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VDW Just a few thoughts VDW or otherwise.

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mtoto

Gelding
Not quite sure why but some find it easier to send PM's or e-mails I would much prefer it if questions were asked through the forum. I'm quite happy to answer most questions in public and don't see the need to set up conversations through other means.

I have tried to answer the PM as politely as I can and do hope the sender understands. I don't look at sprints at all.

The e-mail was from someone from the past and to be honest I have no idea if they are even a member of this forum as names often get changed.

The long and short of the message was why are you still getting the VDW message all wrong? Many of the brains/experts have tried to help and you are too pig headed to admit you are wrong.

My answer is IF I'm so wrong why am I still making it pay when many of these "experts" have dropped out or stopped posting? Going back through some of my old posts which isn't that easy as some of the forums have disappeared, I found one of the first pre race selections I put up. It was Hug's Dancer on the 7/5/03 The Chester Cup so after ten years the method I use is still throwing up nice priced winners. Fair enough there have been a couple of minor tweaks but the basic method is still the same.

It may sound strange as I have never accepted/used the usual ability rating but I think I have stayed closer to the original ideas than many. I haven't stopped trying to find the good horse running in good races many have as they think they are too hard to solve . I use the VDW formula all parts, as I understand them anyway!

Contrary to what some think I have looked at all suggestions made by these "experts", some I can understand but not completely agree with. Others too many fall flat and simply just don't hold water when applied to the VDW examples. The thing that drives me crazy with many of these ideas is when they are challenged, challenged is far to strong a word as it is usually just asking for an explanation there isn't one forth coming. This is the same with some very straight forward questions like where does VDW say the live market is part of the method, why if s/f are good enough to measure ability for horses to put in a list why isn't it good enough to measure ability outside a list? Then there are the simple questions that I can't see how anyone could say that is putting too much on the plate, like does a selection have to be a probable, or can you make all the selections probables using the ideas put forward? Are the two methods used applied to the relevant consistent horse the same as the two methods used to check the form?

I'm not saying VDW is the only way to make racing pay far from it. There are more than a few members of this forum who have a fantastic grip on racing in general and I'm sure they can teach us a lot. Chesham, and Mick are two:drinks: although with them I still can't quite work out how they decide which race(s) to work on. Blue's Brothers and Horseplayer are another two I would love to have a face to face with. Then there are theses chaps who perform the white mans magic with their macros :drinks:

Better get on family visiting on Sat so not too much time to sort things out!!

Be Lucky
,
 

mick

Sire
Hi mtoto RE myself i work all proper hcaps starting at the 4 day dec stage.I maintain my own "private hcap" and at the two day dec stage will be looking at any races which my figs say has only one + rated (lbs well in) horse.

This will be promoted to possible bet and i then profile in an attempt to glean is this the correct race to enable it to run to my positive rating.If yes i then set a min price based on my estimation of any positives or negatives for this horse and the opposition.

Subject to no concerns RE the effects of any going changes then all the above work will be concluded by mid afternoon the day before.I then await the early price markets to see if my min price can be obtained or bettered.

RE you being questioned via PM,I experienced similar on another forum.I was posting my picks and they were doing well.I answered the guys questions in good faith.He then analysed in depth my previous bets and started posting on the forum almost as if he were i,using my terminology etc. In effect he started telling me what i was doing.The guy could not have been more wrong and made himself look a total tit but i must confess to being a little pissed at the outset.

So for what its worth i think you have made the correct call by advising members that you do not wish to talk about your methods via PM.
 

mlmrob

Sire
"To be misunderstood can be the writer's punishment for having disturbed the readers peace. The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding".

Anatole Broyard, the late editor of The New York Times.
 

mick

Sire
"To be misunderstood can be the writer's punishment for having disturbed the readers peace. The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding".

Anatole Broyard, the late editor of The New York Times.

A friend who has backed my judgement for years and done well via it,recently said to me "You should write a book"apart from the fact i have no desire to do so ,it would not work.Even if i set out every single aspect of the way i work a race and gave examples i could never guarantee that the reader would be able to reach the same future conclusions as myself and these would be the only ones which counted.

More so than any i feel VDW was subjected to unwarranted stick for this reason. Often still is.
 

ArkRoyal

Administrator
Not quite sure why but some find it easier to send PM's or e-mails I would much prefer it if questions were asked through the forum. I'm quite happy to answer most questions in public and don't see the need to set up conversations through other means.
:text-goodpost:

I couldn't agree more, surely thats the idea of a forum:confused:
 

Chesham

Sire
I'm not saying VDW is the only way to make racing pay far from it. There are more than a few members of this forum who have a fantastic grip on racing in general and I'm sure they can teach us a lot. Chesham, and Mick are two:drinks: although with them I still can't quite work out how they decide which race(s) to work on.

Be Lucky
,

Hi Mtoto

This might explain how I decide on the races to work on

The Class Rating Method that I posted in answer to Robs question about strike rates in comparison to those claimed by VDW looks at the LTO Handicap Race ( I do like your idea of finding the best class performance and waiting for the horse to be placed below or equal to that Class, as better prices achieved and of course you can do win and loaded place )

There are different ways to arrive at the same horses that I posted pre race without using my own class ratings

Using Timeform Handicap Ratings for the horses posted might explain how ratings can be used

Neardown Beauty(IRE) Weight Carried 8-11 Highest OHR in Race 85 ( +12 Timeform Figure compared to OHR of Neardown)

Neardown Beauty(IRE) 9-6 Highest OHR =82


Bo McGinty 8-6, 87, +5

Bo McGinty, 9-4, 73 (Won)


Bel Cantor 8-6, 74 , +11

Bel Cantor, 9-1, 68, Won


Godfrey Street, 8-11, 85, +9

Godfrey Street 8-13 , 85, Won


Samarinda, 8-11, 106, +5

Samarinda 9-1, 97, Won


Princess Cocoa, 8-9, 85 ,+10

Princess Cocoa 8-11, 79, Won


Highland Harvest, 9-4, 75, +11

Highland Harvest 9-4, 74, Won


Benllech 9-0, 82, +13, Won

Benllech , 9-2, 80, Won


They All Laughed, 8-13, 75, +8

They All Laughed, 9-3, 70 Won


Wicked Daze 8-7, 106, +11

Wicked Daze 10-1 , 85, Won

They are well below the Class of race that you would look at but it might explain how these lower class races can be looked at from a Class/Form perspective

Thanks for your recent posts on the Jackform thread and certainly something that I can relate to as a Class/form selection method, using best Class/Form from further back in a horses career,when looking at High Class handicaps.

Good Luck

Chehsam
 

mtoto

Gelding
First I would like to say thank you to Mick and Chesham for explaining how they work. Don't know if I'm being a bit slow but do you both work of lists as I still have a problem seeing how you find the races as there are so many lower class races to choose from. You both also seem to to profile your selections and can I ask do you find these lower class horses conform readily to their profiles?

As explained I stick to the better class races as I think it takes some of the guess work out of the equation in as much as I really do think the majority of the horses entered in these races are there to at least try to win. As with everything there are exceptions to all ideas, I always have a good look at the lower class races of the class two and or none hcps as these are often used for prep races. However I firmly believe even in these races an unfit horse is not risked. These good animals are far to valuable to risk injury, and for the prep to be of much/any use the horse should be put into the race at some stage.

I will try to put up my selection (if there are any) tomorrow but I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow. Family coming to visit, and take us out for a meal, for "normal" folk that isn't a big thing, but getting me around can be anything but normal.:eek: I have provisionally worked three races, one I'm not interested in but there are possible bets in the other two. I like to work the races have a think about them, then have a sleep on it. In the morning I like to take my time and look at the top three or four again, re work the race if there are none runners which is more often than not. These 48 hours decs are the biggest pain ever! Then make my final decisions and I not sure how much time I will be allowed :think:

Be Lucky
 

Chesham

Sire
HI Mtoto

Sometimes I will follow a particular horse if I know the trainer well, Sir Mark Prescott for instance. I will try to figure out where he may go next with the horse. Mostly during the AW season though, I just rate all the handicaps to see if anything jumps out off the page at me. I will also have a few bets in claiming races and some trainers specialise in these. An easy way to Rate these races roughly, is to subtract their OHR from the weight that the Trainer has elected for their horse. The lowest figure is the best in at the weights. Then it is a case of looking at the Form and class that they have been running in. Ian Williams usually has a few lined up for this type of race each year.

With regards to profiling, I profile horses, trainers, Trainer/Jockey combinations and even owners.

The way that you work the better class races is sound as I can see that Roushayd was worked that way. VDW mentioned the Race Class's that were within his reach and the distance that was suitable.

Tomorrow I am out all afternoon as my brother and I sponsor a Cup in memory of our Dad at his old Bowling Club, so a day off from racing.

Good Luck

Chesham
 
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mick

Sire
Hi mtoto i do not have list horses treating every race worked as a one off unique event as i wish to start with an unbiased mind set.The vdw reasoning re concentrating on the better class events is sound,but how about considering a different perspective. If more horses are trying in a top class race does this not make it more difficult and competitive.?

In the lower grade events less horses will be trying ,but a combination of hcapping and profiling should enable an insight to this ?.As mentioned i use figs to decide if there is a winner in the race at the weights and 75% of the time this is not so.I only profile the other 25% of possibles and this makes best use of my time.

Like yourself i need plenty of time to ponder / sleep on a possible bet which is why i start work at the 4 day stage.We all seek profit in our own preferred way ,and providing it works for us this is all that matters.?

PS I have just reread your post and you ask about profiling moderate horses.? Good question and not easy to give a concise answer.When a well handicapped horse has apparent poor recent form profiling should enable an understanding of why.? I use a Technic i call tracking which will set a standard for a past race and if on the day the horse did not meet that standard then why should it be viewed as inconsistent when running poorly.IMO Inconsistent horses are those who fail to run well when placed to win.
 
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mtoto

Gelding
If more horses are trying in a top class race does this not make it more difficult and competitive.?

Mick,

When I start working a race the more horse there are that have registered on the d/base the happier I am. Yes, these races are usually competitive but for me at least a lot of the guess work has been taken out of the equation. I can't be sure as I now don't even look at any race lower than a class 2, (actually that is not 100% correct, there are a couple of class three hcps with very good prize money that are targeted that are looked at). One thing that does make me stop and look is when one of the good races is won by a horse not on the d/base and to be fair it doesn't happen that often. As I don't look at the low class races I can't prove it but I do have serious doubts about whether or not theses can/do perform to their profiles, why are they restricted to the lower classes and not raised looking for the better prizes? Of course as Chesham points out there is a ceiling a horse can perform to but aren't these horse either over backed and/or played around with leaving the punter guessing as to is this the race? I don't like guessing.

Many years ago when I first started backing horse I did keep and follow lists but I found too often I was looking for reasons to back this horse I thought good enough to put on the list. I gave up that idea when I realised concentrating on just one horse wasn't a very sensible but even now I still find lists do have a habit of making me do that. Right or wrong it is also one of the reasons I don't take too much notice of trainers when it comes to them looking at the full picture of a race. Sure they know their horse and their intentions, but how much do they know about the others in the race, apart from a very few exceptions I would say very little.

While I do trust trainers when it comes to whether or not to run on the going, and try a new distances I have some serious doubts about the bringing to the "boil" idea. For me this is often just going after the conciliation prize, the horse is brought to peak form, fails, then dropped in class AFTER failing to land the big one. Every time I look at Roushayd I think the target was Epsom, I can see no reason why he wouldn't have been targeted for that race. He had shown he could handle an undulating speed course by winning at Goodwood, to run a personal best he had to have been in peak form.

Be Lucky
 

mick

Sire
Hi mtoto i understand and accept your points and it really comes down to what we as backers feel comfortable and confident with.I always keep an open mind and am ever ready to consider a change which might improve profitability.

As mentioned keeping long term records of my bets is an aide to this.Two years ago i did an extensive audit using my past 10yrs actual bets.One aspect i looked into was my profitability in the different class of races.I use ROI as the judgement measure and split my bets into 3 groups (all hcaps) class 1&2 3&4 5&6 the former performed worse for myself the middle best and the last 2nd best.

These type of stats mean little unless you can find some reasoning to substantiate and my thoughts where that often the better class races are won by horses showing improved form and this is something i find difficult to predict.The variance was not big enough to cause me to swerve these races but my real comfort zone is when i can risk my wedge based on things a horse has done not what it might do.Yourself vdw and others would take the opposite perspective and i can ,do respect this...........Be a bit boring if we all agreed and less of a market to plunder.?
 

Chesham

Sire
If more horses are trying in a top class race does this not make it more difficult and competitive.?


Every time I look at Roushayd I think the target was Epsom, I can see no reason why he wouldn't have been targeted for that race.

Be Lucky

Hi Mtoto

You could well be right as Roushayd as he did run in the Northern Dancer the following year, Billet was not backed in The Northern Dancer because of Roushayd being in the race Billet was aimed at The Northern Dancer as he had won the same Prep Race (The London Cup) the year before and then was made favourite for the Northern Dancer (Off a Lower Weight than 1988) but failed. Although VDW said Billet was a Probable Winner, did not back him because he was not sure that he was up to winning at that class.

Good Luck

Chesham
 

mtoto

Gelding
These type of stats mean little unless you can find some reasoning to substantiate and my thoughts where that often the better class races are won by horses showing improved form and this is something i find difficult to predict.The variance was not big enough to cause me to swerve these races but my real comfort zone is when i can risk my wedge based on things a horse has done not what it might do.

Mick,
This is something I have heard many times. and I do wonder why folk think this. I like you much prefer to back horses with proven form in the class or higher of the race being looked at. If there is such a horse in the race I'm VERY reluctant to take that horse on even with a horse with good proven form from a lower class. Here when I say proven form I mean a performance good enough to warrant an entry on the data base, and there are plenty of races and horse considered good some even considered top performers that have never done that at any time in their careers.

Lee was the first person who seemed to think this and said as much more than a few times. He also argued all the VDW selections had the best last time out performance in the race and using that logic I can see why he thought most of the selections were going up in class. However that is only a case if the last race is used as the yardstick IE Prominent King, Parkhouse, Celtic Pleasure, Baronet and many others. I have never quite understood why some put so much emphasis on the last race, VDW went out of his way to explain how to deal with the last race performances and that ability lasts more than one race or even one season. In Systematic Betting he showed us how to find the class rating so why would that only last for one race when the ability rating lasted a life time? Also as I have asked a few times what is the difference between a class rating and an ability rating there has to be a difference as VDW said Prominent King didn't have a WINNING class rating but we all know he had won two races.

Be Lucky
 

Chesham

Sire
Hi Mtoto

VDW used Split Second to determine the Abilty Rating for To Agori Mou. In those days the The Split Second Scale was 0-100 and the New Split second scale is is 0-140. (Flat Racing) What is the minimum Split Second rating that you use to give the Horse an Ability Rating Entry on your data base

Good Luck

Chesham
 

mick

Sire
Hi mtoto RE your above i can only relate my thoughts and the way i work.Recent relevant form is imo a positive yet very few of the horses i back are done so because of thier LTO run.

RE class and ability i do not work or think the vdw way but would have my own interpretation of these.In any contest there may be a horse with proven class against the opposition and proven class against the race.To my way of thinking these are different takes on the same problem and i want both to make a bet.

When i look at the winners of the top class handicaps then invariably in winning they will achieve their best ever rating.This says to myself that they have had to improve in order to win.So when i do bet on same i am using the horse which imo needs to improve the least in comparison to the opposition.I will sometimes do this but it is not with the same decree of confidence as a bet in a lower class when the horse doesn't need to improve just repeat something it has already done.

These thoughts work for myself on balance and yours for you,in both cases this is the only thing which matters.
 

mtoto

Gelding
What is the minimum Split Second rating that you use to give the Horse an Ability Rating Entry on your data base?

Chesham,

The answer to your question is 109 in every case, Flat and NH. However that doesn't automatically mean a horse just has to record that figure and is on the d/base. The idea is based on VDW saying ..... Logically form must represent a degree of achievement for me that equals strong form gained in a true run race. With VDW pointing out a win and or a good run has to be put into perspective.

I'm a little confused when you mention the scale of 140? I'm not quite sure where that comes into the equation as weight isn't involved and I have only come across one horse that rated a race that high.

Mick,

Have to say I do find your views very interesting and have to say they are shared by many if not all the folk that rely/ use on weight. A few years ago I listed my top/best hcps to compare with a very knowledgeable chap on a forum who used hcp ratings to measure ability. I was amazed to find out of over 30 races we only agreed two or three times and even then we didn't agree on any of the top ten. This did surprise me as I had been given to believe the handicappers private and official had started to take pace into account. Here when I say pace I'm not getting into the technicalities I'm just using was it a true run race.

These thoughts work for myself on balance and yours for you,in both cases this is the only thing which matters.

I agree 100% with that and long may it be so.

Has anyone ever told you you are a dead ringer for Mick Jagger

Be Lucky
 

mick

Sire
Hi mtoto likewise i find exchanging views with yourself a positive.RE weight there are to many occasions when pounds and lengths workout almost exactly for this to be ignored(imo).I think some of the best judges in this game are the official handicappers,in fact my private handicap is set up to mirror their thinking with the expectation that i can occasionally disagree with same.

When putting figs to a race that has been run the key is finding the correct one for the winner.This will then dictate the figs for the placed horses but imo this should only be a starting point.I find it necessary to then fiddle with some and there will be different reasoning behind any alterations.

A true run race would be viewed as a positive for most contenders but depending on any opinions formed concerning optimum requirements it could be viewed as having worked against some and this would be taken into consideration before a final fig is allotted.

I spend a deal of time doing this and often my top rate will be very different to that shown by the likes of timeform and this will frequently be reflected in the markets ,so proves time well spent.

A top rated horse is just a starting point for myself,but in a hcap a good one.

"Give me shelter".
 

Chesham

Sire
What is the minimum Split Second rating that you use to give the Horse an Ability Rating Entry on your data base?

Chesham,

The answer to your question is 109 in every case, Flat and NH. However that doesn't automatically mean a horse just has to record that figure and is on the d/base. The idea is based on VDW saying ..... Logically form must represent a degree of achievement for me that equals strong form gained in a true run race. With VDW pointing out a win and or a good run has to be put into perspective.

I'm a little confused when you mention the scale of 140? I'm not quite sure where that comes into the equation as weight isn't involved and I have only come across one horse that rated a race that high.



Be Lucky

Hi Mtoto

To my Knowledge The Old Split Second Ratings never exceeded 100 when you look at Past Results (100 was the Maximum) The Split second Ratings are different today as in theory they can go up to 140 and in theory exceed that. The BHA Handicapper when setting the Weights for certain handicaps uses a scale 0f 0-140 lbs ,Yes Split Second Does not factor weight

The Split Second ratings are an expression of a horses speed in terms of lengths per Mile as opposed to LBS per Length. Basically, if one horse has a top speed figure five points superior to another and both horses run to their best form over a mile, the first horse should beat the second by five lengths. In a race over 2mls, the margin should be ten lengths and so on.

Split Second Pars ( The reason I asked for the Minimum for your Data Base was because I thought it might be that as the TABLE Below conforms to your idea of Class 2

VDW: The important thing is to establish proven ability and here a previous Speed figure of 80 plus should give a reasonable base.

I can see that he was using a Class Par based on Speed and would know that if this was the highest Speed Figure achieved so far, as long as it met the minimum Speed Par, he could trust the Ability Rating he assigned to the horse for that race.



Group 1, 117
Group 2, 115
Group 3, 113
lst, 111
2, 109
3, 107
4, 105
5, 103
6, 101

BHB Ratings Pars

Group 1 113
Group 2 108
Group 3 106
lst 100
2 91
3 85
4 76
5 67
6 57


Good Luck

Chesham
 

mtoto

Gelding
A true run race would be viewed as a positive for most contenders but depending on any opinions formed concerning optimum requirements it could be viewed as having worked against some and this would be taken into consideration before a final fig is allotted.

Mick,

This I do find interesting because more often than not I do find when my analysis goes all to cock the race has been run with little or no early pace. What I can't seem to do is know before the race when this is going to happen. I have looked at many different scenarios and find it very hard to find one that works time. Out of habit I tend to fight shy of French horses running over here because of the usual pattern their races are run at, slow with a sprint finish, this does seem to have an effect of the s/f's they record. Often they are very high, but when they run here the strong early pace gives them major problems. The only time I will have a second look at them is when the figures have been scored against horses that usually run in England or when there has been a recognized pacemaker. So have you any tips on what to look for if you are looking at a horse that doesn't want a true run race?

Chesham,

Have to say the deciding on 109 was more of a coincidence than anything else, when I started I did work to 110. The change to 109 was simply because Raceform would cut the horse that finished 2nd to 109 even if it was beaten a short head. My logic said it had to have the same figure as the winner. The 110 came about when the old Split Second stopped and they change the formula, I had to try to work my own figures to keep that data base current. I turned out to be far to much work so I started another d/base using the new figures and ran then together until I had enough information to scrap the old one, and just use the current split second figures. 110 was the figure I came up with at first.

Be Lucky
 
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