I have no doubt that you have seen ratings before. As sports bettors we find that ratings enter into our lives on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter what your sport is, you open the paper and there is a rating of some form.
The most obvious example is horse racing and the Official Rating (also known as the OR).
Why do we use ratings and what are they?
We use ratings because they make our life as bettors so much easier. Rather than having to try and rationalize all of the various pieces of information we can put it into a single figure.
For example in horse racing we may want to know how well the horse likes the conditions of the race. Just some of the factors we need to take into account are…
- Ground conditions preference
- Course preference
- Race type preference
- Distance preference
- Jockey’s ability on this horse
- Other types of runners in the race and how they run
That is hard enough to get your head around on its own but then we have to compare all this information to another 10 runners information and the task become impossible.
However a rating can put all this information into a single figure that can then be easily compare to the other runners.
But there is the secret truth of ratings nobody will tell you…
Ratings are not the absolute truth!
They can be very good, that is no doubt but they are an estimate rather than factual. It is impossible to know 100% what is going to happen before a race is run and so by definition they are estimates.
When you look at a rating you need to allow the possibility that the horse could perform slightly better or slightly worse. If you have created the rating yourself then you can work out exactly what this should be, but if you haven’t then a good figure to start with is 10%.
If a rating speed, e.g. the Racing Post TS figure, is 50 then you should assume that the horse could run anywhere between 45 and 55.
Using this technique will give you a much stronger method for analyzing a race.