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Horse racing Power Ratings

By Michael Wilding

Pro Ratings

Before we begin exploring the topic of power ratings, I would like first to discuss just a basic rating and what it is. Ratings do seem to be a slightly misunderstood figure by quite a lot of people. They are very often taken as the Holy Grail, and a clear top rated horse must have a bet placed on it. This is done, only to find that although they are winning between 20% and 30% of bets, money is actually still being lost. For the record, I would like to say that I have never heard of any single rating, no matter how complex or good, that produces a positive return on investment by flat betting the top rated.

Ratings can be given to almost anything you can imagine in horse racing, with the most common being speed and form. A rating is in fact simply guidance as to how well each horse is likely to perform, based on whatever details about the horse's history that has been included in the rating. All ratings are assuming that the race is run as predicted. You can of course create a rating to show how likely it is that a race is going to run to form, which will give you a way of deciding how reliable a race it is likely to be. Then the next step is the all important step for ratings, and that is to see whether you feel a horse is likely to run well enough to get up to the level needed to be competitive in this race. A horse that is improving rapidly may well be able to make a big jump in performance from one race to the next.

Now that we are clear on how ratings should be used, we can look at a power rating. Power ratings are meant to incorporate every possible factor to give a final figure for a race. This can be compared with other horses' ratings and, ultimately, turned into an odds line. In reality, a power rating can be anything from just a form rating, speed rating and OR, to the highly complex probabilities created by betting syndicates. As we already know that a single rating is very unlikely to be profitable by just flat betting the top rated in every race, what we are looking to create in our individual ratings are figures that have a good strike rate. The return on investment will most likely be negative, but we then use our own skills to look at the top rated horse, and only bet on the ones that we consider have an excellent chance of winning and, of course, which we are being offered good odds on.

Making a power rating that is in itself profitable is a very long and difficult task, and I would suggest you start by making a power rating where the top rated is as close to break-even as possible. Then use your own assessment of the race to decide on whether to bet on a horse or not. You can still use the power ratings, and convert them into odds, in order to decide whether you are getting value. Or you can use a method of ranking the live odds of the horses and comparing them to the ranking of your ratings to decide value. Whatever you decide, you should still only be betting when you have value.

Michael Wilding is the creator of probably the best horse racing ratings available today at he is also a pro gambler and the author of the Puntology training course.

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