Learn how to use and profit from the Inform Racing Speed Ratings

If you are seriously interested in making money from betting on horse racing,
then take ten minutes of your time to read this page.

It will give you an insight into how and why speed ratings can give a new
winning edge to your betting, starting today. 


The idea behind speed ratings is simple:

The easiest way to measure one race horse against another is by how fast it runs and a speed rating translates performance into an easy to use number.

How fast horses run is the single most important factor in finding your winners and is the only place to start when looking at a race.

Normal ratings are compiled using judgement, basic opinion and using outdated and unreliable pounds per length as the variant.

Speed ratings on the other hand are measured by the actual time the horse took to run the race. Using time to determine the beaten horses and is an absolute measure of a horse’s ability that can be accurately compared to all the other runners in the race.

What’s more, Inform Ratings are compiled manually by hand, using an old fashioned calculator, pen and paper as well as human experience and understanding, allowing for any discrepancies regarding goings, track conditions and race class etc. all ironed out at source and applied to the final ratings.

Most other speed ratings available are calculated using a computer programme, feeding in race times and ‘official goings’, which are often frighteningly wide of the mark, then spitting out any old number to satisfy the users who believe they are getting an accurate record of a horses performance.

These simply cannot be as accurate because it is the understanding of everything other than the clocked time that makes the rating so valuable.

Speed Ratings allow you to compare horses in a race that have run on different goings, (firm, good to firm, soft, etc.) at different courses and over different distances and this allows for a quick and reliable comparison.

By taking into account the race time and accurate race conditions, that encompasses everything required about a run and calculating this one speed rating number, all horses in a race can be compared very simply and quickly.

For example, a horse that rates 80 over seven furlongs should theoretically run 80 going over a mile and a horse that rates 76 over five furlongs on good ground at Sandown should theoretically get a similar rating over five furlongs on soft ground at Epsom.

A speed rating of 77 from Windsor represents the same level of ability as a speed rating of 77 from York or anywhere else. Therefore these numbers can be compared and a decision on the absolute ability of each horse, can now be made.

You can now use identifiable and profitable patterns to find value bets every day because the ratings take into account each previous run with regards to trip and track etc.

Given the huge variety in British racecourses and goings throughout the year, most horses show preferences for some conditions and speed ratings are the best tool for uncovering these.

Over the years, every successful and professional punter I have come across at race meetings or those I know from the media, all use speed ratings as one of their main betting tools.

This should inspire you to either start compiling your own, or look into using the Inform Racing speed ratings already available here.

Bearing in mind 98% of punters lose over the long term, breaking even can be called an achievement these days with the average punter losing thousands of pounds every year according to reports.

Speed ratings will give you a unique angle and an edge throughout the year and many current subscribers to Inform Racing have been continuous members since the beginning, back in 2003.

This offers genuine proof of how useful the speed ratings really are and while nothing can be guaranteed, it must be said that an intelligent use of the ratings will certainly put the odds in your favour.

"Just couldn’t believe a top rated speed figured horse could go off at Betfair 24.19 in a 5 horse race, almost all the indicators screaming back me! Nova Princesse at Lingfield (Won 16/1).  Paid the subs and then some. Your figures just keep on producing, get in.” Roger

"I use IR (Inform Racing) stats every day and base my betting regime around the LTO figures which have proved profitable over the years for me.” Mark

Are you ready for a fresh start and a new beginning to your betting using speed ratings?

About the ratings

So speed ratings allow us to analyse a horse’s particular performance in a race simply and easily, without having to worry about what course the race was run at, or what the condition of the ground was during the race.

First however the calculation has to be made.

The first part we have is called the raw speed rating. This is simply calculated using the finishing time and the distance of the race. These are compared to standard times and par figures to determine how fast or slow the winner of the race actually ran.

The second adjustment to the raw speed rating is the going allowance which compensates for different surfaces through from hard/firm ground to heavy which can even vary during a meeting as conditions change, as well as having different goings on different parts of the same course.

It is not uncommon for example for the five furlong straight at Sandown to be quite different from the round course or the hurdle course at Carlisle not to be the same as on the chase course.

These factors combined together now produce a single figure which is the final speed rating.

Standard Times

The first thing we need to establish when compiling our speed ratings are our standard times for each course and distance.

A horse running over the downhill five furlongs at Epsom will run a faster time than one running over the same distance on the uphill finish of the Rowley Mile at Newmarket so a different standard time for each course and distance is needed to level things up for the differences of each course.

The standard time is the median time from a large, constantly updated number of races, that have been run over a given course and distance on good or good to firm going.

It would be easy of course to just use the Racing Post standard times but I have found many discrepancies over the years with these and often no allowance is made when a rail is moved or the distance of a race is changed as it is on quite a few occasions which may surprise some.

Calculating the ratings manually allows us to take all of these changes into account and the more race times we include the more effective our own private standard times will be.

It’s a time consuming process, but incredibly worth the effort and all standard times are updated throughout the year to make the ratings as accurate as possible.

The Going Allowance

The second piece of the puzzle is to calculate the going allowance.

Some tracks are inherently fast or slow, for instance Bath is a track that is a notoriously fast and is one of the few that will have the going as Hard during a season.

A horse that runs five furlongs in sixty one seconds at Bath would have to have his figure adjusted downward to compensate for the fast track he is likely to be running on.

Likewise, a horse running on a Heavy track at Ffos Las for example would have his figure raised in compensation.

By taking the difference between the race times to standard times and pars you end up with an initial allowance for each race at a meeting.

It is often the case that the fastest and slowest races on the day are discounted if they are vastly different to the majority and an average of the remainder is used as the going allowance.

You also need to look at certain courses where you will have different goings on different parts of the course and factor this into the calculations and final ratings. As well as different goings for the Chase course and the Hurdle course on occasions there will also be differences on the straight course or round course at some tracks too.

Speed ratings give you a far better understanding of the going too as you will find that good going at one course means something different at another. I have also seen how often the official going is ‘wrong’ compared to my final going allowances on the day and is one thing I would like to see improved by the racing authorities.

For example, I have seen my going allowance at a meeting end up at -0.23 seconds per furlong, generally good racing ground but given an official going of Soft by the clerk of the course.


Inform Racing ratings take no account of weight. All of the material and literature I came across in the early days ignored the weight carried and this is the way I have always gone.

In a survey I once came across, a large number of horses were looked at to see the affect that weight had on their speed figure performances for every pound more or less they carried on the previous run.

It turned out that for every one pound extra the horse ran a slower figure of 0.4 but interestingly for every one pound less that was carried the horses ran slower again but by 0.3.

Horses running around a tight track can win carrying more weight because they are slowing down more often round the bends than those running on a flat, straight, speed track. Horses are also very different in size and like humans can carry more or less weight because of their build and factoring any of this into a rating would be nigh on impossible.

From a personal point of view I have no real desire to see sectional timings in the future as I believe these just reflect the race that has already been run and have very little bearing on future races for punters.

However, I would dearly love to see a horses weight on the day published for all to see as this would give far more clues to the horses fitness and readiness to win.

However, don’t expect this to happen anytime soon.


There are some people who ask whether a strong headwind will slow down the horses or speed them up if it is coming up the straight behind the horses and if I make any allowance for this.  

Well if there is any difference - and I think it would have to be a hell of a wind to make any difference in the first place - it is actually factored into the going allowance automatically if you think about it.

Class Pars

Average Speed Ratings or ‘Par’ Figures

Every race has a par figure or average winning speed rating which is the rating required to win a race of that type, class and age group and finding those not up to the par figure will help to narrow down the field and find those selections with the best chance of winning the race.

Determining if a horse has previously or recently raced to the par figure will immediately eliminate those that cannot win, whereas those that have can immediately placed on your shortlist.

All par ratings are shown on a link below the card and are also provided in the header of each race card too, where you will see something like:

Class Par: Par 77 H 84

This means that the average winning speed rating for this race type/age group/class and H 84 means the highest ever speed rating for this race type/age group/class has been 84.

In most races, any horse with a Master rating of less than the par of 77 here, can confidently be ignored.

I say in most races because if a horse has a Master rating of less than 77 but is still one of the top 3 rated horses, highlighted on the cards in red, it will mean the horse still has a chance in what is more than likely a poor race overall.

A horse with a Master rating below the class par and not top 3 rated can confidently be ignored and will win very few races over the season whatever the price. This is a very simple method for those who like to lay horses or follow the new trading trend of Lay2Back bets and will easily help find a number of betting opportunities.

One other note of caution here would be races for 2 year olds and early season races for 3 year olds only, where there is little previous form to go on where horses improve and strengthen with each new run, all through the year.

From a backing point of view, if you have a horse in this race whose Master rating is higher than 84 on the other hand, you will have an opportunity for a solid bet and a large percentage of these horses will win.

Many professional punters use speed figures to quickly identify the real contenders in a race and using par figures in this way will often eliminate false favourites and short priced runners from the reckoning that the general public will always over bet. This will often leave opportunities to back one or two horses in a race at good prices that have run to the par figure or better.

Yes, the par ratings increase as the class of the races improve, however horses don’t just run to the level of the race they are in, they run to the speed that they run to and will therefore rate accordingly.

For example, you can find a horse that has won a Class 4 Handicap or two before but has only ever run to a mid 70’s rating, against a horse that has only won in Class 5 company before but regularly rates in the high 70’s or low 80’s.

Hopefully you are starting to see how just looking at these simple rating figures can often tell you enough about a horses chance without the need to spend hours trawling through the form?

"I think yesterday’s start on 2 non handicaps producing 40/1 & 33/1 winners says it all. Best site I’ve ever found.” Lee

Winning with speed ratings

The good thing about speed ratings is that they are used less frequently by punters here in the UK. This means that they are not factored into bookmaker’s odds to the same extent as other ratings.

Therefore those who do use them correctly can gain a definite edge over other punters and value prices in many of the bets that they place.

A genuinely high speed figure represents a fast performance irrespective of the conditions on the day, but one high speed figure should not be taken as evidence that the horse can run to this level every time. However if the horse in question has run only a couple of times a very good speed rating can often be relied upon.

Backing the top rated or top three rated horses is a good place to start and from these many good winners will be found.

The Inform Racing top rated horses win an average of 24% of the time, nearly one in every four races and the top three rated win over 50% of all races so if you want a quick method of narrowing down the field then this is certainly as good a place to start as any.

The top rated horses are taken from the Master column and if you bear in mind that this is simply the best rating for each runner from the last 12 months, irrespective of the course, distance and going where the rating was achieved and we can still achieve these excellent strike rates, then I’m sure you can see how successful you can be if you take a little time to look a little deeper into the ratings.

By weeding out those that shouldn’t be winning or by following some of the patterns we suggest that you look out for you will soon see some improvement in your betting.

For example, speed ratings will highlight horses to you that the general punting public will not be looking at, such as horses that ran down the field in fifth, sixth or worse but still ran a good speed rating. These horses will largely be ignored but are a real potent source of winning bets, especially if they are one of the top three rated horses last time out too.

In fact the last time out figure (Lto), or latest rating for the horse is often considered to be the most relevant rating as it shows the current form of the horse, its well being and how fit it is, especially when the rating was from a recently run race.

When used properly, speed ratings can help make a very positive impact to the fortunes of the shrewd punter.

Very soon you will be able to regularly narrow a race down to three or four horses and when you have the winner from these about fifty percent of the time, you will be well on your way to making consistent profits from your betting.

In fact I challenge you to do just this over the next week or two and see how many winners you can come up with from your shortlist.

Are you up for the challenge?

It is an excellent way to practice discipline and learn more about the speed ratings at the same time and doing this will only benefit you and your betting bank in the long run.

Most talented punters and professionals in this country are very adept and skilful with speed ratings and this is something you want to aim to be too.

As you have seen there are many ways to use the ratings and not only is this a fascinating subject but it is also a tool that you can use every day to give you a very positive betting edge over other punters and to profit to your betting.

“Ian, I’m speechless for a change, I’ve been around the punting block a few times over the last 4 decades and I’m doing my best to keep a calm level head about your ratings. In a nutshell I’m mightily impressed thank you.” Neil

“I couldn’t bet without your superb ratings which help me find big priced winners on a daily basis. Inform Racing really is the secret to value!” Darren

Ian, I’m speechless for a change, I’ve been around the punting block a few times over the last 4 decades and I’m doing my best to keep a calm level head about your ratings. In a nutshell I’m mightily impressed thank you.” Neil

“Even though I have only been a client of yours for a short while I was a customer in the past and I have to say that I cannot understand why I ever left you.” George

” Congratulations on making Many Clouds clear top rated, winner of the Grand National at 25-1. Totally unconsidered by the ‘expert tipsters’. Keep up the good work.” David

“I couldn’t bet without your superb ratings which help me find big priced winners on a daily basis. Inform Racing really is the secret to value!” Darren

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