UK Horse Racing Newsletter

UK Horse Racing incorporating Weak Favourites

Number 17

7th December, 2009


Hello again. Welcome to the extremely delayed fortnightly newsletter from UK Horse Racing.

There are three important items to discuss; the Lab Notes, the UK Horse Racing Bot and the new Betfair Accounts application.

The last year or so has been very busy, but productive, as we've been working on lots of new stuff on the site.

The information that we have for you is so good, that with just a little bit of work, a long-term profit is almost always assured. By this, we don't mean poring over the newspapers or websites every morning or watching the markets before the off looking for patterns in every race or market. On the contrary, doing some research just the once to find your own systems from the Lab Notes, and we will show you how, then programming the UK Horse Racing Bot for these systems just the one time is all you need to do. Other than, of course, to make sure the bot is running every day.

These three aspects, particularly the Lab Notes and the UK Horse Racing Bot, provide, firstly, good information for the racing punter and, secondly, a good means of placing one's selections on the Betfair exchange automatically. The third, our free tool, the Betfair Accounts application, is a nice to have feature which keeps a balance of what's happening throughout the day if you're away from your computers and rely on any bots to do your betting for you.

The Lab Notes

The Lab Notes are a collection of reports, .csv files and Excel files which are available to download and examine.

All of the Lab Notes can be found here:, and they really ought to be a first port of call for anyone wishing to see what our data has produced in the past few years. We have tried to use the Betfair SP throughout and, when not available, we've got a 'pseudo' Betfair SP price in its place. This is because a lot of our data goes back further than Betfair gave us the option of their SP prices.

Most of these reports were generated and produced by Holmes, one of our members, which lends an air of independence to them. So we can say, with hands on heart, that these aren't fudged nor manipulated in any way other than to remove non-runners and those within voided races. The data is here, warts and all, because it's not in anyone's interest to have massaged data in any way.

The following are examples of can be found with the spreadsheets and data. These examples are easy to find and they do form a part of our own profitable betting portfolio. As a rule we normally look for systems which have a decent strike rate, we like a minimum of 20%, and a half decent Return On Investment (ROI%) after Betfair commission. Some of the later spreadsheets allow for a commission charge of 5% so that can see the real returns from the analysis.

A lot of these portfolios involve the use of 'underscores'. What these are, if you look in our ratings from our archives, is the best score in each of a number of fields in that race. So the horse ridden by the top rated jockey will have a Jockey underscore, the horse trained by the best trainer will have the best Trainer underscore, and so on.

Top Five Rated

If we look here (Lab Note 52), we can see that an Excel 2007 spreadsheet is offered (it has to be this version due to the large number of rows) and also a collection of .csv files. Where we can we try to offer both so that people can use the .csv for other versions of spreadsheets and also for raw data input into their own applications for analysis.

Firing up this spreadsheet in Excel 2007 one can see that, after Betfair commission, backing the top five rated, with one point per horse, is actually profitable.

The figures are:

Runs  222,624
Wins   33,738
P/L     1,214
SR         15.2%
ROI         0.5%

We're not suggesting that this is what we shall do as even though it's profitable it's possible to do a little more filtering. But it's encouraging; this is telling us that since the start of 2006 to the autumn of 2009 a little over 1,200 points profit would be gained, even after 5% commission charge.

For those unused to these sort of figures, we'll explain here. Over the course of the period analysed there would have been almost a quarter of a million bets placed. Again, we're not proposing this portfolio at all; we're just explaining the numbers. Of this near quarter of a million bets thirty-three thousand, and some, would have won giving us a profit of one thousand, two hundred and fourteen 'points'.

So, if we're placing bets of £1 then we'd have made £1,214 profit. If our stakes are £10 then the return would be ten times higher.

The strike rate tells us what percentage of these bets have won; here it's 15% which is, more or less, one bet in seven comes up trumps. Which isn't bad as we could be backing five horses in a race. And the ROI%? Simple, the amount we expect to make on each bet. So an ROI% of 0.5% means that for each and every pound staked on every bet we would get back, on average, one pound and five pence.

Okay, this isn't a large return but consider the following examples when we increase the ROI% with some simple filtering. This is where it gets very interesting.

With a couple of filters; say looking at the horses running in Great Britain (column W) and with the top Weight For Age rated horse, this is the RAdj underscore (one of our more popular indicators) over chases (column T) we get something more interesting:

Runs   4,183
Wins     999
P/L      630
SR        23.9%
ROI       15.1%

That's a little over 150 points a year profit, even with the highest commission rate. And, yes, that one is one of our many portfolios used here.

What we like about this portfolio is that it's easy to find and the strike rate of 23% means that the losing runs are not going to too excessive.

Here's another portfolio which we have running here; any horse in the top five rated, GB on the All-Weather, Hurdles or National Hunt flat with a Raw underscore:

Runs   13,707
Wins    3,110
P/L       723
SR         22.7%
ROI         5.3%

As you can guess one can play around for ages and find all sorts of good stuff. Let's leave the wintry stuff behind and look for the flat racing, a quick play with the Cls and RAdj underscores for the top five rated in Great Britain and we get:

Runs   21.470
Wins    4,121
P/L     1,476
SR         19.1%
ROI         6.8%

Okay, so it's a little under 20%, but we can live with that with almost fifteen hundred points profit over four summers - and all after the 5% commission charge.

The point is that this is stuff which is easy to find amongst the top five rated selections from every race we've done since the start of 2006.

Raw Adjusted Underscores

Let's say that we wished to look at all of these Raw Adjusted Underscores, then we'd open Lab Note 40 and download the spreadsheets from

Straight off, right from the go we can see something profitable. Back the RAdj underscored horse in every race.

We do this, because of the following figures:

Runs    39,602
Wins     7,458
Profit   3,639
SR          18.8%
ROI          9.2%

Note we haven't even started to filter anything yet. This is purely backing the horse with the RAdj in every race.

Again, we here at UKHR also back the RAdj underscore in every race. So, thirty races in a day and we have thirty bets and we expect to make an average of 9.2% on every bet with a winner coming in about one time in six.

Simple, very easy and profitable.

We could start to filter for race type, whether it's a handicap or not, the going, the distance or whatever. All of these will surely, and do, provide additional portfolios.

At risk of repeating ourselves, these figures aren't massaged; the spreadsheets are the results from our ratings and one can always visit our archives to go through thousands and thousands of PDF files for every meeting. Everything here is accountable, accessible and honest.

Other Spreadsheets

There are plenty of spreadsheet within the Lab Notes pages. Each offering lots of different angles and we're certainly spoiled for choice.

Please have a look, please have a play around and let us know what you think.

The UK Horse Racing Bot

All this neatly leads us onto the bot.

An Introduction to the UKHR Bot

Though we supply all of the data in various computer-readable formats, .csv files and XML files, you may choose to have an easier method of getting all these selections on at the correct time of day. This is where the UK Horse Racing bot comes in.

The UK Horse Racing bot is a very powerful tool which allows one to make portfolios, such as the ones discussed above, and then each day the bot automatically downloads the data from our servers, processes it in the morning, sets up the selections for the day and then, when the time is right, fires off the bets.

Almost everything on the bot is programmable to the user; from the size of the stakes, the time when the bets are fired as well as the actual portfolios themselves.

Below is a screenshot of one of our bots showing the construction of a faily complicated portfolio called "All Weather HCP". Most portfolios won't be of this level of complexity at all.

This portfolio of ours is rather a quiet one with few selections a week, but it's currently running with a 12% ROI% profit with a strike rate of 19.7%, which is a healthy strike rate as this means that the portfolio isn't eating up money but, rather, it's generating it.

This screenshot gives an example of how we've set up this portfolio. We've told it to fire forty seconds before the scheduled off time and to stake 0.2% (i.e. 1/500th) of the bank's highest figure. Over to the right we can see that it's set up for the All Weather in Great Britain only and that it only selects handicap races.

On the left hand side one can see what comprises this portfolio. In the SYSTEMS list we've asked for the best HCP rated horse in the race and in a race which is rated as 100 or more by UK Horse Racing. We use our own race ratings figures rather than the ones given by the British Horseracing Authority as we feel that they are fundamentally flawed.

Just to the right, under the staking stuff, we can see that the selection qualifies if it's in all systems. So the horse has to be a HCP Underscored horse and it has to in a race classed 100 or more. Now, back to the left hand side we can see that we've excluded any horses which are sixth, or lower, rated in the ratings and also we've excluded Southwell and also any races which are rated 100 to 110.

The flexibility of the bot is that, in this example, we have a portfolio which places bets on any HCP underscored horse in a British all-weather handicap rated 110 or more, other than Southwell, and the horse has to be rated in the top five of our ratings.

We supply no end of filters such as these and the list is ever growing when members discover something from the spreadsheets that they require. For example, the other day we created a filter which listed all horses which had a negative Cls rating. The idea being that this filter could be placed into the NOT IN SYSTEMS section to rule out any horses with a poor Cls rating. This new filter was one such request.

And if anyone has problems building a portfolio then just contact us and we'll help you build one.

More information on the UK Horse Racing Bot can be found here at

The general principle is that the bot is programmed with a collection of portfolios, such as this "All Weather HCP" portfolio, and then that's it. Then when the bot is started nothing more needs to be done; each day it sorts out the selections for that day's racing, does its stuff and then sits there waiting until the next morning when it starts processing once again.

One member rang us up this afternoon and he says that the bot has liberated his days as he no longer has to study the form for hours each day, all he does is to power on his computers in the mornings and then that's it. We have members who know nothing about racing and can't even name a top jockey, trainer or horse but, thanks to Holmes' sterling spreadsheets, they have no need to.

New bot users are often astounded at the bot. Once it's set up and running with their portfolios they often ask us what they have to do next. "Nothing", we reply.

And that is truly it - other than to make sure it's up and running each morning there is nothing more for them to do.

After all, would you rather have it any other way?

Recent Filters And Additions

This information is taken from this page: where all updates to the Bot's filters are maintained.

U <name> Top3 Rank
Lists all the horses with the named underscore whose ranking in that field is in the top three, for example the "U RAdj Top3 Rank" lists the three best RAdj rated horses in the race. This is not to be confused with the position of the horse within the ratings order.

Horse <name> Negative
Lists all the horses with the named underscore whose rating is negative for that field, for example the "Horse Cls Negative" lists the horses with negative Cls figures.

Stalls AW Negative
Lists all the horses running on the all-weather with a negative stalls bias.

Betfair Accounts Application

This is a small application which we are continually developing but it's a simple way to keep track of one's account levels during the day.

It is especially useful for those who use any bots, be it the UK Horse Racing bot or any other automatic betting application. For example, if one has a number of bots running on different machines then one could run this application on one's main machine and then see how they are doing throughout the day without getting up and running from computer to computer. For example, we have six computers here at The Sheep Shed all running the UK Horse Racing bot, and we can keep track of what's going on without having to leave our seats.

Another feature of this application is that it can send eMails at pre-programmed intervals to any eMail address. This is particularly useful for those with mobile phones are who are away at the workplace and wish to get regular eMail updates. This application is also useful for those who have eMail facilities at work and don't mind receiving such updates there.

Lastly, the Betfair Accounts application dumps the end of day totals to a .csv file so that a daily log of the account totals are maintained.

This application is free to use for anyone running a Windows computer. It will be continually improved and updated. The current version is 0.14. Further details can be found here,

We would like to point out that the only communication from this application is with the Betfair exchanges and no data is sent anywhere else.

That's all for now for this newsletter. So, until the next time, see you in the short queue.

Yours sincerely,
The UK Horse Racing Team

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