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  • Sorry for the ongoing issues that you may have been experiencing whilst using the forum lately

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Does physical weight carried matter?

Leodis

Yearling
Another vital area is the optimum, physical weight of a racehorse. The trainers will know this has they have access to equine, weighing machines. If the stable fails to work off excess weight in time for the intended race, which could be due to setbacks then the horse could be carrying anything from pounds to maybe a stone or more above its optimum. With that in mind, I doubt a drop of a few pounds in 'handicap' weight is going to help.
 

mick

Sire
Good point above Leodis Leodis and info which should be made public imo. Re weight carrying ability the other possible aspect is the comparative physical size of the animal. Older members may recall Roman Warrior an exceptionally big animal who won a top class Hcap under 10.4 with ease. That race was part of the ITV 7 and i recall the commentator ( John Oaksey ) remarking that jockey Edward Hide looked like a pea perched on a pod. :)
 

markfinn

Sire
Another vital area is the optimum, physical weight of a racehorse. The trainers will know this has they have access to equine, weighing machines. If the stable fails to work off excess weight in time for the intended race, which could be due to setbacks then the horse could be carrying anything from pounds to maybe a stone or more above its optimum. With that in mind, I doubt a drop of a few pounds in 'handicap' weight is going to help.
If there is intent all help is helpful
 

BC

Yearling
My feeling is that weight tells more the softer the ground and/or the further the distance.

Some may remember John in Brasil, a.k.a. JohnGringo. He posted a fascinating article on weight and the handicapping system.

Before posting it, he responded to two members of that forum, which I have included as the comments may be relevant.

I don't know whether he ever completed the article, but here is what he wrote.

* * *​

"A horses current OR is the handicapper's opinion of his FORM, not class."

AC,
You are 100% wrong.

EC,
I am currently intrigued not by deteriorating class, something at which I am now having first-hand experience, but by improvement at the start of career.

All,
Here's something I was posting on another forum before I had to interrupt to come back to the UK. I will complete it shortly;

Admiral Rous

"The RP speed figs factor in weight, which I now regard as a seriously misleading complication, as whilst big increases in weight will eventually slow a horse, a few lbs on a half-ton animal makes about the same difference as a pair of bicycle clips when you go out for a ride. Furthermore, the idea that taking weight off a horse will speed it up is nothing less than infantile.

I much prefer to stick to the finishing distances from competitive races. I define competitive as those races where there were more than just a handful of runners in a non slower than the standard time.

Weight in racing is all about class and not about speed.

To understand the handicapping of horses, it is wise to study its inventor, Admiral Henry John Rous.

Besides his distinguished naval career, Admiral Rous was a keen horseman whose family home was at Newmarket (his father won the 1815 2000gns with Tigris). At that time, the roguery in Racing was so bad that Admiral Rous felt obliged to make the sport more honest by devising the same table of weight for age and sex that is still used today almost 200 years since its inception.

Admiral Rous made racing fair by using weight to level ability in developing racehorses. He did not use staggered starts, nor did he opt for starting horses at different times. Why did he use weight? I believe he did because he was a gunner.

Since the middle of the 17th century, by a method invented by Samuel Pepys, the quality of His Majestys warships was rated, not by their speed or by their weight of displacement, but by the number of cannon the vessel could bring to bear in an engagement. As the ships got bigger with two and then three decks, the lower cannon got bigger, so a further refinement was to calculate the weight of shot that was fired in a double broadside.

All being equal, a ship that could fire 4000lbs of iron every 15s would inevitably beat into a pulp a ship that could only muster 3800lbs with each discharge. The navy used the concept of weight (in this case, its weaponry) as class. Having been below decks since he was a boy, Henry John Rous would have lived and breathed weight as class. Being intimate with racehorses, it was his genius to see the same principle at work in the two great loves of his life.

In flat racing, a G1 winner is rated about 135 and the worst sort of maiden plater rates only 35. Within those 100lbs of ability, a multi-billion industry that employs thousands exists and divides up its wealth.

Some might argue that the best horse in the race is the fastest one, so as class is all about speed, they insist that the best horse has to be the fastest one.

You could make a case in favour of that for v short distances where the horses run flat out after a short period of initial acceleration, but even 5f sprints are not always run flat out from the start.

If we have two horses, A and B, who can maintain the same cruising speed for most of the race, then both accelerate at the same rate to reach the same finishing speed, you might think these horses have the same ability or class. That would be true if both held the finishing speed for the same length of time. But if horse A can hold his finishing speed for one second longer than horse B, and the jockey on horse A knows his business, then Horse A will win the race because it has more ability. He is able to accelerate earlier and maintain his maximum effort for longer.

The class of a horse depends on its ability to maintain its best cruising and finishing speeds.

A horse can actually be able to achieve higher speeds than another but still be lower class to this other slower horse when run over even the shortest distances in British racing because it is the ability to maintain the best speed for the longest period that provides the quickest time.

The difference of class between horses is demonstrated at the end of the race. It is at the finishing pole that racing reveals its secrets.

I use an equation,

Finishing dist in lengths x 15 / race dist in furlongs = lbs in class,

in true-run races to measure the difference in class between runners.

One of the greatest problems people have with history is that they think it is out of date. To affirm that a seaman from the Napoleonic war is the answer to winner finding is likely to invite more mirth than to uphold the claims of a Dutchman from Market Harborough!

Nevertheless, the genius of Henry John Rous was to see weight as a live potent force, not a life extinguishing imposition that could be applied by any dull-witted brute.

Admiral Rous' weight for age table shows us that as horses grow and get heavier, they get stronger. Their weight is going up because it consists of bone and muscle, and their ability to run faster and longer corresponds. His idea of lumping dead weight on them was to give the stronger ones more to do than the weaker, younger ones in a measure so that no one age would have an advantage over another because of their relative growth. However, the advantages between their natural ability remained untouched, thus preserving the true nature of racings secret.

By the second half of July (it is assumed that all racehorses are born on Jan 1st), a 4yo is deemed to have reached maturity, and Admiral Rous no longer allows it to claim a lighter burden than its older peers. If the horse has had more than a handful of races by this time, its natural ability will be known and will decide its career.

Until recently, very few hcps had a weight range of less than two stones. This ample range of saddle weights allowed horses to run against other horses where large differences in weight would be likely to affect relative performances.

For example, if we have a dozen 77-83 rated horses, all of which are fit and on ideal conditions, the weight differences between them are so small that the eventual winner is more likely to have been blessed by luck than to boast any determining factor.

If we then take eleven 77-83 rated horses and a 65 rated horse who either by accident or design is really also an 80 horse with a falsely low rating, then this lowly rated animal has a distinct advantage, about a stone less in saddle weight, and rather than need good luck to win, will need to suffer misfortune to be denied.

Nowadays, the weight range in most handicaps is half of what it was when I first started. It is now far harder for a trainer to engineer a big weight advantage for an underrated horse. 4 or 5lbs will not significantly alter the chance of winning the way 15 or 20lbs will.

If small weight differences are not significant, and big weight differences are increasingly hard to organize, then the modern trainer has no option but to engineer significant class advantages.

The horseracing industry is based on the class of horse that runs in its races.

To unify the industry and divide its benefits in a fair and trustworthy manner, the HRB has adopted the use of a standard measure of class, the Official Rating (OR), or more simply referred to as a horse's mark.

After winning or, if no win is achieved in its first three runs, three races on one of either the Flat or National Hunt versions of racing, every racehorse in the UK is awarded an Official Rating.

For a trainer to arrange a class advantage for his horse, he has two possible situations, the highly unlikely one where he finds a race for his charge where the opposition all have markedly inflated ratings compared to their ability, or the more obtainable situation of getting a distinctly undervalued rating for his animal, and subsequently racing it against horses of lesser ability but similar or superior ratings.

We are all now familiar with the tactics of running a horse down the field in unsuitable races to get its mark reduced. The Official Handicapper is also aware of this approach and employs the strategy of 'swift to punish but slow to pardon' to make the process of mark devaluation both laborious and uncertain.

The downward massaging of a horse’s OR is the only remaining tactic once a horse has been exposed and its class recognized. However, there is a wonderful opportunity at the beginning of a racehorse’s career for those so inclined to set it on its way with what can be at times an absurdly low initial OR.

* * *​

If JIB did complete this article, and anyone has it, I would love to see it.
 

Chesham

Sire
My feeling is that weight tells more the softer the ground and/or the further the distance.

Some may remember John in Brasil, a.k.a. JohnGringo. He posted a fascinating article on weight and the handicapping system.

Before posting it, he responded to two members of that forum, which I have included as the comments may be relevant.

I don't know whether he ever completed the article, but here is what he wrote.

* * *​

"A horses current OR is the handicapper's opinion of his FORM, not class."

AC,
You are 100% wrong.

EC,
I am currently intrigued not by deteriorating class, something at which I am now having first-hand experience, but by improvement at the start of career.

All,
Here's something I was posting on another forum before I had to interrupt to come back to the UK. I will complete it shortly;

Admiral Rous

"The RP speed figs factor in weight, which I now regard as a seriously misleading complication, as whilst big increases in weight will eventually slow a horse, a few lbs on a half-ton animal makes about the same difference as a pair of bicycle clips when you go out for a ride. Furthermore, the idea that taking weight off a horse will speed it up is nothing less than infantile.

I much prefer to stick to the finishing distances from competitive races. I define competitive as those races where there were more than just a handful of runners in a non slower than the standard time.

Weight in racing is all about class and not about speed.

To understand the handicapping of horses, it is wise to study its inventor, Admiral Henry John Rous.

Besides his distinguished naval career, Admiral Rous was a keen horseman whose family home was at Newmarket (his father won the 1815 2000gns with Tigris). At that time, the roguery in Racing was so bad that Admiral Rous felt obliged to make the sport more honest by devising the same table of weight for age and sex that is still used today almost 200 years since its inception.

Admiral Rous made racing fair by using weight to level ability in developing racehorses. He did not use staggered starts, nor did he opt for starting horses at different times. Why did he use weight? I believe he did because he was a gunner.

Since the middle of the 17th century, by a method invented by Samuel Pepys, the quality of His Majestys warships was rated, not by their speed or by their weight of displacement, but by the number of cannon the vessel could bring to bear in an engagement. As the ships got bigger with two and then three decks, the lower cannon got bigger, so a further refinement was to calculate the weight of shot that was fired in a double broadside.

All being equal, a ship that could fire 4000lbs of iron every 15s would inevitably beat into a pulp a ship that could only muster 3800lbs with each discharge. The navy used the concept of weight (in this case, its weaponry) as class. Having been below decks since he was a boy, Henry John Rous would have lived and breathed weight as class. Being intimate with racehorses, it was his genius to see the same principle at work in the two great loves of his life.

In flat racing, a G1 winner is rated about 135 and the worst sort of maiden plater rates only 35. Within those 100lbs of ability, a multi-billion industry that employs thousands exists and divides up its wealth.

Some might argue that the best horse in the race is the fastest one, so as class is all about speed, they insist that the best horse has to be the fastest one.

You could make a case in favour of that for v short distances where the horses run flat out after a short period of initial acceleration, but even 5f sprints are not always run flat out from the start.

If we have two horses, A and B, who can maintain the same cruising speed for most of the race, then both accelerate at the same rate to reach the same finishing speed, you might think these horses have the same ability or class. That would be true if both held the finishing speed for the same length of time. But if horse A can hold his finishing speed for one second longer than horse B, and the jockey on horse A knows his business, then Horse A will win the race because it has more ability. He is able to accelerate earlier and maintain his maximum effort for longer.

The class of a horse depends on its ability to maintain its best cruising and finishing speeds.

A horse can actually be able to achieve higher speeds than another but still be lower class to this other slower horse when run over even the shortest distances in British racing because it is the ability to maintain the best speed for the longest period that provides the quickest time.

The difference of class between horses is demonstrated at the end of the race. It is at the finishing pole that racing reveals its secrets.

I use an equation,

Finishing dist in lengths x 15 / race dist in furlongs = lbs in class,

in true-run races to measure the difference in class between runners.

One of the greatest problems people have with history is that they think it is out of date. To affirm that a seaman from the Napoleonic war is the answer to winner finding is likely to invite more mirth than to uphold the claims of a Dutchman from Market Harborough!

Nevertheless, the genius of Henry John Rous was to see weight as a live potent force, not a life extinguishing imposition that could be applied by any dull-witted brute.

Admiral Rous' weight for age table shows us that as horses grow and get heavier, they get stronger. Their weight is going up because it consists of bone and muscle, and their ability to run faster and longer corresponds. His idea of lumping dead weight on them was to give the stronger ones more to do than the weaker, younger ones in a measure so that no one age would have an advantage over another because of their relative growth. However, the advantages between their natural ability remained untouched, thus preserving the true nature of racings secret.

By the second half of July (it is assumed that all racehorses are born on Jan 1st), a 4yo is deemed to have reached maturity, and Admiral Rous no longer allows it to claim a lighter burden than its older peers. If the horse has had more than a handful of races by this time, its natural ability will be known and will decide its career.

Until recently, very few hcps had a weight range of less than two stones. This ample range of saddle weights allowed horses to run against other horses where large differences in weight would be likely to affect relative performances.

For example, if we have a dozen 77-83 rated horses, all of which are fit and on ideal conditions, the weight differences between them are so small that the eventual winner is more likely to have been blessed by luck than to boast any determining factor.

If we then take eleven 77-83 rated horses and a 65 rated horse who either by accident or design is really also an 80 horse with a falsely low rating, then this lowly rated animal has a distinct advantage, about a stone less in saddle weight, and rather than need good luck to win, will need to suffer misfortune to be denied.

Nowadays, the weight range in most handicaps is half of what it was when I first started. It is now far harder for a trainer to engineer a big weight advantage for an underrated horse. 4 or 5lbs will not significantly alter the chance of winning the way 15 or 20lbs will.

If small weight differences are not significant, and big weight differences are increasingly hard to organize, then the modern trainer has no option but to engineer significant class advantages.

The horseracing industry is based on the class of horse that runs in its races.

To unify the industry and divide its benefits in a fair and trustworthy manner, the HRB has adopted the use of a standard measure of class, the Official Rating (OR), or more simply referred to as a horse's mark.

After winning or, if no win is achieved in its first three runs, three races on one of either the Flat or National Hunt versions of racing, every racehorse in the UK is awarded an Official Rating.

For a trainer to arrange a class advantage for his horse, he has two possible situations, the highly unlikely one where he finds a race for his charge where the opposition all have markedly inflated ratings compared to their ability, or the more obtainable situation of getting a distinctly undervalued rating for his animal, and subsequently racing it against horses of lesser ability but similar or superior ratings.

We are all now familiar with the tactics of running a horse down the field in unsuitable races to get its mark reduced. The Official Handicapper is also aware of this approach and employs the strategy of 'swift to punish but slow to pardon' to make the process of mark devaluation both laborious and uncertain.

The downward massaging of a horse’s OR is the only remaining tactic once a horse has been exposed and its class recognized. However, there is a wonderful opportunity at the beginning of a racehorse’s career for those so inclined to set it on its way with what can be at times an absurdly low initial OR.

* * *​

If JIB did complete this article, and anyone has it, I would love to see it.
Jib did give an example ,of how he related to OR to Class and how to produce a Rating

see How to start

we have Jib Ratings on The Class Sheets

5F1CB32D-BB23-46D3-BBB7-A9258BCBB873.jpeg
 
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Chesham

Sire
I was never on Gummy, but did have a good experience interacting with JIB on the Peach Forum. We both liked Triners who put a Top Weight in to favour a lower weighted horse form the same trainer. The other angle was Chasers returning to Hurdles
 

BC

Yearling
I was never on Gummy, but did have a good experience interacting with JIB on the Peach Forum. We both liked Triners who put a Top Weight in to favour a lower weighted horse form the same trainer. The other angle was Chasers returning to Hurdles

His racing brain was in a league above most of us on Gummy's forum.
 

Chesham

Sire
His racing brain was in a league above most of us on Gummy's forum.
I was never on Gummy, so had no pre conceived thoughts about Jib, but understood even on the Peach Forum that he did no take prisioners LOL . Strange thing was that he was not a VDW fan but frequented VDW Forums
 
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Chesham

Sire
That's for sure! :lolsign:



I remember that he was asked about that, but I'm struggling to remember what he answered! o_O
I know that he was in Fulham’s Inner circle when he revealed VDW as being G Hall

65B1B4FB-DC66-41E6-9E36-4C123C3C2C80.jpeg
 
Last edited:
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BC

Yearling
I know that he was in Fulham’s Inner circle when he revealed VDW as being G Hall

Yes, that's true. There were 10 people that Fulham trusted with the information. Lee was one, and I think Mtoto was another.

When it was revealed on Gummy's, it didn't 'arf kick-off! Playthings were mercilessly hurled from many a perambulator. :crazy:
 

BC

Yearling
Strange thing was that he was not a VDW fan but frequented VDW Forums

I found a post by JIB on the VDW 'exposed' thread (A time for great humility) that may answer the question:

* * *​

I wouldn't say that I am a 'pig in the middle'. I have never acquired an old form book, indeed if I had been given one I would have thrown it away. I was naturally attracted to the VDW debate when it started 6 years ago because it was one of the few places where form was being discussed.

At that time the AR and CR were, in my opinion, sufficiently ill-founded for me to have doubts as to the subject of VDW and the idea of making a vast investment in time and effort in studying 20 year old races seemed a rather gullible undertaking.

Perhaps it was a surge of arrogance but I decided to do my own research on class and form, and through my efforts drew up my own philosophies, if such mongrel ideas as I have fashioned can be given such an imposing title. With the passage of time and after much thought and debate on several fora I have found that both myself and my original Ëœopponents' have been on convergent courses. I now know what they are talking about as I believe they now do about me. The result can be described as mutual respect.

VDW had a magnificent conception of class and form, but when I read about 'the boxing day six' I get the impression that his weakness was impetuosity. Nowadays I work with C2 Flat hcps, but if I put my methods to work on even a C3 I get unexpected results and lose control of the situation.

VDW's conception of class and form was second to none but I get the impression that the idea of a horse being 'placed to win' was the one he had more trouble with, though again this is only a personal view.

I think that those students of VDW who have managed to understand the class and form part of racing, and who are getting to grips with the 'placed to win' part, are the people who the least traumatized by the revelation that the originator apparently couldn't turn his invention into material gain.

However those students who have run aground on 'mysterious stars' or 'golden keys' are the ones who are having serious problems with the recent turn of events and are losing their composure. In my opinion there is no point in being resentful to myself or Fulham or VDW for that matter, the problem is in the eye of the beholder.

The VDW story will not stop at this, it will take another direction; it has to, as there is now no going back.
 

trecelyn

Yearling
I’ve had many attempts at producing my own class figures, most of the time the figures I produced mirrored the weights in the race so I ended up backing a lot of higher weighted horses. One of my theories involved taking the average OR of all the runners, I then added the number of runners beaten as I concluded the more runners the harder the race was to win, so a horse that finished 2nd in a 10 runner race with an average OR of 80 would get a final figure of 88 as it’s class rating as it finished ahead of 8 runners.

Next time out it’s in a race with average OR of 80 but with 6 runners so it needed only to repeat its last run to be competitive and hopefully win, unfortunately this was seldom the case and it became another failed venture into the class field.

From what I have read on the post reached from the above link I should have been taking a closer look at the opposition rather than blindly backing horses I felt to be well in
 

BC

Yearling
From what I have read on the post reached from the above link I should have been taking a closer look at the opposition rather than blindly backing horses I felt to be well in
I reckon that would be a good idea. 👍
 

Chesham

Sire
I’ve had many attempts at producing my own class figures, most of the time the figures I produced mirrored the weights in the race so I ended up backing a lot of higher weighted horses. One of my theories involved taking the average OR of all the runners, I then added the number of runners beaten as I concluded the more runners the harder the race was to win, so a horse that finished 2nd in a 10 runner race with an average OR of 80 would get a final figure of 88 as it’s class rating as it finished ahead of 8 runners.

Next time out it’s in a race with average OR of 80 but with 6 runners so it needed only to repeat its last run to be competitive and hopefully win, unfortunately this was seldom the case and it became another failed venture into the class field.

From what I have read on the post reached from the above link I should have been taking a closer look at the opposition rather than blindly backing horses I felt to be well in
On the Inner Sanctum the Class Sheets are posted each night by ArkRoyal ArkRoyal

These contain various Ratings

The example below was not a bet for me, but explains how the various ratings can come together and they are totally different methods of rating

The Chesham Class Ratings sheet first. Here Virginia Plane is top rated on adjusted class ratings 69.5 and down in class 5.19

8FE7F08D-F36A-40D3-B8CA-E40D0C51F0C2.jpeg
Next Tab on the Class Sheets is the Form Sheet

TBB HC is the TheBluesBrother TheBluesBrother Handicap Rating which is converted from his Speed Figures and is on the same scale as the BHA Ratings

the TBB HC is 78 and the horse has a BHA Rating of 75, so is 3 Lb well in.

To the right is the JIB Class Rtings and jib Rating

We can see runs back the horse won a Jub Class 71 and of course a Jib Rating of 71

LTO went up in class Jib class 74 and a Jib rating of 73 an improvement from 2nd LTO

Todays Jib Class is 68 , down in claSS and won a Higher class 2 runs back and improved Jib Rating for an even higher class . Also note that LTO was an improvement on TheBluesBrother TheBluesBrother figs too

4A9D2CDD-1E98-40DC-A0B8-33D715B35C63.jpeg
 

BC

Yearling
On the Inner Sanctum the Class Sheets are posted each night by ArkRoyal ArkRoyal

These contain various Ratings

The example below was not a bet for me, but explains how the various ratings can come together and they are totally different methods of rating

The Chesham Class Ratings sheet first. Here Virginia Plane is top rated on adjusted class ratings 69.5 and down in class 5.19

View attachment 99861
Next Tab on the Class Sheets is the Form Sheet

TBB HC is the TheBluesBrother TheBluesBrother Handicap Rating which is converted from his Speed Figures and is on the same scale as the BHA Ratings

the TBB HC is 78 and the horse has a BHA Rating of 75, so is 3 Lb well in.

To the right is the JIB Class Rtings and jib Rating

We can see runs back the horse won a Jub Class 71 and of course a Jib Rating of 71

LTO went up in class Jib class 74 and a Jib rating of 73 an improvement from 2nd LTO

Todays Jib Class is 68 , down in claSS and won a Higher class 2 runs back and improved Jib Rating for an even higher class . Also note that LTO was an improvement on TheBluesBrother TheBluesBrother figs too

View attachment 99862

Wow. :cool:

I am clearly out of my depth by several fathoms. :eek:

You guys certainly deserve all the success you get. :clap:

As well as highlighting VP's merits, the sheets also show the comparison to the opposition. And in this case, the comparable ratings seem to give support to VP. On another day, they would highlight the dangers.

The best place for me right now is on the sidelines. Before I worry about diving back into any form of gambling, I need to get three things sorted out: more time; more interest; and my patient betting temperament, which I lost somewhere along the way.
 

trecelyn

Yearling
Thanks Chesham for a peek at the sheets, it certainly is eye opening, I can see why using more than one set of figures increases the chances of winning. An area I have never considered is taking ratings from different races, when I compiled my class ratings I also handicapped the race so I had hoped to identify the class horses and have a form rating from the same race and that’s what I based my selections on, I see that you are suggesting using the best ratings be they class or form from different races wherever the ratings appear
 
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