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Morning News

focus-ratings-mornoing newsGood morning...

A quiet day, yesterday...

And so I thought I'd put in a bit more effort into explaining the ratings.

But, before I get on to that, I want to re-emphasise my three mantras that I, as a non-horse racing person, lives and dies by.

a). Every race is a unique event.

b). You don't have to bet on every race.

c). Numbers are numbers and Horse Races are horse races. They are totally different things and there's never been a horse that has passed his Statistics A Level (apart, possibly, from Kauto Star and Frankel - and they probably got A's!)

Seriously, there are some races that you shouldn't bet on (and I'd include the Grand National in that list!)

It's not so much that you're excluding the opportunity of a winner; it's more that you are ensuring that you don't lose.

But, before I get onto that stuff, let's look at yesterday's results....

Yesterday's Results

Yesterday's Results, show a strike rate (for our top rated horse) of 15.00%.

Now, this isn't great but I'm really not too unhappy about it.

I know that that sounds weird but the ratings were actually pretty accurate yesterday; we just didn't get the winners.


There were no forecasts yesterday.


There were no tricasts yesterday.


From the 20 rated races there were 11 winners (from the top 3 rated horses) - two of those were at nice prices.

Course Time Horse ISP BSP
Navan 11:55 Domesday Book 9.0 16.5
Navan 14:35 Mount Colah 11.0 13.4


Here's the actual review of some of the races...

1). Carlisle 12:15 - We predicted the first three horses - unfortunately in the wrong order.

2). Navan 12:25 - Now, I know that I generally only waffle on about the races where we get things right but, I thought that it would only be honest and decent to also mention some of the races where we don't do so well.

Because, you don't have to bet on every race and sometimes it's useful to consider which races to avoid.

And this is one such race - I wish that I had been more on the ball at 5am yesterday morning so that I could have pointed this out beforehand.

So, why was this race so difficult to rate?

To start with, look at the Race Type Win % figure; at 20% it's the (joint) lowest of the day.

Now look at the number of runners; 22 runners means the potential of overcrowding.

Now, I know that I don't know anything about horse racing so I'm putting this in car terms - a formula one race at Brands Hatch with only 5 cars in it should be pretty predictable.

The same race with 50 cars on the starting line? Well, that first corner is going to be pretty interesting.

If you took a look at the Full Ratings where it shows all the horses in the race you'll see that all the horses are rated and that there's really not that much between the top rated horse and the 22nd rated horse.

Even if you discount the 4 horses that haven't run in the last 3 months (none of whom came anywhere), it's still 22 horses running in an 18 contender race.

None of the 22 runners had ever won or been placed over the going.

The RC0 was 3 - that means that I can rate more than 88% of all horses in the race which means that there are a large number of contenders.

That, statistically, means a lower strike rate (read about that here... Eureka Revisited.)


Click on the image to see it full size - use your back button to return here.

And now look at my forecast prices...

The lowest forecast price is for Black Spot On (correctly predicted to come 2nd) at 6.5!

That's a pretty decent price for the favourite.

That should worry you.

So, I'm guessing that these sorts of things should be suggesting to you that...

"This is a difficult race; this probably isn't the sort of race that I should be betting my children's inheritance on - unless, of course, they have been especially naughty today."

3). Carlisle 12:45 - Our top rated horse was a non-runner and the Live Ratings shifted the 2nd rated horse up to top rated and the 3rd rated horse up to 2nd rated.


These two horses came first and second respectively and, in effect, the Live Ratings got the forecast. The CSF paid £7.77.

4). Southwell 13:45 - Now this is an interesting race. We got it sort of right. Our top rated horse won and our 3rd rated horse came third.

Our second rated horse Pulled Up - that happens over the jumps.

How did the horse that came second in the race do so at a price of 50/1?

Well, he was our 4th rated horse.

This gives me the opportunity to talk a bit about my philosophy...

If you have a choice between two outcomes, which would you prefer?

Outcome 1. Our top rated horse wins the race but our 2nd and 3rd rated horses come nowhere or...

Outcome 2. Our top rated horse comes nowhere but our 2nd rated horse comes second and our 3rd rated horse comes third.

Personally, I'd prefer the second outcome as, in my book, that is the most accurate evaluation of the race.

But, unless you take a hard look at the ratings (and possibly, the Full Ratings), you'll be a way off understanding that.

I do take the Propensity to Finish into account when computing the ratings but I can never anticipate what the trainer is going do do to in order to ensure that his horse actually finishes the race.

5). Carlisle 13:55 - We predicted the first three horses - unfortunately in the wrong order.

6). Southwell 14:15 - We predicted the first three horses - unfortunately in the wrong order.

The winner was the horse that dropped in class; I'm not going to say any more about how important a metric that I feel that this is (as I've spoken about this so many times before) but...

In a three horse race I'd certainly be interested in looking at the one runner who is running against less competitive competition that it's used to.

Obviously, in a 3 horse race the prices aren't going to be so good but...

I forecast Queen Olivia at 5.75 (she finished at 4.0) and so there's obviously got to be value there.

You know (and this is a vital hint/tip), you don't always have to back the top rated horse - the ratings are just that, ratings; sometimes they'll tell you that there's more value in backing the horse that isn't top rated.

7). Carlisle 14:25 - We got this race totally wrong! The 2nd rated horse was a non-runner but the Live Ratings didn't even help in bringing in a placed horse. Once again, the Race Type Win % was the joint lowest of the day, RC0 was 3 and, the Full Ratings shows a minute difference between the top rated horse and the 10th rated horse.


Click on the image to see it full size - use your back button to return here.

In a 10 horse handicap, you do have to wonder why all the horses are rated at between 3.28 and 2.86.

Again, the ratings say that this might be a race that you don't bet your children's pocket money on.

8). Southwell 14:45 - This was an Amateur Race. How anyone can rate an amateur race is totally beyond me. You have to forget Jockey stats and just concentrate on the horse's form and it's ability to perform over the going.

I'm more than half tempted to ignore Amateur races altogether but, we have a reasonable strike rate for them...

Thus, I'm between a rock and a hard place for Amateur Races.

The Portfolio

There was neither a Banker's Bet nor a Chancer's Bet yesterday.

On the Portfolio Page there is now a link to the Banker's Bet Proofing Page and, also to the Chancer's Bet proofing page.

You may subscribe to my Portfolio. To do so, you need to go to your Members Page and change option 4 on the Your Profile bit.

If you haven't subscribed, the button will say Yes - just click on it and you'll be signed up.

Any other business

And finally...

Winter Upgrades

I've written a post to detail the Winter Upgrades - you can see it here... Winter Upgrades

I am updating that post to show which upgrades have been implemented and, where possible, to indicate when I think that an upgrade may be implemented.

I didn't do any upgrades yesterday as I was, basically, standing by the overheating laptop with a fire extinguisher just in case...


And, no, I didn't even get close to analysing the new dutching stats - I was too busy working on the Speed Ratings.

Speed Ratings

No news on the Speed Ratings as it's going to take longer than I anticipated; the data crunching is really quite something else.

Early Birds and Early Morning Ratings

If you want to take a look at the early test ratings...

Today's 5am early test ratings are available here... Early Test Ratings

Union Jack

As the Portfolio isn't performing as well as it has historically done, Jill and I will be doing a additional single Union Jack bet every day (to 20p stakes - in other words, a £1.80 commitment) on the top 9 top rated horses in Yield order. Our anchor bet will be the one of those with the highest confidence level.

I'll be listing those bets (and their results) here.

I'm not sure if this is such a good idea but...

Who knows?

200 (12)

Perhaps I'm becoming a punter at last!

God forbid!

We're also looking at a way of using the ratings to produce an accumulator bet each day.

Some days this might a be a 3 horse accumulator and other days it might be a 6 horse accumulator.

I need to do the maths on how to work that out.

Once again, for us, this will be a silly 50p bet but, we've got the data, we've got the processing power and we understand the ratings (which sort of pre-validates the selections.)


It'll be a hell of a lot of fun.


Today's ratings show 21 races from 3 meetings.

The races are all fairly small (in fields size) and so I expect a pretty accurate day's racing.

Nothing stands out at a first glance.

So, al I can say is...

Have a great day's racing!

5 star ratingsOnce again, if you've got anything to say about Focus Ratings, please wander over to Focus Ratings Review and have your say.

As always...

My kindest regards


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