CLASS. What do we mean..

CLASS, CLASS, CLASS.

One of the biggest and most important things to consider in any racehorse when evaluating its ability, and especially for punting purposes is the class in which the horse most likely naturally belongs, and if it is within that class at present. I’m going to try give a quick overview on class and what it means in general and from a punting perspective.

Some horses obviously especially at the younger ages, can be known as “progressive”, and that essentially is what it says on the tin. They are horses that are continuing to improve and develop, and in doing so their handicap marks (OR) will continue to rise and they will move up through the class systems and race against better horses. Horses that are “regressive”, essentially again is what it says in the tin, their ability they displayed at some point in their career stalls and they seem to be going backwards, mounting up a losing run and seeing their handicap marks fall as a result, and drop down the classes to race against lesser animals.

In between the “moving” abilities of the horses described above, you have horses in the middle I would like to best describe it, and I would describe these as “exposed”. What I mean by this, is they are at a stage of their career whereby you know exactly what their ability is, you can understand the marks and class within which they are competitive, and they will run to their mark and their given conditions based on previous exploits. These types are personally for me the type I find to be my bread and butter when trying to exploit the handicap system for punting reasons!

NH racing and flat racing have a very similar system although the classes are labelled slightly different, for my main world of flat racing I will describe below the structure of race class.

Class 1 races are divided into pattern and listed races. Group 1 races are the biggest and most prestigious races, for the best of the best.

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Listed

After the top level of Class 1 races of the Group races and Listed class, we then have a system which goes from class 2 all the way down to class 7, yet even more confusing is that there is again slightly different contests within these!

Class 2 – Handicaps of rating 86-100, 91-105 and 96-110
Class 3 – Handicaps of 76-90, and 81-95
Class 4 – Handicaps of rating 66-80, and 71-85
Class 5 – Handicaps of rating 56-70, and 61-75
Class 6 – Handicaps of rating 46-60, and 51-65
Class 7 – Handicaps of rating 46-50

If you have ever heard of a horse making it “into a 0-70”, what is essentially means is that the horses official handicap mark has fallen to a mark in which it can race, specifically for horses rated 0-70. New changes have been made to this structure meaning horses slightly above the maximum mark can enter handicaps, but I will go further into specifically handicaps, and how they work in a separate post.

Now we get the jist of the class system, we can understand how this is something we can use in our punting minds! If a horse has been a solid exposed horse running well enough at marks in the early 80s, wins a few races well then raises up the weights and begins to peter out and become exposed. As a slight losing run may be put back together, it finds itself on a mark of 75 again, after some solid but unspectacular efforts in Class 4 Handicaps. It is now eligible to enter a class 5 0-75 handicap, where it has done all its best running and would now theoretically be one of the best horses in the field! This is a perfect opportunity to punt on the horse, if the price is value enough to do so!

I hope this article has partly helped to explain a little about “Class” in horse racing for those who have never fully noticed or understood what it was all about! Any comments be it positive or negative feel free to feed back. Will try to find more time for some articles to pass on thoughts and information so again, anything you would like to see hit us up!

Thanks for reading

HRN

 

 

 

 

Value, Prices and Strike rates – what IS profitable?

Value, and making profit. Specifically, at what prices and strike rates do you ACTUALLY make profits, as opposed to ‘feeling’ profitable.

As a tipster, I like to find ‘value’ in my selections, and in my opinion what constitutes value is worthy of another how topic in itself, so i won’t touch too much more on it here without saying that essentially – i like to play at certain prices and i accept a number of these undoubtedly are going to lose.

We’ve all seen, and maybe some of you follow, these tipsters on twitter who chuck up Evens shots horses followed by big ‘BOOMs’. What I want to express is my opinion on how this work, and try to show some of the maths behind my thinking.

Prices and some assumed strike rates

Example number one:

  • 10 bets at prices of Evens (2.0 in decimal terms) – 8 winners for a huge 80% strike rate
  • 10 bets at 10/1 (11/0) – 2 winners for a much smaller 20% strike rate
Stake Odds Returns Stake Odds Returns
1 2 2 1 11 11
1 2 2 1 11 11
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 0 1 11 0
1 2 0 1 11 0
10 16 10 22
Strike rate: 80% Strike rate: 20%
Profit: 6pts Profit: 12pts

Whoa! Hang on a minute. The 80% strike rate is incredible isn’t it?!

Even allowing for a great strike rate of 80% winners (highly improbable), the method of hitting only 2/10 winners at the price of 10/1 is TWICE as profitable! I think the hard maths is the easiest way to show how “amount” of winners isn’t the defining option to how successful or profitable a way of selecting horses is. Don’t get me wrong, some horses are priced at low prices and deserve to be, and you can sometimes have a bet on these, I’m not mocking these prices but just trying to clarify some examples!

Example Number Two:

This time I’m going to even it up a little. Lets let example A have prices of 2/1 (3.0) and example B have a lower price of say 7/1(8.0).

  • 10 bets at 2/1 – 7 winners for a 70% strike rate
  • 10 bets at 7/1 – 3 winners for a 30% strike rate
Stake Odds Returns Stake Odds Returns
1 3 3 1 8 8
1 3 3 1 8 8
1 3 3 1 8 8
1 3 3 1 8 0
1 3 3 1 8 0
1 3 3 1 8 0
1 3 3 1 8 0
1 3 0 1 8 0
1 3 0 1 8 0
1 3 0 1 8 0
10 21 10 24
Strike rate: 70% Strike rate: 30%
Profit: 11pts Profit: 14pts

So we’ve allowed for the lower price to be 2/1, but gone with the improbably high strike rate of 70%. This method has in fact over doubled our initial stakes of 10pts outlaid – but lets remember a 70% strike rate is very hard.

On the other side of the coin, we have raised the strike rate by 1 winner to 30%, but cut the price down to 7/1. Again, at this lower strike rate but a bigger price we come out with 14pts profit, more then the 70% strike rate!


I hope this has been able to sum up some of what I have been trying to say, the maths stack up just as lightly if you are able to play consistently at the larger prices, and your strike rates don’t have to be as large to make better profits!

I am not knocking those who play the smaller prices and there may be some bets that are worth the price, but was just hoping to provide and insight into the methods I use and the way I think! Again, its no good playing those prices if you can’t hit the strike rates lets not forget that. Playing the prices and getting your strike rates is a measure of finding the value in the market and the selection, and getting your ‘edge’. If you can find something to recommend to you that a bet or a selection is overpriced – and by this I mean you are taking a higher price then you would attribute it to be in your mind – then you are on the correct track even if you don’t win all the time. At the better prices you can find, as shown you don’t need to be winning anywhere near ALL the time to be making good profits.

As I have worked my way through this I feel my next post will almost definitely have to touch more in depth as to what i feel “VALUE” is, so keep your eyes peeled.

Hope this was a valuable read for any of you that have found yourself reading – any comments regarding it are more then appreciated!

Thanks for your time and I hope this has given you some ideas on your punting!

Good luck.

HRN

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