Frequently asked questions
The broad history of My HorseRaces is as follows.
Assistance to use My HorseRaces is provided in a number of ways:
Three data bases are provided for you to add your own race data for analysis (they may be copied within My HorseRaces to create any number of data bases):
While the amount of extra information that you may need to add yourself before you can start entering and analysing your own races depends on where those races are being run, if you are entering race data manually, information on new horses and jockeys is sought from you as you enter the data. If you are uploading Australian or New Zealand race data electronically, new jockeys, horses and racecourses (and course records of today's races) are added automatically and the new racecourses or jockeys are flagged for you to add information on them.
With any data base, you can readily change the class structure (and associated class weights used in weight ratings) to accommodate the range of classes of your own races. RBH classes may be handled individually, in groups, as a single composite class or a combination of all these variants.
In addition to data bases for your race data, a data base containing data for past horse races in 2004 is provided with My HorseRaces to show you the benefit of building up a bank of races over time. The 2004 data base was created by manually entering race data. You may immediately use My horseRaces' profit optimisation facility with this data base to see how you might be able to obtain with your own data base the option selections that would have maximised profits for selected classes of races.
If you are analysing races in these cities, you can immediately start entering race data for your first race either manually or by uploading race data electronically after first downloading race files from Racing Australia (RA).
See brief user's guide for My HorseRaces.
My HorseRaces contains details of Australian metropolitan race classes that should be applicable at metropolitan venues around Australia.
If you are manually entering data on, or want to restrict uploading of electronic race data to, particular Australian metropolitan racecourses outside Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane you may need to add the following (the details required depend on the depth of analysis you intend to undertake):
My HorseRaces contains details of Australian race classes that should be applicable at non-metropolitan venues around Australia.
If you are manually entering data on, or want to restrict uploading of electronic race data to, particular Australian non-metropolitan racecourses outside south eastern Australia you may need to add the following (the details required depend on the depth of analysis you intend to undertake):
If your races are outside Australia and New Zealand, you are restricted to entering race data manually. You will therefore need need to add details of the racecourses used in the races you are analysing:
You may also need to incorporate details of the range of classes of race you are analysing if the Australian classes already included in the package are not applicable. For some countries that follow a UK-based form of race class classification, however, the classes already included may prove suitable.
My HorseRaces allows you to change the acronym and description of each class of race used in analysis along with associated class weights and levels. In addition, you can add new classes as required. This means:
You may enter form into My HorseRaces manually for any race using racing papers with comprehesive form coverage. Racing Australia (RA) provides free listed details of up to last 7 starts (or last 3 starts) of each horse in each race at a meeting. Manual entry involves typing responses in spaces on My Horseraces' forms seeking information on today's race, the horses in the race and the past races of each horse in the race.
Alternatively, for Australian and New Zealand races, you may upload race data electronically at the click of your mouse after you download race files from RA. Two types of per meeting electronic files may be downloaded from RA after prepaying RA for 'New Form' (last 5 starts) or 'Computer Form' (last 2 years) as a Racing Services Bureau (RSB) subscriber:
My HorseRaces users may become RSB subscribers and create download accounts via the My HorseRaces Subscriber Application Form (accessed by the On Line Credit Card link for either Computer Form or New Form under 'Period subscriptions' section).
My HorseRaces only accepts racing on the flat (ie not, for example, hurdles or steeplechase events).
Most importantly, form entered/uploaded for a race meeting is stored by the full version of My HorseRaces in a data base to be accessed as required for future races meetings. The Basic version of My HorseRaces does not retain prior races when an electronic race file is uploaded and then only allows analysis of the races in the latest uploaded electronic race file.
Once you have form built up (in the full version of My HorseRaces) for the horses racing regularly at a particular track (say by uploading RA's 2 years of past form for horses in races at that track over two consecutive weeks), you may feel that it is adequate to 'top up' the form in the data base for future races at that track by uploading RA's 5 start form - though horses returning from a spell just after the two consecutive weeks would initially only have 5 starts of form compared to other horses' 2 years of form. An alternative would be to build up form over some weeks by uploading RA's 5 races of past form and then 'topping up' manually.
Purchasers of My HorseRaces are able to access RA's 'New Form' and 'Computer Form' electronic race files after they become new 'RSB subscribers'.
Once you become an RSB subscriber you log in and make a payment into your account before downloading ‘Computer Form’ or ‘New Form’ electronic files.
New Form files currently cost $5.50 each (last 5 races for each horse running in each race at say Randwick, Caulfield, etc) and Computer Form files cost $13.20 each (2 years of form for each horse).
A snapshot of part of RA’s download page for New Form files is shown below.
Electronic uploading of race data occurs at the click of your mouse - after you have downloaded the file for a race meeting from Racing Information Services Australia Pty Ltd (RA).
The uploading of data for each race at a meeting takes a few minutes (depending on the speed of your computer). The main additional requirement is to check for any new jockeys (or racecourses) added during the uploading and add any required statistics on them.
Manually entering all the details of a race with a large number of runners might initially take around 1 hour.
See the profitability of selected groups of 2017, 2014/15, 2012, 2009, 2008(city), 2008(country), 2005, 2004 and 2000 races.
As a general proposition, past performance may not be an indication of future performance but that is particularly so when the past performance is measured over a limited period covering a small number of races. Net profits over a number of years, however, might suggest that the associated analytical approach truly puts the odds in the punter's favour.
Users may change the full range of parameters used in My HorseRaces (and choose the associated analytical options). They are in full control of the analysis of their races.
Some of these parameter settings would be relevant to only some past races, such as age improvement scales which increase weight ratings of past races of 2yo, 3yo and 4yo horses to reflect their increased strength with age. Other settings go to the heart of the analytical base of My HorseRaces - such as class weights (crucial to computation of weight ratings), the basis of odds computation, limit weight for set weight and weight for age races and parameters that are crucial to speed ratings and the identification of 'speed' horses.
The default settings in My HorseRaces have been determined using its optimisation facility on races from 2000 to 2008.
Users may similarly use the optimisation facilitity to determine the settings of numerical parameters and other options that maximise profits across all races in a data base or a selected group of races, such as those in a particular class.
The numerical parameters and other options that may be changed and optimised by the user include:
Performance statistics are shown elsewhere for selected races in 2017, 2014/15, 2012, 2009, 2008(city), 2008(country), 2005, 2004 and 2000.
Past performance, of course, may not be a guide to future performance.
More importantly, however, the performance you get from My HorseRaces on future races will depend crucially on a wide range of your own choices; for example:
The statistics for 2017, 2014/15, 2012. 2009, 2008(city), 2008(country), 2005, 2004 and 2000 show the profitablitity from different choices of analystical options.
You will be able to experiment with different choices applied to your own data base of races as you build it up over time.
There is a vast array of different ways of analysing different horse races. There is no single fixed way of analysing a particular class of race. There are many choices that can significantly affect the outcomes of the analysis and your own choices in using My HorseRaces are critical to performance. Being profitable is about making the choices that put the probabilities on your side in making your betting selections. You are seeking to make fair bets or better against the 'true' probabilities of winning.
Even when betting with probabilities in your favour long term profits will not be reflected in steady week by week returns. Rather, overall profits (like those that My HorseRaces shows on some groups of past races) are generally a result of winning periods (often including spasmodic large wins) with interposed periods of losses. Even with options for analysis that might produce long-run positive returns, therefore, high risks are still involved, particularly if the aim is to achieve annual high gains and there is the possibility of having to stop betting during one of the interposed loss periods.
You may choose to analyse a horse race on the basis of weight ratings, speed ratings or a mixture of the two.
My HorseRaces uses weight ratings of past races to compute the odds of each horse in a current race.
Each runner in a past race attracts the weight rating corresponding to the quality of the race (or its class). That rating is then adjusted for such factors as distance from winner, running disadvantages and (to have the rating reflect current race circumstances) weight carried and jockey disadvantage in the current race versus weight carried and jockey disadvantage in past races.
'Pure' weight ratings are independent of the time the horse took to run the past race, in contrast to 'pure' speed ratings, which reflect that time only.
In My HorseRaces, a horse earns a speed rating of 100 in a past race if it runs a course record for the race distance.
The rating is reduced by an amount for every 0.2 seconds (or 1 length) worse than the course record.
My HorseRaces provides three types of speed analysis - 'standard' (up to 3 horses selected), 'single standard' (up to 1 horse selected) and 'fastest horse' (up to 1 horse selected).
My HorseRaces provides for the blending of speed and weight ratings in horse selection.
You may choose speed rating analysis only or weight rating analysis only or a mixture of the two.
Selections made on the basis of any particular speed/weight mix can be narrowed to the horse included in those initial selections that is the market favourite or analysis favourite (ie favourite on the odds computed by My HorseRaces) or both the market and analysis favourite. (Alternatively, selections can be restricted to only horses that are race or analysis favourites or both market and analysis favourites.)
Blending weight and speed ratings can be viewed from each of the two forms of ratings.
As noted, weight ratings are used to compute the odds of each horse.
Horses are selected (perhaps several in the one race) when their computed odds are less than those offered by the TAB or bookmakers.
A mixture of speed and weight ratings can achieved by adding a loading to the the weight ratings of 'speed' horses (those selected on the basis of speed rating analysis).
The speed analysis option forms the basis of selection (up to 3 'speed' horses under 'standard' and at most 1 'speed' horse under each of the other two options).
With speed rating analysis, a mixture of speed and weight ratings is achieved by either:
Regardless of the basis of horse selection, an amount for betting on each selected horse is determined on the basis of odds computed from weight rating analysis or on the basis of of market odds.
The size calculated is the win bet required to achieve a payout of $100 given the odds.
The general idea of basing speed ratings on 100 for course records less an amount for each length (or 0.2 seconds) is common in racing literature of the 1960s.
The computation of weight ratings in My HorseRaces is consistent with widely applied weight rating concepts such as those in the 1985 book 'Winning More' by Don Scott - though additional options have been introduced.
The particular way of calculating speed and weight ratings in My horseRaces is the choice of My HorseRaces' developer, as is the range of options the user has available to influence those calculations. In addition, the developer of My HorseRaces has introduced a range of ways of blending speed ratings and weight ratings.
Specific parameters used as defaults in My HorseRaces in the calculation of weight ratings (and associated odds) and speed ratings have been set by the developer using the optimisation facility of My HorseRaces on races from 2000 to 2008. Users are able to refine these parameters as they build up their own data bases over time.
My HorseRaces provides users with the opportunity of tailoring the analysis to suit their requirements, such as by 'turning off' selected weight rating adjustments, changing and adjusting other crucial influences on data analysis (like class weights used in weight ratings and the basis of odds calculations), and so on. They can use the optimisation facility to obtain their own view on setting of numerical and non-numerical parameters.
My HorseRaces creates a linked Microsoft® Access data base from electronically uploaded race form (or form typed in manually). When creating a data base in My HorseRaces, meeting by meeting over time:
Data base manipulation facilities in My HorseRaces include:
My HorseRaces is designed only to have the parameters/options for analysis available in My HorseRaces applied to that data base.
My HorseRaces is not specifically designed for users to specify their own criteria in order to query My HorseRaces' data bases. Nevertheless, data bases in My HorseRaces are linked Microsoft® Access data bases and it would be possible for users to query the Access data bases themselves for their own purposes independently from My HorseRaces.
There are 3 ways of accessing My HorseRaces' race analysis at a race meeting.
Course records do not have to be used to compute speed ratings.
You can specify your own default times which may then be substituted for course records.
© Copyright Wayne Mayo 2017