My HorseRaces trademark My HorseRaces®

Frequently asked questions


Is My HorseRaces a mature software package?
What help do I get in using My HorseRaces?
What horse race data come with the package to help me analyse my races?
In Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane, Australia?
In metropolitan Australia outside Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane?
At non-metropolitan tracks in Australia?
In countries outside Australia/New Zealand?
What racing form does My Horseraces accept for a race meeting?
How is electronic race form accessed and how much does it cost?
How long does it take to enter data for a race?
Can I make money from using My HorseRaces?
Can I really set the values of parameters in My HorseRaces based on past profitability?
Are my choices critical to the performance of My HorseRaces?
Are there risks involved when betting using My HorseRaces?
What are weight ratings and speed ratings and how does My HorseRaces allow me to blend the two?
How is the size of a bet determined?
Are the speed and weight rating methodologies in My HorseRaces drawn from other references?
What does My HorseRaces offer in terms of racing data base creation and manipulation?
Can I apply my own selection criteria when using My HorseRaces?
Can I use My HorseRaces' race analysis at race meetings?
Do I have to use course records as the basis for computing speed ratings?

My HorseRaces has been developed and used over many years

The broad history of My HorseRaces is as follows.

Assistance for users included with My HorseRaces

Assistance to use My HorseRaces is provided in a number of ways:

Horse race data included with My HorseRaces

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):

  1. One data base contains information on Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (in eastern Australia) race tracks and jockeys (horses are added as races are entered), together with jockey statistics. It contains a class structure suitable for Australian metropolitan races. The class structure includes ratings based handicapping (RBH) classes that are common throughout Australia - called 'Rating' or 'Benchmark' (BM) races in some jurisdictions It is ready for use with races in those cities and with metropolitan races throughout Australia.
  2. The second data base contains information on country tracks in the Canberra region (eastern Australia) but not on horses or jockeys (they are added as races are entered). Its class structure, while drawing on an Australian metropolitan race class structure, has been adapted to reflect country racing. It is ready for use with races in country areas of south eastern Australia and with non-metropolitan races throughout Australia.
  3. The third data base does not contain information on racecourses, horses and jockeys. It is ready for you to provide this information for your own particular races either manually or electronically. It contains a race class structures for Australian races, including ratings based handicapping (RBH) classes - or equivalent 'Rating' or 'Benchmark' (BM) classes.

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.

Race data for Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane 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.

Race data for metropolitan Australian races outside Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane

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):

  1. Distances of the races held at each racecourse of interest where those distances are not multiples of 100m.
  2. Course records for all distances at each track if you are to use speed related options for analysis.
  3. Barrier position that first causes running disadvantage at each distance if specific barrier adjustments are to be selected with weight rating analyses (or for weight adjusted speed ratings).

Race data for non-metropolitan Australian races

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):

  1. Distances of the races held at the courses of interest where those distances are not multiples of 100m.
  2. Course records for all distances at each track if you are to use speed related options for analysis
  3. Barrier position that first causes running disadvantage at each distance if specific barrier adjustments are to be selected with weight rating analyses (or for weight adjusted speed ratings).

Race data for races in countries other than Australia/New Zealand

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:

  1. Names of the race courses on which the horses to be analysed are running, and have run.
  2. Distances of the races held at these courses where those distances are not multiples of 100m.
  3. Course records for all distances at each track if you are to use speed related options for analysis
  4. Barrier position that first causes running disadvantage at each distance if specific barrier adjustments are to be selected with weight rating analyses (or for weight adjusted speed ratings).

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:

  1. you can introduce the names and descriptions of the classes of races relevent to you (along with their class weights and levels);
  2. drop down lists in My HorseRaces used for manual entry will reflect your own range of classes; and
  3. analysis will reflect your own classes and their associated class weights and levels (the values of which you can optimise as you build up your data base over time).

Racing form accepted by My HorseRaces

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:

  1. 'Computer Form' (last 2 years of form for each horse in each race at a meeting), after pre-paying RA; and
  2. 'New Form' (last 5 starts of each horse in each race at a meeting), after pre-paying RA.

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.

Accessing electronic race form

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.

RA's New Form files

Time required to enter race data

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.

Can I make money from using My HorseRaces?

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.

Set your own parameters based on past profitability

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:

  1. number of months beyond which form is excluded;
  2. whether or not to exclude distance (sprint/wet/dry) form if today's race is a sprint (distance/dry/wet) race;
  3. class weights specifying the quality of race classes (the basis of weight ratings);
  4. whether or not to include a wide range of weight rating adjustments (eg changing barrier position adjustment for slow horses or wet tracks, adjustments for declining, increasing or anomalous ratings, etc);
  5. whether or not to include jockey disadvantage in weight rating computations;
  6. whether or not to include barrier position disadvantage in weight rating computations;
  7. the choice of which type of speed rating analysis to use;
  8. the choice of whether and how to mix speed and weight ratings;
  9. specification of loading on weight ratings for 'fast' horses;
  10. whether or not to use market or analysis favourite in horse selection;
  11. whether or not to apply weight rating adjustments to speed ratings;
  12. adjustment to analysis odds determining how much higher market odds have be before a bet is judged to be 'fair';
  13. how much weight disadvantages a horse by 1 length (in sprint/distance races in the wet/dry);
  14. array of figures specifying the basis of odds determination;
  15. limit weight for weight for age races and for set weight races with penalties and allowances;
  16. parameters changing the impact of jockey and barrier disadvantage and the impact of going up in class;
  17. distance limit specifying the division between sprint and distance races;
  18. age improvement scales (as well as a parameter dampening the effect of a particular scale);
  19. bonuses or penalties to weight ratings to reflect consistency of horses' past performance;
  20. adjustments to class weights on basis of prize money or type of racecourse;
  21. whether just the top weight rating, rather than the top two ratings, is used in weight rating analysis;
  22. four speed parameters which change the basis of horse selection with speed ratings; and
  23. default course records and barriers of first disadvantage to be used to substitute for absent information.

Your choices critical to performance

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:

  1. what horses you exclude from the analysis of a particular race (perhaps because of the lack of recent form);
  2. what past races you include/exclude for each horse included in the analysis of a race;
  3. which racecourses you include in the past form of horses being analysed (eg whether or not to include form from good provincial race tracks in the analysis of future metropolitan races);
  4. what basic options to choose from the wide range of analysis options available (relating to weight ratings, speed ratings and the mixture of the two);
  5. what default parameter values you change, possibly with the assistance of My HorseRaces' optimisation facility;
  6. what 'advanced options' to invoke, mainly relating to weight ratings - say, to change class weights (the basis of weight ratings), change the impact of barrier or jockey disadvantage, change the limit weight for set weight races or the running disadvantage of extra weight, vary the range of weight rating adjustments (eg for wet tracks, fast/slow starting horses, age improvement, increasing/decreasing/anomalous ratings, etc), and so on;
  7. your decisions on which barriers first cause running disadvantages to horses generally (if you choose to adjust for 'specific' barrier disadvantage);
  8. the size of the disadvantages you allocate to problems that horses encounter during the running of past races; and
  9. what betting strategy you employ (eg win betting, place betting, betting with the TAB or bookmakers) and the size of each bet (eg betting for a $100 payout or uniform bets).

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 are risks involved in betting using My HorseRaces

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.

Weight ratings, speed ratings and mixing the two

You may choose to analyse a horse race on the basis of weight ratings, speed ratings or a mixture of the two.

WEIGHT RATINGS

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.

SPEED RATINGS

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).

ANALYSIS MIX

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.

Weight 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).

Speed Ratings

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:

  1. weight adjusting the speed ratings (taking into account, for example, weight carried and jockey disadvantage);
  2. choosing any 'speed' horse (selected on the basis of speed rating analysis) that also has the top weight rating; or
  3. having weight rating analysis apply to any 'speed' horses selected from speed analysis.

Size of a bet

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.

Speed and weight rating references

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.

Data base creation and manipulation

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:

  1. form is added for a meeting without duplicating past races, jockeys, horses or racecourses;
  2. changes may be made easily to the details of each of today's races at a meeting - such as, changes to jockeys, changed weights and changes track conditions;
  3. new jockeys or racecourses added during an upload are flagged, allowing the user to add required details; and
  4. different ways of specification of the name of the same jockey is able to be handled.

Data base manipulation facilities in My HorseRaces include:

  1. copying and deleting data bases;
  2. checking for, and removal of, duplicate horses, jockeys, racecourses and races in a data base;
  3. merging of two data bases that may have been created, say, in different years;
  4. clearing all races and horse/race/jockey combinations from a data base to prepare it for new race data or to re-load race data from a set of electronic files in order, say, to pick up a changed class structure; and
  5. re-loading race data from a set of electronic files.

Applying users' own selection criteria

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.

Using My HorseRaces' race analysis at race meetings

There are 3 ways of accessing My HorseRaces' race analysis at a race meeting.

  1. The best way is to take your laptop to the track with race data for the race meeting entered, perhaps with pre-meeting odds added and initial analyses done on each race. At the track you would include any late jockey or weight changes and continually update odds and re-run the analysis for each race right up to starting time.
  2. If you are not taking your laptop to the meeting, you may analyse the day's races at home and export the results of each analysis to electronic devices (eg mobile, Blackberry or iPad) say via attachments to e-mail for viewing at the track.
  3. If you are not taking your laptop you may instead wish to take printed summaries of analysis of each of the day's events with you (conveniently printed contiguously).

Using alternatives to course records as the basis for determination of speed ratings

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