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Laying Systems

focus_ratings_hard_at_workLaying Systems...

I was busy, this morning, trying to fix some bugs and catch up on some of the emails that I didn't answer over weekend when...

I answered an email from Derek which started me thinking about Laying Systems.

And then...

Spent the rest of the day, hard at the coal face, as it were...

Coming up with some.

I've done 6 so far and made them all Public.

You can take a look at them over at

I have the feeling that they might end up forming the basis of a Laying Portfolio?

Laying Systems

1 – Lay 3rd Rated Apprentice Favs

where R4 Status = 3 and where the Race is an Apprentice Race and Horse was a Favourite, Joint Favourite or a Co Favourite

Races Wins Strike Rate Av SP Roi
27 1 96.30% 3.44 182.44%


Here I admit that I cheated! I started off by downloading the Results for the 3rd Rated spreadsheet that is on the sidebar of the site.

The Builder is fine for doing the number crunching but sometimes it's better to analysis data the old fashioned way?

I ran some pivot tables and noticed that the 3rd rated horse did very badly in Apprentice Races.

So I headed back to the Builder and started running some tests.

I decided to lay the 3rd rated horse in an Apprentice race were it is the Favourite as I'll always know that I am laying the cheapest horse in the race should the horse actually win?

However, from the statistics over the last year, or so...

It appears that it only does win about 3.7% of the time.

2 – Lay 3rd Rated Favs in big Handicaps

where R4 Status = 3 and where the Race is a Handicap Race and where RC0 (Good Race/Bad Race) = 3 and Runners was equal to or more than 16 and Horse was a Favourite, Joint Favourite or a Co Favourite

Races Wins Strike Rate Av SP Roi
79 7 91.14% 5.21 149.32%

Based upon something that Derek said...

I thought, why not look at large fields and, those where I have rated more than 88% of all horses (thus RC0 = 3.)

Once again, I chose to Lay the 3rd Rated horse in these races when it was a Favourite in order to reduce the liability.

3 – Lay Cheap 3rd Rated All Weather Sellers

where R4 Status = 3 and where Race Type = All Weather and where the Race is a Selling Race and the Forecast Starting Price was less than 5

Races Wins Strike Rate Av SP Roi
17 1 94.12% 1.5 186.47%

So, by applying some reverse logic, I thought to myself...

"What races do we do well in?"

Obviously, if the top rated horse is going to win the race then, the 3rd rated horse can't do so?

I took a quick look at Results by Races Type - SR Order and sort of slightly notcied that we do rather well in AW Sellers?

No, I've absolutely no idea either?

But, if the top rated horse is winning 45% of those races then what chance is there for the 3rd rated horse?

I decided to limit the forecast SP of the 3rd rated horse to 5.0 just to limit liability.

4 – Lay Top Rated Amateur NH Jumps

where R4 Status = 1 and where Race Type = National Hunt – All and where the Race is an Amateur Race

Races Wins Strike Rate Av SP Roi
26 2 92.31% 2.49 176.23%

Now, lets admit it...

I am rubbish at Amateur races!

I am pants at Amateur races!

I've spent more hours than I care to remember trying to work out how to rate an Amateur race but I've come to the conclusion that...

The only way I can improve the strike rate for Amateur races is to...

Petition the BHA to ban the bl**dy things!

So, if we're not going to win the race (as we seem not to), why not turn it around and lay the top rated horse?

We do worse on NH Chase and NH Hurdle Amateur races so I decided to concentrate there.

Focus Ratings has never rated a NH Flat Amateur races.

Now, this could be because those things don't exists or...

I have a sneaking feeling that, deeply hidden in the 130,000 lines of code, is a line that reads something along the lines of...

If race = NH Flat and Race Type 2 = Amateur...

Do not, under any circumstances, even begin to think about the merest possibility of potentially considering rating this race!

Or, something like that?

So I decided to lay the top rated horse blindly in all NH races.

I am deeply ashamed that I'm so bad at rating Amateur races but...

At least I've found a way to profit from my ineptness?

5 – Lay Top Rated NH Chase Conditional Stakes

where R4 Status = 1 and where Race Type = National Hunt – Chase and where the Race is a Conditional Stakes

Races Wins Strike Rate Av SP Roi
21 1 95.24% 2.58 182.95%

As above, I know that I don't like NH CHase Condition Stakes.

Now, I don't even know what a Conditional Stakes race is but...

I still know that I don't like them?

I used to have a Chinese mate called Conn Fushus and he once gave me a couple of bits of life changing advice...

1). If you are Clap at something, turn it on its head to see if you can profit from it.

2). And never, no matter what happens, waste your life making yourself miserable by supporting Spurs!

Well, Conn never could pronounce his R's but...

I've followed his advice (apart from the supporting Spurs bit, that is?)

6 – Lay Unfancied 3rd Rated Flat Claimers

where R4 Status = 3 and where Race Type = Flat and where the Race is a Claimer and Horse was an Outsider

Races Wins Strike Rate Av SP Roi
21 0 100% 0 195.00%

This is a system that came about from my playing around with a spreadsheet.

Sometimes, being able to create a graph (on the fly) gives you a far better insight into the data?

I sort of like the Strike Rate?

I really don't know what the risk/liability is but...

With a 100% Strike Rate,

Who cares?



Six little laying systems and...

Once again...

I'm feeling pretty chuffed with myself.

I had plenty of other things planned for today?

Until I read that email from Derek, that is?

But, overall...

I've had a whole load of fun!

It's kind of nice when your work actually makes you smile?

I'm so chuffed, in fact, that...

Wine O'Clock came round 54 minutes ago and I didn't even notice!

Shame on me!

And I'm not just saying that as an excuse to show my all time favourite Fawlty Towers animated GIF?

Although I bet Basil never missed Wine O'Clock!

You can take a look at the six little laying systems over at

As always...

My kindest regards


One Response to “Laying Systems”

  1. Robert Whitehead says:

    Good work Keith. Thanks very much

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