Speed Figures - Can they Help?

635023
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Speed Figures - Can they Help?

Postby 635023 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:06 am

Can anyone suggest a qick method of making my own speed figures

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Postby Robmull » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:51 pm

The method that I used when starting to calculate my own speed figures was to follow Nick Mordin's advice which he detailed in his excellent book entitled 'Mordin On Time'.

However, I soon found that the production of speed figures can be very time consuming and only provided worthwhile results in certain types of race and even then, it was necessary to use the speed figure in conjunction with other methods of race analysis in order to find an edge.

Out of interest, in what types of race are you intending to calculate and use your speed figures?

Happy to provide further information on my experiences, if you are interested.

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Postby 635023 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:51 pm

thanks Robmull i mostly bet on handicap chases

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Postby horage » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:36 pm

I think the speed figures; time ratings; top speed ratings; all they tell you
at the end of the day is which horse ran quickly in which part of the race.

hard to get any real feeling for a race unless its a very fast time ;below standard gives a good indication of a fast run race.

however a hold up horse may only feature in one or no very fast races in a season but that does not mean they can't go faster if the pace setters went
off quick.so it would appear to have a slow time speed rating.

so the general advice is too not pay to much attention to speed ratings as
they are only a rough guide and obviously if your horse is not trying; like I've heard tell on the all weather ; its speed rating for the race will be rubbish.

untill the day the blinkers are on and its ready to win and then it will put up a decent time; suprisingly enough.

best to try and watch the race on video that gives you a good sense of the form of the race rather than just speed figures.

but if you do come across any high lsp time speed ratings system be sure to let us all know.

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Postby nors » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:14 pm

Punters seem split on speed figures - some use them as part of their form study, some ignore them, i would say in this day and age there is a space for better more concise figures. Those who do publish should be applauded, but i still think with the data available there should be a definitive set of figures.
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Postby Robmull » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:24 pm

I agree with horage's comments regarding the use of speed figures in assessing races over fences ( and hurdles for that matter).

In addition to the points he has made, there are a number of difficulties that have to be faced when trying to calculate speed figures for National Hunt races, including:

1. The published distance of the race is often only an approximation, as running rails are often moved to provide the best ground for the horses to run on.
2. The omission of fences, due to low sun during winter and horses falling earlier in the race will impact on final calculations.
3. Horses being heavily eased either when they have an unassailable lead, or after making a serious jumping error, or after they have lost all chance of winning will have a significant impact on final figures.
4. It is often difficult to calculate an accurate, daily going adjustment, as many courses have almost separate courses for hurdles and fences, meaning that the all important going adjustment figure has to be 'guessed' based on the times of just 2 or 3 races.

Personally, I only calculate speed figures for All Weather races, as many of the above problems can be ignored, albeit other issues have to be factored into calculations in order to produce worthwhile results.

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Postby Robmull » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:45 pm

Punters seem split on speed figures - some use them as part of their form study, some ignore them, i would say in this day and age there is a space for better more concise figures. Those who do publish should be applauded, but i still think with the data available there should be a definitive set of figures.
nors, I believe that there are just too many variables that arise in UK racing (eg. shape of racecourses, undulations vs flat tracks, approximation of race distances, placement of starting stalls, etc) for the production of definitive speed figures.

I would suggest that US racing on dirt provides the closest approximation of speed rating utopia, but many UK racegoers and punters would consider the 'product' as bland, as most US tracks have the same configuration (left handed ovals of approximately 1 mile circumference) and dirt racing has often been labelled as one dimensional, as in most races the runners 'ping the gates', run flat out until their stamina gives way and the finish very tired.

I have no problem with using sipped figures and betting on US racing, but I must admit that it lacks subtlety and charm, which is what makes attending a race meeting in the UK such a great day out.

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Postby nors » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:27 pm

I agree Rob and that has always been the argument, but the industry as a whole dosen't seem to have progressed with speed figures, i don't see much difference to what topspeed is doing now (which is excellent) to what he was doing 10 years ago? I would have thought that someone (an OLBG member for example) would have built a speed service that was the gold standard in the same way as say OPTA being the market leader in football stats.
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Postby 635023 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:37 am

thanks everybody i think youve all confirmed what i thought that compiling speed figures is time consuming and probably more suitable to flat racing I will though purchase Mordins book thanksagain Robmull

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Postby martinr » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:45 am

Like you say Nors the racing community is divided on the worth of speed figures.
I think there is some confusion about speed figures. The Racing Post and Timeform as well as the ATR's Lawrence Taylor (and others no doubt) all come up with figures that they call "Speed Figures" and there is never any uniformity across the different figures. I basically ignore all these so called "speed figures".

Sectional Timing data is a different kettle of fish. Unfortunately the different race courses just can't seem to come up with a jointly funded method of recording sectional times. I have had some correspondence with Turftrax MD Mike Maher who is keen to have a rollout across the UK but has been frustrated by the lack of support from certain quarters. He is hopeful of an eventual agreement but it could take some time.
People with access to reliable sectional data in the UK do have an edge and these people are a part of the voice against a general acceptance of sectional timing data. They are protective of their edge.
Traditionalists are also outspoken against the use of the data, but these people are not really affected by its introduction so they aren't likely to be much of a hindrance to its introduction.
I agree with Robmull that the data is of most worth on the All Weather tracks, but the different configurations of Turf courses shouldn't be an issue. The fact is you are recording and looking at the figures within the race, not for example comparing a Pontefract 5f race with a Beverly 5f race. The data from an individual race will reveal what is of importance, namely which of the horses have performed better than the eye has perceived. It wouldn't take long to come up with a set of benchmark figures for each track.
Things will change over time. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to get back involved with punting.

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Postby The Market Man » Fri May 15, 2015 7:37 am

thanks everybody i think youve all confirmed what i thought that compiling speed figures is time consuming and probably more suitable to flat racing I will though purchase Mordins book thanksagain Robmull
Some good advice already in this thread and i think it's probably a wise decision not to pay too much attention to speed figures with chases. A horse may post a poor speed rating at Cheltenham, where it doesn't like / suit the undulations or fences, but then looks like a star at Newbury, allowed to gallop along and find it's own rhythm.

There are more variables in jumps racing and horses are often older, more idiosyncratic and have their own ideas about the game and life in general. It's a different world to 2 and 3 year olds bolting out of the stalls and racing over 6 furlongs or a mile.

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Postby TheBooyRooney » Mon May 18, 2015 7:56 pm

I use speed ratings solely .speed rating on their own are fairly useless IMO .But when comebined with other factors they can be very useful.I use speed ratings and market movement patterns.I never look at jockeys or anything like that on the hole,I only use fairly simple rules,such as don't back horses who won LTO or horses that haven't ran in over 80-90 days. But each to their own.

For example in the 8.25 Roscommon the winner showed a pattern around 1hr before off,it then continued to follow a pattern,and then it was time to get on.Terrible aftertiming but 14-1 on offer,so of 7-1,gamble landed.This was a National hunt race.Works amazingly in ireland.

But I don't think the speed rating is the biggest factor always on selections.I think there are many gambles landed and betting patterns per day,the ratings are just a factor to reduce the bets.There is one particular kind of rating that has huge strike rate but that be telling. :?
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