This page has been written to explain how I am going about using UK Horse Racing's data. This may help the new arrival get started with some idea of where to start.
It has to be stressed that I don't follow any systems as such. I used to, but for over the last few years I have changed my approach in that I only look for well rated horses that are good value.
The ratings present a value price for each horse which is derived from the ratings. This value price is calculated from each of the horses' chance of success. What may surprise you is that over the years this value price is very accurate indeed.
Price Is Everything
There is a saying that "Price is everything". Which means that the selection at the end of the day depends on the right price. If a horse which is valued at 4/1 is available at 5/1 then it's to be backed. If it's available at 3/1 then it's to be ignored, or even laid.
So we no longer need to consider systems and such, as all we need is UKHR's ratings which gives us an accurate set of value prices.
And that's all that I do. Each evening, and early morning, I scan the prices available on the markets and if they better the horse's value price then I back it. And it has to be stressed that I never back anything that has a lower price available than the value price. It's that simple.
I don't back much after ten o'clock because by that time the word has gone out of the stable to the owners that their horse is either raring to go or it's going to run like something stuffed up on Boxing Day with too much Christmas Pudding.
These owners invariably put their bets on (or don't, depending on the word) and they can never seem to resist telling their friends if horse is worth backing and these friends follow suit and back them themselves. These then tell their friends that they have a friend with a horse and the word is that the horse will run well and then this second circle of friends put their bets on. Then these people can't resist telling their of friends that they have a friend who has contact with the yard and that the word is that the horse is good.
And the price soon drops. So, to avoid this I get on before ten o'clock, preferring to get my bets on late the night before as this is the most convenient for me.
Here's an example of a selection made on the 28th of December, 2017.
The same information is also presented in the CSV file.
The arrows in both examples show where the Value data is to be found. In the PDF file it's presented to the right hand side of the document next to the forecast SP, whilst in the CSV file it's in column AV.
The top rated horse, Snow Falcon, has a value price of 2/1. When I looked at the prices available it was around 5/2. This is an 25% edge over the value price.
So we have a top rated horse priced 25% over the value price. Is there any other sensible course of action but to back it?
Snow Falcon went on to win.
I have undertaken tens of thousands of bets over the years, but since the end of the summer of 2015 I have almost exclusively undertaken value betting in one form or another.
The impact on the bottom line of my accounts is apparent. I have had a few losing months in that time but I have had more winning months and overall my profits have been more than significant.
One thing that I have noticed, which reinforces my insistance of getting on early is that about 90% of my winning selections have come in in price from when I have backed them as compared to their Starting Price (SP).
Yes, I have backed some horses which have drifted and then do go on to win, but these number about one tenth of the horses whose prices have contracted before being victorious.
Looking through my notes I find it not unusual to have backed a horse at 10/1 in the morning and then see it win at 100/30 later on that day. Horses backed at 8/1 or 6/1 can easily halve in price before winning.
It's near impossible to over emphasise the point that Price Is Everything and Value Is Key.