Creating Your Own Pace Ratings – Pace Analysis Part 2

As promised, today I’m going to show you how you can create your own simple pace ratings using in running comments.

Horses are pack animals and most horses will have a preference of where they like to run in relation to other horses.

For the purpose of our pace ratings we are going to split horses into 4 distinct categories.

1 = Laggers
2 = Mid-Pack
3 = Chasers
4 = Leaders

The categories are fairly self explanatory but I’ll give you a brief explanation of each.

A lagger is a horse that typically runs towards the back of the pack. A mid-pack horse typically runs in the middle of the pack. A chaser likes to run towards the front of the pack, a little behind the leaders. And leaders like to run at the very front of the pack.

You can work out what category a horse fits into by looking at the in running comments of a horses previous races.

A comment such as led or made all what suggest the horse is a leader.

A comment such as chased leaders would suggest that the horse is a chaser.

A comment such as mid-division would suggest that the horse is a mid-pack horse.

And a comment such as in the rear most of the race would suggest the horse is a lagger.

A simple way you could rate the pace of a horse would be to look at the in-running comments for it’s last 4 races and assign a value of 1 through to 4 for the horse in each race depending on how it ran. (1 being a lagger, 4 being a leader)

This would give you a maximum rating for a horse of 16 and a minimum rating of 4.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how you can use that rating to identify the likely category of the horse.

4 – 6 = Lagger
7 – 9 = Mid-Pack
10 – 12 = Chaser
13+ = Leader

Once you had calculated a rating like this for every horse in an upcoming race, you could get a good idea of how the race is likely to be run and what sort of horses would be suited to this pace.

The overall expected pace of a race can also be split into 4 categories.

Fast paced races, lone paced races, true run races, slow paced races.

Each of these different paces will suit different horses. Here’s a brief breakdown of how to identify the likely pace of a race and what type of horses each pace best suits.

Fast Paced Races

If there are lots of horses running in a race that like to run as leaders, the race is likely to be ran at a very fast paced. Most of these leader horses will burn each other out and therefore they are not likely to win the race. These races are mostly won by chasers of mid-pack horses. The only exception to this if there is a leader horse who is significantly better than other leader horses in the race.

Lone Paced Races

If there is only one horse in a race that looks likely to be a leader the race will be a lone paced race. Lone paced races are usually won by the lone leader.

True Run Races

A true run race will have a mixture of all kinds of horses. Most races will fit into this category. Chasers and leaders are most likely to win these types of races, although a chaser is more likely to win than a leader.

Slow Run Races

If a race features no leaders or chasers, it is likely to be run very slowly. All sorts of weird things can happen in this races, although they are most likely to be won by a strong mid-pack horse.

For a more detailed look at pace in UK horse racing (and for a more complex way of creating pace ratings), I highly recommend reading Pace Wins the Race by Ricky Taylor. It’s a hard book to get a hold of (it seems to be out of print now) but you might be able to find a second hand copy online.

Manually creating your own pace ratings using the simple method above (or the more complex method from Pace Wins Race) can be very time consuming – Although it would be manageable if you were just calculating them for races where pace has the biggest impact (e.g. short races on the all-weather)

There are ways of automating the process by creating your own racing database, but that can also be costly and time intensive to set up and isn’t likely to suit most people.

However, creating your own pace ratings isn’t the only way to analyze the pace of a race.

Tomorrow I’ll show you an easy to use pace tool that I regularly use myself – And best of all, it calculates the pace ratings for you using the same method I told you about above.

It’s not free. But it’s hardly going to break the bank either and pace analysis is just one of the things this tool can do.

Until tomorrow,
Kenny Turnbull

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