Course and Distance Ratings

When most people try to find the winner of a race, they do the usual things like check how well a horse has done over the course and distance amongst other things and whilst a horse that has proven form must be a positive, it is likely that everyone will come to the same conclusion.

Result: Horse starts at a short price and no one wins long term.

On the other hand, a horse with a record of something like 0/10 over the course or at the distance, will get overlooked by the vast majority, start at a big price and get beaten out of sight.

Yes? Well you would think so but that is not always the case.

If you were using the form factor of Speed Ratings, the hidden form of many runners is highlighted for you time after time, or in many cases is screaming at you with sirens, bells, whistles, air horns and flashing bright lights!

How can this be? Please read on to learn more.

Two examples on the same day.

Example 1

Below you can see the Inform Racing card for the 5.40 Musselburgh, with the pop up form box open for Let Right Be Done.

(Click all images to open at full size in a new window).

As you can see for the Course and Distance stats in the yellow box, this horse has a 0/12 record at the Course and only 1 win form 15 attempts over the Distance. For most punters this horse would be passed over almost immediately, especially with it being forecast as the 16/1 joint outsider.

However, take a look at the ratings for the horse in the Course and Distance columns (Crs and Dis) and the real form tells a very different story.

As you can see, despite the horse having a dreadful record previously at Musselburgh and not winning, it has the second highest rating at the Course for the race.

So it has run very well at Musselburgh despite not winning but how does anyone without the speed ratings know this? The short answer is they don’t.

Similarly, despite just the one win at the distance, the horse has the clear top rating over 7 furlongs. This rating of 82 is also the horses Master rating, which was achieved over the 7 furlongs trip at Ayr 108 days ago, when finishing fifth of 12 at 25/1 and was the top rating on the day.

Result: Let Right Be Done Won 18/1

Example 2

Later the same day in the 8.25 at Kempton, there was another great example of how speed ratings can be favoured over ‘real form’.

You can see that Higher Court has a 0/5 record at Kempton and has a 0/6 record over the 6 furlongs distance. Enough to put most people off and again the horse is forecast as the 20/1 joint outsider.

Take a look at the ratings however and you can see that the horse has the second best rating at the course and the second best rating over the distance despite never winning at either.

Regardless, there was more than enough Speed Rating evidence that the horse was massive value compared to the rest of the field, especially against the two other horses with high Cse and Dis ratings who were both unplaced at 11/4 and 7/2.

Result: Higher Court Won 16/1


Here you had two horses that on all known evidence were unlikely winners of their races, but the speed ratings  certainly would have made you aware of their actual form. Provided in a simple numerical format making it easy to compare with other horses and prices.

No one can deny a win is a win but just how much importance should you put on previous Course and Distance wins?

A horse may have a record of two wins from four runs over 5 furlongs for example and an impressive looking 50% strike rate. But the first win may have been when the horse won its first Maiden race a number of years ago and the second in a poor Selling race where the rest of the field had an off day.

Excellent previous Course form should definitely be noted, as should very high strike rates over the Distance for horses that have not run too many races but don’t take everything at face value or read the form as just black and white.

You can find many horses that have high speed ratings over a certain Distance or at a certain Course but just haven’t won – yet.

When these horses then run against opposition with poorer ratings, whether they have won at the distance or not, you will be in a position to strike if the price gives you a value opportunity.

A win only shows a horse came first past the post and in many cases is no indication or help for the future.

Speed ratings on the other hand provide a definitely calculated number that gives the user a true indication of a horses ability.

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Ian Welch

Creator and owner of Inform since 2003, I have over 30 years of racing and betting experience to share. Speed ratings are my main passion whilst updating the website and writing the odd blog post keeps me busy and hopefully other users well informed.

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