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3/11/2000 edition

Win With Ratings

In every horse race there is more than one horse that has a chance of winning. The only  horse race where there is only one winning chance is a one horse race. Ratings are definitely not trying to pick a winner with say six selections. What ratings do is rank the horses in order of their winning chances. The top rated horse has the best chances of winning the race. The second rated horse the next best chances and so on.  

Some ratings provide price assessments which tell you what the actual winning chances of the horse are, some ratings use numbers giving the top selection say 100 and the second selection a lower number, other ratings use neither but list the top selections in order of winning chances. 

There are so many ratings around that it is difficult for punters to know what ratings, if any to use. But one thing is for sure. If ratings are to be of any use they must not be good ratings.

What good ratings will do is alert you to a horse that is way over the odds if there is a 20/1 chance in the top three or four rated horses just like The Professional Punter ratings did last Saturday with big winners like Sunset $23.60 and Jibaili $23.50

What affects ratings.
There are many factors which affect ratings. Ratings prepared days  before the races cannot be as accurate as good ratings finalised on raceday after scratchings. The former ratings often do not take into account the barrier and jockey, they are often prepared for track conditions different to raceday  and of course they cannot take into scratchings.

Scratchings are very important. They can change the very nature of a race. For example if the scratched  horse is the only leader in a race, instead of a truly run race you may end up with a very muddling affair. If there are two horses in a race which both like to lead at all costs and one is scratched instead of a likely speed battle up front which will suit your run on horses the leader may now be able to dictate the race, get a cosy run and win. These examples show that you cannot simply keep every horse in the same rated order after scratchings. What was the top selection before scratchings might no longer be the top selection after scratchings! 

Over the long term with good ratings you would expect at least a 60% winning strike rate in the top three selections from the races rated. But there are also many factors which affect the strike rate of ratings.

1. There is a big field with many chances or an average size field which is a wide open affair.

2. The best horses in the race have poor barriers.

3. The best horses in the race are very poorly handicapped.

4. Many horses are resuming from a spell.

5. Most of the horses in the race are very inconsistent or have poor recent form.

6. Many horses have not run on the track or over the distance of the race or in the conditions eg. a heavy track before.

7. There are many young, lightly raced horses in the race which are open to dramatic improvement.

8. There are too many horses with form queries- for example overseas horses or horses starting a preparation with a top new trainer.

9. There are many conflicting form lines- for example horses with country form or with good city form in different states now racing against each other.

In races like these the top six rated selections may not even have a 50% chance of finding the winner. It then becomes very much a matter of judgement as to whether you even provide ratings for these type of races.

One thing is for sure. Good ratings used sensibly give you a huge advantage over the majority of punters. 

Next: Punt to Win 27/10/2000


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