10 lengths or 20 points whose rating will
be 00 points.

Put the same
horses in a handicap race in a rating related scale of weights where one point
is equal to half of a kilo or twenty points are equal to 10.0 kilos in the
rating related scale of weights of 50.0 – 60.0 kilos spread over five rating
related classes where one quarter of a length is evaluated as equal to one
point and one length is equal to four point or 2.0 kilos and they would get the
following weights.
Horse

Rating

Weight
(kgs.)

Difference


Ratings in each class

Comparative Weight Rating

Class

A

100

60.0

+ 00

100

80 – 100
and above

80+20=100

I

B

80

58.0

+ 20

100

60 
80

60+20=80

II

C

60

56,0

+ 40

100

40 
60

40+20=60

III

D

40

54.0

+ 60

100

20 
40

20+20=40

IV

E
F

20
00

52.0
50.0

+ 80
+100

100
100

00 
20

00+20=20

V

As such, if
we have a field of five horses in a race over 2000m where each horse is racing
off level weights of 57.0 kilos and all rated 100 we may have the following.
Horse A

110

All things
being equal A would win beating B by 1 1/4 lengths or 5 points

Horse B

105

Beaten by
A by 1 1/4 lengths B would beat C by 1 length or 4 points

Horse
C

101

Beaten by
B by 1 length C would beat D by 1/2 of a length or 2 points

Horse
D

99

Beaten by
C by 1/2 length D would beat E by 1 1/2 length or 6 points.

Horse
E

93

Beaten by
D by 1 1/2 lengths or 6 points etc.

Put the same
horses in a handicap race in a rating related scale of weights where one point
is equal to half of a kilo or four points are equal to 2.0 kilos where one
quarter of a length is evaluated as equal to one point and one length is equal
to four point or 2.0 kilos and they would get the following weights:
Horse

Rating

Weight
(kgs.)

Difference


Your Own Rating

Comparative Weight Rating

Rank

A

110

62.0

+ 0

110

11043+0+0
= 103

103 +5
=108

4

B

105

59.5

+ 5

110

105+0+4+40
= 113

113 +5
=118

2

C

101

57.5

+ 9

110

10143+14+0
= 108

108 +9
=117

3

D

99

56.5

+11

110

92+194+
2+0 = 109

109+11=120

1

E

93

53.5

+17

110

88+14+0+0
= 85p

85p+17=102

5

To calculate
the chances of a horse in the race we have to take into account the rating of
the horse which represents the horses’ ability and then factor in the effect of
the weight.
So although horse
A is 5 points better than B he has to carry 2.5 kgs more in weight. So, we
would add 2.5 kgs or 5 points to the rating of horse B to come up with a rating
that takes into account the effect of the weights assigned. Basically all the
ratings are normalized to the highest weight carried in the race.
So we have a
race with a field of 5 horses where the result would be of a 5 horse dead heat
as all the adjusted ratings are 110. That's no good and this is where your
skill comes in.
There are a number
of steps that are to be taken to make sure of an accurate rating:
1)
The first is
to evaluate a horse’s true mark of ability. Here try and establish a
horse’s ability under its ideal conditions so that defines theoretically a horse’s
ability by the rating at which it can win off in a competitive handicap.
Let's use
some examples:
Horse A: Last race beaten by 5 lengths into
3rd place off a mark of 110. The first reaction is to say that its true mark
should be 106 because if he had been running off that mark he would have won
for he would have been 5 points or 1 1/4 length closer to the winner though the
Handicapper has kept him in the same mark of 110.
Horse B: Last race lead in the stretch run
and beaten by 1 length into second off 105. This appears to be a good effort
and is a winning rating because without one other horse that won he would have
won the race The Handicapper has kept him in the same mark of 105.
Horse C: Got beaten by 10 lengths into 4th
off 101. That gives it a rating mark of 97 or less than that for the same
reasoning as with A or he should not be persisted with any rating until he runs
a good race if it was running only for getting trained and is getting dropped
to a level where he can win based on a previous win or close finish on board.
Horse D: Won by 3 lengths off 92. Horse D
won easily but has been raised by 7 points by the handicapper. He ran off 92
and won by 3 lengths, so rate him at 104. But this doesn't reflect his
superiority since he would still have won by three lengths had his rider only
pushed out carrying another 7 points. So rate him at 92+12+7=111+. The plus
after the figure means that he had some to spare and is capable of more under
pressure.
Horse E: Won his 4th race back all out by a
short head off 88. And one can really assign a mark of 89 only as he was all
out. But put a mark of 89p as that is the level of form he was capable of but
as he is lightly raced and ran green I would expect some measure of
improvement. So now the handicap looks like this:

Off.
Rating

Weight
Carried

My Rating

Adjusted
Rating

Horse A

110

62.0 kgs

106

106
+ 0 = 106

Horse B

105

59.5 kgs

105

105
+ 5 = 110

Horse C

101

57.5 kgs

97

97
+ 9 = 106

Horse D

99

56.5 kgs

111+

111 + 11
=122+

Horse E

93

53.5 kgs

89p

89
+ 17 =106p

So now it
looks like Horse D should be the favourite on comparative ratings since the
highest rated horse being the best and is expected to beat Horse B by 3+
lengths, which in turn would beat Horse E by one length. A good bet right? Not
necessarily.
2)
Adjusting the true mark for other participants: The class of a race is no
indication of how well a horse is handicapped. A winner of a race of Rs.1
00,000 by 3 lengths is not necessarily better handicapped than a short head
winner of a Rs.70,000 race. It all depends on how well handicapped the other
horses are in the race.
Class is important because a classier horse can repel more challengers but the
area of race class does lend itself only to speed handicapping  Useful animals
that win are great but Un genuine animals are however in more. Hence a true
opportunity is here.
To carry on
the example: Establish how well handicapped the horses around the selection
where:
Horse A was
3^{rd}.
The second
horse has been out of form and it's difficult to assign a rating. The winner
racing off 96 had been beaten off that mark by 3 lengths in his previous 3
races. Therefore the winner's true handicap mark may be 93. He did not suddenly
improve and win up to a mark of 96  it was more likely to be a weak race that
he won. So not only Horse A was beaten by 5 lengths but was beaten by a horse
that was carrying 3 points more than his true rating warranted. Therefore
further adjust downwards the rating of A by 3 more points. This is since
confirmed by the fact the 4th horse that was 1/2 length away off A has not got
within 10 lengths of the winner in his last fourth and hence reduce the
rating of horse A by 3 points and place the rating of A: 1063=103
Horse B was 1/2
of a length second.
The winner
has gone on to be beaten by a short head in another good race carrying 1.5 kgs
or 3 points more. So adjust the rating of B upwards by 2 points more than 105
as he lost to a horse who could then win off a higher mark. That's 107.
Furthermore Horse B made a bad mistake at the last costing him 2 lengths  he
would have won otherwise. Hence increase the rating of Horse B by another
2points. Horse B: 105+2+2=109
Horse C was beaten convincingly in a poor
race. He just seems out of form and he wasn't eased down. Adjust his rating
further downwards by 3points for poor showing. Horse C: 973=94.
Horse D: Horse D beat a really solid
yardstick in his race and he beat him well. The horse had been going close in
handicaps and was perhaps 1 or 2 points too highly rated but that is fine with
the rating of D and hence may need adjustment by 4 points downwards. Horse D
1114=107+
Horse E: Horse E beat a number of horses
running in their first handicap. The 2 lengths beaten 3rd has run since and was
beaten by 6 lengths in a good handicap. Therefore adjust downward the rating of
Horse E by 4 points because the other horse was not on a winning rating and he
may even have improved in the subsequent race being lightly raced further
devaluating Horse E's win.
However
Horse E did win and there could be more. Hence reduce his rating he
has achieved by 4 points but keep the p as improvement is possible. Rating of
Horse E: 894= 85p.
Now the race
looks as follows:

Off.
Rating

Weight
Carried

My Rating

Adjusted
Rating

Horse A:

110

62.0 kilos

103

103

Horse B:

105

59.5 kilos

109

114

Horse C:

101

57.5 kilos

94

103

Horse D:

99

56.5 kilos

107+

118+

Horse E:

93

53,5 kilos

85p

102p

Now the race
looks closer between B and D but  D still looks better given he has not been
all out yet. Next step take into account the prevalent conditions for the race
in question.
3)
Adjusting the true mark for race conditions: All of the above assumes a horse is
racing in its ideal conditions. Let’s say this race is 2000m in soft ground on
a quick track. Hence assign a rating for this race based on a previous
performance under the conditions.
Horse A: Really solid performer under the
conditions  all conditions are alike to him. However he has an excellent
claiming jockey on board which reduces his weight carried by 5 points. Rating
unchanged but race weight reduced. Rating of A = 103 + 5 points Weight
Allowance for the rider being an apprentice.
Horse B: Hasn't run on this ground before.
But a look at his form shows that his soft ground form was 15 points higher
than his firm ground form. Take into account the potential improvement
although it's not guaranteed. This is more of an instinct than science. Hence
increase the rating of B by 4 points. Rating of B: 109+4= 113p.
Horse C: Hasn't raced in these conditions
in his last 4 races. Last 2 runs can be forgiven because it was over 2400m. In
fact for a known nonstayer running on a stiff track last time was a good
performance. 3^{rd} race back he was tired and fell. 4th race back he
ran a good 1/2 length second, in a good race, in these conditions off a mark of
108. Further more that was a seasonal reappearance and he was not 100% fit. No
option but to give him a rating of 108p with p indicating possibly increased
fitness under the conditions. Rating of Horse C: 94+14=108p
Horse D: Horse D's win last time came over
2400m on a stiff track. There was a fast pace and the market rivals possibly
set too fast a pace  neither were placed after leading most of the race. He
likes the ground but his last performance over 2000m resulted in a hard fought
½ length win off 87. There seems no reason for this improvement apart from the
new trip and race tactics. Using that to rate him particularly as he often gets
outpaced over these trips and then stays on just give 2 more points. Rating of
Horse D: 87+2=89.
Horse E: He is a young horse, he won last
time out and the connections go and have the blinkers on him. He has never worn
them before and pulled hard last time on good ground. That's a worry on the
softer ground. His rating becomes 85p? They think the blinkers will work but he
tried hard last time and putting blinkers on a free puller often makes it worse.
Now the race
looks as follows:

Off.
Rating

Weight
Carried

My Rating

Adjusted
Rating

Horse A:

110

59.5(Allow2.5.claimed)

103

103 + 5 =
108

Horse B:

105

59.5 kilos

113p

118

Horse C:

101

57.5 kilos

108p

117p

Horse D:

99

56.5 kilos

1o9

120

Horse E:

93

53.5 kilos

85p?

102p?

Suddenly the
race looks different. Horse D is the favourite after an impressive performance last
time under different conditions. Decide to back Horse D against B or C but
oppose Horse E because of the doubts about him and the fact he doesn't seem to
win by much anyway.
Obviously
oversimplified but this demonstrates the thought processes when handicapping a
race. Most of the time it results in a no bet  but it does allows getting to
know a horse’s profile which is always useful  especially when laying a bet.
A few
generalities to sumup:
a)
Always try and assign a horse’s TRUE
weight adjusted rating IN THE RACE CONDITIONS and make selections based on your
own ratings.
b)
Look out for good claiming jockeys
and other plus points.
c)
Always think about how the race will
be run.
d)
Always look for proof of performance
and nonperformance when assigning ratings.
e)
Horses raised in the weights for
performances under different conditions are vulnerable returning to different
conditions under which they were previously unsuccessful.
For some
people weight is irrelevant  but it is a useful exercise to undertake to get
to know your horses. From this you can move on to other fundamentals of race
selections like speed ratings, pace ratings, Bookies odds, last minute
fluctuations in the odds etc.
Courtesy: Spot the Winner with Success